Agricultural Research Division of IANR


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Published in Invasive Plant Science and Management 5:1 (2012), pp. 106–107; doi: 10.1614/IPSM-D-11-00004.1 Copyright © 2012 Stephen L. Young. Published by Weed Science Society of America.


A symposium was organized to investigate the area of invasive plant species and ecosystem services and further our understanding of the contributions that invasive plants are making to ecosystem services, which, to date, has received limited attention. The following symposium articles address three important areas of assessing the effects of invasive plant species on ecosystem services. Karie Decker et al., in “Landuse, landscapes, and biological invasions,” introduce the concept of resilience in natural systems and use an analysis of the nonnative plants and land use types in Nebraska to emphasize the importance of predicting and quantifying changes in ecological structure, process, function, and ultimately services. Jeff Corbin and Carla D’Antonio, in “Gone but not forgotten? Invasive plants’ legacies on community and ecosystem properties,” examine the extent to which invasive species’ effects on biodiversity, soil properties, and nutrient dynamics may persist after removal or death of the species. Valerie Eviner et al., in “Measuring the effects of invasive plants on ecosystem services: challenges and prospects,” highlight current conceptual developments to better predict and manage the effects on the ecosystem of invasive plant species. The use of new methods and technologies to identify and quantify invasive plant species and ecosystem services will help in determining how to place a more accurate value on these systems for improved management and conservation.

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