U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


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Young SL, Kells JJ, Nandula VK (2023) Federal agency perspectives and funding opportunities for weed and invasive plant research. Weed Sci. 71: 328–329. doi: 10.1017/ wsc.2023.19


U.S. government work


Weeds and invasive plants know no borders and have collectively impacted many ecosystems worldwide, including croplands, forests, grasslands, rangelands, wetlands, and riparian areas. Losses continue to mount, affecting yield and productivity, species diversity, and ecosystem services, with both short- and long-term repercussions on the sustainability of plant and animal communities and the livelihoods of many. New and emerging invasive plants, along with many of the most intractable weeds, have undermined even the best control efforts, serving as a reminder of the constant need for improvements in science, application, and technology. One of the main reasons for the success of weeds and invasive plants is their ability to adapt to abiotic and biotic conditions, and research suggests that this will continue with minimal change. Despite the challenges posed by weeds and invasive plants, integrated management techniques, several effective chemistries, and the development of new technology are a signal that ongoing and renewed efforts are worthwhile. National coordination is needed across the sectors of weed and invasive plant sciences to achieve common goals. Federal agencies have the largest land holdings—which are infested with weeds and invasive plants—and work with a diverse group of stakeholders comprising managers, researchers, and regulators. Thus, there is an urgent and pressing need to facilitate dialogue between federal agencies specific to weed and invasive plant science to (1) serve as a starting point for summarizing current knowledge and identifying information gaps and (2) re-engage national program leaders and representatives to better coordinate programs in addressing common challenges. Federal departments and agencies with expertise in weed and invasive plant science were brought together at a symposium held during the Weed Science Society of America’s 63rd Annual Meeting in Washington, DC. Individuals from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Agricultural Research Service (ARS), National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Forest Service (USFS), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), National Park Service (NPS), Department of Defense (DOD), Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and National Science Foundation (NSF) shared current research and management efforts and participated in a discussion focused on the identification of funding opportunities and other issues pertaining to research gaps and management needs among this society’s membership.

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