This is the Core Ranking Process Questionnaire for Large Management Areas


  • If you are ranking species for a very large management area (or the entire province) continue with this version of the Ranking Process.
  • If you are ranking species for a local management unit, such as a regional district or a specific site, click here to use the Local Management Area option.

  • This Ranking Process will rank up to five species at one time. Enter the names of the species being ranked in the boxes at the top of the questionnaire.
  • The questions are divided into four categories: Biology, Ecology, Species Impact, and Management Potential.
  • To complete the Ranking Process you must answer all the questions; if one or more questions remain unanswered, you will be prompted when you click the Calculate Total Scores button at the end.
  • Once you have calculate the Grand Total and all subcategory totals, you may print a report of the score and answers by clicking the Print My Results button, which will display the print report and your print dialog box.
  • Once you are finished, and want to rank additional species, simply click the Clear Scores button at the bottom of the questionnaire (or the top of the print report) and start again.
BIOLOGY
Questions and Possible Answers

Additional Resources on Species Reproduction & Dispersal - References and Information Sources

Q 1.

Typical Species Reproduction:


(This provides information on typical mode of spread in the management area. Mode of spread will influence the ability to manage the species.)

  1. Sexual
  2. Asexual 1
  3. Asexual 2
  4. Reproduces from both seed (sexual or asexual) and asexual 2


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Detail information on Question 1:

1:  Sexual
Plants produce:
  • Self or cross-pollinated seed or
  • Zygote
2:  Asexual 1
Plants produce:
  • Seeds that do not require fertilization or
  • Bulbs, tubers, corms

3:  Asexual 2
New plants are formed from plantlets, rhizomes, stolons, adventitious shoots or suckers, or fragments of the parent plant


4:  Reproduces from both seed (sexual or asexual) and asexual 2 (plantlets, rhizomes, stolons, adventitious shoots or suckers)


 

Q 2.

The species typically reproduces throughout - or for a good portion of - the growing season:


(The species reproductive rate identifies the potential for rapid population growth.)


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No

Detail information on Question 2:

If the species reproduces from rhizomes, stolons, adventitious shoots or suckers, answer = Yes.
If the species reproduces only once, or typically only once during the growing season, answer = No.

 

Q 3.

Long distance dispersal is typical, because species has features that aid movement:


(This identifies the ability of the species to establish satellite populations.)


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No

Detail information on Question 3:

Examples of features that aid movement include:

  • Seeds or vegetative parts with burs, spines or prickles that will attach to animals or humans;
  • Parachute or cotton tufted seeds that are carried long-distances by wind;
  • Root fragments and light seeds that float;
  • Movement is by humans.
Review species literature to ensure the species typical dispersal patterns results in the establishment of sites that are separated from an existing infestation.


ECOLOGY

Additional Resources on BEC Zones & Species Distribution - References and Information Sources

 

Q 4.

Are the biogeoclimatic (BEC) subzones susceptible to invasion?


(This identifies the potential for, and the degree to which, the species can spread within the management area.)

  1. Highly Susceptible to Invasion
  2. Moderately Susceptible to Invasion
  3. Not susceptible or Low Susceptibility to Invasion

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For Aquatic Species: only consider aquatic habitat types.

1: Highly Susceptible to Invasion
Excluding subalpine and alpine zones, OVER 50% of BEC subzones in the management area are highly susceptible to invasion OR a small number of BEC subzones that account for more than 50% of the management area are highly susceptible to invasion. (If highly susceptible areas account for less than 50% of the management area, see below - Moderate susceptibility)

Scoring Rationale: Species that can establish in a number of BEC subzones tolerate a wider range of environmental conditions and they may pose a broader threat than species with more restrictive ecological requirements.

2:Moderately Susceptible to Invasion
Excluding subalpine and alpine zones, OVER 50% of the BEC subzones in the management have moderate or moderate/high susceptibility to invasion OR a small number of BEC subzones that account for more than 50% of the management area have moderate or moderate/high susceptibility.
Susceptibility to invasion: Consider the degree to which the subzone meets the habitat requirements of the invasive plant and the extent of that habitat in the subzone. Moderate/High susceptibility refers to the total number of BEC subzones or total area that is moderately susceptible plus the total number of BEC subzones or area that is highly susceptible. This category would be used when highly susceptible areas occur in the management area, but they account for less than 50% of the management area subzones or area.

3: Not Susceptible or Low Susceptibility to Invasion
Excluding subalpine and alpine zones, OVER 50% of the BEC subzones in the management area are not susceptible to invasion or have a low susceptibility to invasion OR a small number of BEC subzones that account for more than 50% of the management area are not susceptible to invasion or have a low susceptibility to invasion (LESS THAN 50% of the BEC subzones are susceptible to invasion). Subalpine and alpine BEC subzones, BAFA, CMA, IMA, ESSF and SWB account for a large portion of most management areas. Including them in the susceptibility evaluation gives the high elevation zones more weight than is reasonable because their climate excludes most species,both natural and invasive. High elevation areas can be evaluated separately.


 

Q 5.

What proportion of susceptible biogeoclimatic subzones contain the invasive plant?


