Genomic study into invasive plants seeks to defend North American ecology

Uploaded by on Jan 9, 2012  | Dr. Spencer Barrett discusses his research into genomics and the evolution of invasive plant species. Barrett is a Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Genetics and a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Toronto.

Advertisements

Goats come to the rescue again in setting back invasive plant species

ctn5me | January 11, 2011 | Portland North Land Collaborative (Maine) uses goats to address the problem of invasive plant species.
Posted in INVASIVE species. Tags: , . Comments Off on Goats come to the rescue again in setting back invasive plant species

Michigan districts coordinate fight against invasive species with grant money, news coverage

TheGTCD | December 6, 2010 | The Grand Traverse Conservation District, Michigan, is coordinating the efforts of 16 regional organizations to monitor, control, and prevent invasive plant species, both aquatic and terrestrial, in the Grand Traverse region. The effort is called the GT Regional Invasive Species Network (ISN), and this is a news story covering the initial grant award.
Posted in INVASIVE species. Tags: , , . Comments Off on Michigan districts coordinate fight against invasive species with grant money, news coverage

New study: Medusahead grass will outcompete other invasive grasses in U.S. West

Medusahead

University of California-Berkeley photo.

 

Oregon State University November 11, 2010, press release:

A new field study confirms that an invasive weed called Medusahead [Taeniatherum caput-medusae] has growth advantages over most other grass species, suggesting it will continue to spread across much of the West, disrupt native ecosystems and make millions of acres of grazing land almost worthless.

The research, by scientists from Oregon State University and the Agricultural Research Service, was one of the most comprehensive studies ever done that compared the “relative growth rate” of this invasive annual grass to that of other competing species in natural field conditions.

“Medusahead is now spreading at about 12% a year over 17 western states,” said Seema Mangla, a researcher in the OSU College of Forestry. “Once established, it’s very hard to get rid of. It displaces native grasses and even other invasive species that animals can still eat. Unless we do more to stop it, Medusahead will take over much of the native grassland in the West.

Read more here.

Posted in INVASIVE species, NEWS and law. Tags: , . Comments Off on New study: Medusahead grass will outcompete other invasive grasses in U.S. West

Invasive plants can rob migratory birds of nutrition needed to cross Gulf of Mexico

kkbrasted | November 8, 2010 | Invasive plants out-compete the native plants for resources like sunlight, moisture in the soil, and space. The invasive plants, particularly Chinese Tallow and Chinese Privet, are fast growing. When you have a disturbed habitat, like that occurring following a hurricane, the invasive species move in and out-compete the natives. The entire northern gulf coast is critical stop-over habitat for migratory birds. Millions of birds migrate across the gulf coast every fall. They return in the spring. The birds tend to eat the Chinese Tallow seeds but do not provide the nutritional value the birds need to sustain themselves across the gulf in their travels. At the height of spring migration as many as 20 million birds can cross the gulf in one day. These coastal forests are critically important to provide re-fueling areas for migratory birds.
Posted in INVASIVE species, NEWS and law. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Invasive plants can rob migratory birds of nutrition needed to cross Gulf of Mexico

Pennycress: nuisance weed to natural landscapers; now potential source for biofuel

Photo: Pennycress

By Ann Perry
November 4, 2010, USDA news release

ARS chemist Bryan Moser makes biodiesel from pennycress. Link to photo informationA common roadside plant could have the right stuff to become a new source of biofuel, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies. Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA’s principal intramural scientific research agency, have found that Field Pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) yields impressive quantities of seeds whose oil could be used in biodiesel production.

The scientists obtained oil from wild field pennycress, pretreated it with acid, and used a type of alcohol called methanol to react with the field pennycress oil to produce both biodiesel and glycerol. After some additional refining, the finished biodiesel was tested to see if it met the biodiesel fuel standard established by the American Society for Testing and Materials. The results suggested that, with some work, the previously problematic pennycress could become a commercial commodity.

Read more about the biofuel story here.

Read about the invasive problems with Field Pennycress at Invasive.org.

Posted in INVASIVE species, NEWS and law. Tags: , , , . Comments Off on Pennycress: nuisance weed to natural landscapers; now potential source for biofuel

Chicago Botanic Garden staffer profiles the management of invasive Buckthorn

chicagobotanicgarden | November 2, 2010 | Ecologist Jim Steffen takes us into McDonald Woods to learn about invasive buckthorn. For more information on invasive plants, visithttp://www.chicagobotanic.org/researc…
Posted in INVASIVE species. Tags: , . Comments Off on Chicago Botanic Garden staffer profiles the management of invasive Buckthorn