Wainger Lab
University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science

Prioritizing Invasive Species Management by Optimizing Production of Ecosystem Service Benefits

Federal agencies that manage land, such as the USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, are concerned about cost-effectively preserving a range of social benefits generated by public lands including those associated with food production, recreational opportunities, aesthetic enhancements and existence values for species or natural systems. A potential threat to maintenance to these ecosystem services is invasive species that can dramatically alter essential ecosystem function and put human health and welfare at risk. To manage such risks, managers devote funds to invasive species control. We used a case study of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum), one of the best studied invasive species in North America, to demonstrate that decisions about where to invest in invasive species management could be informed by using concepts and applications of location and investment theory that are common to other types of management and investment decisions.

Wainger, Lisa A., Dennis M. King, Richard N. Mack, Elizabeth W. Price, Thomas Maslin.  2010.  Can the concept of ecosystem services be practically applied to improve natural resource management decisions?  Ecological Economics  69 (2010):  978-987.

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