Active prevention programs are essential to effective invasive plant management. Invasive plant prevention programs can protect plant communities that either cannot be restored or are prohibitively expensive to restore if invasive plants dominate. Prevention is also more cost effective than trying to control already invaded plant communities, because prevention precludes the need for highly expensive and often unsuccessful management practices. Limiting the spatial dispersal of invasive plants and increasing or maintaining the resistance of the plant community to invasion can significantly decrease the probability of new infestations. However, systematically searching for and eradicating new infestations is an important component of any successful prevention program, because complete dispersal prevention is unlikely and random events may allow opportunities for invasive plants to establish in relatively invasion resistant plant communities. Additional research can improve prevention success by providing better tools and strategies. Prevention needs to receive greater priority in invasive plant management and research.
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