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Global Invasive Species Team listserve digest #133

Thu Feb 03 2005 - 12:25:12 PST

1. Phragmites australis gossip (Global, Planet Earth)
2. USDA APHIS quarantines (Nationwide, USA)
3. Online restoration database (Nationwide, USA)
4. CIPM grants (Western states, Planet Earth)
5. AZ Wildlands Invasive Plants website is online! (Arizona, USA)
6. A new defoliating moth detected (Massachusetts, USA)
7. National Invasive Weed Awareness Week (Nationwide, USA)
8. Invasive Weeds Day at the Capitol in Sacramento (California, USA)
9. Beach vitex alert! (Eastern coastal states, USA)
10. Farm Bill and invasives (Nationwide, USA)


1. Phragmites australis gossip (Global, Planet Earth)
From: Barry Rice (bamrice(at)ucdavis.edu)

A new paper (Saltonstall, et al., 2004, Sida 21:2, 683-692) describes (among
other things) how to to distinguish non-native and native Phragmites, and
establishes the new name Phragmites australis subsp. americanus to denote
the North American native form of this plant. You can download this paper

Some of the key, reliable characteristics useful for distinguishing native
(P. australis subsp. americanus) and non-native strains of Phragmites are:

1)Ligule length: 1.0-1.7 mm (native) vs. 0.4-0.9 mm (non-native);
2)Lower glume length: 3.0-6.5 mm (native) vs. 2.5-5.0 mm (non-native).

Thanks to Kate O'Brien (F&WS) for telling me about this!


2. USDA APHIS quarantines (Nationwide, USA)
From: Faith Campbell (fcampbell(at)tnc.org)

USDA APHIS has produced an alert providing website links for information
about quarantines applicable to trees and areas at risk of spreading both
emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) and Asian longhorned beetle
(Anoplophora glabripennis). I am surprised it does not include sudden oak
death. This alert has been temporarily uploaded to the Invasive Species
Initiative web site at:

Also uploaded to the ISI web space is a pdf poster distributed by the
National Park Service warning people not to carry wood from these affected
areas into parks for use in the campgrounds:
We can all help the cause of containing these critters by disseminating
information about the quarantine.


3. Online restoration database (Nationwide, USA)
From: Monica Pokorny (mpokorny(at)montana.edu)

The Center for Invasive Plant Management (CIPM) has developed an online
Restoration Resource Database (http://ag.msu.montana.edu/cipmresource/) to
allow land managers to search for literature, books, handbooks, and web
sites on restoration, particularly related to invasive species. References
from federal and state agencies, journals, conservation organizations, and
others have been consolidated into one easy-to-access online database. A
search provides users with a citation, a short description of the resource,
and contact information and/or web links for obtaining the resource.

A component of the database is on-the-ground restoration project information
provided by land managers. This information is intended to allow land
managers to learn from each other's successes and failures, build
collaborations, become aware of projects in their local area, and gain
recognition for their restoration work.

This database is in the initiation phase and is continually being expanded
with new resources (currently 700 resources).


4. CIPM grants (Western states, Planet Earth)
From: Janet Clark (cipm(at)montana.edu)

The Center for Invasive Plant Management (CIPM) is announcing the
availability of grants up to $5,000 for Cooperative Weed Management Areas
(CWMAs) in the western U.S. Deadline for online application is March 4,
2005. This year CIPM's CWMA grant program will focus on
restoration/reclamation/revegetation of invasive-plant-dominated lands.
For more information, see
Also, CIPM offers research grants in three categories: 1)Seed money for the
initial collection and analysis of ecological data; 2)Applied Science, i.e.
application of the threshold concept to improve decision-making for invasive
plants of rangelands, wildlands, forests, or riparian areas, and;
3)Information Synthesis: Impacts of invasive plants on riparian ecology. The
grant submission deadline is 15 March, 2005.

For more information: http://www.weedcenter.org/grants/grants_rsrch.htm


5. AZ Wildlands Invasive Plants website is online! (Arizona, USA)
From: Dana Backer (dbacker(at)tnc.org)

Some very exciting news from the AZ Wildlands Invasive Plant Working Group!

The Arizona Wildlands Invasive Plant web site is now live and can be
accessed through the USGS Southwest Exotic Plant Information Clearinghouse
URL at http://www.usgs.nau.edu/SWEPIC/index.html

Check out the AZ-WIP link to learn about the evaluation process, the roles
and responsibilities of the Working Group members, the intended use of the
Wildlands Invasive Plant List, and how to get involved. In addition, you
will find some of the plant evaluations the Working Group has reviewed as
well as the standardized criteria used to evaluate certain non-native plants
that threaten wildlands.

