An easy-to-use, wide-ranging guide to invasive plants in North America. Features full-color photos and descriptions of more than 250 alien species—both terrestrial and aquatic—that are in some cases changing the landscape to an almost unimaginable degree. Accompanying text describes the plant's environmental and economic impacts as well as management techniques used to control it. Also includes an explanation of what an invasive is and a step-by-step identification key. An essential guide to understanding this unprecedented environmental challenge.
Sylvan Kaufman consults, writes, and teaches on ecology, botany, and restoration topics through her business, Sylvan Green Earth Consulting. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Wallace Kaufman is a science writer and author of several popular nature books, including Grow Old and Die Young, Coming Out of the Woods (978-0-7382-0488-8), No Turning Back (978-0-595-00099-9), and The Beaches Are Moving (978-0-8223-0574-3). He lives in Newport, Oregon.
About Invasive Plants—Definitions, Issues, History, and Management Options
The Invasive Species Challenge
Using This Book
Chapter 1. The Aliens Landed Long Ago and Keep Arriving A definition and introduction to why, in some areas of wild America, over 70
percent of the plants are not natives but invited and uninvited immigrants.
Chapter 2. Invasives Changing Wild America What immigrant plants have done to and for their new land. A brief survey of the
major hot spots and critical problems.
Chapter 3. Managing the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly A primer on the basic approaches to controlling and resolving problems, from
prevention to eradication.
Chapter 4. A Quick Key to Identifying Major Species of Invasive Plant Groups A step-by-step guide in the familiar biology key format.
A Field Guide to Individual Species
Trees and Shrubs
Needles or inconspicuous leaves
Opposite or whorled leaves
Rosette or basal leaves only
Leaves toothed or lobed
Grasses and sedges
Leaves angular in cross section (sedges)
Leaves not angular (grasses)
Plants form distinct clumps, usually over 2 ft. (0.6 m) tall
Plants not in distinct clumps or growing along creeping stems
Over 4 ft. (1.2 m) tall
Under 4 ft. (1.2m) tall
Other aquatic plants (ferns, grasses, irises)
The degree to which invasive plants harm ecosystems remains surprisingly controversial, but the data are clear. Invasive plants are ecological tumors that degrade food webs wherever they go. The third edition of Invasive Plants expands the treatment of non-native plants that are already invasive in North America and warns us about species that are poised to become invasive. This is an invaluable reference for this important subject, even if you already own an earlier edition!