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Old World Climbing Fern Management in Natural Areas A Survey of Land Managers. Jeff Hutchinson and Ken Langeland Univ. of Florida, Agronomy Dept. Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants Gainesville, FL. Background. Initiated in 2004 – for update of Lygodium microphyllum Management Plan

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old world climbing fern management in natural areas a survey of land managers

Old World Climbing Fern Management in Natural AreasA Survey of Land Managers

Jeff Hutchinson and Ken Langeland

Univ. of Florida, Agronomy Dept.

Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants

Gainesville, FL

background
Background
  • Initiated in 2004 – for update of Lygodiummicrophyllum Management Plan
  • Basic Idea – find out what land managers are currently doing to control Lygodium microphyllum

Wildland Weeds: Spring 2006

methods
Methods
  • Survey design – “Non-scientific”- Based on experience and ideas from the first management plan
  • Surveys (n = 130): - 2004 EPPC Meeting (n = 75) - Email (n = 55)
  • Follow up with second email
  • Site visits
slide5

Surveys

+ Site Visits

Surveys

  • Response- 14.6% - 19 out of 130
  • Average Size /Natural Area- 44,419 ha- Range: 787 - 393,700 ha
  • Avg Area OWCF / Natural Area- 1,023 ha- Range: 0.01 – 9,843 ha
slide6
Natural Areas (covering 885,881 ha)- Everglades National Park- A.R.M. Loxahatchee NWR- St. John’s River WMD (multiple tracts)- Jonathan Dickinson State Park- Palm Beach County DERM- Florida Panther NWR- Bird Rookery Swamp (SFWMD)- Southwest Florida WMD (multiple tracts)- Martin County Parks and Recreation- Florida Turnpike Enterprise- Fisheating Creek WMA- + others

2.2 million acres of land

habitats invaded
Natural Habitat

Cypress Swamps – 75%

Pine Flatwoods – 60%

Hammocks – 55%

Marsh – 55%

Bayhead Swamp – 50%

Hardwood Swamp – 50%

Lake Edges – 40%

Tree Islands – 20%

Coastal Prairies – 15%

Mangrove Edges – 15%

Disturbed Sites – 90%Includes – ditches,canals, spoil islands,road sides, streamcrossing, and retention ponds

Habitats Invaded
ratio of habitat managed to area invaded by owcf
Ratio of Habitat Managed to Area Invaded by OWCF
  • Mean47 ha habitat : 1 ha OWCF
  • RangeMin - 6 ha habitat : 1 ha OWCFMax - 22,638 ha habitat : 1 ha OWCF

So what does this mean?

slide9
For the average size of natural areas in this survey:

 There is “about” 1 herbicide applicator to scout for and treat infestations of OWCF for every 10,000 ha of land

(or 1 applicator per 25,000 acres)

treatment
Methods1) Foliar spray (89.5%)2) Cut and Spray “Poodle Cut” (57.9%)3) Aerial Spray (31.6%)

Herbicides1) Glyphosate (100%)2) Metsulfuron methyl (27.3%)3) Triclopyr (18.2%)

Treatment
best treatment method
Best Treatment Method
  • Cut and Spray (38.8%)
  • Foliar Spray (27.7%)
  • Regular Re-treatments (16.7%)
  • Aerial Treatment (5.6%)
  • Aerial Treatment followed with Ground Treatments (5.6%)
  • Nothing is Effective (5.6%)
percent owcf killed per treatment
Percent OWCF Killed per Treatment
  • Initial Treatment 85%
  • Second Treatment 95%
  • Additional treatments (?)- One site has been treated 11 times with glyphosate without complete control
average time before re treatment
Average Time Before Re-Treatment
  • 3 months = 37.5%
  • 6 months = 12.5%
  • 1 year = 43.8%
  • 2 years = 6.3%
biocontrols
Biocontrols
  • Favorable = 78.9%
  • Unsure = 21.1%Reasons1) Non-target damage to native ferns2) Damage to natural communities
prescribed fire
Prescribed Fire
  • Not a viable management tool (47.6%)
  • Viable option combined with herbicide (38.1%)
  • Unsure (14.3%)
limiting factors to control owcf
Limiting Factors to Control OWCF
  • Time limits / other duties (42.9%)
  • Lack of personnel (38.1%)
  • Funding (33.3%)
  • Trained personnel (23.8%)
  • Site access (19.1%)
  • None (19.1%)
  • OWCF on private lands (4.8%)
most problematic invasive plant
Most Problematic Invasive Plant?
  • Rank Number 1Old World Climbing Fern (68.4%) Brazilian Pepper (21.1%) Melaleuca (5.3%)
  • Rank Number 2Brazilian Pepper (36.7%) Melaleuca (31.6%) Old World Climbing Fern (15.8%)
  • Rank Number 3Melaleuca (27.8%) Brazilian Pepper (22.2%) Cogongrass (22.2%)

Others species not listed

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Limited field personnel are hindering control of OWCF - 1 field worker per 10,000 ha habitat for monitoring of OWCF and other duties - 1 ha OWCF for every 47 ha of area managed
  • Isolation of OWCF in difficult to access sites or un-accessible sites hinders effective treatment
conclusions cont
Conclusions cont.
  • Lack of funding
  • Biocontrols are welcome
  • Majority of land managers surveyed believe OWCF to be the most problematic invasive plant
acknowledgements
Acknowledgements
  • Special thanks to all survey respondents ☺
  • Dr. Doria Gordon and Dr. Jerry Ferrel
  • South Florida Water Management District
  • University of Florida, Agronomy Dept.
  • Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants