Invasive Species Above and Below Ground in the Upper Midwest: Identification, Control, and Global Implications for Ecological Restoration
Course Leaders: Ellen Jacquart, The Nature Conservancy-Indiana Field Office;
Kelly Kearns, Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources
Venue: University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum
Invasive species management is a ubiquitous aspect of most restoration efforts. This full day training course will be useful to attendees from any part of the world. It will cover identification and control methods for both common and early detection woody and herbaceous invasive plants in the region. Participants will use GPS units, smartphone applications and an online mapping program to record and map invasive plants. They will work in teams to create a brief management plan for the study site, getting experience with prioritizing species to control and areas to focus on, and developing realistic plans based on the limited resources typically available. All restorationists need to understand how soil and its biota affect aboveground growth. Participants will learn about the invasive European earthworms that are transforming forests of the glaciated regions of North America. They will use a simple, quick and inexpensive technique to survey earthworms in the field. As preventing the spread of invasives is critical to restoration, they will learn about practices that were developed with – and have been embraced by stakeholders in forestry, transportation, utilities, outdoor recreation and the green industry. Where appropriate we will highlight the implications of the experiences learned in the Midwest for invasive species control in other parts of the world. This course will be a mix of classroom and field components and will include opportunities to see both successful and failed results of specific control methods and to show the importance of effective invasive species management for ecological restoration.