Nature?" Dennis Kingery, Metropolitan Community
College. State University of New York at Buffalo's National Center
for Case Study Teaching
In 1958, black bass were introduced
into Lake Atitlan in the highlands of western Guatemala as a way
to attract tourism and boost the local economy, but unforeseen
complications resulted in an ecological disaster. Developed for an
introductory course in biology, this case study first casts
students in the role of the local population at that time and asks
them to judge the proposal to introduce the new species of fish.
The students then review the ensuing events from a historical
perspective based on additional information they receive from the
instructor in a progressive disclosure format.
This case is appropriate for
high school and undergraduate ecology, environmental science,
general biology, and aquaculture courses.
Magic Bullet or Pandora's Box? A Case Study on Biological
Controls" Gary M. Fortier, Delaware Valley College.
State University of New York at Buffalo's National Center for Case
The characters in this dilemma
case, representing the scientific community and government, must
make a decision about whether or not to release a virulent
pathogen into the environment in order to control the rapidly
expanding population of European rabbits in New Zealand. As they
work through the case, students grapple with the complex issues
associated with introduced species and biological controls.
This case is appropriate for
undergraduate wildlife management, ecology, and zoology courses.
to Biodiversity: A Case Study of Hawaiian Birds", Sarah K. Huber,
University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Paula P. Lemons, Duke
University. State University of New York at Buffalo's National
Center for Case Study Teaching
This case study analyzes the impact of
introduced species on the bird populations of Hawaii. Students
learn about what makes a certain introduced species more likely
than another to become established in a new area; how introduced
species can directly and indirectly affect endemic species; and
why certain endemic species are particularly vulnerable to
Developed for an introductory
biology course, the case could also be used in in upper level
courses such as ecology, conservation biology, evolution,
diversity, and the biology of social issues, or in a non-majors
Panvini, Vanderbilt University. State University of New York at
Buffalo's National Center for Case Study Teaching
This case examines the biological,
ecological, social, political, and economic factors surrounding
exotic species as well as the role of resource managers in shaping
public policy on environmental issues.
In addition to conservation
ecology courses, this case would be appropriate for a non-majors
science course, a bioethics course, or a majors biology course
such as ecology.
CNN Video Clips
"Slithery Stowaways": Biology 7th Ed. CNN Ed 2003 (2:52)
Brown tree snakes now number in
the millions on Guam. DNA studies show all are descended
from a single female snake that probably arrived via a ship.
The venomous snakes, which can reach ten feet in length, are an
economic nuisance, a minor threat to humans, and a major disaster
for Guam's wildlife. Ten species of birds have been driven
to extinction, and fruit bat populations are being
decimated. Efforts are underway to contain the snake to
Guam; some snakes have already been intercepted at airports in
Hawaii, Texas, and elsewhere. (Student worksheet provided on CD)
On-Line Video Clips
- Brought to the US as an
ornamental plant from Asia, Kudzu has quickly taken over much of
the South despite efforts to stop it. This video is a nice
lead-in to a problem on invasive species as it shows how, without
natural controls, it quickly over-grows the native flora in the
"Cuban tree frog has biologists a
bit jumpy". Associated Press. The Post and Courier.
22 October 2005.
In this article, a woman from
Georgia explains her sitting of the Cuban tree frog and the future
effect it might have on the ecosystem.
"Invasion of Cuban tree frogs scary
possibility in S.C." Petersen, Bo. The Post and Courier.
27 October 2005.
This article discusses what effect
the Cuban tree frog may have on the environment in South Carolina.
"Tiny Pine Beetles Wiping Out
Forests" Struck, Doug, The Washington Post. 5 March 2006.
Canadian forests are under attack
by a tiny pine beetle. The range of attack is increasing and the
beetle is now being seen in places that it had never been in
previously. This change is probably due to the increased warmth in
the climate caused by global warming. The winter is no longer
severe enough to kill off the beetle.
"Further Evidence for the invasion and
establishment of Pterois volitans (Teleostei: Scopaenidae)
along the Atlantic coast of the United States". Meister, H. S.,
Wyanski, D. M, Loefer, J. K, Ross, S. W., Quattrini, A. M, and
Sulak, J. K. Southeastern Naturalist 4: 2005.
