Managing beyond the invader: Manipulating disturbance of natives simplifies control efforts

Firn , J., Rout, T., Possingham , H. and Buckley , Y.M. (2008) Managing beyond the invader: Manipulating disturbance of natives simplifies control efforts. Journal of Applied Ecology, 45 4: 1143-1151. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01510.x


Author Firn , J.
Rout, T.
Possingham , H.
Buckley , Y.M.
Title Managing beyond the invader: Manipulating disturbance of natives simplifies control efforts
Journal name Journal of Applied Ecology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0021-8901
1365-2664
Publication date 2008-07-01
Year available 2008
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1365-2664.2008.01510.x
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 45
Issue 4
Start page 1143
End page 1151
Total pages 9
Place of publication Oxford
Publisher Blackwell
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Subject C1
960405 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species at Regional or Larger Scales
060207 Population Ecology
Abstract # Invasive plants have negative impacts on ecosystems worldwide. Several ecological studies have identified disturbance as a causative mechanism of plant invasions. Changes to natural disturbances and/or newly imposed disturbances can favour an invader over native species especially those that are better adapted to prior conditions. # 2. To link the disturbance ecology of invasives to their management, we investigated the benefit of incorporating actions that manipulate disturbance (natural or imposed) into control efforts. We developed a simple model that describes the dynamics of an invader whose establishment is preferentially favoured by disturbance. # 3. The model includes the probability of disturbance differentially affecting sites occupied by natives and invaders. Invaded sites are disturbed by alternative control measures, which act to kill and/or remove above-ground biomass and reduce the seed bank. We couched the model in a decision theory tool, stochastic dynamic programming, and applied it to the management of Mimosa pigra, a pan-tropical invasive perennial shrub. # 4. We found that targeting the above-ground biomass of the invader (current population) was optimal when the probability of disturbance of native sites and the invader seed bank size were low to moderate. When both the rate of disturbance of native sites and invader seed banks were high, the best measure was that with the highest probability of reducing the seed bank (future populations). This measure was optimal despite its trade-off of having the highest probability of reinvasion. # 5. Synthesis and applications. Manipulation of disturbance regimes in both native and invaded sites can simplify control efforts. If there is a high probability that native vegetation will be disturbed, then management efforts should focus on future populations by attempting to reduce the size of the invader seed bank. This complicates control, as seed bank size is difficult to measure and reducing it requires intensive actions, which are likely to also negatively affect the seed bank of native species. If, however, the probability of disturbance of native sites can be reduced, practitioners can shift control from future populations to the current population, which is more straightforward to implement and monitor
Keyword integrated weed management
Mimosa pigra
stochastic
dynamic programming
seed bank dynamics
weed control
population dynamics
decision-making
seed dispersal
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

 
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Created: Fri, 09 Jan 2009, 19:36:37 EST by Ms Lynette Adams on behalf of School of Biological Sciences