Marquette, Michigan – Holly Lipinski and Abby Petersen (Hiawatha National Forest) came on the 8th Day Radio Show to talked with Todd Pazz about Invasive Aquatic and Plant Species. They were interviewed on site at the 26th Annual U.P. Boat, Sport & RV Show at the NMU Superior Dome on Friday, March 29th.
“Invasive species threaten ecosystems worldwide because of their ability to alter natural communities, patterns, and processes. Many invasive species are non-native (also referred to as exotic, non-indigenous, or alien species) and have been introduced by humans or in association with human activities,” according to the material distributed on the subject.
[Broadcast first aired April 6, 2019]
Some species discussed (to keep an eye out for and report):
Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is a biennial herb with heart-shaped, coarsely toothed leaves, white flowers, and seeds in slender pods. Native to northern Europe, it was first documented in the United States in 1868. It is now widely distributed across the eastern and central United States, invading woodlands, roadsides, and urban areas. It is promoted by disturbances, and where established, can dominate, eliminating native vegetation.
The official warning by the U.S. National Wildlife Service says, “Garlic mustard is on the rise and not as well established in the U.P. as other non-native invasive plant species. This factor along with its being “easy-to-pull” means that we have the opportunity for early detection of and rapid response to new infestations in order to control and minimize population spread.
Where did this invasive plant originate? Garlic mustard is a biennial, rapidly spreading herb native to Europe and parts of Asia. People brought garlic mustard to North America for food and medicinal purposes. It thrives in deciduous forests, but is also found along roadsides, trails, upland flood plain forests, and yards.
What does the plant look like? In the plant’s first year, it grows as a rosette with one to several scallop-edged and dark green leaves. In the second year, stalks emerge from the basal rosette typically in mid-May to early June.”
Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) is an herbaceous perennial with showy purple flowers. It was first introduced in the early 1800s. It invades wetland habitats and moist roadsides. Invaded wetlands often lose 50% of native plant biomass, particularly endangered, threatened, or declining plant species, and in extreme cases native plants can be completely out-competed (Van Driesche 2002). It is associated with disturbance and can be transported by water, wind, animals, and humans.
Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) is a perennial herb native to Eastern Europe. It invades grasslands, woodlands, roadsides, and open sites. It is most competitive in dry sunny sites. Spotted knapweed blooms in July and August and produces seed shortly after. In addition, it produces an allelopathic compound that reduces the growth of other surrounding plants, facilitating its ability to crowd out native plants and create monotypic stands. Grazing animals will not eat it, but will instead feed on the native plants, reducing their presence further. It has also been found to degrade soil over time by removing much of the moisture and nutrients.
Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) is a perennial herb with small, greenish-yellow flowers. Native to Europe and Asia, it was brought to the United States in the late 1890s in impure seed. It is most aggressive in dry soils, but can survive in moist soils as well. It invades fields, grasslands, roadsides, and woodlands. It displaces native vegetation and can produce plant toxins that prevent the growth of other plants. The stems and leaves contain a latex that is toxic to most grazing mammals and can irritate the skin of animals and humans if touched.
How fishermen and other outdoors enthusiasts can help keep aquatic invasive species out or waters and wilderness was also discussed.
More Plants of Concern: