The need for a unified mechanistic ecological framework that improves our ability to make decisions, predicts vegetation change, guides the implementation of restoration, and fosters learning is substantial and unmet. It is becoming increasingly clear that integrating various types of ecological models into an overall framework has great promise for assisting decision making in invasive-plant management and restoration. Overcoming barriers to adoption of ecologically based invasive-plant management will require developing principles and integrating them into a useful format so land managers can easily understand the linkages among ecological processes, vegetation dynamics, management practices, and assessment. We have amended a generally accepted and well-tested successional management framework into a comprehensive decision tool for ecologically based invasive-plant management (EBIPM) by 1) using the Rangeland Health Assessment to identify ecological processes in need of repair, 2) amending our framework to include principles for repairing ecological processes that direct vegetation dynamics, and 3) incorporating adaptive management procedures to foster the acquisition of new information during management. This decision tool provides a step-by-step planning process that integrates assessment and adaptive management with process-based principles to provide management guidance. In our case-study example, EBIPM increased the chance of restoration success by 66% over traditionally applied integrated weed management in an invasive-plant–dominated ephemeral wetland ecosystem. We believe that this framework provides the basis for EBIPM and will enhance our ability to design and implement sustainable invasive-plant management and restoration programs.
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