Conservation Training

Toward more effective invasive species management Part 2: How a system dynamics approach works in practice

March 25, 2022

10:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: Online

State and transition models of community dynamics predict that feedback processes and synergistic interactions among site variables maintain vegetation communities in one state condition (e.g., Phalaris dominance) rather than an alternative state condition (remnant sedge meadow). Sites that are dominated by invasive species challenge management efforts because these invasions are reinforced by detrimental feedbacks (such as accelerated litter accumulation) that resist restoration back to a pre-invaded condition. Conversely, beneficial feedbacks (such as restored hydrology) that undermine species invasions and support community recovery can be employed to augment management efforts and restore a site to a remnant condition. A systems approach recognizes and incorporates system dynamics to accelerate restoration gains and improve invasive species management outcomes. These concepts will be illustrated by a case study where a Phalaris invasion of a remnant sedge meadow in the Black Earth Creek Priority Watershed was successfully reversed by employing a comprehensive systems approach.