Exotic Pests Cost Billions


Caulerpa taxifolia, a seaweed native to tropical waters, was accidentally introduced into the Mediterranean off the coast of Monaco in 1984. It has grown explosively since then, covering about 12,000 acres of near shore habitat from the southern coast of Spain to the eastern coast of Italy with a dense seaweed mat in which few animals can make a living and in which few other plants can survive.

We spoke with Professor Dan Simberloff of the University of Tennessee about the Caulerpa outbreak, and about the problems caused by introduced species in general.

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