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A review of regulatory and non-regulatory US state invasive plant lists: towards greater consistency and efficacy

Johnson, Alexander (2021) A review of regulatory and non-regulatory US state invasive plant lists: towards greater consistency and efficacy. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Invasive plants pose a serious threat to ecosystems, economies, and human health (IPBES 2019). A list of invasive plants in each ecosystem is an essential tool for a variety of stakeholders in guiding planning, management, and policy efforts regarding invasive plants. In the US, these lists are typically compiled on a statewide basis and can be regulatory (usually “noxious weed” lists) or non-regulatory. Previous scholarship has shown that regulatory lists do not capture the actual extent of plant invasions and are largely reactive (Lakoba et al. 2020), so non-regulatory listing groups such as “invasive plant councils” work to fill this leadership gap. However, differences in the intent, listing methods, and transparency of the listing process could lead to inconsistencies in list accuracy/efficacy and hinder effective list implementation. Building off previous work from Fox & Gordon (2009), we conducted a comparative survey of regulatory and non-regulatory US state invasive plant lists, comparing between the two list types and investigating differences in non-regulatory listing processes and products. Our findings support prior research showing the inadequacy of regulatory lists. At the same time, we found that non-regulatory lists are generally limited in their intended uses and audiences. Non-regulatory listing processes are inconsistent across states, and criteria for listing plants as invasive varies by listing group. The listing process is usually non-transparent. These findings point to potential problems when trying to implement non-regulatory lists. The listing process might be improved by continued collaboration among listing groups (leading to greater consistency), more transparency and documentation of the listing process, and increased resources to non-regulatory groups who bear the burden of creating a useful and comprehensive invasive plant list when regulatory listings within a state are insufficient.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Johnson, Alexanderatj10@pitt.eduatj10
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairKuebbing,
Committee MemberGalperin,
Committee MemberAndrews-Brown,
Committee MemberLieurance,
Date: 23 April 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 12 April 2021
Approval Date: 23 April 2021
Submission Date: 23 April 2021
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 56
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Environmental Studies
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: invasive plant, noxious weed, invasive species, invasive plant list, noxious weed list, invasive plant council, weed risk assessment
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2021 19:04
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2022 05:15


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