A foundational principle of an ecological education is the notion of a species’ native status. The idea has to do with where a species evolved and was able to establish without the aid of humans. As an example, honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) occurred in the semiarid plains of the southern United States and northern Mexico at the time of European settlement; thus, honey mesquite is native to that area.
In the last few hundred years, it has expanded its native range in response to agricultural activity but is still, by and large, considered native in those areas. However, in the 1920s, mesquite was introduced to western Australia as a forage plant and as an ornamental tree that could withstand arid conditions. It subsequently escaped cultivation and is now considered one of the top twenty noxious weeds in Australia and one of the world’s one hundred worst invasive species.
This is just one example of many invasive species. In this course, we will learn about what an invasive species is, how to control and prevent invasive species, and how to create and maintain invasion-resistant plant communities.
Sustainable Development & Design
Health, Safety and Welfare
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
• Define what makes an invasive species
• Summarize the cause of invasive species and how they affect our communities
• Identify methods for creating and maintaining invasion-resistant plant communities
• Classify pests and pinpoint actions to be taken to prevent or control for them
W. Matt McCaw