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Federal Noxious Weed Act

Invasive plants in wildland ecosystems: merging the study of invasion processes, with management needs

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013


Introduction: Increasing numbers of non-native species threaten  the values of wildland ecosystems. As a result, interest in and  research on invasive plant species in wildland  settings has accelerated. Nonetheless, the ecological and economic impacts of non-native species continue to grow, raising the question of how to best apply science to the regulation and  management of invasive plants. A major constraint  to controlling the flow of poten­tially undesirable  plant  species is the lack of a strong  regulatory framework  concurrent  with increases in trade volume. To address this, ecologists have been developing models to predict which species will be harm­ful to wildland  values and are working with the horticultural industry  to apply this information to the sale of species. The management of established invasive plants is hampered  by conflicting goals, a lack of information on management outcomes, and a lack of funding. Ecologists and weed scientists can provide a scien­tific basis for prioritizing species for control and for managing species composition  through  the application of  control  technology,  which  can  take  place  simultaneously with  the  manipulation of  the  ecological processes that influence community susceptibility  to invasion. A stronger scientific basis for land management decisions is needed and  can be met through  nationally  funded  partnerships  between university and agency scientists and land managers.

Authors: Carla MD’Antonio, Nelroy  E Jackson, Carol  C Horvitz ,and Rob Hedberg

Download and read the complete Research Report on Invasive Plaints in Wildland Ecosystems..