Direct Application of Invasive Species Prioritization: The Spatial Invasive Infestation and Priority Analysis Model


Effective and efficient prioritization of invasive species treatments is an important aspect of land management and ecological restoration, as the number and distribution of invasive species increase and budgets decrease. Land managers have a multitude of prioritization frameworks from which to choose, but the vast majority only consider entire species across a landscape rather than individual populations. Here, we discuss the Spatial Invasive Infestation and Priority Analysis (SIIPA) model (built in ESRI ArcGIS software), a customizable tool for rapid application of a prioritization framework to known invasive populations within a preserve, management area, or region. The SIIPA model is based on the framework provided in The Nature Conservancy's Draft Weed Management Plan and prioritizes invasive species based on four characteristics common to many other schema: 1) current extent of the species; 2) current and potential impacts of the species; 3) value of habitats the species infests; and 4) difficulty of control and establishing replacement species. We describe how the model can be customized to have different classes for each characteristic, different weights for each class, and include other characteristics. To demonstrate how the model performs at different scales and for different land management objectives, we consider the application of this model in three different case studies: the Nature Conservancy's Disney Wilderness Preserve in Kissimmee, Florida; the U.S. Forest Service's Apalachicola National Forest near Tallahassee, Florida; and the Heartland Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area in central Florida. The SIIPA model provides land managers with an adaptable, easy-to-utilize decision support tool for making critical prioritization choices.