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Integrating social-ecological outcomes into invasive species management: The Tamarix case

April 11, 2024

Incorporating societal considerations into decisions related to invasive species management is desirable, but can be challenging because it requires a solid understanding of the ecological functions and socio-cultural and economic benefits and values of the invaded environment before and after invasion. The ecosystem service (ES) concept was designed to facilitate such decision-making by establishing direct connections between ecosystem properties and human well-being, but its application in invasive species management has not been systematic. In this Discussion paper, we propose the adoption of the ES cascade model as a framework for understanding the environmental effects, costs and benefits associated with controlling an invasive shrub (Tamarix spp.) in riparian systems of the western United States. The cascade model has the advantage of explicitly dissecting social-ecological systems into five components: ecosystem structure and processes, ecological functions, ecosystem services, benefits and the economic and socio-cultural valuation of these services and benefits. The first two have received significant attention in the evaluation of Tamarix control effectiveness. The last three have long been implicitly acknowledged over decades of Tamarix management in the region, but have not been formally accounted for, which we believe would increase the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of management efforts.

Publication Year 2024
Title Integrating social-ecological outcomes into invasive species management: The Tamarix case
DOI 10.3897/neobiota.92.118502
Authors Eduardo Gonzalez-Sargas, Patrick B. Shafroth, Francesc Baro
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title NeoBiota
Index ID 70252949
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Fort Collins Science Center