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US Forest Service Research & Development
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  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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Understanding Invasion Biology

How Does a Species Become Invasive?

Often, invasive species owe their success in colonizing new ecosystems to one or more of the following characteristics:

  • tolerance of a variety of habitat conditions
  • rapid growth and reproduction
  • aggressive competition for resources (like food, water, and nesting sites)
  • absence natural enemies or pests in the new ecosystem.

Forest Service researchers study invasive speciesí biological processes and responses to field conditions to help understand why some species are invasive. Often this information can used to make the pest less invasive.