Nonnative Invasive Plants Dan Hill Assistant Director Kalmia Gardens of Coker College 843.383.8145 / firstname.lastname@example.org What is an invasive species? • Executive order 13112 • An invasive species is an alien species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health. Environmental and Economic Cost Environmental damages and losses ~$120 billion/year Pimental et al. 2005 Harm to Human Health • West Nile Virus Plant traits that can facilitate invasive success (generalizations) • Early Successional Species • Long-distance dispersal • Lots of offspring (sexually/asexually) • Short generation time • Long fruiting period • Small seed size • Prolonged seed viability • Rapid growth • Shade tolerant / intolerant • Early reproduction Main Theories of Invasion Heirro et al. 2004 Current Situation Invasive exotics 2nd only to habitat loss as a threat to wildlife populations On July 24, 2005 Stohlgren of the Washington Post reported in the Science section that invasives were the #1 threat to biodiversity. Should We Be Concerned? Usually takes a century for plants to become invasive Today’s invasive introduced in 1800s What will the woods look like in two centuries? “Sawtooth Oak doesn’t spread” but introduced less than 50 years ago Should We Be Concerned? Zebra Swallowtail specific to Pawpaw What happens when privet eliminates pawpaw? •Study in Midwest •Birds that nested in exotic shrubs experienced poor nesting success •Predators easily accessed nests compared to nests in native shrubs Specialization • In the natural world, especially food specialization, is the rule rather than the exception • Specialization Starts With Plants • Even animals we don’t think of as specialized have a specialized relationship with plants Feeds its young almost exclusively on caterpillars 90% of the insects that eat plants can develop & reproduce only on the plants with which they share an evolutionary history (Ehrlich & Raven, 1964 Bernays & Graham, 1988) Nonnative Invasive Plants Threaten Ecosystems Setting 1912 • “The one tree in Francie's yard was neither a pine nor a hemlock. It had pointed leaves which grew along green switches which radiated from the bough and made a tree which looked like a lot of opened green umbrellas. Some people called it the . No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky. It grew in boarded-up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps and it was the only tree that grew out of cement. It grew lushly, but only in the tenement districts.” • 1943 by Betty Smith Impacts on Ecosystem Services Carbon sequestration Clean air Clean water Climate regulation Habitat Photosynthesis Nutrient cycling Soil formation Hey ya’ll watch this! South Carolina: The Top Twelve Invasive Plants (in no order) 1. Non-native privets 2. Nepalese browntop/Japanese siltgrass 3. Chinaberry 4. Kudzu 5. Non-native lespedezas 6. Japanese climbing fern 7. Chinese tallow 8. Non-native wisterias 9. Cogongrass 10.Tree-of-heaven 11.Princess tree 12.Mimosa EDRR (early detection and rapid response) Even the best prevention efforts cannot stop all invasive species. Early detection, rapid assessment and rapid response is a critical second defense against the establishment of invasive populations. EDRR increases the likelihood that localized invasive populations will be found, contained, and eradicated before they become widely established. EDRR can slow range expansion, and avoid the need for costly long-term control efforts. Control using IPM Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is •an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices. •using current, comprehensive information on the life cycles of pests and their interaction with the environment. •used to manage pest damage by the most economical means, and with the least possible hazard to people, property, and the environment. IPM at its Best… Resources! Resources! http://www.se-eppc.org/southcarolina Resources! Resources! Invasive Plant Pest & Disease Youth Education Program Thanks to: •SC & SE – EPPC Lauren Pile (SC-EPPC) •American Public Gardens Association -Daniel Stern •Clemson University & Extension •USFS/USFWS/ USDA APHIS •Congaree National Park •Every educator out there, THANK YOU! Questions?