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Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Chapter 16. Alien and Invasive Plant Species

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Invasive and alien plant species can displace native vegetation and may have no natural predators in Canada. Without the presence of their natural controls such as insects and diseases, invasive species may grow aggressively and can monopolize large areas by out-competing native trees by producing toxic chemicals and competing for light and nutrients. Another risk involves the possibility of alien species hybridizing with native vegetation and eventually eliminating native genetic strains. Alien and invasive species can significantly change ecosystem functioning if effective management practices are not implemented. Practices include instigating coordinated policy and education initiatives; avoiding the planting of alien species in landscapes and educating residents about the importance of planting native species; as well as implementing effective monitoring campaigns.


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