Submitted to: Weed Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/14/2006
Publication Date: 3/8/2007
Citation: Davies, K.W., Sheley, R.L. 2007. A conceptual framework for preventing the spatial dispersal of invasive plants. Weed Science. 55:178-184.
Interpretive Summary: Invasive plant species are rapidly invading previously uninfested areas and most prevention guidelines provide only a list of common sense things to do to limit dispersal. We developed a model based on seed characteristics and infestation locations to identify potential major dispersal vectors. The model also provides potential management strategies based on those vectors. Greater efficiency can be achieved by using our model because prevention efforts can concentrate on the major dispersers of invasive plant species. Researchers can also use our model to direct development of new tools to prevent dispersal by specific vectors and quantify the importance of different vectors to dispersal of specific invasive plants.
Technical 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 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 proposes 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 incorporates invasive plant seed adaptations for dispersal through space and infestation locations relative to vector pathways to identify major potential vectors. 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.