The link between science and management of invasive plants in natural areas appears to be the strongest at the “field crew” level, with historically high levels of research on control materials and methods, survey techniques, and monitoring strategies, and with a high rate of incorporation of science into field practices. Less scientific support is given to higher level managers, for example, those managing a whole ecosystem while attempting to determine invasive weed priorities. Although whole-ecosystem management concepts (e.g., adaptive management, integrated pest management) may be supported individually by a great deal of field research and careful thought, scientists have not conducted the experimental studies necessary to compare outcomes and provide practical means of implementation. In other words, the “science of management” in readily implementable form has not reached the upper levels of resource managers. The link between science and management may be the weakest where decisions are made about the amount of funding to allocate to the many competing parts of what should be a complementary management program, including public education, economic and ecological impact studies to document actual effects, early detection, and rapid response, and many others.
Additional index words: Economic and ecological justification, public education, science-based management, terminology.