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Controlling the Spread of Plant Invasions: The Importance of Nascent Foci

Michael E. Moody and Richard N. Mack
Journal of Applied Ecology
Vol. 25, No. 3 (Dec., 1988), pp. 1009-1021
DOI: 10.2307/2403762
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2403762
Page Count: 13
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Controlling the Spread of Plant Invasions: The Importance of Nascent Foci
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Abstract

(1) We evaluated through simulation the spatial growth of an invading terrestrial plant population and various strategies for its control. The initial population comprised a single large expanding focus but had the potential for the continual establishment of new foci. (2) We compared the area occupied through the establishment and expansion of these 'satellite' foci to the area occupied by the initially large or main focus under varying regimens of repeated control, in which either the area of the main focus was reduced or some satellites were destroyed, or both. (3) Whether varying growth rates for the foci, rates of satellite establishment, the level of reduction of the main focus or the intensity of satellite detection and destruction, the overall effectiveness of control measures was greatly improved by destroying even 30% of the satellites. (4) These predictions contrast with much current practice in the control of alien plants, where large or otherwise conspicuous infestations are often treated at the expense of eradicating isolated populations while they still remain small. As supported by empirical precedents, consistent implementation of the general strategy suggested by our model should improve the control of alien plants.

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