Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Week of September 21, 2009

Updated 9/26

Registration information for November Invasive Species Workshop


The November Invasive Species In-service Education Opportunity is part of the larger Cornell Cooperative Extension Annual November Agriculture and Food System In-service.

The website and registration form for the In-service is now available.

To view the website go to http://blogs.cce.cornell.edu/conferences/

The on-line registration is at http://cceconferences.wufoo.com/forms/agriculture-food-systems-inservice-registration/

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

The focus of the in-service this year will be on a number of high-profile invasive species, their characteristics, current research, and management/control. Working agenda follows:

• Tuesday a.m.
o NYS invasive species response updates
o NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse update
o NY Invasive Species Research Institute update
o iMapInvasives update

• Tuesday p.m.
o Invasive plant pathogens
o Invasive insects & forest pests, Part 1

• Wednesday a.m.
o Invasive insects and forest pests, Part2
o Aquatic invasive species, Part 1

• Wednesday p.m.
o Terrestrial invasive species

• Thursday a.m.
o Population level impacts of invasive species
o Ecosystem level impacts of invasive species

• Thursday p.m.
o "Working with the Media" a special training session on media outreach

Charles R. O'Neill, Jr.
Sr. Extension Specialist
Cornell University/New York Sea Grant
Director, NY Invasive Species Clearinghouse
Coordinator, Cornell Invasive Species Program
E-mail: cro4[at]cornell.edu
Web site: NYIS.INFO


Aquatic Invasive Species Vector Management: A Prevention Solution Workshop

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Panel of the Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force and Maryland Sea Grant invite your attendance at a one-day workshop:

Aquatic Invasive Species Vector Management: A Prevention Solution

Date: December 2, 2009
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

For registration and full details visit: http://www.mdsg.umd.edu/vectorworkshop/

This one-day event will bring regional attention to aquatic invasive species introduction pathways.

The Mid-Atlantic region has an important and timely opportunity to move beyond managing individual species and toward a more holistic approach – managing the pathways or vectors for invasions.

The workshop will focus on preventing the introduction of non-native aquatic species through vector management.

The workshop outcome will provide recommendations on strategies states, local governments, NGOs, legislatures, the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Mid-Atlantic Panel, and other groups and individuals can pursue to manage vectors and prevent unwanted introductions of non-native species.

Please come to this workshop ready to participate and contribute to developing recommendations for advancing invasive species vector research and management.

See you there!

Best Regards,

Fredrika Moser

Workshop steering committee: Jonathan McKnight (MD DNR), Fredrika Moser (MDSG), Lisa Moss (USFWS), Read Porter (ELI), Greg Ruiz (SERC) and Mario Tamburri (UMCES, ACT).


Parrotfeather found in southern NJ

We've just recently identified Myriophyllum aquaticum in a stream in southern New Jersey. It is the first population thought to be overwintering in the state though it has been found in the state before.

Yesterday we kayaked a stretch of the stream-that being our only access- and found that it was found in pockets the entire stretch of at least a mile to the dam where we finished. In one area there was just enough room to get through with the kayaks because most of the width of the stream was covered with it.

We have yet to check below the dam because of private property issues and have not checked the entirety of the headwater areas.

I've done some general reading on control of this plant and it seems very challenging. Does anyone have any firsthand experience and/or recommendations as to control of M. aquaticum?


Renée Brecht
Associate Director
Citizens United to Protect the Maurice River and its Tributaries


Watermilfoil found in Missisquoi Bay, Vermont

Variable-leaved invasive confirmed by genetic analysis

WATERBURY, VT – Aquatic biologists at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources have confirmed that the invasive plant, variable-leaved watermilfoil, has been found in the southern end of Missisquoi Bay.

Similar to the native whorled watermilfoil, a rare plant species in the state, the variable-leaved watermilfoil was confirmed by genetic analysis this week from samples pulled during a routine search last month for water chestnut in the bay. The genetic analysis was conducted by Dr. Ryan Thum of Grand Valley State University in Michigan.

Lake Champlain is the second confirmation of variable-leaved watermilfoil in Vermont. The first was found in Halls Lake in Newbury in 2008. The invasive plant has also been found in waters of New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Quebec.

Based on the preliminary searching done in Missisquoi Bay last month, variable-leaved watermilfoil appears to be widespread in a large wetland complex of the southern portion of the bay and control options may be limited. ANR staff expect to conduct further surveys of the site in the next week or so.

Variable-leaved watermilfoil can be difficult to control once a population is established. Like Eurasian watermilfoil, which was confirmed in Vermont in 1962, variable-leaved watermilfoil is able to grow in a wide variety of environmental conditions, is aggressive and grows rapidly. Dense growth of variable-leaved watermilfoil crowds out beneficial native aquatic plants and can impair recreational uses including boating, fishing and swimming.

Spread of this species occurs by stem pieces, roots and seeds. Plant parts can easily “hitchhike” on recreational equipment if not removed. Variable-leaved watermilfoil is also a popular aquarium trade species, which could be a possible vector for invasive aquatic plant spread.

