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.