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Invasiveness is not a trait or characteristic

Posted by Anekeia on 04 Dec 2017 at 19:23 GMT

Despite its common use, the adjective "invasive" has never been justified by a research finding. It never will, because species, by any evolutionary definition, can't invade anything. Predators were introduced to New Zealand. Some survived, reproduced and persisted there. Populations increased and individuals dispersed in response to intraspecific competition. That process is more aptly described metaphorically as diffusion than as invasion. The terms invasion and invasive do not describe characteristics of a species or a population. Rather, they reveal the mindset of an author's attitude toward that species or population. It amounts to devaluation through de-naturing much as one might dehumanize an enemy or opponent to render them morally inconsiderable. The ultimate test of the matter is that references to invasion and invasiveness can be removed from this paper without affecting its relevance. Indeed, such references appear to violate the criteria applicable to this comment, because: (1) They allege misconduct where misconduct is arguably impossible; (2) They are assertions unsupported by any actual findings; and (3) they are merely and only inflammatory.

No competing interests declared.