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Global Invasive Species Team listserve digest #071
Mon Oct 30 2000 - 14:41:41 PST


1. Heat-based weed killer (Nationwide)
2. Lesser celandine (Pennsylvania)
3. Garlon-in-oil giveaway (Nationwide)
4. Phalaris arundinacea control (Oregon)
5. Field tests of Klip Kleen applicator (Nationwide)
6. $3000-$7000 grants available (Nationwide)
7. Literature reviews, and John's new book! (Nationwide)


1. Heat-based weed killer (Nationwide)
From: Barry Rice (bamrice(at)ucdavis.edu)

Teresa Catlin pointed me toward a web page on the "Forever Green" site:
This company is selling several models of chemical-free, heat based weed
killers. Most are good only for lawns, sidewalks, and farm fields, but the
"Punto" model has promise.

It is a gas-powered, hand-held device (looks like a metal detector for the
beach). The tip has a rod which is heated to 600 C. It costs $225 Canadian
(about $149 US).

Has anyone tried this device?


2. Lesser celandine (Pennsylvania)
From: Roger Latham (rlatham1(at)swarthmore.edu)

Just in the last decade or so, populations of the garden-escape Ranunculus
ficaria (lesser celandine) have exploded in moist woods and other
habitats. It is a perennial spring ephemeral and forms monospecific
carpets in April and May. Many of these patches are expanding visibly
from year to year. Unlike most native spring ephemerals, its foliage
often achieves 100 percent ground cover over large areas, making it a
formidable competitor for light. Its spread is a threat to species-rich
displays of native spring wildflowers at several nature reserves in
southeastern Pennsylvania. There is not yet an element stewardship
abstract for the species. Does anyone have experience in controlling
lesser celandine, or know of any literature on the subject?


3. Garlon-in-oil giveaway (Nationwide)
From: Malcolm Hodges (mhodges(at)tnc.org)

We have 30 gallons (in 2.5-gal plastic jugs) of Pathfinder available, free
for the taking (almost). This is a Dow AgroSciences product made up of
Garlon in an oil base, pre-mixed and ready to use. It is being donated by
an Atlanta office of Dow AgroSciences because this mix is not suitable for
cold temperatures; apparently, it gets cloudy or thick in cold weather
(although I believe that doesn't alter its efficacy). The Georgia field
office of TNC has used this product in recent years to successfully combat
Chinese privet, autumn olive and Chinese tallow-tree, with basal bark
applications either painted or sprayed on. If anyone is interested in
taking this, and can pay to have it shipped via UPS, I'll be glad to pick
it up from Dow and send it to you. Please make requests in 5-gallon
increments, as it comes in 2-jug boxes.

Contact Malcolm Hodges, Conservation Ecologist with The Nature Conservancy
of Georgia, 404-873-7979 ext. 231.


4. Phalaris arundinacea control (Oregon)
From: Dan Salzer (dsalzer(at)tnc.org)

We are presently spending a lot of $$$ and staff time controlling reed
canary grass (Phalaris arundincacea) at our Sycan Marsh preserve using a
single strategy (spraying plants in June). I am interested in evaluating
various combinations of mowing (or possibly grazing) / burning / spraying
and various timing combinations of these treatments that prove effective
while minimizing the volume of herbicide used.

Are you aware of any research efforts currently underway to evaluate
alternative control techniques for reed canary grass? I'd like to contact
these investigators to learn more about their ongoing efforts.


5. Field tests of Klip Kleen applicator (Nationwide)
From: Barry Rice (bamrice(at)ucdavis.edu)

I recently bought a device from A.M.Leonard Co., called the KlipKleen
applicator. This device applies herbicide directly onto the blade of hand
held shears so you can cut and apply herbicide at the same time.

