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Foggy Landscape

Invasion Ecology Inspired Playlist

I was inspired by Julie Lockwood naming every chapter of her invasion book after a song title. So I created a playlist of my own, with songs that made me think of concepts within invasion ecology and listed an explanation for why I added each song. 

There are definitely more songs to be added to this dynamic playlist!


Check Out My Playlist

Why did I choose this song?

Everybody wants to rule the world by Tears for fears:

This song makes me think of a few things. 1) Ecological niches, everyone wants to rule the world, but the lack of available niches gets in the way. 2) Biological invasions, invasive species are constantly establishing & spreading into new areas- trying to rule the world  

What Difference Does It Make? by The Smiths

This song makes me think of how people underestimate the impacts that invasive plants can have on ecosystems and communities that they are invading, sometimes because they think the invader serves an aesthetic purpose. SPOILER: IT MAKES A HUGE DIFFERENCE- get rid of the invasives!


Break on Through (To the other side) by the Doors

This song reminds me of the invasion processes. The process of invasion has distinct stages, 1)Transport 2)Introduction 3)Establishment 4)Spread 5)Impact. At each stage, the non-native species has barriers it must overcome to move on to the next stage of invasion. At every stage, the non-native species is trying to break on through to the other side to eventually become invasive.

I Started Something I Couldn’t Finish by The Smiths 

This song also makes me think of the invasion process. Specifically, how some non-native plants are transported to an area outside of their native distribution (stage 1), are introduced into a new area (stage 2), but can’t sustain a viable self-producing population (a.k.a. Cannot establish), and ends the processes of invasion there, without being able to get to stages 3, 4, 5. Hence, starting something it couldn't finish.

Hold on to your friends by Morrissey

This song makes me think of facilitation in nature and other symbiotic relationships. I think it's neat to think of these ecological relationships as friends hanging out and helping each other out. (We’re going to be friends by White Stripes also came to mind) Although, when thinking about invasive species, we really aren't rooting for them to make friends that benefit the invasive populations..

The more you ignore me, the closer I get by Morrissey

This song makes me think of how we tend to ignore non-native species, or sometimes the non-native species go unnoticed-until it starts having some ecological or economic impacts. So, the more we ignore the invader, the closer it gets to ruling the world. 

Such a little thing makes such a big difference by Morrissey

This song reminds me of how simple little acts can make a huge difference in reducing the spread of invasive species. 1) Clean your shoes before/after going on hikes, by doing this you are reducing the chance of spreading invasive seeds, 2) Buying firewood where you burn it, by doing this you can prevent pests from spreading (e.g. Emerald ash borer, sudden oak death, etc.) 3) Planting natives in your garden- helps the pollinators!

Know your enemy by Rage Against the Machine

In invasion ecology, it is CRUCIAL to know as much about your invader as possible. What is its life cycle? Fecundity? Does it have multiple cohorts within a growing season? How is it spread? What types of environment does it prefer? etc. The more we know about the invader (a.k.a. The enemy) the better equipped we are to fully understand its invasion dynamics and create an effective management plan.

Too Late by No Doubt

This song makes me think of priority effects. When species get to a site first, theoretically there would be more available space and resources for a species to establish, set seed and get through the growing season. Invasive species tend to germinate earlier in the growing season compared to native species. That being said, by the time native species start germinating, the invasives that got there first have already taken up a lot of the space and resources, making it more difficult for the native species to complete their life cycle. TOO LATE. :( (The Party & The After Party by The Weeknd, similar vibes)

No Control by 311

This makes me think of when an invasive species is just, out of control which can feel overwhelming and leave a sense of helplessness. BUT this doesn’t mean that there is no chance of getting the species under control, this just means that our management approaches need tweaking in order to reduce/stop the spread and future prevention. (Many many parallels between COVID-19 and Invasion Science)

Optimistic by Radiohead

This song makes me think of being hopeful for the future. With invasive species being a huge component of global change, I am optimistic that science, land practitioners, and the public will work together to help protect native biodiversity and ecosystems. (Even though sometimes it seems unfeasible/unlikely)

Just can’t get enough by Depeche Mode

This makes me think of invasive species taking up all the resources and space, continuing to establish and spread, and again, trying to rule the world. They just can’t get enough.

The landscape is changing by Depeche Mode

SELF EXPLANATORY. Global change is a thing, the climate is changing, the landscape is changing and the landscape is crying. The lyrics are phenomenal. “Just take good care of the world”, Please go listen.

