Invasive species have inspired concern for many reasons, including economic and environmental impacts in specific jurisdictions within particular countries. However, it is apparent that for some invasive plant species, political borders offer only weak barriers because these species have succeeded in invading many countries, emerging as threats at a global level.
With this level of threat, a number of books on invasive plants and invasive species, in general, have been published in recent years, but none explicitly provides “global” coverage, perhaps because it is only recently that the full geographical, economic and environmental implications of widespread and adaptive nature of these particular invasive plants have been recognized. The editors have made this volume unique by profiling plant invasions in explicitly geographical contexts; on the world continents (Chapters 5-11), as well as islands (Chapter 12) and mountains (Chapter 13). This global approach is supported by an overview of invasion biology and recent advances (Chapter 1) and how different communities differ in invasibility (Chapter 2). Global factors influencing invasion are introduced in Chapter 3 (globalized trade) and Chapter 4 (climate change). Key species are profiled through geographic treatments, continent by continent (Chapters 5-11), and for islands (Chapter 12) and mountains (Chapter 13). The impact of invasive plants is highlighted in Chapter 14, both in biotic and economic terms, partly to counter the tendency for the young field of invasion biology to rely too much on anecdotal evidence. This chapter is also designed to bring home the message that these are serious problems that must be dealt with, as covered in the subsequent chapters. The book concludes with three chapters casting light on solutions to the many problems described in the rest of the volume. Chapter 15 features new, innovative technologies that are being developed to monitor and manage invasive plants, and Chapter 16 presents comprehensive strategies for public education and implementation of management on local and global scales. Chapter 17 describes different future scenarios depending on current trends in plant invasion and its management, just as climate change predictions employ various scenarios to project the future.
The future is very much up to us, as humanity grapples with the question of how best to strategically meet the problems of global invasive plant problems that we ourselves have created that are further challenged by a changing climate. The editors are confident that this book will be of interest to invasion biologists, resource managers, and the legion of others who must deal with these invasive plants across the globe on a daily basis.
David R. Clements (PhD, Queen’s University) is a Professor of Biology and Assistant Dean of Science at Trinity Western University (TWU) in Canada. He researches invasive weed biology in BC, and other parts of the world such as China and Australia, and has published extensively. He has served as an associate editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science, Weed Research, Agronomy, Pacific Science, and Invasive Plant Science and Management and two series on the biology of invasive species which he helped to create, one in Pacific Science and the other in Invasive Plant Science and Management. He received the Excellence in Weed Science Award from the Canadian Weed Science Society. He manages TWU’s field research sites and teaches courses in botany and ecology, including field courses on Salt Spring Island and Hawaii. He is actively involved in local environmental advocacy and writes The Green Beat, a monthly column in the local newspaper.
Mahesh K. Upadhyaya has served as a professor of plant science for nearly four decades and an Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Land and Food System at the University of British Columbia (UBC), where he is currently a Professor Emeritus of Applied Biology. His interests include weed biology and ecology, non-chemical weed management, and crop physiology. He has served as an associate editor of Weed Science journal and the Canadian Journal of Plant Science and has co-edited a book (with R.E. Blackshaw) Non-Chemical Weed Management: Principles, Concepts and Technology. He has taught several courses in biology, crop production and protection, different areas of weed science, and postharvest physiology at the UBC. He has received the Killam Teaching Award for outstanding teaching and J.F. Richards Service award at UBC and the Excellence in Weed Science award of the Canadian Weed Science Society. He is a fellow of the Weed Science Society of America, Canadian Weed Science Society, Indian Society of Weed Science and the Canadian Society of Agronomy.
Srijana Joshi (PhD, Tubingen University) works as an Ecosystem Specialist at International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), Nepal. Her work focuses on developing a better understanding and practical application of research in invasive species, and biodiversity conservation. She has co-edited several books and has published many peer-reviewed journal articles on invasive species. She is also a contributing author of The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment: Mountains, Climate Change, Sustainability and People, contributing a section on invasive species. She is actively involved in providing invasive species management training for field professionals, researchers and local groups.
Anil Shrestha (PhD, Michigan State University) is a professor of Weed Science and the current chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology at California State University, Fresno, CA, USA. He works on weed biology, ecology, and management in annual and perennial cropping systems. He has published more than 100 scientific papers. He is an academic editor for PLoS ONE and associate editor for Agronomy Journal and Agricultural and Environmental Letters, and an Editorial Board member for the Journal of Crop Production and the Journal of Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and has received the Weed Science Society of America’s teaching excellence award, California Weed Science Society’s award of excellence, and the California State University, Fresno Provost’s excellence in teaching award.