Please contact me if you have any questions or comments regarding the
website or the Wildlands Invasive Plant Working Group.


6. A new defoliating moth detected (Massachusetts, USA)
From: Frank Lowenstein (flowenstein(at)tnc.org)

At a recent USDA meeting, Joe Elkinton (U Mass) gave a talk on the winter
moth (Operophtera brumata), a new forest pest detected in coastal
Massachusetts (around Plymouth). Winter moths feed on virtually any
deciduous woody tree or shrub. The eggs hatch at bud break, defoliate the
tree or shrub and complete their feeding in three weeks. No native
parasitoids or diseases are affecting the moth. Repeated defoliation over
several years is likely to produce high tree/shrub mortality. The moth could
also affect native lepidopterans by reducing food supply and competing for
food--and that's not even considering the possible community-level impacts!

Good news: The females don't fly, so spread should be slow. Also, there is a
biocontrol agent that has been used to successfully control the beast in two
locations in Canada.

Bad news: The biocontrol agent is so successful that nobody in Canada is
rearing populations anymore. Elkinton spent four days shaking down trees in
Nova Scotia (literally) and found only 400 winter moth larvae. From those
he was able to extract 10 of the biocontrol organisms to use as the
foundation of a rearing program. He estimates at least 5 years until
biocontrol; possibly much longer. Also, non-target impacts on the fauna in
the USA may need to be evaluated.

**Note from listmaster Barry---you can learn about this pest by doing a web
search on "Elkinton winter moth" or also from the following species profile:


7. National Invasive Weed Awareness Week (Nationwide, USA)
From: Elizabeth Sklad (esklad(at)tnc.org)

The 6th National Invasive Weed Awareness Week (NIWAW) is February 27-March
4, 2005. The main event will be held in Washington, DC, featuring high-level
briefings from each of the USDA and Interior agencies working on invasive
This is also a great time for TNC staff to lobby the Congressional
delegation about invasive species issues in their state, and to meet others
working on invasive species issues around the country.
If you are planning to attend, please let me know so that we can coordinate
TNC participation. I have NIWAW posters that can be tailored to promote your
local/state weed awareness week activities. Please let me know ASAP how many
posters you would like--first come, first served!
NIWAW registration forms and hotel information can be found at:
Get the early meeting registration rate ($75) by February 16, 2005.


8. Invasive Weeds Day at the Capitol in Sacramento (California, USA)
From: Wendy West (wendyw(at)co.el-dorado.ca.us)

The California Invasive Weeds Awareness Coalition (CALIWAC) is sponsoring
the second annual Invasive Weeds Day at the Capitol in Sacramento on
Wednesday, March 9, 2005. The day will include briefings with state
agencies, how to meet with legislators, and appointments with California
legislators in the afternoon. This will be an excellent opportunity to
educate legislators about invasive weed issues and how these issues affect
all Californians!

Please register by Wednesday, February 16: registration material is at


9. Beach vitex alert! (Eastern coastal states, USA)
From: Beth Bockoven (bbockoven(at)tnc.org)

This deciduous woody vine (Vitex rotundifolia) from the Pacific Rim was
introduced to the southeastern US in the mid-1980s for use as an ornamental
and for beach stabilization. By the mid-1990s, plant specialists began to
notice beach vitex spreading from the original plantings on the South
Carolina Beach. It is a problem because it crowds out the native sea oats
and other native vegetation, and forms inpenetrable masses on the beaches in
which sea turtles can get tangled. In the fall of 2003, a task force,
comprising local, state and federal agencies was formed to address this
issue on the Carolina Coast and beyond. The Beach Vitex Task Force Website
is http://www.northinlet.sc.edu/resource/vitex.htm. If you know of areas
where this plant exists, please report the locations to Dale Suiter, USFWS,
Raleigh, NC, 919-856-4520x18 or Dale_Suiter(at)fws.gov.


10. Farm Bill and invasives (Nationwide, USA)
From: Ellen Jacquart (ejacquart(at)tnc.org)

I'm interested in hearing from anyone (TNC or not) who is using money from
Farm Bill programs (WHIP, EQIP, FLEP, WRP, CRP, etc.) to attack invasive
plant species; please send me a very brief summary of what you've done.

Specifically, tell me which Farm Bill program you've worked with, which
invasive species you've attacked, how many acres were treated, how many
$/acre you received, your view on how effective the funding strategy was
(e.g. did the administrative costs associated with the money outweigh what
you were able to accomplish, did you have the flexibility you needed to
achieve control given the program constraints, etc.) and any suggestions for
others on how to best access this money. I'll summarize what I receive and
let people know what I found out.

Updated Februar 2005
©The Nature Conservancy, 2004