Greater focus needed on alien plant impacts in protected areas
Alien plants pose significant threats to protected areas worldwide yet many studies only describe the degree to which these areas have become invaded. Research must move toward a better understanding of alien plant impacts since managers urgently require an appropriate evidence base to prioritize control/eradication targets. We analyze a global database of quantitative studies of alien plant impacts to evaluate existing knowledge of alien plant impacts within and outside protected areas. Although protected areas are a significant focus for quantitative impact studies, the biogeographic emphasis of most research effort does not coincide with the global distribution of protected areas nor the plant species or life-forms recognized to have greatest impacts on ecosystems. While impacts were often as significant within protected areas as outside, only a minority of studies provide any subsequent management recommendations. There is therefore considerable scope to improve the evidence base on alien plant management in protected areas.... [Show full abstract]
Keywordsbiological invasions; community structure; exotic species; fire; macroecology; national parks; nature reserves; plant conservation; soil processes; weeds; Ecology
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