Monthly Archives: May 2013

Phenology Update: yellow sweetclover, chinese yam, burdock

yellow sweet clover

Yellow sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis)- flowering

chinese yam

Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita)- sprouting


Common burdock (Arctium minus)- bolting






Connecticut bill regulates planting and sale of bamboo

Connecticut is relatively progressive in it’s invasive plant legislation.  Here is an interesting article on some bamboo legislation that might possibly pass.

Invasive Species: ‘Away-Field Advantage’ Weaker Than Ecologists Thought

May 17, 2013 — For decades, ecologists have assumed the worst invasive species — such as brown tree snakes and kudzu — have an “away-field advantage.” They succeed because they do better in their new territories than they do at home. A new study led by the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center reveals that this fundamental assumption is not nearly as common as people might think.

See the link above for the full article text. The article in Ecology is available at

Webinar – Native and Non-native Species: How Much Attention Should Managers Be Paying to Origins?

Don’t miss the latest installment of the Conservation Science Webinar Series!

 Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

2:00 – 3:00 PM (eastern time)

 Native and Non-native Species: How Much Attention Should Managers Be Paying to Origins?

 A debate between Mark Davis and Dan Simberloff

Dr. Mark Davis is the DeWitt Wallace Professor of Biology at Macalester College

Dr. Daniel Simberloff is the Gore Hunger professor of Environmental Studies at University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

Description: Two of the leading scientists in the field of Invasion Biology, Dr. Mark Davis (author of the book Invasion Biology, published in 2009 by Oxford University Press) and Dr. Daniel Simberloff (Director of the Institute for Biological Invasions at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville) will discuss when, if and how conservation biologists and managers should deal with non-native species.  

See this announcement for details on how to register.  Please feel free to forward this to anyone that might be interested in this webinar.

Note: Captioning Services will be available for this webinar.

The Great Lakes Early Detection Network makes reporting invasive species even easier with new smartphone app.


The Great Lakes Early Detection Network (GLEDN) in collaboration with the Early Detection Distribution and Mapping System (EDDMapS) has developed a smartphone app for the iPhone and Android operating systems. This app allows users to report invasive species found in the Midwest to GLEDN and EDDMapS from their phones or tablets.

The app uses the device’s GPS and camera capabilities to geo-locate the reported species and allow the device’s operator to provide a photo of the reported species. Pictures allow verifiers to quickly confirm observations. Once confirmed, observations will be visible on maps found on GLEDN ( ) and EDDMaps ( ) websites and sent to land managers through each group’s early alert system. Using this technology we hope to enhance the ability of groups’ to respond to these new pests as they are emerging.

You can download the free app from this site:

Join others in contributing to…

View original post 141 more words

Ripple Effects

Here is a great article about how invasive species can change food webs.

In Yellowstone National Park, invading lake trout have decimated the cutthroat trout that grizzly bears normally eat. Now, hungry grizzlies are preying on the calves of migrating elk instead. Since lake trout took over Yellowstone Lake, the number of cutthroat trout has plunged by more than 90 percent. Grizzly bears that used to feast on […] Read More

Phenology update: Japanese honeysuckle, multiflora rose, oxeye daisy, and crown vetch


Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) – Flowering


Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora) – flowering


Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)- flowering


Crown vetch (Securigera varia)- flowering. Below is a good picture of crown vetch foliage mixed in with some oxeye daisy


Weed wrench test

Invasive Plant Control, Inc was kind enough to donate an extractagator, a shrub wrench you can use to pull up woody invasive plants, to the AOWCP. Below is a picture of it in action, pulling up some oriental bittersweet.


It worked very well on the tap root of the oriental bittersweet.


A privet we tested it on took a little longer, but we still got it out.  Judy Dumke poses with our victim.


Weed wrenches can be a great way to reduce invasive populations in small areas,  but it requires patience,persistence, and a lot of sweat!

Phenology update: curly dock

curley dock habit

Curly dock (Rumex crispus) is flowering and fruiting.  You can tell it apart from Broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolius) by looking at the calyx on the fruit (wing on the seeds).  Curly dock (seen below) has smooth edges whereas broadleaf dock has small teeth on the calyx.  Follow this link to see pictures

curley dock inflorescence

Distinguishing the Invasive paulownia from catalpa trees



Our native catalpa tree (Catalpa speciosa, above) can be difficult to distinguish this time of year from the invasive royal princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa).  When you get closer though it is easy to distinguish.  The first characteristic is that catalpa has whorled leaves, that means that 3 leaves attach to the same portion of the stem.  See how above the leaves in various stages of maturation appear in groups of three?  The below picture is a close up off the stem.





 See how Paulownia above has leaves that are growing in sets of two (opposite leaves).  Also note how much more hairy the leaves seem and their rougher edges.  Below is a close up of where the leaves attach to the stem, note that only two leaves attach at a node.



If you break off a branch from the paulownia that is from last year (brown bark) you will also see the center is hollow