General Information

Executive Order 13112 (1999) defines an invasive species as "a species which is non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health." Full Text

Identification Resources

Plastic Weed Models

CISM's botanically correct plastic weed models are the perfect tool to help enhance plant identification and promote recognition for all ages and levels of expertise.

Plant Identification Guide

Compiled by Montana State University Extension, this guide reviews basic plant parts, characteristics used for plant Identification, and plants currently listed on Montana's "high priority" list.

Fact Sheets

This page offers links to numerous invasive plant fact sheets.

Troublesome Weeds of the West

This page includes extensive resource lists for over 80 invasive plants in the western United States.

Free Plant Identification Services

Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program (Cornell University)

Cornell University's Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program provides a free diagnostic service to determine whether a particular stand or clone of Phragmites australis is a native or an introduced haplotype using morphological characteristics.

Erickson Weed Diagnostic Lab (University of Idaho)
Oregon State University Herbarium
Schutter Diagnostic Laboratory (Montana State University)

Essential Reading

See also, Adult Educational Resources

Biology and Identification

Aquatic and Riparian Weeds of the West

J.M. DiTomaso and E.A. Healy | 2003 | University of California Press
This reference manual includes complete information on identification and biology for over 170 species of submerged, floating leaf, and emergent aquatic weeds.

Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds

R.L. Sheley and J.K. Petroff, editors | 1999 | Oregon State University Press
An invaluable resource for land managers, resource specialists, and students of natural resource management, this book provides practical, science-based information needed for sustainable weed management and land restoration.

Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands

C.C. Bossard, J.M. Randall, and M.C. Hoshovsky, editors | 2000 | University of California Press
This book provides specific information about the biology and control of the 78 non-native plant species that are listed by the California Invasive Plant Council as being of greatest ecological concern in California.

Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species

S.R. Kaufman and W. Kaufman | 2007 | Stackpole Books
This easy-to-use, wide-ranging guide to invasive plants in North America features full-color photos and descriptions of 175 alien species—both terrestrial and aquatic—that are in some cases changing the landscape to an almost unimaginable degree. Accompanying text describes each plant's environmental and economic impacts as well as management techniques used to control it.

Invasive Plants of the Upper Midwest: An Illustrated Guide to Their Identification and Control

E.J. Czarapata | 2005 | University of Wisconsin Press
This guide includes more than 250 color photos that will help anyone identify problem trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, sedges, and herbaceous plants (including aquatic invaders). The text offers further details of plant identification; manual, mechanical, biological, and chemical control techniques; information and advice about herbicides; and suggestions for related ecological restoration and community education efforts. Also included are literature references, a glossary, a matrix of existing and potential invasive species in the Upper Midwest, an index with both scientific and common plant names, advice on state agencies to contact with invasive plant questions, and other helpful resources.

Invasive Species in the Pacific Northwest

P.D. Boersma, S.H. Reichard, and A.N. VanBuren, editors | 2006 | University of Washington Press
This book describes 108 invasive species and includes photos, maps, life history, impacts, control methods, and more.

Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A Field Guide for Identification and Control

J.H. Miller | 2007 | USDA Forest Service
The objective of this book is to provide information on accurate identification and effective control of the 33 non-native plants and groups that are invading the forests of the 13 southern states at an alarming rate, showing both growing and dormant season traits. It lists other non-native invasive plants of growing concern and explains control recommendations and selective application procedures. The text and photographs were originally developed to assist in the first region-wide survey and monitoring of these invading species, conducted by the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis Research Work Unit of the Southern Research Station in collaboration with state forestry management agencies.

Weed Biology and Climate Change

L.H. Ziska and J. Dukes | 2011 | Wiley-Blackwell
This text provides a synthesis of what is known regarding the probable impact of environmental change on weed biology. Chapters look at impacts of weed biology on agriculture, invasive species that limit ecological diversity, and weeds that serve as health risks. The book covers an increasingly important area in plant science, crop science, and ecological research, and is essential reading for anyone exploring the biological impacts of a changing environment.

