Bio-Social Invasions in southern Patagonia

Archibald, J.L., Anderson, C.B., Dicenta, M. et al. The relevance of social imaginaries to understand and manage biological invasions in southern Patagonia. Biol Invasions 22, 3307-3323 (2020).

Here, we studied how terrestrial and freshwater vertebrate species assemblages in Tierra del Fuego (TDF) have been co-constructed between humans and nature. To analyze how socio-historical processes interact with biological invasions, we used TDF as a case study linked to broader geographic scales in Patagonia, Argentina, Chile and beyond. Specifically, we uncovered 10 discourse categories that related to human interventions of TDF’s species assemblage, ranging from racism and nationalism (Colonization and Development, respectively) to wilderness and uniqueness (Conservation). These ideas affected actions to introduce (eight and 10 species during Colonization and Development, respectively) or remove species (one and seven in Development and Conservation, respectively). An integrated socio-ecological understanding of biological invasions identified not only social preferences and values, but also underlying social processes that can help resolve the complex and underappreciated interactions between society and biological invasions.

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