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Managing invasive plants in natural areas: Moving beyond weed control

Pearson, Dean; Ortega, Yvette. 2009. Managing invasive plants in natural areas: Moving beyond weed control. In: Kingely, Rudolph V., ed. Weeds: Management, Economic Impacts and Biology. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. p. 1-21.

Exotic invasive plants present one of the greatest challenges to natural resource management. These weeds can alter entire communities and ecosystems, substantially degrading important ecosystem services such as forage for wild and domestic herbivores, water and soil quality, recreational values, and wildlife habitat. Traditionally, weed management in natural areas has focused on removing the target weed under the assumption that its impacts would dissipate and the system would recover following control or suppression of the invader. This approach arose presumably because most weed management tools originated in agricultural systems where removal of the weed commonly translates to increased crop yields. However, accumulating studies in natural areas indicate that simply suppressing the target weed does not ensure mitigation of its impacts. This is due primarily to the complexity of natural systems and the limitations of available management tools. To improve weed management in natural systems, we need to better understand three important factors that greatly complicate natural areas weed management: invader impacts, management side effects, and secondary invasion.

Keywords: invasive plants, weeds

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Managing invasive plants in natural areas: Moving beyond weed control
Electronic Publish Date: April 4, 2012
Last Update:
April 4, 2012

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