Expert Report

Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review; while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy. Learn more on our expert consensus reports.

Nonindigenous Plants and Plant Pests examines this growing problem and offers recommendations for enhancing the science base in this field, improving our detection of potential invaders, and refining our ability to predict their impact.

Key Messages

  • Some data on the natural history of plant pests exist, but they often reside in grey literature and in datasets that are not easily accessible. Data on events that potentially lead to invasions are frequently collected by federal or state agencies in the course of pest surveys and inspections and after releases of biological control agents.
  • The inability to predict accurately which non-indigenous species will become invasive stems from a lack of comprehensive knowledge of the events that dictate species� immigration (arrival), persistence (survival), and invasion (proliferation and spread) in new environments. The requisite knowledge would be based on critical observation of the natural history of non-indigenous species and experiments designed specifically to evaluate non-indigenous species in the stochastic environments they encounter in new ranges.
  • There are currently no known broad scientific principles or reliable procedures for identifying the invasive potential of plants, plant pests, or biological control agents in new geographic ranges, but a conceptual basis exists for understanding invasions that could be developed into predictive principles.
  • United States. The same is true for arthropods and pathogens if plants that they can use elsewhere occur in the United States.