Department or Program

Environmental Studies

Abstract

Invasive species are influenced by a set of ecological conditions that facilitate or inhibit the invasion process. Successful management strategies to mitigate current and expected impacts of invasive species depend on the invasion phase of each species. Managers and policy makers should rely on the theoretical framework of invasion ecology to assess invasion potential and effective management for current and emerging invasive plant species. To assess whether available online information about invasive plant species in Maine corresponds with phase of invasion, I reviewed general and species-specific information provided by 36 organizations in Maine concerned with invasive species. To determine whether management information about these species reflects stage of invasion, I characterized information by content, its target audiences, and whether more information was provided for specific species in the invasion process. I examined organizational structure, online links between organizations, and whether organizations linked out to information about specific species. Organizations provide more information for widespread species, but amount of information varies for widespread and emerging species. Less information emphasizes impacts of invaders; communicating about the impacts of invasive plant species could motivate public concern and inform management decisions. Increased information for specific and general mitigation efforts will reduce spread and impacts of current and potential invaders. Many organizations in Maine linked to other organizations within the state to provide broader access to general and species-specific information. A collaborative network of organizations could uniformly emphasize management strategies related to phases of invasion and better inform decision-makers about current and emerging species.

First Advisor

Lea Johnson

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2014

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages

48

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