Common buckthorn can have cascading damaging effects on natural flora and fauna, agriculture and public health. Not only does the shrub choke out native plants, but it is also the overwintering host for the soybean aphid, an invasive pest that damages soybean plants and spreads viruses to vegetable crops. In turn, the soybean aphid is food for the multi-colored Asian ladybeetle, an invasive insect that damages grapes, outcompetes native ladybeetles for food and habitat, and finds its way into the homes where it is both a nuisance and allergen. Our goal is to bring together all those affected by this invasive plant to determine how best to reduce its negative cascade of environmental and economic impacts.
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Tune in with Megan Thomas of Six Rivers Regional Land Conservancy and Lisa Brush of the Stewardship Network for this informative upcoming webcast!
The Network of Biodiversity Stewardship Areas is a Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment (MDNRE) initiative that strives to improve conservation of Michigan’s native biodiversity. The objective is to identify and conserve areas that have the best opportunities for long-term conservation of representative examples of Michigan’s ecosystems. The DNRE is working with many stakeholder organizations to complete a statewide assessment of potential areas and is looking for opportunities to assist and cooperate with other interested landowners. This webinar, featuring Amy Clark Eagle fo the Michigan DNRE will focus on how the areas are being identified, what the designation will mean to lands included, and how individuals can be involved.
The Midwestern U.S. has a relatively high density of prairie fen wetlands, rare habitats that support high plant diversity and many endangered plants, insects, and vertebrates. Prairie fens are under threat from a number of factors, including habitat fragmentation, pollution, and invasive species such as glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus). It is known to dramatically alter the fens it invades, and the removal of glossy buckthorn is often the focus of restoration projects. In this webcast, featuring Anna Fielder of Michigan State University, learn about 1) the changes we saw in restored prairie fen in the first two years following buckthorn removal and 2) how to determine whether you own or manage property that is a degraded prairie fen with restoration potential.
Throughout much of the eastern U.S., forests are rapidly being invaded by the non-native grass Microstegium vimineum (Japanese stiltgrass), which colonizes roadsides, trails, and both disturbed areas and intact forests. Luke Flory will present data from multiple experiments that demonstrate the dramatic impacts of Microstegium on native biodiversity and forest succession: reduction in abundance and diversity of native herbs, suppression of tree regeneration, and even dramatic interactions with prescribed burns. Fortunately, removing Microstegium from naturally invaded sites can be accomplished efficiently using a grass-specific herbicide, which allows native species to return.