Restoration of Natural Conditions Following Anthropogenic Disturbance

Often the best time to attempt to control an invasive species is immediately after the first individual establishes, and before it sets seed. Attentive natural areas managers and restorationists often have stories of killing that first invading purple loosestrife plant in its first year of growth in a newly restored wetland. Some countries (e.g., New Zealand) request that citizens report the first sightings of various invasive species, so that the invasive can be removed before it infests the area. However, after the first individuals have established, invasive species are difficult if not impossible to eliminate. To control invasive species, natural disturbances have been used such as fire, flooding, manual removal, shading, substrate removal, herbicides and biocontrol. However, the success of implementing natural disturbance to remove invasives is situation dependent. Fire may be a good means of controlling invasive shrubs in prairies in the midwestern United States; however, fire is not appropriate in Hawaii because indigenous species there did not evolve with fire.

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