Further Evidence for the invasion
and establishment of Pterois volitans (Teleostei:
Scopaenidae) along the Atlantic coast of the United
lionfish is indigenous to the western Pacific and is an invasive
marine fish. The invasion of the red lionfish into the coastal
waters of South
Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia will have an impact on the local
ecosystems they have invaded.
beats rabbits, but not rules". Finkel,
Sept 17. 1999.
"In 1859, Thomas Austin, one of Victoria's landed gentry,
introduced a few European rabbits onto his estate for sport-and
Australians have been cursing him ever since. To stop
millions of foliage-eating rabbits from turning huge tracts into
desert, Australia has become the only nation to successfully use a
biocontrol agent on a vertebrate. Officials released the
myxomatosis virus in the 1950s, and then, as the virus's potency
waned, followed it with the European calicivirus diseas (RCD) in
1995. The new virus appears to be a stunning success:
Rabbit numbers are way down and once barren deserts are
blooming. Yet for biocontrol officials, the calicivirus
experience has been a major embarrassment, a sobering lesson in
the unpredictability of biocontrol agents."
in New Zealand". Duston, Trevor. Science. April 4,
"In view of the conflicting scientific views relating to
rabbit viral hemmoragic disease (RHD) for rabbit calicivirus
disease (RCD), as it is called in Australia and New Zealand, and
the general lack of sound data relating to the virus (it has not
been successfully grown in cell culture), the so-called
"scientific testing" program conducted by the Australians for the
purpose of detecting cross species transmission is highly
the 10 year cycle of snowshoe hares?". Krebs,
CJ, Bounstra, R, Boutin, S, and Sinclair ARE. BioScience. January
"The ten-year cycle of snowshoe hares, one of the most
striking features of the boreal forest, is a product of the
interaction between predation and food supplies, as large-scale
experiments in the Yukon have demonstrated."
spread of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus as a new biological
agent for control of wild european rabbits in australia".
Kovaliski, J. Journal
of Wildlife Diseases. July 1998.
RHD virus in Australia". Matson, D and Smith
July 5, 1996.
"Following the escape of the mainland of the rabbit
hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) from Wardang Island off the coast
of South Australia, a monitoring program was implemented over a 13
month period, between October 1995 and October 1996 to determine
the activity and rate of spread of the disease in the wild
European rabbit population. All reports of dead rabbits were
investigated.... Maximum rates of spread of RGD in Australia
ranged from 9km/mo during summer to 414km/mo in spring. New
cases of RHD were moderate during late autumn and winter and
peaked in spring. In summer the disease was rarely reported.
Dilemmas". Jarvis, B.D. New Zealand
Association of Scientisists. March 1998.
The report considers the evidence that the hemorrhagic
disease may infect or harm non-target species.
not on target". Stiling, P. Biological Invasions
6: 151-159, 2004.
"Non-target effects of exotic biological control agents,
parasitoids and predators, released worldwide to control insect
pests, are becoming more apparent. This paper summarizes
previously recorded information on the diet breadth of natural
enemies released to control insect pests worldwide. It also
summarizes the diet breadth of native parasitic hymenoptera in
North American to determine whether the diet breadths of native
and exotic parasitoids differ. Of released biocontrol
agents, 48% were recorded as generalists (attacking more
than one genus of host) and another 29.2% attacked more than one
species in a genus. Only 22.5% were recorded as specialists
on the target pests. This suggests that many natural enemies
released in biocontrol programs against insect pests have broad
diets and that non-target effects are likely. "
harmful effects of introduced rats on islands been
exaggerated?". Towns, DR, Atkinson, IAE, Daugherty,
Invasions (2006) 8: 863-891.
"Introduced rats are now being eradicated from many
islands. Increasingly, these eradications are contested by
activists claiming moral, legal, cultural, historic, or scientific
reasons and poorly documented evidence of effects. We reviewed the
global literature on the effects of rats on island flora and
fauna. We then used New Zealand as a case study because of
its four-decade history of rate eradications and many detailed and
innovative studies of how rats affect native species."
of an exotic mammal on rocky intertidal communities of
northwestern Spain". Delibes, M, Clavero, M, Prenda,
J, Blazquez, M, Ferreras, P. Biological Invasions 6: 213-219,
"Being the interface of sea and land, the coast can be
invaded by introduced species coming from either of these two
worlds. Recent reviews of coastal invasions emphasize the
human-mediated transport of non-indigenous marine plants and
invertebrates, forgetting the potential role of invaders of
terrestrial origin. By studying the diet of the introduced
American mink on a rocky shore of southwestern Europe, we draw
attention to the potential impact on intertidal communities of
exotic species coming from inland."
alternative prey and rabbit calicivirus disease:
Consequences of a new biological control agent for an
outbreaking species in Australia." Pech, RP, and
Hood, GM. The Journal
of Applied Ecology, Vol. 35, June 1998, 434-453.