Under Vermont’s Quarantine Rule, variable-leaved watermilfoil is a prohibited species. ANR staff, in cooperation with the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets, inspects Vermont aquarium retailers annually. In 2008, officials found two retailers in southern Vermont selling variable-leaved watermilfoil.

The Agency of Natural Resources recommends the following to prevent spread of this nuisance plant:

Inspect boat, trailer, motor and other equipment for attached plant or animal material.

Remove all plant and animal material.

Discard removed material in a trash receptacle or on high, dry ground where there is no danger of them washing into any water body.

Drain all water from boat, boat engine, and other equipment.

Rinse all boat and trailer parts with tap water (preferably hot, high pressure).

Dry boat, trailer and equipment out of water and in sun for at least five days.

Become a VIP - Vermont Invasive Patroller - and monitor local waterbodies for new introductions of invasive species.

Attend a training session and learn how to identify and search for invasive aquatic plant and animals as well as learning about native aquatic plants and animals and their habitats.

Dispose of unwanted aquarium plants and animals in the trash. Don’t release any aquarium plants or animals into the wild.


Online national phragmites survey

Laura Martin, a graduate student, and Dr. Bernd Blossey in Cornell University's Department of Natural Resources would like you to participate in an online survey on Phragmites australis management options.

Please complete this on-line survey (link below) to the best of your knowledge. It should take about 15-30 minutes to answer. You do not need to be an expert on Phragmites management, nor does your organization need to have managed for Phragmites in the past. They are interested in your opinions.

Phragmites survey


Reminder - Comment to APHIS re: regs for plant imports - assoc. pest

Message from Faith T. Campbell

Dear forest pest mavens:

At the end of July I alerted you to the fact that USDA APHIS is seeking comments on a proposal to strengthen rules governing imports of plants to create a new category - "Not Approved (for import) Pending Pest Risk Assessment" (NAPPRA). The creation of a NAPPRA category would allow APHIS to suspend importation of plants suspected of carrying pests until a full risk assessment has been completed. [The new category would also address plant species that might be invasive or weedy.]

The attached document (link) developed by the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases' Workgroup #1 (Prevent Introduction of New Pests and Diseases), contains a set of points you might consider making in a comment letter to APHIS regarding its proposed NAPPRA category.

I hope you will consider submitting comments - and - further - consider basing those comments on these points. If you decide to submit comments, please follow these instructions:

1. Go to www.regulations.gov/
2. Click box for "open for comment"
3. Enter "plants for planting" in the keyword box
4. Scroll down the list to find the "Importation of plants for planting ..."
5. Click on "submit comments"

Strengthening the Q-37 regulations (which govern imports of plants that might be carrying non-native forest insects and diseases) is a vitally important step in closing the pathway by which so many damaging forest pests have been introduced. See attached Federal Register notice for more information.

Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions.

Faith T. Campbell

P.S. If you like these results of the Dialogue's cooperative efforts, consider engaging. You might participate in the upcoming meeting or join one of the working groups - which works through email and conference calls.


Scientists find evidence of Casuarina hybrids in Florida

By Stephanie Yao

Hybrids of the invasive Australian plant species Casuarina exist in Florida, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and university cooperators have found.

These fast-growing, pine-like trees were historically planted widely as ornamentals and along boulevards in south Florida, and are currently being proposed as a windbreak in citrus groves. However, the trees are frequently the tallest in the canopy and can be very damaging during storms and hurricanes. Casuarina has also become an environmental problem, invading and altering natural habitats including Everglades National Park, home to many threatened and endangered species.

Based on physical characteristics, scientists have long suspected hybridization among the three Casuarina species in Florida—C. glauca, C. cunninghamiana and C. equisetifolia—but it is difficult to verify hybridization by these characteristics alone.

DNA tests conducted by botanist John Gaskin, research leader of the ARS Pest Management Research Unit in Sidney, Mont., confirm the existence of hybrids. Examining the DNA, according to Gaskin, allows for better understanding of the identity of the plants and where they came from, and helps explain how these novel hybrids have become so invasive.

Gaskin collaborated with entomologist Greg Wheeler, with the ARS Invasive Plant Research Laboratory in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.; Matt Purcell, director of ARS' Australian Biological Control Laboratory in Brisbane; and Gary Taylor, a research associate with the University of Adelaide. The team collected leaf samples from Casuarina species in Australia and Florida. Gaskin then used genetic markers to compare the collections and confirm which species and hybrids currently exist in Florida.

The researchers found that hybrid combinations of C. glauca and C. equisetifolia are present across a wide range of southern Florida. They also found C. glauca and C. cunninghamiana hybridization in one location.

The scientists did not, however, find evidence of hybrids in Australia. This could be problematic for biocontrol efforts, which rely heavily on co-evolution of biocontrol agents and target species to insure the highest rates of effectiveness. Potential biocontrols must now prove effective against parental species and hybrids.



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