Native but aggressive cattails managed by wintertime controlled burns

Uploaded by on Jan 10, 2012  | Illinois Lake County Forest Preserve Burnt Off An Area At North Point Marina in order to control the cattails.

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CONTROLLING CATTAILS: The acreage of cattail-dominated wetlands in the United States has increased drastically since the early twentieth century due to changes in hydrology and land use. The optimal control technique for a given site will depend on the hydrologic state of the site, the size of the area to be managed, and if the manager is able to manipulate water levels.

Prescribed Burning: Most cattail marshes must be burned in winter or before significant growth has occurred in spring; these are generally the only times when fuels are dry enough to carry a fire, although frozen ground or saturated soil may impede the fire’s progress through the cattail duff. Fire is most effective as a control method when followed by naturally or artificially high water levels in the spring to smother residual stalks.

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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One treatment for Curly Leaf Pondweed: Drain lake and freeze bed

curlyleaf pondweed, Potamogeton crispus  (Najadales: Potamogetonaceae)

Eden Prairie, Minnesota’s Anderson Lakes were drained in fall 2008 in an effort to set back Curly Leaf Pondweed (Potamogeton crispus) by freezing the lake beds during the winter. A manager of water resources for Three Rivers Park District now reports that populations of the invasive plant have been reduced significantly and a greater diversity of shoreline plants have been able to gain a foothold. Read more here.

Chris Evans, River to River CWMA, Bugwood.org

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Tallowtree poses substantial threat to Gulf Coast states

Chinese tallowtree, Triadica sebifera  (Euphorbiales: Euphorbiaceae)While media attention is focused on BP oil invading U.S. shorelines, another insidious form of inundation is taking place as the Chinese Tallowtree (Sapium sebiferum) expands its range along waterways and upland sites in Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Jim Miller, a Forest Service ecologist, describes the situation:

This [new research by Sonja Oswalt] is the first report to show how infestations are composed of thousands of small stems per acre that tightly grip lands in a near monoculture, excluding diversity with little potential for wood resource value. The crisis is worsened by the plant’s rapid occupation of the highly diverse wetland prairies and marshes in east Texas and Louisiana, which are special habitats for many rare plants and animals and often productive native grasslands.

Read more here.

James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

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New reason to hate Kudzu even more

Already despised for cloaking 7.4 million U.S. acres, spreading at the rate of at least 120,000 acres per year, overturning ecosystems, and damaging local economies, the invasive Kudzu vine is now suspect in contributing, at least in small part, to ozone pollution at ground level while providing no food value like other nitrogen-fixing plants such as soybeans.

New findings presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demonstrate that  Kudzu’s nitric oxide emissions increase regional ozone concentrations. Read more here.

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