The State of BC’s Forests The Indicators
Exotic Species — PDF print version
Indicator 5 – Exotic Species
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Note: This indicator will be addressed fully, with detailed
information and an assessment, in a future edition of the report.
Why is this important?
Some exotic species pose significant environmental and economic threats. A
few may provide important economic benefits.
- Exotic species are non-indigenous plants, animals and pathogens.
- Some exotic species are invasive. They spread rapidly and can disrupt
indigenous species, nutrient cycling and water flow. This can reduce biological
diversity, tree growth and agricultural yields. They could also result in
export restrictions on B.C.’s forest products.
- The economic impacts of invasive species can amount to millions of
- Some fast-growing, non-indigenous tree species may offer benefits such as
greater timber production than indigenous species and better adaptation to
climate change. Some risk exists, however, that exotic species could become
invasive or hybridize with closely related indigenous species, leading to
disruption of ecosystem processes.
- Effective control strategies of exotic insects and diseases are impeded
by a lack of knowledge about their behaviour in their new environment.
- Forest and range activities (see Timber harvest,
Silviculture and Range) can
contribute to the spread of invasive exotic plants, insects and pathogens.
- The presence of exotic species in B.C.’s forest products could lead to
restrictions on exports (see Forest products).
- Effective control requires an enabling regulatory framework (see
Law) and sound understanding of the behaviour of
exotic insects and diseases in their new environment (see
Knowledge, Management capacity).
- Related international and national indicators: MP
2.c, 3.a; CCFM
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