Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SEMIARID RANGELAND ECOSYSTEMS: THE CONSERVATION-PRODUCTION INTERFACE

Location: Rangeland Resources Research

Title: Restoring Competitors and Natural Enemies for Long-Term Control of Plant Invaders

Authors
item BLUMENTHAL, DANA
item Norton, Andrew -
item Seastedt, Timothy -

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2009
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Repository URL: http://parking.nal.usda.gov/shortterm/21081_16.BlumenthalRestoringcompetutorsSRM.pdf
Citation: Blumenthal, D.M., Norton, A.P., Seastedt, T.R. 2010. Restoring Competitors and Natural Enemies for Long-Term Control of Plant Invaders. Rangelands. 32:16-20.

Interpretive Summary: Here we address the independent and combined effects of two methods for long-term invasive species control in rangelands: ecological restoration and biological control. Restoration of competitive native species can greatly reduce invasion. Restoration is challenging, however, particularly given changing environments. Biological control, the introduction of natural enemies (insects and diseases) of particular invaders, can also limit invasion in rangelands. Furthermore, restoration and biocontrol are likely to work well in combination, because they tend to be effective against the same fast-growing invasive species.

Technical Abstract: Addressing the underlying causes of rangeland weed invasion is key to long-term, affordable control. Among the most important causes are insufficient competition from native species, often due to disturbance, and a lack of insects and diseases from invasive species’ native ranges. Restoration of slow-growing, competitive, native species can greatly reduce invasion. Effective restoration is challenging, however, particularly given changing environments. Biological control, the introduction of insects and diseases specialized on particular invaders, can also limit invasion in rangelands. Furthermore, restoration and biocontrol are likely to work well in combination, because they are both effective against the same fast-growing invasive species.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page