TABLE OF CONTENTS


1. INTRODUCTION

2. INTO ACTION

3. ECOLOGY & RESTORATION

4. INVASIVES & BEYOND

INVASIVE PLANTS
GLOSSARY
INVASIVE CATALOGUE
NATIVE PLANTS

5. WRAPPING UP

Invasive Species Management


What Are Invasive Species?

Invasive species are organisms whose introduction causes, or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.

Decrease biodiversity by forming monocultures that use the resources (e.g. nutrients, light, water) native plants need to grow.

Change ecosystem processes such as fire, nutrient flow and flooding.

Hybridize with native plants and cause a loss of genetic diversity.

Threaten wildlife by reducing the availability and quality of forage.

Hinder efforts to restore threatened and endangered species. About 42 percent of federally threatened and endangered species are at risk primarily because of invasive species.

Characteristics of Invasive Plants

Invasive plant species are often plants adapted to thriving in novel environments because of their ability to rapidly beat out competitors for resources and become established after disruptive events. An invasive species may:

• Tolerate a variety of habitat conditions

• Grow and reproduce rapidly

• Compete aggressively for resources (water, nutrients)

• Tolerate a variety of habitat conditions

How Do We Manage Invasive Species?

Chemical

Using an herbicide to control invasive plants is often very effective; unfortunately, herbicides may injure other plants or soil microbes. Chemical methods are used when other methods are not effective and when fast results are needed. Weed Warriors are not authorized to apply herbicides on the refuge.

Biological

Biological control is the use of one organism to control another. Biological controls can take years before they are effective and require extensive testing to be certain they will not attack unintended plants or become invasive themselves. In July of 2011, we will begin a pilot program using a stem-boring weevil to control mile-a-minute. Let us know if you see mile-a-minute leaves with extensive insect damage to their leaves.

Cultural

Two cultural methods that may help with managing invasive plants are grazing and prescribed burning. Grazing must be used carefully to prevent damage to the soil. Prescribed burning is a very useful technique but is unavailable to us at the refuge because of our proximity to the airport.

Revegetation

Revegetation is needed when there are not native plants in the area to prevent invasive plants from recurring, or spreading. Revegetation is an important tool here at JHNWR. Revegetation can be as simply as reseeding an area that has been treated or disturbed or it can include planting seedlings.

Physical

Physically removing plants by hand or with tools is probably the most important role for Weed Warriors at JHNWR. “Many hands make light work” and without Weed Warriors it is unlikely the refuge could effectively manage invasive plants.

NEXT:  GLOSSARY