Weeds of California and Other Western States

J.M. DiTomaso and E.A. Healy | 2006 | University of California Press
This two-volume, 1,900-page reference was developed over six years and is the most comprehensive weed identification book ever produced in the United States. It contains detailed descriptions of seedlings, mature plants, flowers and fruit, germination and propagation characteristics, and descriptions of similar species for over 750 weed species.

Weeds of the Great Plains

J. Stubbendieck | 2003 | Nebraska Department of Agriculture
This important weed identification book is intended to meet the needs of farmers, ranchers, and homeowners, as well as the more technical expectations of botanists, to accurately identify weeds and common plants in the Great Plains region. Features of the book include detailed narratives of over 400 plants, line drawings of 266 weeds, color photographs and descriptions for identification purposes, and historical uses, habitat information, and descriptions of growth forms for each plant.

Weeds of the Midwestern United States and Central Canada

C.T. Bryson and M.S. DeFelice, editors | 2010 | University of Georgia Press
Featuring more than 1,400 color photos, this handy guide provides essential information on more than 350 of the most troublesome weedy and invasive plants found in the midwestern United States and central Canada.

Weeds of the Northern US and Canada: A Guide for Identification

F. Royer and R. Dickinson | 1999 | University of Alberta Press
This reference is essential for home gardeners, farmers, turf managers, foresters, weed control specialists, botanists, students, and anyone interested in North America's plants.

Weeds of the Prairies

C.J. Bubar, S.J. McColl, and L.M. Hall | 2000 | Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
This comprehensive field guide to 112 common weeds across the Canadian prairies includes color photos of weeds at different growth stages, life-cycle charts, and habitat information.

Weeds of the West

L.C. Burrill, S.A. Dewey, D.W. Cudney, B.E. Nelson (authors), and T.D. Whitson (editor) | 2006 (2nd edition) | Weed Science Society of America
This easy to use guide includes descriptions, habitats, and characteristics of important weed species in the western United States as well as over 900 photographs showing the early growth stages, mature plants, and features for positive identification of each weed.


A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines: The Growing Threat of Species Invasions

Y. Baskin | 2002 | Island Press
While our attention is quick to focus on purposeful attempts to disrupt our lives and economies by releasing harmful biological agents, we often ignore equally serious but much more insidious threats, those that we inadvertently cause by our own seemingly harmless actions. This text takes a compelling look at this underappreciated problem and sets forth positive suggestions for what we as consumers, gardeners, travelers, nurserymen, fishermen, pet owners, business people—indeed all of us who by our very local choices drive global commerce—can do to help.

Applied Ecology and Natural Resource Management

G.R. McPherson and S. DeStefano | 2002 | Cambridge University Press
This book offers practical guidelines for integrating applied ecology with natural resource management and describes how concepts and approaches used by ecologists to study communities and ecosystems can be applied to management efforts.

Applied Weed Science: Including the Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants

M.A. Ross and C.A. Lembi | 2008 (3rd edition) | Prentice Hall
This introductory text to the principles of weed science prepares readers to analyze real-life weed control problems and to develop integrated, practical approaches to solving them. Comprehensive in coverage and unique in presentation, it blends basic information on plant systems, soil systems, control methods, and management systems, and discusses various plants and herbicides by groups to provide an integrated framework from which to extend information to many different situations.

Assessment and Management of Plant Invasions

J.O. Luken and J.W. Thieret, editors | 1997 | Springer
This book places the issue of nonindigenous plant invasions in a broader ecological context that includes human activity in managing natural resources, designing regulations, and dispersing organisms; and discusses pre-invasion ecological interactions as well as post-invasion management interactions.

Bioeconomics of Invasive Species: Integrating Ecology, Economics, Policy, and Management

R.P. Keller, D.M. Lodge, M.A. Lewis, and J.F. Shogren, editors | 2009 | Oxford University Press
This book brings ecology and economics together in new ways to address how we deal with the dynamics and impacts of invasive species, and is the outcome for many years of collaborative research between a small group of economists and ecologists. The outcome is a clear demonstration of the utility of combining ecological and economic models for addressing critical questions in the management of invasive species.

