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Introducing Pandoran Plants and Animals on Earth

On 21st century Earth, invasions of plants, animals, microbes, and other organisms was commonplace due to global trade and travel. Many introductions of exotic species to new lands were intentional, as they are used for food, feed, fiber, fuel, horticulture, pets, or other purposes. Some, however, were unintentional, and some deliberately introduced species escaped, naturalized, and spread far beyond their points of entry if the new environment was favorable and natural enemies were absent. Although some invasions were seemingly benign, invasive species could profoundly impact native biodiversity and permanently alter natural ecosystems. (Read more)
Although many species slip into new habitats virtually undetected for many years until their numbers expand, others are monitored and regulated carefully from the outset. Known invasive plants and many exotic pests and diseases may end up on government watch lists and legal authority is assigned to federal, state, or local jurisdictions to prevent new introductions and eradicate existing ones.

Such is the case a priori for Pandoran plants and animals if they are ever brought to Earth. Even if they would survive on Earth, their impact on Earth’s environments and biota would be unpredictable until extensive research was conducted. History has shown that even a simple microscopic disease organism introduced to a new susceptible region could wreak havoc on native species as well as humans, so unless the plant has a potential benefit in terms of medicine or bioremdiation, the novelty is probably not worth the risk.

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