Non-native plants and adaptive collaborative approaches to ecosystem restoration [Chapter 8]
Non-native invasive plant species (NNIPS) pose a serious socio-ecological challenge due to their potential to replace and damage critical human-sustaining ecosystems (OTA 1993; Mack et al. 2000; Pimentel 2002). The impacts of non-native species are widespread and significant - altering ecosystem structure and function, threatening other species, and imposing human economic and cultural costs (Mack et al. 2000; Pfeiffer and Voeks 2008). In an increasingly globalized and human-dominated world, species from different bioregions are mixing at increasing rates through the opening of new transportation and migration corridors, disturbances, and a changing environment (Hobbs et al. 2006). Most assessments agree that these unbalancing dynamics are being unleashed at rates too rapid to be countered by adjustments in existing ecosystems, and the result will be an unpredictable new array of "novel ecosystems" (MA 2005; Diamond 1999; Hobbs et al. 2006; Seastedt et al. 2008). Ecosystems everywhere are being affected, and the challenge is such that it can only be effectively responded to by new networks of collaboration and assistance that engage land owners, managers, scientists, and policy-makers.