Biological Invasions: Economic and Environmental Costs of Alien Plant, Animal, and Microbe Species

D. Piementel | 2011 (2nd edition) | CRC Press
The second edition of this important text represents the most current, single-source reference containing scientific and economic information on this timely subject. This volume reconfirms the diverse and unpredictable roles that non-native species assume as they invade new ecosystems: destruction of vital crops and forests, major damages to ecosystems leading to loss of biodiversity, soil erosion, and water loss.

The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants

C.S. Elton | 1958 | University of Chicago Press
Much as Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was a call to action against the pesticides that were devastating bird populations, Charles S. Elton's classic The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants sounded an early warning about an environmental catastrophe that has become all too familiar today—the invasion of non-native species. From kudzu to zebra mussels to Asian long-horned beetles, non-native species are colonizing new habitats around the world at an alarming rate thanks to accidental and intentional human intervention. Elton explains the devastating effects that invasive species can have on local ecosystems in clear, concise language and with numerous examples. The first book on invasion biology, and still the most cited, Elton's masterpiece provides an accessible, engaging introduction to one of the most important environmental crises of our time.

Ecology of Weeds and Invasive Plants: Relationship to Agriculture and Natural Resource Management

S.R. Radosevich, J.S. Holt, and C.M. Ghersa | 2007 (3rd edition) | Wiley
The third edition of this classic reference on weeds and invasive plants provides an in-depth understanding of how weeds and invasive plants develop and interact in the environment so you can manage and control them more effectively. This guide includes an introduction to weeds and invasive plants in various environments and an overview of their ecology and evolution, along with extensive examples.

Effects of Climate Change on Aquatic Invasive Species

S.A. Contreras | 2010 | Nova Science
Global change stressors, including climate change and variability and changes in land use, are major drivers of ecosystem alterations. Invasive species, which are non-native species that cause environmental or economic damages or human-health impacts, also contribute to ecosystem changes. Invasive species are a major issue both ecologically and economically, and threaten native species, sometimes to the point of extinction. The interactions between stressors and invasive species, although not well understood, may exacerbate the impacts of climate change on ecosystems, and likewise, climate change may enable further invasions. This book reviews available literature on climate-change effects on aquatic invasive species (AIS) and examines state-level AIS management activities.

Invasion Ecology

J.L. Lockwood, M.F. Hoopes, and M.P. Marchetti | 2007 | Wiley-Blackwell
This book provides a comprehensive introduction to all aspects of biological invasion by non-native species. Highlighting important research findings associated with each stage of invasion, Invasion Ecology provides an overview of the invasion process from transportation patterns and causes of establishment success to ecological impacts, invader management, and post-invasion evolution.

Invasive Plant Ecology in Natural and Agricultural Systems

B.D. Booth, S.D. Murphy, and C.J. Swanton | 2010 (2nd edition) | CABI
This text provides an in-depth study of plant ecology with coverage of invasive plant biology and concise statistics.

Invasive Plants and Forest Ecosystems

R.K. Kohli, S. Jose, H.P. Singh, and D.R. Batish, editors | 2008 | CRC Press
This text takes an informed and integrated approach to the current onslaught of invasive species, spotlighting the tremendous challenges they pose for natural resource managers charged with the maintenance of biological diversity and the sustainable production of forest wealth. It addresses the havoc these alien invaders are wrecking on native forest ecosystems and the staggering $300 billion annually in damage and control costs they incur.

Invasive Plant Species of the World: A Reference Guide to Environmental Weeds

E. Weber | 2003 | CABI
This book provides a reference guide to 450 major invasive plant species that are harmful to natural areas. Each species has an entry providing information covering lifeform, synonyms and commercial use, geographic distribution, habitats invaded, and description of morphology, ecology, and control. Key references for each species are also provided.

