Smithsonian Magazine interviewed Daniel Simberloff about the global price of invasive species. The article noted that destruction caused by the invasion of alien insects and pathogens is environmental as well as economic.
A new study aims to fill the knowledge gap by using computer models to quantify the threat of 1,300 insect pests and fungal pathogens to crop production in 124 countries. Simberloff, an expert on invasive species who was not involved in the study, told the magazine that, “I think the study was conducted well as an overview of the global threat to agriculture.”
He added that follow-up studies should delve more deeply into the impact of specific crop pests. “This will take a lot of work, but it will be much more definitive in terms of the real probability of the various threats,” he said. Read the story online.
Simberloff is the Gore Hunger Professor of Environmental Studies in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.