Changes by Black Sabbath

This song makes me think of the constant interactions that ecological communities are experiencing. We know that climate change is already impacting our ecosystems, but my mind automatically goes to how invasive species are the second leading cause of biodiversity loss in the world. Causing major changes…. In my mind, this is the native community crying that they are going through changes.. :(

Get the Balance Right by Depeche Mode

This song makes me think about everything. From work to my personal life, getting the balance right is key. In terms of Invasion, this makes me think of ecosystem states and equilibriums, and how we can have tipping points that can make restoring degraded lands more difficult. Finding the right balance can be tricky, especially trying to restore an ecosystem back to its original state after it has experiences many disturbances and changes. (Disorder by Joy Division, Disorder and Disaray by Rancid, good song too)

A Question of Time by Depeche Mode

This song makes me think of the time it takes for a non-native species to become invasive. The first line of the song is “I got to get to you first before they do”. In my mind, we have to be proactive with Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) to get to the non-native species first- before it becomes invasive -out of control-hard to manage. The longer we wait before starting to manage non-native or invasive species, the more likely managing the species will be difficult. It's a question of time. (Wasted Years by Iron Maiden, Too Little Too Late by JoJo, similar thoughts)


All Dried Up by Phantogram

This song makes me think of the grass-fire cycle. The invasive annual grasses (e.g. Bromus diandrus, Bromus madritenses, Bromus Tectorum, Avena fatua, etc.) leave behind lots of dry biomass that then increases fuel load and connectivity that help spread wildfires. When this happens, the open spaces are often colonized by the non-native grasses first, the mean fire return interval of the ecosystem may be altered, not allowing enough time for the native species to recover, and then the cycle continues. ALL DRIED UP. (I’m on Fire by Gus Dapperton, Light my Fire by The Doors, also good song for this)

How did I get Here by Odesza

This song makes me think about how our intercontinental and transcontinental travel helps invasive species spread. From ballast water coming from shipping boats to species hitchhiking a ride in our car, to seeds getting stuck in our clothes on vacation and bringing them back home. Humans are a big disperser of non-native species, I feel like sometimes species think to themselves “How did I get here?” when they get to new areas. (pst…its humans moving the species around). (Stranger in a strange land by Iron Maiden, Passenger by Deftones, Drifter by Iron Maiden, Special Delivery by The Offspring, similar vibes)


Location by Khalid

This song makes me think about the way we track invasive species, and the importance of getting GPS coordinates for where we find both presence and absence of invasive species -which can aid during the assessment of the risks of spread. Send me your location, I want to know where you are establishing and where you are likely to spread to next.. :) (Maps by Yeah Yeah Yeahs, good song too)


Here We Go Again by Paramore

This song makes me think of “the bane of weed management” (Pearson et al. 2016), RE-INVASION. After you have successfully gotten rid of the focal invader, the open space can get re-invaded by the same focal invader or by other non-native species instead of the native community. Here we go again! (One more time by Daft Punk gives me similar thoughts too)

Ain't no mountain high enough by Marvin Gaye, Tammi Terrell

This song makes me think of dispersal barriers for invasive species. Time and space are usually constraints for the dispersal of a species, but for some reason, I feel like invasive species are singing this song, trying to find a way to continue their spread. 

Die, Die My Darling by The Misfits

This song reminds me of the way I feel when I see invasive species growing in areas where they should not be. Whenever I see an invader growing in a sidewalk or park, I pull the invader out, and if it's seeded- I bag it too. Die, die.


Who are You? By Black Sabbath

I don’t know about you, but I always want to identify every plant I come across. A big motivation to do this, is to know as many native plants as possible! The other side of that coin, is I want to be able to identify if a species is not native to the area, so that then I can report the species on iNaturalist, CalFlora or if its a new non-native species, report it to Cal-IPC. (I don’t know you by The Marias, good song for this too)


Piece of Me by Britney Spears

Okay this song title, not necessarily the lyrics, makes me think of how living organisms think about niches. Everyone wants a piece of a suitable niche… far-fetched? Maybe, but a lot of the time in ecology, we see organisms competing for niche space. This is the niche singing "They all want a piece of me".


Seek and Destroy by Metallica

Self-explanatory. Seek all the invasive plants, and destroy them. Invasive species can have serious impacts on the resident community. We want natives growing, not invasives. My go-to song for pulling weeds. Gives me that extra hype. (One Way or Another by Blondie, They Deserve To Die by Cannibal Corpse, Search and Destroy by The Stooges, also a good song)


Escape by Metallica

This song reminds me specifically of the transport (stage 1) → introduction (stages 2) of invasion. The difference between these two stages is often confused by people, but really, transport means simply moving the species from its native area to a new geographical area outside of its native distribution. A species at this stage is usually contained and has not been introduced to the wild yet. The introduction stage means that the species has ESCAPED the containment from the transport stage and has now been INTRODUCED.  (Breaking Free by Troy/Gabriella HSM, this song was super cool when I was in 5th grade and relevant to this)


Domination by Pantera

In my mind, invasive species are after total domination which is why I take them so seriously. We’ve seen how invasive species can create monocultures, completely changing the landscape and changing the number and type of native plants that grow in an area. (We Takin’ Over by DJ Khaled, this is also what I imagine invasive species singing)


Research by Castlebeat

Although I’ve been talking a lot about invasive species, and how much I want to destroy them, I also really enjoy researching them! Invasive species are fascinating, and research helps us understand why species continue to invade, and also helps us get closer to effectively managing species. Plus this song has great beats. 