A mostly negative review of this drippy device is on our web site at:


6. $3000-$7000 grants available (Nationwide)
From: Barry Rice (bamrice(at)ucdavis.edu)

Grants in the above range are available from the National Wildlife
Federation's Species Recovery fund at:

These grants are applicable to those who are working with the following
taxa: arroyo toad (Bufo californicus), bald eagle, desert tortoise, timber
wolf, grizzly bear, indiana bat (Myotis sodalis), Kemp's ridley sea
turtle, Lear's (indigo) macaw, pacific northwest salmon, pondberry
(Lindera melissifolia), prairie chickens/sage grouse, red-cockaded
woodpecker, sonoran pronghorn, Utah and black-tailed prairie dog, prairie
fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara), whooping crane.

The following six broad topics are also eligible for funding: 1)Endangered
butterflies of North American; 2)Endangered cats of North America;
3)Endangered plants of Hawaii; 4)Endangered whales of North America;
5)Imperiled freshwater mussels; 6)Imperiled neotropical migratory


7. Literature reviews, and John's new book! (Nationwide)
From: John Randall (jarandall(at)ucdavis.edu)


Possessky, S.L, C.E. Williams and M.J. Moriarity. 2000. Glossy buckthorn,
Rhamnus frangula L.: a threat to riparian plant communities of the northern
Allegheny plateau (USA). Natural Areas Journal 20(3):290-292.

This study found that glossy buckthorn invasion decreases the total cover
and alters the species dominance of the herbaceous layer in riparian
savanna in the Allegheny National Forest, western Pennsylvania. Earlier
work indicated riparian zones are hotspots for vascular plant diversity
within the region. The authors assessed buckthorn density, total
herbaceous cover and cover by species in 2 uninvaded and 2 invaded
riparian savanna plots. Buckthorn density was about 10 times higher,
canopy density signficantly higher and total herbaceous cover
significantly lower in invaded plots. Species richness of non-woody
plants (ferns and allies, forbs and graminoids) was not significantly
different between invaded and uninvaded plots, however. Total species
richness and woody species richness were actually significantly greater in
the herbaceous layer of invaded plots. The herbaceous layer of invaded
plots was similar in composition to that in uninvaded plots, but different
species dominated. The increased species richness in invaded plots was
primarily due to greater richness of woody species seedlings in the
herbaceous layer. However, the authors suggest that glossy buckthorn will
maintain and increase a dense, persistent canopy by filling gaps with root
sprouts and thereby suppress the other woody species as well as the
herbaceous layer.

McKinney, M.L. and J.L. Lockwood. 1999. Biotic homogenization: a few
winners replacing many losers in the next mass extinction. Trends in
Ecology & Evolution (TREE) 14(11):450-453.

Most species (losers) are declining as a result of human activities while a
few species are increasing and replacing them (winners). Declining species
are concentrated in certain taxa and increasing species are concentrated in
different taxa with the result that overall diversity is being more sharply
reduced as whole groups decline and remaining 'winners' are concentrated in
just a few groups. Diversity loss is also exacerbated by invasions by a
relatively few, highly successful non-native species which further
homogenize global flora and fauna. As in past mass extinctions, species
with broad diets and tolerance, rapid dispersal and high reproduction occur
disproportionately among 'winners'. Not a good paper to read if you are
already feeling blue.

Amsberry, L., M.A. Baker, P.J. Ewanchuck and M.D. Bertness. 2000. Clonal
integration and the expansion of Phragmites australis. Ecological
Applications 10(4): 1110-1118.

Study conducted in 2 sites in coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island
examined whether physical stresses and competition in low marsh slows the
spread of Phrag and whether physiological integration of Phrag clones
enable them to spread into stressful low marsh habitat they couldn't
invade otherwise. Physical stresses in low marsh did limit Phrag survival
and growth, particularly in Spartina alterniflora marsh. Competition
appeared to play a smaller role in low marsh. Rhizome-severing
experiments demonstrated that clonal integration helps Phrag invade low
marsh, particularly in high-salinity habitats. The paper touches on but
does not answer questions about why over the past approximately 30 years
Phrag, a species native to the region, appears to have been aggressively
invading low and mid-marsh habitats that it did not occupy earlier.