"The rabbit calicivirus has been introduced as a biocontrol
agent for rabbits. The consequences for fox population that
use rabbits as primary prey, for populations for alternative
native prey, and for pastures, were examined using a model for
rabbit-and fox-prone areas of semi-arid southern Australia."
history: predicting success and risks of intentional
introductions for arthropod biological control."
Kimberling, DN. Biological
Invasions 6: 301-318, 2004.
The introduction of nonnative biological control agents
into a new region can cause difficulty in predicting the effect on
the ecosystem. The article discusses the US National
Invasive Species Management Plan. The author discusses the
"best" way to predict success with biocontrol agents using a
on pukeko eggs after the application of rabbit control
measures." Haselmayer, J and Jamieson, IG. New Zealand Journal of Ecology,
Vol 25, 2001.
The authors have tracked the pukeko in New Zealand.
After RHD was used to reduce the surrounding rabbit population in
1997, the authors studied the rate of predation on pukeko
nests. More nests were predated after the application of the
RHD virus. An explanation suggested is that the predation
rates represent a shift in diet by the rabbit predator, the
of marine invasive species: cautionary tales and
land-based lessons." Secord, D. Biological Invasions
5: 117-131, 2003.
The push for biocontrol in marine ecosystems has become
apparent. The author reviews 6 case studies of biocontrol in
from ocean reservoirs: zoonotic and interspecies
movements." Smith, AW, Skilling, DE, Cherry, N,
Mead, JH, and Matson, DO. Emerging Infectious Diseases Vol 4,
"Caliciviral infections in humans, among the most common
causes of viral-induced vomiting and diarrhea, are caused by the
Norwalk group of small round structured viruses, the Sapporo
caliciviruses, and the hepatitis E agent. Human
caliciviruses have been resistant to in vitro cultivation, and
direct study of their origins and reservoirs outside infected
humans or water and foods (such as shellfish contaminated with
human sewage) has been difficult. Modes of transmission,
other than direct oral-fecal routes, are not well
understood. In contrast, animal viruses found in ocean
reservoirs, which make up a second calicivirus group, can be
cultivated in vitro. These viruses can emerge and infect
terrestrial hosts, including humans. This article reviews
the history of animal caliciviruses, their eventual recognition as
zoonotic agents, and their potential usefulness as a predictive
model for noncultivatable human and other caliciviruses (e.g.
those seen in association with rabbit hemmorhagic disease)."
vulnerability to introduced predators: testing an
inducible defense and a refuge from predation."
Whitlow, WL, Rice, NA, and Sweeney, C. Biological Invasions
5: 23-31, 2003.
"To manage the impact of biological invasions, it is
important to determine the mechanisms responsible for the effects
invasive species have on native populations. When predation
by an invader is the mechanism causing declines ina native
population, protecting the native species will involve elucidating
the factors that affect native vulnerability. To examine
those factors, this study measured how a native species responded
to an introduced predator, and whether the native response could
result in a refuge from predation."
The Source for Information and Images of Invasive &
A joint project of The University of Georgia's Bugwood Network,
USDA Forest Service and USDA APHIS PPQ.
This webpage offers links to articles regarding RCD.
New Zealand Ecological Society
The New Zealand Journal of Ecology can be accessed through
this site with PDF downloads of articles.
"Invasive plants of the Eastern United States identification and
control". Bargeron, C. T., Moorhead, D. J., Douce, G.
K., Reardon, R. C., and Miller, A. E. University of Georgia Forest Health Technology
486 photographic images of 97
2. SCDNR Aquatic Plant
Management Program. Illegal Aquatic Plants of South
Carolina. September 1997.
Provides pictures, names, and short descriptions of these