Conservationists should not move Torreya taxifolia
Document Type: Journal
Author(s): M. W. Schwartz
Publication Year: 2004

Cataloging Information

  • agriculture
  • artificial regeneration
  • coniferous forests
  • conifers
  • conservation
  • distribution
  • Florida
  • forest management
  • native species (plants)
  • north Florida
  • plant diseases
  • threatened and endangered species (plants)
  • Torreya
  • Torreya taxifolia
  • translocation
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: June 1, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 45855
Tall Timbers Record Number: 21461
TTRS Location Status: In-file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File
TTRS Abstract Status: Okay, Fair use, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


From the text (p.78) ... 'There is another, more important reason why assisted migration must be a management option of last resort. My logic is simple and based not on the biology of the target species, in this case Florida torreya, but on conservation concerns of the recipient ecosystem. Humanity has a long record of tinkering with natural ecosystems. Largely these have been successful from the perspective of the human endeavor -- think agriculture. This tinkering, however, creates a series of ancillary non-target biological winners and losers. It has been argued that the majority of species introduced have had little effect on ecosystem structure, and most introductions do not cause undue ecological damage (Mack et al. 2000). Nevertheless, those few cases where introduced populations rapidly expand and threaten to endanger other species or damage ecosystems and ecosystem functions cost the U.S. billions of dollars each year (U.S. Congress 1993, Pimentel et al. 2000). As a consequence, I believe that conservationists should be very reticent about introducing species to novel environments as a conservation measure. Societal recognition of an appropriate reticence toward species introductions has been slow, but is emerging (Mack et al. 2000). If we are to now advocate species introductions on behalf of conservation, conservationists must have clear guidance as to when this action is warranted and when it is not. It is not an action to be taken lightly.'

Schwartz, M. W. 2004. Conservationists should not move Torreya taxifolia. p. 73, 77-73, 78.