[Coral-List] Exotic vs. Invasive.

Letvin, Alexander alexander.letvin at sdstate.edu
Fri Feb 15 12:16:39 EST 2013

I've always thought that invasive species caused significant ecological harm, while exotic species didn't appear to have much of an impact on the ecosystem.  Maybe I'm wrong though.  I don't know anything about Tubastraea.

Alex Letvin
Graduate Research Assistant (M.S.)
Department of Natural Resource Management
South Dakota State University
SNP Lab 138, Box 2140B
Brookings, SD 57007
Phone: (605) 691-3554
Email: alexander.letvin at sdstate.edu

From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] on behalf of John Ware [jware at erols.com]
Sent: Friday, February 15, 2013 10:26 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] Exotic vs. Invasive.

Dear List,

Ken Marks recent post concerning Tubastraea micranthus reminded me of an
incident that occurred on a recent trip to Bonaire.  A divemaster was
bemoaning the "invasion" of lionfish.  When I mentioned that the "poster
coral" for Bonaire (Tubastraea sp) was invasive, I was severely
chastised.  Lionfish were "invasive", Tubastraea was "exotic".

I noted that Ken Marks used both "exotic" and "invasion" in his e-mail.
 I had never thought about the distinction before.

After Googling around a bit, I concluded that if the species under
consideration was sort of cute, it was "exotic".  If it was ugly, it was

While that is a vast oversimplification, I wonder if the coral-reef
community distinguishes "exotic" from "invasive" and, if so, is there a
precise definition of the difference?


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