Northern Research Station News Releases

New Forest Service Assessment Delivers Research on Invasive Species

Figure 10.2 from book: Percent of forested subplots invaded by one or more monitored plant species as collected by the USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis program Madison, WI, April 8, 2021 - USDA Forest Service scientists have delivered a new comprehensive assessment of the invasive species that confront America’s forests and grasslands, from new arrivals to some that invaded so long ago that people are surprised to learn they are invasive. 

The assessment, titled "Invasive Species in Forests and Rangelands of the United States: A Comprehensive Science Synthesis for the United States Forest Sector", serves as a one-stop resource for land managers who are looking for information on the invasive species that are already affecting the landscape, the species that may threaten the landscape, and what is known about control of invasive species.

"Understanding the ecology of invasive species, their dynamics and complex ecological, economic, and societal interactions is critical to improving management strategies and reducing impacts to native ecosystems,” said Cynthia West, director of the Forest Service’s Northern Research Station and the Forest Products Laboratory. “Tracking the science can be daunting, so Forest Service scientists and many partners have assembled a science synthesis that puts the latest research at land managers’ fingertips.”

The assessment covers invasive species of all taxonomic groups from insects and pathogens, to plants, vertebrates, and aquatic organisms that impact a diversity of habitats in forests, rangelands and grasslands of the United States. It presents the latest research on a wide range of natural science and social science fields that explore the ecology, impacts, and practical tools for management of invasive species. The scientific synthesis provides the cultural, economic, regulatory, and social context for addressing environmental challenges posed by invasive species. Geographically focused regional summaries highlight the most important invasive species and issues impacting all regions of the country.

Led by Therese Poland, a research entomologist and project leader with the Northern Research Station, the assessment is the product of 115 authors from the Forest Service, other federal and state agencies, and university, non-government organization and tribal land partners. The assessment is available to view or download at


The mission of the Northern Research Station is to improve people's lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.


The mission of the U.S. Forest Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains world-renowned forestry research and wildland fire management organizations. National forests and grasslands contribute more than $30 billion to the American economy annually and support nearly 360,000 jobs. These lands also provide 30 percent of the nation's surface drinking water to cities and rural communities; approximately 60 million Americans rely on drinking water that originated from the National Forest System.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Stop 9410, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call toll-free at (866) 632-9992 (English) or (800) 877-8339 (TDD) or (866) 377-8642 (English Federal-relay) or (800) 845-6136 (Spanish Federal-relay).

Last modified: April 8, 2021