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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Southern native plant societies investigate coalition formation

An inaugural summit of native plant societies (represented by Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) has produced a list of issues for which committees will be seeking answers:

  1. defending and/or expanding protections for endangered plant species
  2. promoting land conservation
  3. preventing the introduction of new invasive plant species
  4. working across state lines to manage invasive species that are already present
  5. increasing the availability of native plants for use in habitat restoration projects and landscaping
  6. maintaining the genetic integrity of natural native plant populations
  7. identifying administrative or organizational efficiencies that should be shared among the states

Read more here.

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