Invasive Plants of Range and Wildlands and Their Environmental, Economic, and Societal Impacts

C.L. Duncan and J.K. Clark, editors | 2005 | Western Society of Weed Science
This publication summarizes scientific literature regarding the economic, environmental, and societal issues to range and wildlands caused by 16 key invasive plants in the United States. Estimates are also made related to their current area of infestation in the contiguous 48 states.

Invasive Species in a Changing World

H. Mooney and R. Hobbs | 2000 | Island Press
This text brings together leading scientists from around the world to examine the invasive species phenomenon and to consider the mutual interactions between global change and invasives that are likely to occur over the next century.

Nature Out of Place: Biological Invasions in the Global Age

J. Van Driesche and R. Van Driesche | 2000 | Island Press
This text brings the devastating but overlooked crisis of biological invasions to the forefront of public consciousness by offering a fascinating exploration of its causes and consequences, along with a thoughtful and practical consideration of what can be done about it.

Species Invasions: Insights into Ecology, Evolution, and Biogeography

D.F. Sax, J.J. Stachowicz, and S. D. Gaines, editors | 2005 | Sinauer
Species invasions present significant conservation challenges, but they also provide invaluable information about the functioning of natural systems. In this edited book, experts from the fields of ecology, evolution, and biogeography explore the unique insights species invasions provide.

Weed Ecology: Implications for Management

S.R. Radosevich, J.S. Holt, and C.M. Ghersa | 1997 | Wiley
This book focuses on interactive features of weeds, especially as they occur in agriculture, forest, and rangeland situations. By considering weeds foremost as plants, and by relying on the concepts of plant ecology, the authors hope to provide a better understanding of weeds that will lead to better crop and weed management.

Weed Ecology in Natural and Agricultural Systems

B.D. Booth, S.D. Murphy, and C.J. Swanton | 2003 | CABI
This text explains the ecological principles essential to understanding how weeds function in the environment and emphasizes why weed management strategies within an integrated weed management approach should be based on ecological knowledge. For readers with an understanding of basic biology.


See our full Management section for additional resources.

Assessment and Management of Plant Invasions

J.O. Luken and J.W. Thieret, editors | 1997 | Springer
This book places the issue of nonindigenous plant invasions in a broader ecological context that includes human activity in managing natural resources, designing regulations, and dispersing organisms; and discusses pre-invasion ecological interactions as well as post-invasion management interactions.

Biological Control: A Global Perspective

C. Vincent, M.S. Goettel, and G. Lazarovits | 2007 | CABI
Biological control, the management of pests by the use of living organisms, has a long history of application to agriculture around the world. However, the effective use of beneficial organisms is constrained by environmental, legal, and economic restrictions, forcing researchers to adopt increasingly multi-disciplinary techniques in order to deploy successful biological control programs. It is this complex process, including the mindset and the social environment of the researcher as well as the science being pursued, that this book seeks to capture. Chapters reveal the personal experiences of scientists from the initial search for suitable control agents, to their release into ecosystems and finally to the beneficial outcomes which demonstrate the great success of biological control across diverse agro-ecosystems.

Biological Control of Invasive Plants in the United States

E.M. Coombs, J.K. Clark, G.L. Piper, and A.F. Cofrancesco, Jr., editors | 2004 | Oregon State University Press
This book covers ecology, safety testing, non-target impacts, and the processes of identifying, introducing, distributing, and monitoring biological control agents. It describes 39 target plants and 94 biological control agents, including their origin, biology, habitat, impacts, and distribution.

Control of Invasive Species

2006 | Transportation Research Board
This text explores the extent to which state departments of transportation are identifying actions that affect the spread of invasive species, preventing introduction, tracking status and locations of invasives in a timely and ongoing manner, controlling found populations, restoring invaded habitats, conducting research, and sharing lessons learned.

Ecologically Based Pest Management: New Solutions for a New Century

National Research Council | 1996 | National Academy Press
This volume offers a vision and strategies for creating a solid, comprehensive knowledge base to support a pest management system that incorporates ecosystem processes supplemented by a continuum of inputs—biological organisms, products, cultivars, and cultural controls. The book evaluates the feasibility of ecologically-based pest management by examining optimal examples and how best to move these samples into mainstream agriculture.

