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Climate Change to Bring Invasive Weeds to mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S. States

A Weed Science Society of America research summary Identifies Most Likely High-impact, Range-shifting Invasive Plants coming to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern U.S.

Posted on February 08, 2024

WESTMINSTER, Colorado – 9 January 2024 – Climate change may soon shift where invasive plant species establish new outbreaks and hotspots, and the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. states are among those likely to be negatively impacted without early detection and a rapid response management plan. That’s one conclusion based on new research from the Northeast Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Network leadership team.

In an online article published In Invasive Plant Science and Management, vol. 16, issue 4, by Cambridge University Press, Justin D. Salva and Bethany A. Bradley performed and reported impact assessments on 104 plants most likely to expand with climate change into one or more Eastern U.S. States (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and/or West Virginia) by 2050. Among these plants, 32 are high-impact species associated with negative impacts on ecological communities or multiple native species, and many are also associated with socio-economic impacts.

“The new research helps to prioritize which range-shifting invasive species to target in the region for proactive prevention and management,” says Bethany Bradley, Ph.D., Professor of Biogeography and Spatial Ecology in the Department of Environmental Conservation at University of Massachusetts – Amherst. “The impact assessment created in this study, and in related, companion papers in New York and New England states, can inform state weed risk assessments by identifying emerging invasive species most likely to cause negative impacts, including many that are tied to ornamental plant trade.”

More information is available in the article, “High-impact invasive plants expanding into Mid-Atlantic states – Identifying priority range-shifting species for monitoring in light of climate change Identifying Priority Invaders.Invasive Plant Science and Management is the official publication of the Weed Science Society of America.

About Invasive Plant Science and Management

Invasive Plant Science and Management is a journal of the Weed Science Society of America, a nonprofit scientific society focused on weeds and their impact on the environment. The publication presents peer-reviewed original research related to all aspects of weed science, including the biology, ecology, physiology, management and control of weeds. To learn more, visit www.wssa.net.