Using revegetation to suppress invasive plants in grasslands and forests.

Published online
07 Nov 2018
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Schuster, M. J. & Wragg, P. D. & Reich, P. B.
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Following the removal of invasive plant species, most land managers rely on natural succession to re-establish native plant communities. However, insufficient native propagule pressure combined with legacy effects of invasive plant species means that passive approaches to restoration are often inadequate to establish native communities and prevent reinvasion. In this paper, we review literature evaluating the ability of active revegetation to suppress re-establishment of invaders in grasslands and woodlands. We find that existing literature consistently demonstrates reduced performance of invasive plant species in revegetated grasslands, but that the magnitude of impact on invasive plants is highly variable. In contrast, the efficacy of revegetation in woodlands has rarely been reported, but the small number of such studies are consistent with results from grasslands. Synthesis and applications. Our review highlights the mechanisms that lead to revegetation suppressing invasive plants in grasslands and identifies knowledge gaps associated with revegetation using woody species or targeting woody invaders. We recommend concerted efforts be made to evaluate the viability of woody plant revegetation and the efficacy of revegetation in woodlands. Furthermore, we suggest that land managers may need to embrace novel species assemblages in order to prevent reinvasion.

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