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Non-native plants and animals cause billions of dollars of damage by out-competing native species, altering habitats and their ecology, or acting as pest species of commercially important crops.

In this article in Science, Dennis Normile describes how increased trade between China and the United States has encouraged a two-way flow of problematic invasive species. Scientists from the two countries have met twice this year to discuss the issue. They hope to share information and developing strategies to reduce the unwanted species' impact.

This week, the China Daily newspaper reported that a national strategy to deal with the China's 400 non-native species and to stop future arrivals becoming a problem is in preparation. Early detection of such arrivals and rapid responses to their presence are both priorities, according to Wang Fanghoa, a senior researcher from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, who is involved in the strategy's creation.

Link to full article in Science

Link to related China Daily news story

Reference: Science 306, 968 (2004)