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Ecological Concepts of Integrated Weed Management. Dr. Jane Mangold Extension Invasive Plant Specialist Montana State University. What is ecology?. Relationships between organisms and their environments Ecosystems (organisms + environments) are complex

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Ecological concepts of integrated weed management

Ecological Concepts of Integrated Weed Management

Dr. Jane Mangold

Extension Invasive Plant Specialist

Montana State University


What is ecology
What is ecology?

  • Relationships between organisms and their environments

  • Ecosystems (organisms + environments) are complex

    • Many parts, each of which contributes to the whole in different ways

  • What ecology is not:

    • Environmental advocacy

    • Political activism


Ecologically based invasive plant management
Ecologically-based Invasive Plant Management

  • Understand how an invasive plant population interacts with itself and with desired vegetation

  • Understand how environment (climate, elevation, aspect, herbivores, humans, etc.) affects these interactions

  • Manipulate biotic and abiotic factors to influence plant community dynamics

    • Favor desirable vegetation

    • Disfavor weeds



Traditional management
Traditional Management

Herbicides

Biocontrol

Hand-pulling

Revegetation

WEED

Grazing

Fertilization

Prevention

Fire

Tilling/disking

Mowing

Irrigation


Future management ebipm
Future Management--EBIPM

Biocontrol

Herbicides

Hand-pulling

Revegetation

Grazing

Life cycle of weed

Succession

Desired

Vegetation

Prevention

Fertilization

Fire

Tilling/disking

Irrigation

Mowing


Succession
Succession

  • Process whereby one plant community changes into another. It involves the immigration and extinction of species, coupled with changes in the relative abundance of different plants.

    -Plant Ecology by M.J. Crawley

Disturbance


Invasion is a form of succession
Invasion is a form of succession!

Disturbance

OR

Native species colonization

Tansy ragwort colonization


Managing succession
Managing succession

Plant Community Undesired State

Site Availability

Species Availability

Time

Species Performance

Plant Community Desired State



Site Availability

Species Availability

Species Performance

  • Disturbance

    • Size

    • Severity

    • Timing

    • Patchiness

    • Frequency

  • Dispersal

    • Vectors

    • Landscape

  • Propagule Pool

    • Decay rate

    • Land use

  • Resource availability

    • Soil

    • Microclimate

  • Ecophysiology

    • Germination

    • Assimilation

    • Growth rate

  • Life history

    • Allocation

    • Reproductive time

    • Reproductive mode

  • Stress

    • Climate

    • Prior occupants

  • Competitors

    • Identity

    • Consumers

    • Disturbance

    • Resource base

  • Allelopathy

    • Soil

    • Microbes

    • Neighbors

  • Consumers

    • Identity

    • Cycles

    • Plant defenses

    • Patchiness

(Pickett et al. 1987; Sheley et al. 1996; Krueger-Mangold et al. 2006)


Ecological framework useful for management
Ecological Framework Useful for Management

Initial Plant Community

Species Availability

Species Performance

Final Plant Community

Site Availability

Herbicide

Broadcast seed

Biological control

Grazing

Repeated Spring Grazing

Drill seed

Tilling

Grazing

Hand pulling

Hand pulling

Aerial seeding

Fire

Fertilization

Mowing/cutting

Herbicide


Invasion progression vs management strategy
Invasion Progression vs. Management Strategy

carrying capacity

Effective control unlikely without massive resource inputs Restoration may be required!

Suppression/Containment

Area infested

Public awareness usually begins

Cost of control

Early detection/ Eradication

Exclusion

Time


Invasion progression vs management strategy1
Invasion Progression vs. Management Strategy

carrying capacity

Restoration

Containment

Area infested

Early Detection-Rapid Response (EDRR)

Cost of control

Prevention

Time


Management strategies prevention
Management Strategies--Prevention

  • Education and awareness!!!

  • Protect weed-free areas

    • Large majority of U.S. is NOT infested

    • In MT, 7.6 million acres infested/93 million acres total = 8%

  • Limit disturbance (site availability) and weed seed dispersal (species availability)

  • Maintain healthy, competitive vegetation (species performance)

  • Communication among land managers


Management strategies early detection rapid response
Management Strategies—Early detection/rapid response

  • Mobile, global society

    • Invasive plants will continue to spread

  • Catch infestations early when eradication is still possible (limit species availability)

  • Develop survey and inventory protocol (where are sites and species available?)

    • Prioritize those areas most susceptible to invasion

      • Highways

      • Railways

      • Trails

      • Water channels


Edrr in montana dyer s woad
EDRR in Montana—Dyer’s Woad

Program cost from 1985-2005 = $225,000

Estimated cost of herbicide application in 2005 without program = $1.9 million

(Pokorny and Krueger-Mangold 2007)


Management strategies containment
Management Strategies--Containment

  • Integrated Weed Management

    • Application of multiple control measures that complement one another (address all 3 causes of plant community dynamics)

  • Mechanical

  • Biological

  • Chemical

  • Cultural



Management strategies restoration
Management Strategies--Restoration

  • May be necessary if area has been dominated by invasive plants for a long time

  • Control weedy species (site availability and species performance)

  • Introduction of desirable species through revegetation (species availability)

  • Difficult and unpredictable—but often necessary!


Summary
Summary

  • Treat cause of invasion, not just symptoms

  • Identify and manage most influential ecological relationships that are leading to invasion and encouraging persistence of invasive plants

    • Site availability

    • Species availability

    • Species performance


Summary1
Summary

  • Gear management strategy toward stage of invasion

    • Prevention

    • Early detection/Rapid response

    • Containment

    • Restoration

    • Adaptive management



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