A global review on controlling invasive species in ecological restoration

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Emanuela W. A. Weidlich , Flávia G. Flórido , Taísi B. Sorrini , Pedro H. S. Brancalion

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Invasive plant species can hinder the establishment and growth of native and controlling them is a necessary, yet usually expensive, step towards the restoration of an ecosystem. Synthesising literature on this topic helps to understand variation in invasive plants’ impacts and their practical control in restoration contexts, and to identify associated knowledge gaps. We reviewed 372 articles published from 2000 to 2019 covering the control of undesirable plants (both exotic invasive and overabundant native plant species) in ecological restoration to gather information on the main plants being controlled and methods used. To have a socio-ecological distribution of the studies, we grouped them according biomes, and Human Development Index (HDI). Grasses and forbs were the most-studied invasive plant species in restoration sites, but invasive trees were also well studied in the tropics. Poaceae and Asteraceae were the most studied families of invasive plants. Non-chemical interventions (mostly mowing and prescribed fire) were used in 57.7% of the reviewed studies, while 42.3% used chemical methods (mainly glyphosate spraying, used in 40% of projects using herbicides). The reviewed studies were mostly performed in countries with very high HDI. Countries with low and medium HDI used only non-chemical methods. Decisions about which control method to use depend on the invasive plant species’ growth forms, the local economic situation where the restoration sites are. More developed countries tend to use more chemical control, whereas less developed ones use mainly non-chemical methods.

Resource Type:
Conference Presentation, SER2021

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