(This identifies where the species has established.)

  1. 100%
  2. 50%-99%
  3. 10%-49%
  4. Less than 10%

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1: 100%
All potentially infested BEC subzones contain the species.

2: 50%-99%
Between 50% and 99% of the potentially infested BEC subzones contain the species.

3: 10%-49%
Between 10% and 49% of the potentially infested BEC subzones contain the species.


4: Less than 10%
Less than 10% of the potentially infested BEC subzones contain the species OR none of the biogeoclimatic zones in the management area contain the species.

Scoring rationale: If the species occurs in all available subzones, additional species impacts will likely be low. Only consider the BEC subzones that are in your management area; and consider only the presence or absence of the species in suitable subzones.


 

Q 6.

In the majority of subzones that contain the invasive plant, species distribution is:


(This identifies the current pattern of the infestations in the management area.)

  1. Low or Does Not Occur
  2. Moderate
  3. High

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1: Low, or Does Not Occur in the management area
  • A few individuals or isolated patches are scattered in some of the suitable sites in the subzones; and/ or
  • The plant is confined to major vectors, such as primary roads (highways), new construction or development sites, urban / town centres, waterways etc.
    Scoring rationale: There is a greater risk of spread if the current distribution of the invasive plant is low.

2: Moderate
  • Both small and large patches of the species are scattered in suitable sites in the subzones; or
  • Large species patches are a common occurrence along major vectors, such as road networks, utility corridors, developed areas, waterways etc. (Consider the subzones in your management area that contain the species.)
3: High

Species patches are prevalent throughout suitable sites in the subzones and individuals and patches of the species occur along the majority of vectors (primary and secondary road networks, utility corridors, recreational trails, forest landings etc). (Suitable sites will depend on the species ability to establish in (a) disturbed soils (b) undisturbed soil (c) shade or full sun (d) aquatic habitats.)

 

Q 7.

Is or will the invasive plant become a dominant or very common species on disturbed sites?


(This provides information on the competitive ability of the species in disturbed areas.)


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No

Detail information on Question 7:

Dominant or common species are species that provide the highest or one of the highest percentages of ground cover.
Disturbed sites are areas that have been subjected to:

  • Modifications of tree, shrub or herb structure that alters light, heat and moisture regimes on a site (e.g. fire, insects, flooding, tree harvesting, grazing)

  • Activities that alter soil surface conditions (including the bryophyte/lichen layer) and create seedbeds for invasive plants or conditions that promote seeds in the seed bank to germinate (e.g. native and domestic animal trampling, ATVs, bicycles, etc)
  • Mechanical disturbance of sites that alter soil structure, nutrient regimes, water holding capacity and possible drainage (e.g. soil discing, road building, soil compaction from heavy equipment, etc.)

 

Q 8.

Is or will the invasive plant become a dominant or very common species in undisturbed habitats?


(This provides information on the competitive ability of the species in undisturbed areas.)


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No


Yes


No

Undisturbed habitats contain native plant species, and the sites have not been impacted by overgrazing or large scale soil disturbance.

Dominant, or common, species are species that provide the highest, or one of the highest percentages of ground cover.


 

Q 9.

Once established, will the invasive plant persist as the most common or dominant species?


(This provides information on the longevity of the species in the area.)

  1. Yes
  2. Uncertain
  3. No


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Detail information on Question 9:

A persistent invasive plant is a long-lived species that, if not treated:
  • will prevent plant community succession by suppressing native species establishment (e.g. knotweed) or
  • will continue to be a common or dominant species in the desired plant community regardless of the plant communitiy's successional stage (e.g. English holly).

A persistent plant may also be a short-lived species that will continue to be a common or dominant species throughout a crop rotation (e.g. cheatgrass in a seeded pasture or hoary alyssum in a hay or alfalfa field).

Scoring rationale: Persistent species will have a greater impact on the natural community (constant competition and use of resources)


 

Q 10.

What is the potential rate of spread in susceptible habitats?


(This provides information on the establishment trend of the species.)

  1. Stable
  2. Slow/Moderate
  3. Rapid
  4. The Rate of Spread is being Managed (An effective biological control agent has established)


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Detail information on Question 10:

Actual spread will be dependent on individual site factors such as substrate, cover of overstory, depth of litter etc. For this question, consider the species potential for rapid spread, which may be dependent on mode of reproduction, number of seeds produced, growth rate etc.

Scoring rationale: The faster the potential spread the greater the potential impact.


SPECIES IMPACT

Additional Resources on Species Impact - References and Information Sources

 

Q 11.  If you replied 'No' to question 9 for a species, you need not answer question 11 for that species (the answer options for that species will be disabled in question 11).

IF Question 9 is Yes or Uncertain (the plant will persist as a dominant species), is the invasive plant known to:

a) Alter waterways (e.g. increase sedimentation or reduce the amount of open water)

  1. No
  2. Uncertain
  3. Yes





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b) Alter soil or water chemistry (e.g. fixes nitrogen, reduces dissolved oxygen, plant is alleopathic, etc)

  1. No
  2. Uncertain
  3. Yes

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c) Excludes use by animals/humans, or forms an impassable barrier in recreation areas etc.

