Monday, December 17, 2018

Overall Purpose

  • Provide weed regulatory and natural resource management agencies with an updatable database and a web interface to support proactive weed management strategies and development of weed identification training programs.
  • Determine which alien weeds are spreading most rapidly over a multi-state region before they cause severe economic losses and environmental damage requiring perpetual control over large geographic areas.

Our present system for building awareness of potentially serious new weeds among vegetation management professionals, teaching identification of new weeds, regulatory listing, and developing control strategies for alien weeds is fundamentally reactive. We typically do not know which new exotics should be considered for active monitoring and aggressive management until the extent and severity of the weed requires perpetual control of that weed over large areas of a state or multi-state region.

Not developing pro-active weed management strategies increases costs of vegetation management by many orders of magnitude. We do not react until the degraded acreage is very large.

The INVADERS Database System is not another Geographic Information System. GIS is the appropriate tactical tool if you need to map the boundaries of a specific weed infestation and relate that infestation to topographic or environmental features. However, GIS requires high end computer hardware, has a steep learning curve, very high data costs, and usually requires a specialized support staff. Strategic planning does not require GIS levels of detail. In fact, excessive details may impede strategic planning.

The INVADERS Database System is a strategic weed management tool. It is designed to support programmatic decision making. It allow vegetation program managers to view distribution data showing weed regional scale spread patterns over long time periods. INVADERS is very easy to learn, uses historic data with low spatial resolution (county presence or absence), and is easily accessible via the web at no cost.

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