Evaluating Indirect Ecological Effects of Biological Control

E. Wajnberg, J.K. Scott, and P.C. Quimby | 2001 | CABI
This book presents the key papers from the first International Organization for Biological Control global symposium, held in Montpellier, France, in October 1999. It addresses issues and concerns involved in biological control and assesses the current status of evaluation of the ecological effects.

Integrated Noxious Weed Management After Wildfires

K. Goodwin, R. Sheley, and J. Clark | 2002 | Montana State University Extension Service
Often, the most damaging and long-lasting impact of a wildfire takes the form of post-fire invasion and aggressive reestablishment of noxious weeds. This book, which was written with landowners and managers in mind, tells how to manage burned areas by enhancing desired species while eradicating or controlling noxious weeds.

Invasive Alien Species: A Toolkit of Best Prevention and Management Practices

R. Wittenberg, editor | 2001 | CABI
Features of this book, assembled by a team of international experts, include case studies from around the globe, with some emphasis on islands and a focus on biodiversity, but with some consideration of traditional agriculture and forestry advice on national management plans, including risk analysis.

Invasive Species Management: A Handbook of Principles and Techniques

M.N. Clout and P.A. Williams, editors | 2009 | Oxford University Press
The effective management of invasive alien species is clearly a priority for biological conservation worldwide. This book first provides strategies for managing such species at successive invasion stages, from prevention at the border to control of major infestations. It then describes the general tools and approaches that are recommended for successful management of particular groups of invasive organisms in a range of environments. In each case, the ecological basis and practical requirements of invasive alien species management are addressed.

Invasive Species: Vectors and Management Strategies

J. Carlton and G.M. Ruiz, editors | 2003 | Island Press
This text presents extensive information and new analyses on mechanisms of species transfer, or vectors, as the latest contribution from the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP). Contributors assess invasion vectors and vector management in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems for major taxonomic groups in a variety of regions around the world. The book examines invasion causes, routes, and vectors in space and time; highlights current approaches and challenges to preventing new invasions, both from a geographic and taxonomic point of view; explores strategies, benefits, and limitations of risk assessment; offers a synthesis of many facets of vector science and management; and presents recommendations for action.

Management of Invasive Weeds

Inderjit | 2010 | Springer
The objectives of this book are to discuss: (1) ecological approaches needed to design effective management strategies; (2) recent progress in management methods and tools; (3) success and failure of management efforts for some of the worst invaders; and (4) restoration and conservation of invaded land. In an effort to achieve these objectives, the contributing authors strived to provide up-to-date information on the management of non-native invasives. Chapters were peer-reviewed by international experts working in the area. Readers will get a unique perspective on ecological aspects of the management of invasives. This book is useful to graduate students, researchers, managers, and policy makers involved in the management of exotic invasives.

Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants

C.C. Burrell | 2006 | Brooklyn Botanic Garden
This is an indispensable guide for anyone who loves dazzling gardens and cares about the health of North America's remaining wild landscapes. In this handbook, plant professionals and home gardeners alike will discover hundreds of spectacular native plants for every region, specially chosen as alternatives to the invasive species that are degrading and destroying the continent's natural habitats.

Roadside Weed Management

B.L. Harper-Lore, M. Johnson, and M.W. Skinner, editors | 2007 | US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration
This guide contains essays on preventing and controlling noxious weed invasions, summaries of federal and state regulations and policies, as well as noxious species lists and agency contacts listed by state.

The Use of Fire as a Tool for Controlling Invasive Plants

J.M. DiTomaso and D.W. Johnson, editors | 2006 | California Invasive Plant Council
This report captures the current state of knowledge on the use of fire to manage invasive plants in wildlands so that better information can facilitate improved decision making when considering the use of prescribed burning for the management of invasive plants.

Wildfires, Fuels and Invasive Plants

L.E. Willems, editor | 2010 | Nova Science
This book explores wildland fires, fuels, and non-native invasive plants in our forest ecosystems.