Title: The USDA-ARS Area-wide Project for Invasive Annual Grasses in the Great Basin Ecosystem: Applying Ecologically-based Invasive Plant Management Authors
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: October 15, 2009
Publication Date: February 7, 2010
Citation: Smith,B.S., Sheley, R.L. 2010. The USDA-ARS Area-wide Project for Invasive Annual Grasses in the Great Basin Ecosystem: Applying Ecologically-based Invasive Plant Management. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. Paper 14 Technical Abstract: The need for a unified mechanistic ecological framework that improves our ability to make decisions, predicts vegetation change, guides the implementation of restoration, and fosters continued learning is substantial and unmet. It is becoming increasingly10 clear integrating various types of ecological models into an overall framework has great promise for assisting decision-making in invasive plant management and restoration. Overcoming the barriers to adoption of ecologically-based invasive plant management (EBIPM) will require that principles be developed and integrated into a useful format so land managers can easily recognize the linkages among ecological processes, vegetation dynamics, management practices, and assessment. We have amended a generally accepted and well-tested successional management framework to provide a comprehensive decision-tool for EBIPM by 1) using the rangeland health assessment to identify ecological processes in need of repair, 2) amending our framework to include principles for repairing ecological processes that direct vegetation dynamics, and 3) incorporating adaptive management procedures to foster acquisition of new information during management. We believe this framework provides the basis for EBIPM. Adoption of EBIPM can be influenced by a variety of factors, including land manager understanding of ecological concepts and management methods, perception of program complexity and cost, and linkages among science and management. Central to meeting the long-term outcome of a self-sustaining EBIPM program, a regional effort is being conducted as part of the USDA-ARS sponsored area-wide project. This collaborative program approach is designed to improve incorporating science-based solutions in real life management issues to manage invasive species.