Biology of invasive alien plants

The success of the series The Biology of Canadian Weeds and the increasing awareness and urgency of problems associated with the “invasive alien species” stimulated the initiation of a new series in the Canadian Journal of Plant Sciences in 2003. This series was designed to include a broader range of plants species which are, or demonstrate the potential to be, pests of not only agricultural systems, but the broader environment.

The Biology of Invasive Alien Plants in Canada is intended as a similar series of accounts with a focus on non-native plants considered to be “invading” various types of Canadian ecosystems. Globalization and diversification of trade and the simultaneous expansion of transportation systems, has greatly increased the rate at which species of plants and animals are being spread around the world through human activities. Many species of plants arriving in new habitats will go through exponential population growth phases, radically altering landscapes, reducing local biological diversity and changing ecological processes. Even though they may not be direct competitors of crops in arable fields, they can have profound effects on many agricultural production activities.

There is a need for information to assist with early detection and accurate identification of new infestations as well as diagnosis of their potential for detrimental effects. The purpose of this new series is to bring together published and unpublished information on the biology of these plants, which will not only serve as an alert of emerging problems, but also as a basis for developing effective, economical and safe control methods. It is also intended that the series will stimulate further research into aspects of these plants which will assist in their control and, more generally, in the characteristics of invaders and invasions.

Contributions are encouraged and welcomed. Anyone considering contributing to the series should refer to the information published in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science and at the AIC web site. Specific questions may be directed to: Mihai Costea