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An Ecosystem-Service Approach to Evaluate the Role of Non-Native Species in Urbanized Wetlands

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taipei 115, Taiwan
Department of Life Sciences and Research Center for Global Change Biology, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
Taiwan Wetland Society, Hsinchu City 300, Taiwan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Miklas Scholz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(4), 3926-3943;
Received: 31 January 2015 / Revised: 27 March 2015 / Accepted: 30 March 2015 / Published: 9 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Proceedings from 2014 Global Land Project (GLP) Asia Conference)
PDF [1233 KB, uploaded 9 April 2015]


Natural wetlands have been increasingly transformed into urbanized ecosystems commonly colonized by stress-tolerant non-native species. Although non-native species present numerous threats to natural ecosystems, some could provide important benefits to urbanized ecosystems. This study investigated the extent of colonization by non-native fish and bird species of three urbanized wetlands in subtropical Taiwan. Using literature data the role of each non-native species in the urbanized wetland was evaluated by their effect (benefits/damages) on ecosystem services (ES) based on their ecological traits. Our sites were seriously colonized by non-native fishes (39%–100%), but <3% by non-native birds. Although most non-native species could damage ES regulation (disease control and wastewater purification), some could be beneficial to the urbanized wetland ES. Our results indicated the importance of non-native fishes in supporting ES by serving as food source to fish-eating waterbirds (native, and migratory species) due to their high abundance, particularly for Oreochromis spp. However, all non-native birds are regarded as “harmful” species causing important ecosystem disservices, and thus eradication of these bird-invaders from urban wetlands would be needed. This simple framework for role evaluation of non-native species represents a holistic and transferable approach to facilitate decision making on management priority of non-native species in urbanized wetlands. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban ecosystems; alien species; exotic species; management; ecosystem services; Asian wetlands urban ecosystems; alien species; exotic species; management; ecosystem services; Asian wetlands

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Yam, R.S.W.; Huang, K.-P.; Hsieh, H.-L.; Lin, H.-J.; Huang, S.-C. An Ecosystem-Service Approach to Evaluate the Role of Non-Native Species in Urbanized Wetlands. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 3926-3943.

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