Invasive Species News and Research, November 2020

Warnings on worms, new research on removal strategies, and federal responses to AIS and wildfire.
medusahead invasive plant close-up

The staff and board of the North American Invasive Species Management Association review invasive species headlines each month. This helps us stay on top of trends and further our mission to support, promote, and empower invasive species prevention and management in North America. We then share invasive species news most relevant for people who manage terrestrial and aquatic invasive species across the the United States, Canada, Mexico and the world.

Success Stories: Prevention, Eradication and Restoration

Brothers Unite Against Invasive Species in Southern Minnesota

Minnesota – Read on the Post Bulletin

They’re in the buckthorn business — and business is booming.

Botanist Sows Seeds of Hope for Plant Conservation

Rhode Island — Read on EcoRI News

Warns that deer and invasive earthworms are a threat to survival of native plants

Prevention, Outreach and Education

Scientists Destroyed a Nest of Murder Hornets. Here’s What They Learned.

Washington — Read on the New York Times

Officials vacuumed the country’s first nest of so-called murder hornets last month in Washington State. The invasive insects could multiply and kill native bee populations, endangering crops and ecosystems.

Drones, mites, electromagnetic energy — Wyoming’s war on invasives

Wyoming — Read on the Casper Star-Tribune

The problem is so knotty and consequential that Gov. Mark Gordon formed a task force requesting a formal plan on how to tackle invasive plant species. The final 40-page report released recently covers everything from policy gaps to research needs. It’s part of a broader effort on the part of the University of Wyoming, county weed and pest agencies, nonprofits, landowners, and the state to combat the scourge.

medusahead invasive plant close-up
A patch of medusahead is seen in Sheridan. Wyoming experts are working to combat the recently discovered invasive species. Image by Jennifer Strickland, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/FlickrCC

New Research

Exotic Species Drive Patterns of Plant Species Diversity in 93 Restored Tallgrass Prairies

Iowa — Read on Ecological Applications

The strongest predictor of plant species richness and diversity was the degree of invasion, as measured by the abundance of exotic species.

Spatially Explicit Removal Strategies Increase the Efficiency of Invasive Plant Species Control

Global — Read on Ecological Applications

his species expands clonally and also disperses via seeds, and model simulations showed that removal strategies focusing on smaller patches that are more isolated in the landscape would be most effective and could increase the effectiveness of a ten‐year control strategy by 30‐90%, as compared to random removal of patches.

Detection, Management and Control

Invasive Species of Earthworms are on the Prowl in Georgia

Georgia — Read/Watch on CBS 46

Hammerheads grow a full foot long, and its mouth is located on its belly.

man torching Chinese privet weed
Randy Haddock, field director for the Cahaba River Society, uses a weed torch to burn invasive Chinese privet in forest land in Irondale, Ala. Image from the Cahaba River Society.

New Solution for Chinese Privet in Alabama: Kill it with Fire

Alabama — Read on

Jimmy Stiles, a PhD candidate at the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has been designing and evaluating a new program to use weed torches to control Chinese privet, a particularly troublesome invasive species that is estimated to cover 1 million acres in Alabama.

Non-Target Herbicide Injury on Plants

Montana/West — Read on Montana State University Extension

How to diagnose and prevent herbicide injury. For farmers, gardeners, and anyone else concerned about plant health.

Spotted Lanternfly Makes Landfall in Ohio; Officials Urge Vigilance

Ohio — Read on The Columbus Dispatch

If, and when, the invasive species becomes entrenched in Ohio, experts say it will have a devastating ripple effect on state growers.

Policy and Rulemaking

Trump Administration Strengthens Rapid Response to Invasive Mussels to Protect Western Waters

United States — Read on Department of the Interior
Agencies entered a new conservation MOU to protect western water supplies, power generation, outdoor recreation and aquatic ecosystems by strengthening efforts to combat invasive mussels.

Plan Released to Reduce Massive Wildfires in US West

Idaho/West — Read on

U.S. officials released an overarching plan for removing or changing vegetation over a huge swath of the U.S. West to stop devastating wildfires on land used for cattle ranching, recreation and habitat for imperiled sage grouse.


Can an Ambitious Breeding Effort Save North America’s Ash Trees?

Ohio – Read on Science

Ultimately, Jennifer Koch hopes to expand her approach to other trees brought low by a foreign pest, in a bid to reverse the biological hollowing out of forests set in motion by the transcontinental swapping of species.

Agriculture pest control - Worker in protective workwear in weed control and spraying invasive plant


Glyphosate: A Chemical to Understand

Australia – Read on the Invasive Species Council

The new report, Glyphosate: A Chemical to Understand, in an attempt to reconcile the conflicting findings, and to consider the outcomes if Australia bans glyphosate.

Read NAISMA’s Position Paper: The Use of Pesticides in Invasive Species Management

Invasive Species: Biggest Threat May be the Most Uncertain – Disease

Global — Read on The Conversation

We can anticipate and prepare for an invasive species that acts as a new predator or competitor for native wildlife. But how do we begin to prepare for the myriad diseases that they might carry?

Time for Total Rethink on the Management of Alien Species

Mediterranean — Read on

Study proposes a cost-benefit analysis which will guide whether NIS should be managed in a sustainable or unsustainable way.

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