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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY AND ECOLOGICALLY BASED KNOWLEDGE FOR INTEGRATED WEED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Title: Invasive species in agriculture

Authors
item Davis, Adam
item Landis, Douglas -

Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Introduced Invasive Species
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 25, 2009
Publication Date: November 10, 2011
Citation: Davis, A.S., Landis, D.A. 2011. Invasive species in agriculture. In: M. Rejmanek and D. Simberloff, editors. Encyclopedia of Introduced Invasive Species. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. p. 7-11.

Interpretive Summary: Agricultural production of food, feed, fiber or fuel is a local human activity with global ecological impacts, including the potential to foster invasions. Agriculture plays an unusual role in biological invasions, in that it is both a source of non-indigenous invasive species (NIS) and especially susceptible to invasions. A formerly innocuous species may become invasive when its environment no longer constrains its population expansion, either due to geographic dislocation or a change in its local environment. Agriculture results in both types of environmental changes, thereby driving invasions by NIS and causing other species to become “native invaders”. Preventing agricultural invaders is considered the best strategy for reducing their impacts on both agriculture and natural ecosystems. This should involve careful screening of new crop species and varieties for potential invasiveness, as well as to assure that insects and diseases are not introduced along with crop material. There is much scope for managing agricultural systems to reduce the opportunity for invasion, the impacts of invaders and the invaders that agricultural systems supply to natural areas. These include: improved sanitation to prevent transport of propagules from one field to another, improved monitoring to facilitate early detection and eradication/containment or invaders, and increasing crop and landscape diversity to improve biotic resistance to invaders. The impact of this work is to identify the routes by which invasive species enter agricultural systems, the means by which they spread, and methods of controlling them.

Technical Abstract: Agricultural production of food, feed, fiber or fuel is a local human activity with global ecological impacts, including the potential to foster invasions. Agriculture plays an unusual role in biological invasions, in that it is both a source of non-indigenous invasive species (NIS) and especially susceptible to invasions. A formerly innocuous species may become invasive when its environment no longer constrains its population expansion, either due to geographic dislocation or a change in its local environment. Agriculture results in both types of environmental changes, thereby driving invasions by NIS and causing other species to become “native invaders”. Preventing agricultural invaders is considered the best strategy for reducing their impacts on both agriculture and natural ecosystems. This should involve careful screening of new crop species and varieties for potential invasiveness, as well as to assure that insects and diseases are not introduced along with crop material. There is much scope for managing agricultural systems to reduce the opportunity for invasion, the impacts of invaders and the invaders that agricultural systems supply to natural areas. These include: improved sanitation to prevent transport of propagules from one field to another, improved monitoring to facilitate early detection and eradication/containment or invaders, and increasing crop and landscape diversity to improve biotic resistance to invaders.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
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