Controlling invasive plant species in ecological restoration: A global review

Controlling invasive plant species in ecological restoration: A global review


Invasive plant species are known to impede the growth and establishment of many native plant species while influencing other ecosystem features such as soil properties, fire regimes, hydrology, and human well-being. This article presents the findings of a literature review of 372 articles to better understand the impact of invasive species and control methods to highlight gaps in overall knowledge of the topic.

Research Goals and Methods

This paper systematically reviews studies on invasive species control for restoration purposes. The main questions that this paper seeks to answer four main questions. What is the socio-ecological distribution of these studies? What biomes are the most and least researched? What plant groups (woody, grass, etc.) are focused on for control? What methods are being used for control? From an extensive web search using key words and criteria, the authors include papers that focus on the control of an invasive species.

Conclusions and Takeaways

This study concludes that across the globe, grasses and forbs comprise the majority of invasive species. However, trees are proportionally more important in tropical biomes. There is a slight bias towards non-chemical control methods such as fire compared to the use of herbicides, however both uses are common. The study concludes that there is a lack of research in many developing tropical countries that are also biodiversity hotspots, and those regions should be a priority for future research. There is also a gap between scientific knowledge and practical use when it comes to invasive species control, which needs to be filled with studies involving the inclusion of local people who utilize the land. The author suggests that we look beyond traditional invasion control methods and look for methods to control and avoid invasive species establishment.


Weidlich EWA, Flórido FG, Sorrini TB, Brancalion PHS. Controlling invasive plant species in ecological restoration: A global review. Peralta G, ed. Journal of Applied Ecology. 2020;57(9):1806 - 1817. Available at: