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Range of Invasion. Natural ecosystem disrupted by exotic invasive species Open rangeland Forested ecosystems Swamps, wetlands Aquatic situations (lakes/ponds, rivers, irrigation canals). Why an Issue?. Exotic species are highly adapted to diverse ecological areas

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range of invasion
Range of Invasion
  • Natural ecosystem disrupted by exotic invasive species
    • Open rangeland
    • Forested ecosystems
    • Swamps, wetlands
    • Aquatic situations (lakes/ponds, rivers, irrigation canals)
why an issue
Why an Issue?
  • Exotic species are highly adapted to diverse ecological areas
    • High reproductive capacity
    • No natural enemies (disease, insects, etc.)
    • Biological desert
  • Primary method is PREVENTION!!
    • Invasive assessment, prediction models
  • Mechanical
    • Effective but not practical on large areas
    • Generally does not eradicate
    • Also includes burn, flood, mowing, etc.
  • Biological control is IDEAL, but………….
  • Chemical – the big issue is………..?
  • In crops you are trying to control all species except the crop
  • In invasive plant control you are trying to control one species and not harm everything else
  • Integrated approach is the key, but a major decision has to be made first
to eradicate or not to eradicate
To Eradicate or not to Eradicate
  • Eradication
    • high degree of coordination & monitoring
    • high $$, quarantines
    • eliminate all individuals, propagules, etc. that could regenerate a population
    • continually monitor to ensure eradication
  • Maintenance control is that situation where you constantlymonitor the populations and control when levels reach a certain threshold, which is generally very low


  • $ 4 million
  • 5 years
nascent foci approach
Nascent Foci Approach
  • Start on the outlying populations first and work into the center
  • Accurate survey of infestation and data on the range of spread (mechanism of dispersal)
  • Continually monitor over the area already covered
  • Planting back a desirable species that will provide ecological stability and possibly hinder/block reinfestation of invasive species
  • When and how much invasive control do you need?
  • Possibility of selective control?
  • Category 1 invasive species (FLEPPC)
    • Ability to spread into undisturbed sites
  • Extremely fast growth > 8 inches/day
  • Smothers trees and native understory species
  • Spreads rapidly through massive production of bulbils
mature plant
Mature Plant
  • Rapidly climbing, twining herbaceous vine
  • Vines killed by frost
  • Regrowth from underground tubers
leaves and flowers
Leaves and Flowers
  • Leaves cordate
  • All leaf veins arise from leaf base
  • Flowers are inconspicuous, arise from panicles from leaf axils
  • Aerial tubers, borne in leaf axils
  • Generally roundish, smooth and gray to brown in color
  • Primary means of spread
  • Limit planting as an ornamental
  • Remove existing plants, including resprouts and before bulbils are produced
  • Avoid spread through contaminated debris, brush or soil
  • Clean mowers and other brush-cutting equipment
  • Programs to educate homeowners about the problems associated with air potato and proper identification
  • Remove populations along waterways
    • Bulbils will float to new areas
  • Gather bulbils in fall after frost (Gainesville Air Potato Roundup)
  • There are no known biological control agents available for air potato management in Florida or the southeastern U.S.
  • Hand pull young seedlings, including all roots, dig up tubers
  • Mowing is effective, but must be repeated and may spread bulbils
  • Burning is not a viable option – fire ladders into canopy of trees
  • Over-the-top applications before bulbil formation, during spring and summer
  • Thoroughly wet leaves with herbicide
    • Triclopyr – 2% solution
    • Glyphosate – 2 to 3% solution
    • Use surfactant at 0.25%
  • Retreatment necessary to kill tuber and resprouting bulbils
  • Also known as silk tree
  • Medium-sized tree, 20 - 40 feet tall
  • Legume plant - capable of fixing nitrogen
  • Introduced from China to the U.S. in the mid 1700’s
mature plant1
Mature Plant
  • Small tree – 20 to 40 feet in height
  • Highly branched, rambling habit
  • Leaves and flowers in clusters at the end of branches
  • Hand pull young seedlings, including all roots, repeated pulling for resprouts
  • Cut tree down at ground level
  • Girdling is effective for large trees
    • Cut through bark approximately 6 inches above the ground, encircling tree base
  • Mowing is effective on small saplings and resprouts, but must be repeated
chemical foliar
Chemical - Foliar
  • Over-the-top applications for seedlings, resprouts and small trees
  • Thoroughly wet leaves with herbicide
    • Triclopyr – 2% solution
    • Glyphosate – 2% solution
    • Clopyralid - 0.2 to 0.4% solution
    • Use surfactant at 0.25%
  • Best results applied July to October
chemical basal
Chemical - Basal
  • Individual trees, near desirable species
  • Use 25% triclopyr solution with basal oil
  • Apply 12 to 15 inches above ground on tree trunk
  • Wet thoroughly for good control, spray until run-off is noticeable at ground line
chemical cut stump
Chemical – Cut Stump
  • Individual trees, near desirable species
  • Cut trunks/stems horizonally at or near ground level
  • Apply 25% solution of glyphosate or triclopyr
  • Cover the outer 20% of the stump
  • Marker (blue) dye is helpful
putting it all together
Putting It All Together
  • Control strategies often not known or available
  • A rule of thumb - glyphosate for most species, triclopyr for broadleaf species and vines
  • Treat ‘pockets’ of invasive species – isolated; but be sure not to spread the species in the process
  • Target areas along streams and riverbeds, as those areas provide greater capacity for spread
  • Focus first on annual species
  • Controlled effectively as seedling plants
  • Retreatment may be necessary in the summer
  • Final check in the late summer/early fall to kill remaining plants that may set seed
  • Follow-up the next year or two
  • The key with annual species is prevention of seed set.
