Since this has been discussed here before in relation to Agric. Dept. blacklists and the fairly recent invoking of a new US policy requiring phtyosanitary certificates for all seed imports, I thought I should mention a review of a book related to these topics, that has just come out in print, that just appeared in HortIdeas (good newsletter published monthly by Greg and Pat Williams, 750 Black Lick Rd., Gravel Switch, KY 40328 U.S.A. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Available in either a paper edition or PDF file attachment via email). The book might be of interest to some. --Lee Poulsen Pasadena area, California, USDA Zone 9-10 Here is their review of the book: Invasion Biology: Critique of a Pseudoscience, by David I. Theodoropoulos, Avvar Books, Blythe, CA, 2003, 236 pp., $14.50, ISBN 0-9708504-1-7. (Available directly from David Theodoropoulos, Star Rt. 2, Box 337, La Honda, CA 94020, for $16.25 postpaid via media mail to U.S. addresses (add 7.2% sales tax in California, 8.25% sales tax in San Mateo County), for $19.00 postpaid via priority mail to U.S. or Canadian addresses, for $20.00 postpaid via letter post to Mexican addresses, and for $23.50 postpaid via global priority mail elsewhere.) This might be fated to be the most controversial book we've reviewed since we began publishing HortIdeas 20 years ago. Not only has David Theodoropoulos written about an extremely contentious and polarizing subject; he has also adopted a stance-based on evidence he has gathered from the scientific literature-that is diametrically opposed to the received wisdom. Stopping invasions of exotic plants has become a rallying cry for nature lovers across America, with some "experts" calling for stringent bans on the importation and transport of alien plant species, but this book makes a case for enhanced deliberate dissemination of many (but not all) plants on a global basis, arguing that local ecological systems can be expected, by and large, to benefit from human dispersal of plant germplasm. The author does not suggest that all exotics are desirable everywhere they are capable to grow-he is not advocating the deliberate spread of agricultural pests! But his examination of biological research turns up little evidence for ecological disasters that can be solely attributed to the introduction of exotic plants. He notes that damage to ecosystems due to even such a notorious invader as purple loosestrife has been questioned by some scientists, and he concludes that species diversity typically goes up, rather than down, when exotics become established. For Theodoropoulos, human-assisted movement of plants is simply another stage in the age-old process of natural mixing- up of genetic pools. And, countering dire warnings of economic losses attributable to invading organisms, he demonstrates that the most widely publicized attempts to quantify such losses show questionable methodology. We think that the major points in Invasion Biology would have been much easier to "sell" without linking the motivations of (some) of those who are pro-natives and anti-exotics to "psychopathologies" similar to those which the author identifies in eugenics and National Socialist thinking. Much of the book is devoted to sociopsychological theorizing about why the "pseudoscience" of invasion biology has such appeal to so many, including both scientists and laypersons. Relatively little is said about the political and economic motivations behind government and corporate support for the "pseudoscience"- but enough to make us think that exposing such motivations might do far more to win over folks to less-extreme positions on dealing with exotics than theorizing about xenophobia. We hope that most readers won't be so turned off by the restorationist/ Nazi parallels that they fail to make it to the last chapter, in which Theodoropoulos presents his impressive vision of purposeful dispersal of plants as a necessity to boost the chances of survival for particular species and perhaps even entire ecosystems (not "restored," but reconstituted in different forms, to be sure) under threat from climate change and habitat alteration by humans. This vision has considerable appeal for conservation-minded gardeners, who could move to the front lines of battles against extinction by working to preserve and disseminate a diversity of plants to a much greater extent than ever before. Gardening might then become a truly noble profession devoted to preserving the world's genetic heritage.