Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/15/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The interest in rangeland weeds has increased dramatically in recent years. Maps of weed distribution show that during the past twenty years rangeland weeds have increased in both area of occupation and degree of economic impact. Past efforts to control rangeland weeds have met with varying success. In many cases we have successfully killed existing weeds, but without desireable plants in place to dominate a site, there is reinvasion of weedy species within about five years. We have proposed a weed management framework based on current ecological models of how species came to occupy a site. The framework is flexible and can incorporate both research results and management experience. Simply stated, the framework is a way of organizing knowledge and ensuring that managers go through the appropriate thought process in developing weed management plans.
Technical Abstract: Over the past several decades, many rangeland managers and owners have focused weed management on controlling weeds, with limited regard to the existing or resulting plant community. Because of environmental, ecological, and economical concerns, the appropriateness and effectiveness of rangeland weed management practices are being questioned. It has become clear that weed management decisions must consider these concerns. The development of future weed management practices must be based on our understanding of the biology and ecology of rangeland ecosystems. Weed management education will most effectively focus on providing land managers the principles and concepts on which to base their decisions, rather than providing a prescription for weed control.