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Cornell University Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program

The Ecology and Management of Invasive Plants Program conducts research to assess the ecological impacts of introduced plant species. While it is generally assumed that introduced species are a major problem for native species and the integrity and functioning of native ecosystems, we lack clear and equivocal evidence that spread and increase in abundance of non-native plant species are the ultimate drivers of this environmental change. We focus specifically on potential mechanisms of how non-indigenous plants may affect native ecosystems and the species living in them. Our work involves long-term monitoring, field, common garden and laboratory experiments and we use many different terrestrial and aquatic taxa as indicator organisms. In addition to these impact studies, we assist in development and implementation of biological weed control programs and study the mechanisms allowing introduced plant species to become invasive.

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