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Rangeland Monitoring and Invasive Weeds
- Young, James A., Clements, Charlie D.
- Arid land research and management 2003 v.17 no.4 pp. 439
- rangelands, monitoring, range management, annual weeds, invasive species, ecological succession, indigenous species, grasses, Bromus tectorum, Taeniatherum caput-medusae, noxious weeds, Artemisia tridentata, plant communities
- One of the serious biological obstacles that must be addressed in any comprehensive revision of rangeland ecological condition assessment is what to do with sites dominated by exotic self-invasive species. In certain cases such species have truncated succession so that with a bare minimum of disturbance, the sites will never return to dominance by native perennial species. Are such sites destined to remain always in what is defined as "poor" ecological condition. Many communities dominated by exotic annuals are closed to the recruitment of seedlings of native perennial species. At the same time the communities are open to invasion by other introduced species. Should susceptibility to future invasions be a criteria in assessing the ecological condition of rangeland communities. The sustainability of communities dominated by exotic invasive species is assessing the ecological condition of such communities. Deviation from the plant community concepts of range condition and trend judgement involves setting new benchmark standards. This is an endeavor fraught with many perils.