Modeling the Risks and Damages from a “Potential” Invasive Plant Species: Yellow Starthistle in British Columbia

The purpose of this research project is to forecast the timing and estimate the costs of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) invasion into southern British Columbia. Yellow Starthistle is an invasive plant that has caused tens of millions of dollars of damages to agricultural production in the United States as well as millions of dollars of costs in the form of reduction of soil moisture, losses of biodiversity and tourism. YST has been detected in states immediately adjacent to the Canadian border (Washington & Idaho), and due to climate change, the spread of YST into Southern British Columbia and Alberta is not a question of if but of when and where. Based on an extensive literature review pertaining to invasive species prevention and control, and bio-economic modelling we will outline a set of policy recommendations that minimise the risk of invasion and therefore control costs. The above recommendations will be passed on to the invasive species societies whose mandate is public education, as well as prevention and control of biological invasions.

Faculty Supervisor:

Duncan Knowler


Sergey Tsynkevych


Cattle Industry Development Council


Environmental sciences






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