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Restoration Ecology and Invasive Riparian Plants: An Introduction to the Special Section on Tamarix spp. in Western North America


  • Patrick B. Shafroth,

    Corresponding author
    1. U. S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, 2150 Center Avenue, Building C, Fort Collins, CO 80526-8118, U.S.A.
      Address correspondence to P. B. Shafroth, email
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  • Mark K. Briggs

    1. World Wildlife Fund, Chihuahuan Desert Program, 100 E. Hadley Avenue, Las Cruces NM 88001, U.S.A.
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Address correspondence to P. B. Shafroth, email


River systems around the world are subject to various perturbations, including the colonization and spread of non-native species in riparian zones. Riparian resource managers are commonly engaged in efforts to control problematic non-native species and restore native habitats. In western North America, small Eurasian trees or shrubs in the genus Tamarix occupy hundreds of thousands of hectares of riparian lands, and are the targets of substantial and costly control efforts and associated restoration activities. Still, significant information gaps exist regarding approaches used in control and restoration efforts and their effects on riparian ecosystems. In this special section of papers, eight articles address various aspects of control and restoration associated with Tamarix spp. These include articles focused on planning restoration and revegetation; a synthetic analysis of past restoration efforts; and several specific research endeavors examining plant responses, water use, and various wildlife responses (including birds, butterflies, and lizards). These articles represent important additions to the Tamarix spp. literature and contain many lessons and insights that should be transferable to other analogous situations in river systems globally.

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