Richardson, D.M. P. Pysek, M. Rejmanek, M.G. Barbour F.D. Panetta and C.J.
West. 2000. Naturalization of alien plants: concepts and definition.
Diversity and Distributions 6: 93-107.

Six authors hailing from 4 continents plus New Zealand make an effort to
clear up confusion about the terminology used to describe the
establishment of non-native plants. Based on an extensive survey of the
scientific literature they propose use of a minimum set of key terms as
follows: INTRODUCTION means a plant species has been transported by humans
across a major geographical barrier; NATURALIZATION starts when abiotic
and biotic barriers to survival and regular reproduction in the site of
introduction are surmounted; INVASION requires that the introduced plants
produce reproductive offspring in areas distant from the original site of
introduction - approximate scales >100 m in less than 50 years for taxa
spreading by seeds and >6m within 3 years for taxa spreading vegetatively.
Note that this definition of INVASION differs from that used in the
Presidential Executive Order on Invasive Species which requires that an
'invasive species' not only spread from the site of introduction but cause
significant economic and/or environmental harm. Richardson et al advocate
the use of terms like PESTS or WEEDS for the species that have harmful
effects and TRANSFORMERS for those that change the character, condition,
form or nature of ecosystems over substantial areas. A simple schematic
diagram (Figure 1) helps clarify their proposed definitions. They urge
that instances where native species form new populations or move into
habitats where they had been absent or sparse be referred to as
'colonization' or 'encroachment' rather than invasion to avoid confusion.
Finally, they urge that clear definitions be given or referred to in all
invasion biology papers, no matter what terms are used.

Davis, M. A. and K. Thompson. 2000. Eight ways to be a Colonizer; two
ways to be an Invader: a proposed nomenclature scheme for invasion ecology.
Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. July 2000:226-230.

Overall, a paper that adds more confusion than clarity to the issue; NOT
recommended. The paper outlines some good ideas such as the importance of
distinguishing between different types of invaders based on 1. whether
they disperse short on long distances; 2. whether they are common or novel
to the environment they invade and; 3. whether they have small or great
impacts on the habitats they invade. The authors confuse matters,
however, by advising that species which have been in an area a long time
should no longer be considered non-native (or exotic, alien, etc.) and
then give no time-line for this but instead advise that it will be up to
the ecologist to define this in the context of the system. They offer the
many old-field species that came to eastern North America centuries ago as
examples but a few paragraphs later use purple loosestrife (Lythrum
salicaria) as an example of a novel invader although it too was introduced
to North America at least two centuries ago.


Now available in better book stores: "Invasive Plants of California's
Wildlands" edited by Carla C. Bossard, TNC's very own John M. Randall, and
Marc C. Hoshovsky. University of California Press, Berkeley. 360 pp.
$29.95 paperback

See http://www.ucpress.edu/books/pages/9109.html for more information. The
book was written for wildland managers in California and adjacent states.
It contains introductory chapters on the impacts and control of invasive
plants plus 74 'Species Accounts' covering a total of 83 species from the
California Exotic Pest Plant Council (CalEPPC) List of Pest Plants (some
Accounts cover 2 or more similar species in the same genus). Each species
account includes photographs and line drawing of the plant and sections on
how to identify it, where it can be found, how it impacts natural areas,
how it reproduces and grows and how to control it. Current and former TNC
staff who contributed species accounts include Ed Alverson, Tamara Kan, Rob
Klinger, Andrea Pickart, Oren Pollack and John Randall. I wish I had a
financial motive for posting this notice but all royalties from the book go
to CalEPPC rather than the editors or authors. Copies are available from
CalEPPC at a $5 discount ($24.95) plus sales tax of $1.93 plus $5.00
shipping = $31.88. If you order more than one copy, the shipping for each
additional book is only $2.00. Orders should be sent to KW Publications
(profits go to CalEPPC) via fax: 858-271-1425; email: mkellysd(at)aol.com.

Updated November 2000
©The Nature Conservancy, 1999