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Nonnative Invasive
Dan Hill
Assistant Director Kalmia Gardens of Coker College
843.383.8145 /
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
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
“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
•Study in Midwest
•Birds that nested in exotic shrubs
experienced poor nesting success
•Predators easily accessed nests compared
to nests in native shrubs
• 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
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
Nutrient cycling
Soil formation
Hey ya’ll
watch this!
South Carolina: The Top Twelve Invasive Plants
1. Non-native privets
2. Nepalese browntop/Japanese
3. Chinaberry
4. Kudzu
5. Non-native lespedezas
6. Japanese climbing fern
7. Chinese tallow
8. Non-native wisterias
9. Cogongrass
11.Princess tree
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…
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
•Congaree National Park
•Every educator out there,