Modeling the long-term dynamics of an invasive perennial weed in Colorado, USA

TitleModeling the long-term dynamics of an invasive perennial weed in Colorado, USA
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsGoslee S.C., Peters DC, Beck K.G.
Conference Name5th World Congress, US-International Association for Landscape Ecology
Date PublishedJuly 29-August 3
Conference LocationSnowmass Village, CO
ARIS Log Number100568
KeywordsColorado, modeling, modelling, perennial weeds, Russian knapweed
AbstractInvasion of native ecosystems by exotic perennial weeds is an increasingly important ecological problem. In most cases, little is known about the potential long-term impact of a species which has been introduced to a new area. Without this knowledge it is difficult to predict the eventual impact of that species on native ecosystems. Our objective was to evaluate the dynamics of the weed Acroptilon repens (Russian knapweed) within the State of Colorado. We used an individual plant-based simulation model (ECOTONE) to examine the long-term dynamics of Russian knapweed in sites across the range of soil textures and climates found in Colorado. Simulation results suggested that Russian knapweed will be most successful over the long term in areas with particular combinations of soil texture and climate. We used the model results to identify the regions of Colorado in which Russian knapweed establishment is likely to lead to continued dominance, as well as sthose regions where knapweed will probably be outcompeted by native grasses. These results can be used to target management programs to the areas where they are most crucial. This approach can also be used to develop appropriate management programs for other perennial weeds.