ASSESSMENT OF EXOTIC AND INVASIVE PLANTS ALONG ROADWAYS IN TENNESSEE: POTENTIAL FOR BIOLOGICAL CONTROL

A comprehensive two-year study focused on identifying and assessing the incidence, distribution, and impact of exotic and invasive plant species along interstate right-of-ways in Tennessee. Goals of this study were to: 1) identify exotic and invasive plant species established along interstates; 2) develop a species listing of the floral composition along interstates; 3) assess the potential threat of exotic and invasive plant species becoming an economical and environmental pest along highways; and 4) evaluate the potential opportunities for biological control of these exotic and invasive plants. Exotic and invasive plant species can degrade the natural composition of areas impacting native plants, reducing biological diversity, reducing agricultural productivity, increasing costs of agricultural production, and increasing costs of managing land areas. During this study, 538 plant species, representing 19.8% of the 2,715 plant species documented in Tennessee, were found at qualitative and quantitative sampling sites along interstates. Of 538 plants found, 32.7% (n=176) were exotic species - thus, about 1 of every 3 plant species found along the interstate was an exotic species. More than 75% of the plants on the Tennessee State Noxious Weed Seed List, and more than 60% of those listed by the Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council, were found. These data suggest that the interstate system may serve as a corridor for the movement and establishment of exotic plant species. Improved weed management strategies can now be implemented to reduce the spread of problematic exotic and invasive plants from interstates to agricultural, natural, forest, and urban habitats. Incorporation of well designed biological control strategies into weed management efforts provide an environmentally friendly, cost efficient, and sustainable method of reducing certain exotic plant species. This study provides the first intensive, state-wide, interstate assessment of exotic and invasive plants conducted in the United States and provides a solid foundation for future management efforts against these plant pests.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 162 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00800209
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: RES1101,, Final Report
  • Contract Numbers: CUT 146
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Oct 16 2000 12:00AM