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The crucial role of information exchange and research for effective responses to biological invasions
Browne, M.; Pagad, S.; De Poorter, M. (2009). The crucial role of information exchange and research for effective responses to biological invasions. Weed Res. 49(1): 6-18.
In: Weed Research. Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 0043-1737; e-ISSN 1365-3180, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Author keywords
    invasive alien species; management; non-native; exotic species;prevention; risk assessment; biodiversity; decision support system

Authors  Top 
  • Browne, M.
  • Pagad, S.
  • De Poorter, M.

    Farmers have been fighting weeds and pests since the beginnings of agriculture, but the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) on native species, habitats and ecosystem services have only been brought to the world's attention relatively recently. Invasive plants, also known as environmental weeds, constitute an insidious 'biological pollution'. Unlike many other types of pollution, they are not diluted in time but, on the contrary, can expand in numbers, density and geographical extent - often exponentially. This paper illustrates an increasing ability to fight back, using a number of case studies of good management practice, including prevention, ecosystem approaches, adaptive management and stakeholder involvement. It identifies some of the challenges inherent in managing IAS in complex situations and identifies areas where weed scientists and other researchers can increase their contributions. Crucially, communities, conservation groups, NGOs and agencies undertaking prevention and management activities need ready access to science-based biological and ecological information about target species, prevention strategies and management techniques, as well as case studies from other regions facing similar problems. Information exchange is a key component of effective responses to biological invasions. A number of global-scale information exchange mechanisms are described.

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