Submitted to: Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2008
Publication Date: 12/1/2008
Citation: Mangold, J.M., Svejcar, A.J., Sheley, R.L., Monaco, T.A., Sosebee, R. 2008. Invasive rangeland plants in range and animal sciences and resources management. Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems.
Technical Abstract: Comprising about 50% of the world’s land surface, rangelands are an important ecological and economic resource. Rangeland plant communities are changing. Even though the composition of plant communities in rangeland changes continually through the process of succession, in more recent years this change has included invasive, often non-native, species. Invasive plants are one of the greatest threats to rangeland integrity. In this chapter we describe this successional change and its associated ecological and economic impacts, provide some theoretical explanation for the change, present a theoretical framework for integrating weed management tools, and discuss some categories of invasive rangeland plants and how each may be effectively managed by addressing physiological status and environmental conditions. Finally, we discuss the future of rangeland successional dynamics as influenced by atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and varying environmental conditions. We present this material in the context of successional management which is a process-orientated framework for understanding and manipulating plant community dynamics. We believe the information presented in this chapter will prove useful in understanding and managing rangeland plant communities in the future which may be impacted by increasingly variable environmental conditions and continued human pressures on rangeland systems.