Ecologically-based Invasive Plant Management

Principles of Ecologically-based Management

Ecologically-based invasive plant management incorporates our understanding of ecosystem processes and patterns with appropriate tools to develop sustainable management programs. It requires:

  • Understanding and manipulating the mechanisms and processes that affect plant communities
  • Understanding and manipulating the biology and ecology of the invasive plant and the desired habitat
  • Understanding that ecosystems have feedbacks and that manipulations will have foreseen and unforeseen consequences
  • Understanding that management tools have limitations and are not benign
  • Using performance indicators to measure management success
  • Adapting management strategies as management success is assessed
  • Ecologically-based invasive plant management recognizes that ecosystems are always changing
  • Ecologically-based invasive plant management also uses management technologies to manipulate the biology/ecology of both the invasive plants and the desirable species to create a desired state
  • The best ecologically-based management strategy is prevention.

These principles are consistent with the adaptive management approach because they build on learning, are a participatory approach to research and land management, recognize that effective management is based on sound science, assume a variety of pathways can meet a given objective, and recognize that partnerships are essential to achieving sustainable ecosystems.


Ecology and Management of Invasive Species
Annotated Bibliographies on the Ecology and Management of Invasive Species
Getting Up to Speed: A Conservationist's Guide to Wildlife and Highways

Articles and Publications

Ecological Principles for Managing Land Use
Healthy Plant Communities Fact Sheet
Principles of Ecologically-based Adaptive Management
Ecological Management of Invasive Plants: Four Key Premises
International Primer on Ecological Restoration

Academic References

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.

Assessment and Management of Plant Invasions

J.O. Luken and J.W. Thieret, editors | 1997 | Springer

This text attempts to caste the issue of nonindigenous plant invasion in a broader ecological context that includes humans acting as managers of natural resources, designers of regulations, and dispersers of organisms. It also addresses important ecological interactions that emerge prior to plant invasions as well as post-management interactions.

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 book 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. It requires only a basic understanding biology and covers population ecology, community ecology, and the importance of weed ecology to weed management.