Monitoring of Invasive Plants

Monitoring can play an essential role in managing invasive plants, as it provides non-biased information to make well-informed management decisions. Monitoring results can be used to demonstrate where management actions (e.g., control treatments) are effectively and successfully meeting invasive plant management objectives, and to more quickly detect and modify actions that are ineffective.

For example, if an invasive plant management objective is to determine the effectiveness of a chemical herbicide and prescribed burning treatment in reducing stem density by 35%, a monitoring protocol or plan could be developed to measure the treatment’s effectiveness. If monitoring results indicate that the objective (reduction in stem density) is not being achieved, the management or treatment would be adjusted appropriately and monitoring would again be implemented.

Monitoring can also be used to:

  • detect new populations;
  • determine the status and temporal trends in population sizes and distributions over time (e.g., evaluate invasiveness);
  • determine the effects of an invasive plant species on the biota and processes of the ecosystem;
  • measure the success of restoration and revegetation projects; and
  • measure the success of best management practices (e.g., during road and building construction, fire-fighting, etc.) that are meant to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive plants into and throughout a managed area.

The following pages are here to help with your monitoring efforts:

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