MADISON, WI, April 8, 2021 - USDA Forest Service scientists have delivered a new comprehensive assessment of the invasive species that confront America's forests and grasslands, from new arrivals to some that invaded so long ago that people are surprised to learn they are invasive.
The assessment, titled "Invasive Species in Forests and Rangelands of the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the United States Forest Sector," serves as a one-stop resource for land managers who are looking for information on the invasive species that are already affecting the landscape, the species that may threaten the landscape, and what is known about control of invasive species.
"Understanding the ecology of invasive species, their dynamics and complex ecological, economic, and societal interactions is critical to improving management strategies and reducing impacts to native ecosystems," said Cynthia West, director of the Forest Service's Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory. "Tracking the science can be daunting, so Forest Service scientists and many partners have assembled a science synthesis that puts the latest research at land managers' fingertips."
The assessment covers invasive species of all taxonomic groups from insects and pathogens, to plants, vertebrates, and aquatic organisms that impact a diversity of habitats in forests, rangelands and grasslands of the United States. It presents the latest research on a wide range of natural science and social science fields that explore the ecology, impacts, and practical tools for management of invasive species. The scientific synthesis provides the cultural, economic, regulatory, and social context for addressing environmental challenges posed by invasive species. Geographically focused regional summaries highlight the most important invasive species and issues impacting all regions of the country.
Led by Therese Poland, a research entomologist and project leader with the Northern Research Station, the assessment is the product of 115 authors from the Forest Service, other federal and state agencies, and university, non-government organization and tribal land partners. The assessment is available to view or download at https:/