Despite wide acknowledgement of the significant threat posed by invasive alien plants to biodiversity, management strategies have not yet adequately addressed the problem. Among the reasons for this are the lack of knowledge of the biodiversity at risk from invasive alien plants, an emphasis on control rather than the outcome of such control actions, ineffective monitoring programmes, a lack of resources, institutional barriers to change, and mismatches between policy and management. To resolve this situation, strategies for managing invasive alien plants need to focus on specific biodiversity conservation outcomes and put in place a range of measures to ensure that the aims are achieved. One area where such a change would have significant conservation outcomes is the management of invasive alien plants in protected areas, given the threat posed to high-value biodiversity. Such a system would also enable conservation outcomes to be reported on. The lack of outcome reporting has been highlighted as a significant problem in numerous studies, including the recent assessment of progress towards the Convention of Biological Diversity targets. Here I present an overview of one approach that has been developed to ensure that invasive alien plant management delivers desired conservation outcomes. To achieve this, each step in the planning and management process was evaluated and modified to ensure that it could deliver the desired outcome. The potential application of this approach within protected areas to improve the management of invasive alien plants and increase the protection of biodiversity is discussed. Adoption of these processes by managers of protected areas will have long lasting benefits for both invasive alien plant control and biodiversity conservation as it prioritises management to areas where control is likely to have the greatest outcomes; something that is critical given the lack of resources currently available to manage invasive alien plants in many protected areas across the globe.
|Title of host publication||Plant Invasions in Protected Areas|
|Editors||Llewellyn C Foxcroft, Petr Pysek, David M Richardson, Piero Genovasi|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
|Name||Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology|
Downey, P. O. (2013). Protecting biodiversity through strategic alien plant management: An approach for increasing conservation outcomes in protected areas: Plant Invasions in Protected Areas: Patterns, Problems and Challenges. In L. C. Foxcroft, P. Pysek, D. M. Richardson, & P. Genovasi (Eds.), Plant Invasions in Protected Areas (pp. 507-528). (Invading Nature - Springer Series in Invasion Ecology). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-7750-7_23