PORTLAND, Ore. July 13, 2011. Thumbing through this guide and viewing the color and beauty of each plant, it is hard to realize that these are pests and invasive species. The recent release, Nonnative Invasive Plants of Pacific Coast Forests: A Field Guide for Identification, by the Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, is a concise and well-illustrated field guide for novice botanists and managers alike.

“Nonnative plants affect the composition and function of natural and managed landscapes. They can have a large economic effect on landowners and local governments through eradication costs and lost or degraded land use,” according to lead author and Forest Service research ecologist Andrew Gray.

The 91-page color guide provides detail on each plant in nontechnical language and photos of different stages of plant development are included to allow reliable identification in the field at different times of the year. Information was synthesized from various national, regional, and state lists, assessments, and botanical guides.

“Our final list was designed to capture species believed to be most prevalent or problematic for use in strategic forest inventories like the Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program,” adds Gray.

Little comprehensive information exists on the abundance, distribution, and impact of nonnative plants. The lack of identification guides with sufficiently specific descriptions and detailed images makes collecting information on the impact of invasives difficult. Gray and his colleagues, Katie Barndt, an instructor at North Seattle Community College, and Sarah Reichard, professor at the University of Washington’s School of Forest Resources, designed a study to prioritize a list of nonnative invasive plants affecting forest lands in the Pacific coastal states. This field guide is the result of their study and covers California, Oregon, and Washington.

To download the guide visit http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/pubs/pnw_gtr817.pdf or order a hard copy by sending an e-mail to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us. Ask for PNW-GTR-817. Reporters: photos available on request.

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