Broadening the case for invasive species management to include impacts on ecosystem services.
In addition to their negative impacts on biodiversity, alien plant species often affect ecosystem processes in ways that degrade ecosystem services for humans, resulting in economic losses. Timely intervention to control the spread of invaders can minimize economic and ecological damages, whereas lapses or delays in funding weed control can be extremely costly in the long run. Using recent decreases in funding for invasive plant management in California as an example, we argue that managers must make a broader case for investing in the control of invasive species to prevent the loss of ecosystem services. In particular, managers need to partner with academic scientists, private landowners, and the public sector to quantify the impact of invasive weeds on service provision, assess where services are most at risk and who benefits from the avoided cost of weed control, and create mechanisms to fund invasive species management through payment for ecosystem services.