Cross Cutting Issues
Invasive Alien Species (IAS)

Increasing travel, trade, and tourism associated with globalization and expansion of the human population have facilitated intentional and unintentional movement of species beyond natural biogeographical barriers, and many of these alien species have become invasive. Invasive alien species (IAS) are considered to be one of the main direct drivers of biodiversity loss at the global level1, 2.

It is clear that IAS can produce substantial environmental and economic damage, and their negative effects are exacerbated by climate change, pollution, habitat loss and human-induced disturbance. Increasing domination by a few invasive species increases global homogenization of biodiversity, reducing local diversity and distinctiveness.

IAS can change the community structure and species composition of native ecosystems directly by out-competing indigenous species for resources. IAS may also have important indirect effects through changes in nutrient cycling, ecosystem function and ecological relationships between native species.

IAS can also cause cascading effects with other organisms when one species affects another via intermediate species, a shared natural enemy or a shared resource. These chain reactions can be difficult to identify and predict. Furthermore, aggregate effects of multiple invasive species can have large and complex impacts in an ecosystem.

A checklist of invasive of organisms is provided below. The following are classified as invasive in Malaysia by the Global Invasive Species Database:

  1. Aquatic plants
  2. Algae
  3. Birds
  4. Fish
  5. Grasses
  6. Herbs
  7. Insects
  8. Mammals
  9. Micro-organisms
  10. Molluscs
  11. Sedges
  12. Shrubs
  13. Trees
  14. Vines
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