Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/9/2004
Publication Date: 2/22/2005
Citation: Blumenthal, D.M. 2005. Treating the causes of invasion for long-term weed control. In: Proceedings: Great Plains Grasslands Conference. Ft. Collins, CO. Abstract. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: To be economically feasible over extensive landscapes, weed control in native grasslands must be long lasting. Achieving long-lasting weed control, however, requires that we understand the causes of invasion. The many possible causes of invasion can be broadly grouped into four categories, two having to do with the invaded systems and two having to do with invading plants: 1) Disturbances to which a system is accustomed can release resources and allow high-resource invaders to thrive. In such cases, succession, or restoration of late-successional vegetation, may solve weed problems. 2) Longer term changes, such as increased atmospheric N deposition, can also favor weed species, and may be harder to reverse. 3) Escape from natural enemies is also thought to provide invasive species with an advantage, a possible cause that has led to considerable work in the area of biological control. 4) Finally, some invasive species may be inherently better suited to native grasslands than are native grassland species. The purpose of listing these causes is to show how long-term solutions to weed problems depend on knowing which causes are most important. Without distinguishing among them, we are likely to spend a lot of time and resources treating symptoms.