It is becoming increasingly clear that prescriptions for rangeland weed control are not sustainable because they treat the symptoms of weeds rather than their cause. Future restoration of invasive plant–infested rangeland must be based on ecological principles and concepts that provide for predictable outcomes. A generalized objective for ecologically based weed management is to develop and maintain a healthy plant community that is largely invasion resistant. Successional management based on ecological principles involves modifying the processes controlling the three general causes of succession: disturbance, colonization, and species performance. The processes controlling plant community dynamics can be modified to allow predictable successional trajectories. Successional management can lead to biomass optimization models for grazing management, spread vector analysis, and using resource availability to direct weedy plant communities toward those that are desired. Our challenge is to develop ecological principles on which management can be based.
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Vol. 51 • No. 2