Alabama invasive plant council: list of invasive plants by cultural use categories
Shortly after formation of the Alabama Invasive Plant Council (ALIPC) in 2003, a committee dedicated to assessment and listing of invasive plants was convened – the ALIPC Invasive Plant Listing Committee. Committee members were drawn from the wide diversity of expertise of the Council, which welcomes participation by all land-use and water-use managers, owners, stewards and agencies. Alabama’s 10 Worst Invasive Weeds were named through review and consensus in the later part of 2003. The list was published in a brochure (www.se-eppc.org/pubs/alabama.pdf), which also conveyed information on ALIPC’s purpose and a membership application (over 8,000 copies of this brochure have been distributed). This led to the inherently more difficult task of developing an expanded invasive plant list, especially given the wide diversity of ALIPC’s membership and Board of Directors and their traditional individual specialty focus. Considering neighboring land-use and shared invasive plant problems became a learning experience as we worked towards compromises to minimize overall impacts. In order to include the expert viewpoints of the range of stakeholders, we developed a spreadsheet based on cultural use categories (e.g. natural areas, urban, managed forests, wildlife habitats, rights-of-way, aquatic and wetland, pasture, row crops and nurseries), with two “watch” lists. In addition, plants utilized as crops or ornamental species in a given land use type, were indicated with a ‘C’ or ‘O’, respectively, to indicate interactions between planted and invading species. For each species within a use type, a severity ranking was developed and assigned. Plants were included on the list and ranked based on expert opinion and on their meeting a list of criteria (see below) using a modified version of “The Evaluation of Non-native Plant Species for Invasiveness in Massachusetts.