Alien invasive plants are becoming recognized by some authorities
as another component of global environmental change. The decrease in biological
diversity is a concern among many ecologists, and invasive plants are seen as
a threat to ecosystem health. In studying invasion ecology, an introduced species
should be treated as an alien to the natural ecosystem because it would not
be there without human intervention. Alien invasive plants have become firmly
naturalized in most habitats of North America and the world. Management attempts
that extol eradication of these alien species will most likely be futile. Management
to control plants on critical portions of the habitat can be achieved with economic,
social, and perhaps political costs. Many times the ecological and economic
costs are bearable, but the social and political concerns curtail widespread
successful vegetation management programs. Existing vegetation management tools
will effectively control alien invasive plants if there is both the political
and social concensus for vegetation management.
This book continues the compilation of information about alien invasive plants, and especially what characteristics of the plants can be used to provide an early warning system about their invasive potential. The book complements papers in Plant invasions: General aspects and special problems.