A Conceptual Framework for Preventing the Spatial Dispersal of Invasive Plants

  • Davies K
  • Sheley R
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Abstract

Invasive plant species have adversely affected rangelands throughout the world and continue to invade previously uninfested lands at an alarming rate. Previous efforts have focused on eradication and control; however, recent efforts have recognized that preventing invasive plant species from infesting new areas is more cost-effective and efficient than trying to restore the system after it is infested. One of the major components of prevention is limiting the introduction of the invasive plant to uninfested areas. Guidelines to limit the introduction of invasive plants into new areas are usually general and not developed to address differences in dispersal vectors among invasive plants. To limit the dispersal of invasive plants, land managers need a framework that assists them in identifying major spatial dispersal vectors and management strategies based on those vectors. We propose an initial conceptual framework that integrates the ecology of invasive plant dispersal with prevention management. The framework identifies major potential vectors by incorporating invasive plant seed adaptations for dispersal through space and infestation locations relative to vector pathways. The framework then proposes management strategies designed to limit dispersal by those specific vectors. The framework ALSo identifies areas where research could improve the effectiveness of dispersal-prevention strategies by providing additional management tools.

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Authors

  • Kirk W. Davies

  • Roger L. Sheley

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