acrecientan la propensi6n del ~tstema a ser invadido tiene que conductr a programas de control integrado mds efectivos. Una evaluact6n del valor de cada sitto y su grado de perturbaci6n puede permttir establecer un marco de prioridades de manejo para la protecci6n y el control Los factores soctoecon6mtcos frecuentemente juegan un papel m~s importante que los factores ecolOPap~ sumltted April 12, 1994; revised manuscript accepted October 12, 1994. 761 Conservation Biology, Pages 761-770 Volume 9, No. 4, August 1995 762 Integrated Management of Plant Invasions Hobbs & Huraphries gtcos en las invastones por plantas. Cambios en acVlvtdades humanas en tdrrainos de introducct6n y utiUzact6n de plantas, uso de la tierra y rlempos de las medtdas de control, son factores requertdos antes de que el problema de la tnvasi6n de plantas pueda ser atacado
adecuadamente. Tratar con las plantas invasoras es una tarea urgente que requertrd difictles decisiones sobre el uso de la tierra y las prioridades de manejo. Esras dectsiones deben tomarse si queremos conservar nuestra biodtversidad a nivel mundiaL Introduction Plant invasions have become increasingly recognized as a major threat to both natural and human-exploited ecosystems worldwide (Usher 1988; Usher et al. 1988; Soul6 1990; Westman 1990; U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment 1993). In any particular region, there can be large numbers of invasive plants causing serious environmental damage (either local or widespread) and other plants that have the potential to cause serious damage in the future. In many parts of the world, the full extent of the problem of invasive plants has not been fully documented, but available
information indicates its importance. For instance, there are estimated to be over 2000 species of non-native plants in the United States, a substantial proportion of which cause significant economic and ecological damage (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment 1993). In Australia, 1500-2000 species of plants have been introduced since European settlement; over 200 are considered noxious weeds in one or more states, and many are important environmental weeds (Humphries et al. 1991; Parsons & Cuthbertson 1992). In both the U.S. and Australia, certain invasive plant species have the ability to spread over large areas or to acutely threaten an ecosystem over its continental range, yet plant introductions continue at an alarming rate (U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment 1993; Rejmfinek & Randall 1994). The number of species involved and
the scale of the problem make invasive plants one of the major problems facing land managers. Despite this, there is no overall framework within which research and management priorities can be set. A report by the Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress (1993) stated that "Although much information on non- indigenous species exists, overall it is widely scattered, sometimes obscure, and highly variable on quality and scientific rigor" and that "Summary lists for most non-indigenous species do not exist for most types of organisms. This gap is especially large for non-Indigenous
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