Articles Predicting Species Invasions Using Ecological Niche Modeling: New Approaches from Bioinformatics Attack a Pressing Problem A. TOWNSEND PETERSON AND DAVID A. VIEGLAIS n 3 February 1999, President Clinton signed an Oexecutive order dealing with invasive species in the A NEW APPROACH TO ECOLOGICAL NICHE United States. The order was designed to lay the foundation for a program “to prevent the introduction of invasive species MODELING, BASED ON NEW TOOLS and provide for their control and to minimize the economic, ecological, and human health impacts that invasive species DRAWN FROM BIODIVERSITY cause” (Clinton 1999). This program includes far-reaching INFORMATICS, IS APPLIED TO THE plans to prevent, plan, monitor, and study species’ invasions. Such high-level attention emphasizes the enormity of the CHALLENGE OF PREDICTING POTENTIAL problem facing the United States, and in fact the entire world: With ever-growing international commerce, reduced barri- SPECIES’ INVASIONS ers to trade, and increasing human influence, species are moving around, and natural systems are suffering drastic changes. The dimensions of the problem are indeed impressive. to become pests (e.g., Lawton and Brown 1986, Smallwood Alien plants, animals, and microbes have poured into the and Salmon 1992, Carlton 1996). Another line of inquiry United States from
BioScience – Oxford University Press
Published: May 1, 2001
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