  1. No
  2. Uncertain
  3. Yes

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d) Change the structure of the natural community (e.g. creates a new layer or eliminates an existing layer)

  1. No
  2. Uncertain
  3. Yes

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Detail information on Question 11:

Fill in known impacts for species with "Yes" or "Uncertain" in Question 9.
  • Nitrogen fixers may change soil chemistry making the soil unlikely to support some native species

  • Examples of how animal use can be excluded are the species replaces critical habitat features, such as species establishment results in a loss of nesting sites; loss of/or severe reduction in quality of critical forage (such as ungulate winter range).

 

Q 12.

Does the species affect human health or safety?


(This identifies the detrimental effect of the species on humans.)

  1. Plant does not affect human health or safety
  2. The plant or plant parts are lethal; toxic; poisonous; or can cause severe pain or discomfort through burning or blistering
  3. The plant causes discomfort through punctures or scraping; triggers allergies; causes skin irritations; hosts vermin or disease
  4. The plant is otherwise problematic (i.e. a fire hazard, obstructs visibility etc)


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Q 13.

Does the species affect animal health or safety?


(This identifies the detrimental effect of the species on animals.)

  1. Plant does not affect animal health or safety
  2. The plant is lethal if eaten
  3. The plant is toxic and is palatable (St. John’s wort, Russian knapweed, Hoary alyssum etc)
  4. Plant contains chemicals known to be toxic to animals, however it is never or rarely eaten
  5. The plant is not palatable and the competitive nature and physical properties of the plant reduce available forage


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MANAGEMENT POTENTIAL

Additional Resources on Management Potential - References and Information Sources

 

Q 14.

Is the species included in provincial legislation; the BC Weed Control Act, FRPA Invasive Plant Regulation or the BC Community Charter?


(This identifies the legal obligations to manage the species.)


Yes

No


Yes

No


Yes

No


Yes

No


Yes

No


 

Q 15.

Does the species occur on neighbouring jurisdictions lists of highly invasive species?


(This identifies the invasiveness of the species in other jurisdictions.)


Yes

No


Yes

No


Yes

No


Yes

No


Yes

No

Detail information on Question 15:

Consider lists of jurisdictions that border the management area. Minimum jurisdiction size to consider should be Regional District.
Consider all bordering jurisdictions. For example, if your management area is a regional district, then consider adjacent regional districts. Management areas that border another province or a US state should also consider species presence or absence in those areas.

 

Q 16.

Is the species new, or are recorded occurrences limited?


a) Outside of the management area, the species is new to the province or recorded occurrences are limited to less than 5 Regional Districts:




Yes

No




Yes

No




Yes

No




Yes

No




Yes

No


b) Species is new to the management area or recorded occurrences are limited to less than 5 general geographic areas OR an area that amounts to less than 10% of the overall susceptible area:

Yes

No

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No

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No

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No

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No

NEW species: never recorded or existing records are less than 5 years old.

Province Extremely Limited: do not include the Regional District that the management area occurs in.


 

Q 17.

Is the species present in neighbouring jurisdictions (i.e. adjacent BC government region or regional district or province or state)?


(This identifies the importance of managing the species so spread to neighbouring areas is prevented.)



Yes

No



Yes

No



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No



Yes

No



Yes

No

Consider all bordering jurisdictions.
For example, if your management area is a regional district then consider adjacent regional districts. Management areas that border another province or a US state should also consider species presence or absence in those areas.

If the majority of neighbouring jurisdictions also have recorded the presence of the species, then answer = Yes.
If less than the majority have the species, then answer = No.


 

Q 18.

Has the species been successfully managed in another jurisdiction (i.e. adjacent BC government region or regional district, province, state)?


(This identifies the success of management strategies used in other jurisdictions.)

  1. Yes
  2. Uncertain
  3. No



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Successfully managed is eradication of the species, or a significant reduction in distribution and/or density of the species by one or more biological agents.


 

Q 19.

What is the potential for eradicating the species or drastically reducing the long-term impact of the species using current, acceptable methods?


(This identifies the availability and effectiveness of management options.)

  1. Short-term (less than 5 years) investment of human and financial resources
  2. Medium term ( 5 to 10 years) investment of human and financial resources is required
  3. Long-term (more than 10 years) investment of human and financial resources is required
  4. Once the invasive plant has established the species growth characteristics, such as extreme rooting depth or seed bank longevity, make eradication very unlikely. Long-term management strategies for containment would be required.




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Current and acceptable control methods are the latest mechanical, manual, cultural, chemical or biological methods that are approved for use for the species, in the habitat and in the management area (i.e. trial use of a herbicide not legislated for use for that species, or in that habitat, would not be a current, acceptable control method. Herbicide control in an area with a no-herbicide policy is also not an acceptable method.)



Total BIOLOGY:






Total ECOLOGY:






Total SPECIES IMPACT:






Total MANAGEMENT POTENTIAL:







GRAND TOTALS:





 
The ranking score totals reflect their species' respective risk indicator; the higher the score, the greater the risk.