late summer fall
Late Summer/Fall
  • Perennial species with vegetatively persistent structures, fall treatments are generally most effective
  • Herbicides translocated to the vegetative propagules and provide longer, more consistent control
  • If species flower in the fall, be sure to treat prior to seed set
  • Target trees during the winter months, especially basal bark treatments
  • Allows ample time to check later in the summer/early fall for regrowth
  • Cut stump treatments can be performed anytime, so use the time during the cooler winter months for this activity
bringing it together
Bringing It Together
  • Set up a grid with various treatment zones, citing problem species in each zone
  • GPS referencing is particularly helpful
  • Follow-up will be critical, but you should eventually get to a point where routine maintenance will be all that is necessary.
  • Category I invasive species (FLEPPC)
    • Disrupts natural plant communities
  • Shade out desirable species, especially native seedlings and understory plants
  • Resprouts readily after fire or mechanical removal
  • Heavy fruit set after 2 years of establishment
mature plant2
Mature Plant
  • Small upright shrub, up to 6 feet tall
  • Often grows in large colonies
  • Shade tolerant, understory species
  • Seedlings often found encircling a mature plant
  • Plants will remain in juvenile stage until mature specimen is removed
  • Alternate arrangement, but tight to the main stem
  • Scalloped margins
  • Dark, thick, glossy green
flowers and fruit
Flowers and Fruit
  • Flowering occurs in spring – small white/pink clusters
  • Fruit are bright red and hang from the plant
  • Persist on the plants for several months
fruit and seed
Fruit and Seed
  • Fruit readily consumed by wildlife - birds
  • Seed viability is very high and germinate in a wide range of soil conditions
  • Hand pull young seedlings, including all roots, repeated pulling for resprouts
  • Mowing or clipping/chopping is effective, but must be repeated due to resprouting from rootstocks. However, mowing may not be practical in many areas.
chemical foliar1
Chemical - Foliar
  • Over-the-top applications for seedlings and large plants
  • Thoroughly wet leaves with herbicide
    • Glyphosate – 2-3% solution plus surfactant at 0.25% to increase herbicide penetration of the waxy leaves
    • 2,4-D – 2-3% solution is also effective, but only on seedlings or resprouts
chemical foliar2
Chemical - Foliar
  • Over-the-top applications for seedlings and large plants
  • Use 18% triclopyr solution with basal oil or 10% diesel fuel
  • Category II invasive species (FLEPPC)
    • Limited spread into undisturbed sites
  • Strong competitor
    • Readily establishes, high quantity of seed or resprouting
    • Fixes nitrogen
    • Competes effectively for sunlight and nutrients
stems and bark
Stems and Bark
  • Younger stems lime green, covered with lenticels (small pits in bark)
  • On older stems becomes light brown to grayish
  • Smooth bark
  • Alternately arranged
  • Bipinnate compound
    • 6 to 20 inches long
    • 20 to 60 leaflets per branch
  • Leaf arrangement gives mimosa fern-like or feathery appearance
  • Flowering occurs from May to July
  • Borne in terminal clusters at base of the current year’s twigs
  • Fragrant, pink in color, frizzy
fruit and seed1
Fruit and Seed
  • Flat seed pods, straw-colored, 6 inches long
  • Pod contains 5 to 10 seeds, light brown oval-shaped
  • Seed pods persist on the tree throughout winter
  • Scarification required for germination
  • Seed dormancy for many years
  • Dispersal occurs through water and may occur through wildlife ingestion and excretion