Intervention by Arcade Fire

This song actually makes me think of deciding how to approach land management. When do we intervene and how? What is the best way to intervene to contain or eradicate this species? How will the natives respond??? Active vs passive restoration??

It’s never over by Arcade Fire

This song just makes me think about how land management is a never-ending thing. There are always new obstacles emerging, even post-restoration of degraded land, we should still be going to check on the recovery and monitor the site. IT'S NEVER OVER.

Under Control by The Strokes

This song makes me think about how difficult controlling a species can be. The lyric “I don’t wanna do it your way” makes me think about how context-dependency can lead to discrepancies in effectiveness across sites for the same management strategies. What works in one region, may not work in another region. Keeping things under control…can take a while to find what works.

You Only Live Once by The Strokes 

In my head, all the invasives are thinking YOLO. Grow fast, make as many propagules, party and die. 

New Theory by Washed Out

This song makes me think of all the times I was in the field or going through my data, and I thought I had this brilliant new theory, and later found out someone already thought of that. Also- big fan of the easy-going music as I think about explaining mechanisms. 

Where Do We Go From Here by Death

This song makes me think about post-invasion removal. Okay, so the invader is gone, now what? What is the next step, where do we go from here? Hint: depends on the impact of the species, did they leave legacies? Getting rid of the invader alone is usually not enough to bring the native community back. Cue restoration. (The Undoing by Interpol, good song for this too)

Why do I Keep Counting? By The Killers

So… this is how I feel when there are many many individuals within a small space and I’m taking data for diversity & richness metrics.... Sometimes it feels like it's too much to count, but ya gotta do it.

Something to Remember Me By by The Horrors

This song instantly makes me think of legacy effects, specifically legacy effects from invasive species, is that weird? Reminds me why invasion management and restoration can be so tricky, invasive species leaving behind chemical or physical changes that affect the community even after the invader is long gone. (Always something there to remind me by Naked Eyes, Don’t You (Forget about me) by Simple Minds, Sabotage by Beastie Boys,  I'm Gonna Haunt You by Fabienne DelSol, good songs too)


Feels Like We Only Go Backwards by Tame Impala

This song makes me think about how sometimes when I’m doing my data analysis, interpreting results, or whatever task it may be, I can’t help but just feel like I’m going backward. Dramatic? Maybe, but sometimes it feels that way.


All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers

This song makes me think of two things: 1) Invasive species looking back at all of the economic and ecological impacts they’ve caused, and 2) Land practitioners thinking of all the things they have done to get rid of the invader that still, hasn't worked :(  (So Good at Being in Trouble by Unknown Mortal Orchestra)


I think I like It When It Rains by Willis

This song makes me think of resource pulses in communities, specifically thinking about how there are several invasive species that germinate at the first onset of rains, while the native species who have evolved in those highly variable systems say “hold up, this isn't the rainy season- imma wait”. (Seasons by Future Islands also makes me think about fluctuating resource dynamics and variability of seasons…)


Be Quick or Be Dead by Iron Maiden

This song makes me think of many annual invasive species with a rapid life cycle and early phenology. For some species that are not good competitors, they must be quick to germinate, grow, flower, and set seed before the other species in the community start to compete for resources. Be quick (grow earlier in the growing season) or be dead (can’t compete).


Wouldn’t It Be Nice by The Beach Boys

This song is me thinking about how nice it would be if we had stricter biosecurity laws, and better early detection and rapid response protocols. Wouldn’t it be nice to have better communication across states to talk about our similar invaders? To think about invaders according to regions rather than by state? Maybe? IDK I think a lot about things like this, prevention really is the best way to reduce invasive species impacts


The Wretched Spawn by Cannibal Corpse

When I listen to this, I think of propagule pressure, the wretched spawn of invasive species that keep the populations going and are difficult to manage.

The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

This song is exactly what I think about the lag phase of an invasive species. The species population is pretty small, not really causing a problem, then BAM, population boom. (Willing to Wait by Rihanna, similar vibes)

When it's Gone by Lunar Isles

This song makes me think of invaded sites that have depleted the availability of native symbionts in the soil, and how difficult it can be to restore sites where the symbionts are gone.

Heads will Roll by Yeah Yeah Yeahs

This song makes me think of the invasive plant stinknet (Oncosiphon pilulifer) inflorescences, also referred to as seed heads. These seed heads can stay attached to dead skeletons of the plant and wait for someone or something to brush against it to disperse the seeds, causing the seed heads to roll. Research from the Larios lab also shows that the seed heads don't get completely consumed during prescribed fires, leaving seed heads to roll and disperse.

My Own Worst Enemy by Lit

This song makes me think of how certain invasive species can create feedback loops that can eventually end up hurting the invasive (e.g., allelopathy, pathogen accumulation).

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