What are the Top 50 Invasive Species in the West

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Invasive species pose an enormous environmental challenge to western states and territories. Western Governors have experienced first-hand how these invaders affect the region’s forests and rangelands, water, and agriculture. Left unchecked, invasive species permanently alter ecosystems and negatively impact the native species and local economies that depend upon them.


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Medusahead and Ventenata in the Northern Great Plains Ecoregion: Invasion History and Management Efforts

Medusahead and Ventenata in the Northern Great Plains Ecoregion: Invasion History and Management Efforts

The invasive winter annual grasses medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae) and ventenata (Ventenata dubia) have a relatively long history of spread and impact in the Intermountain West. In 2016, self-sustaining populations of both species were documented in Sheridan County, Wyoming, representing the first known populations of each species in the Great Plains region.

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Developing a Detection Method for New Invaders at the Landscape Scale

The ability to predict plant invasions and detect them early in the process are important considerations for invasive plant management. While agencies and landowners typically take the approach of on-the-ground searches and some may utilize habitat suitability models, these tools may not facilitate detection of incipient infestations when the species is unknown. A team set out to develop a method to identify where to look for a new invader to assist managers in focusing search efforts to areas more prone to invasion.

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Timing Aminopyralid to Prevent Seed Production Controls Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), and Increase Forage Grasses

Timing Aminopyralid to Prevent Seed Production Controls Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), and Increase Forage Grasses

Exotic annual grasses such as medusahead [Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski] and downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) dominate millions of hectares of grasslands in the western United States. Applying picloram, aminopyralid, and other growth regulator herbicides at late growth stages reduces seed production of most exotic annual grasses.

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Canada Thistle Affects Herbage Production in the Northern Great Plains

Canada thistle can cause greater than 50% yield loss in small grain crops, but little is known about production losses when the weed invades pasture and wildlands. Change in grass, forb, and woody species production from Canada thistle infestations was evaluated in two separate studies in North Dakota.

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