Day One, August 4
8:15am Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00am Welcome and Introduction —Damien Ossi, President, Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council
9:10am Keynote Talk: Invasive Plants Are NOT for the Birds—Johnny Randall, Director of Conservation Programs, North Carolina Botanical Garden, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The co-evolutionary relationship between birds and the dispersal of fleshy fruits has gone bad. The bird/plant mutualism benefits multitudes of plants (for the effective dispersal of fruits/seeds) and birds (that receive a nutritious “reward”). Non-native plants (both invasive and benign) have “spoiled” this relationship by facilitating invasive plant spread, competing with native plants for fleshy fruit dispersal, and altering bird nutrition. In this presentation I will discuss the relationship between and among these separate but related phenomena for some of the common and incipient invasive plants in our region.
10:30am Ecological Restoration of Invaded Urban Forests: What Is Possible? —Lea Johnson, Assistant Professor at the Univesity of Maryland
More than half of humanity now lives in cities. Municipalities are increasingly turning to ecological restoration of urban forests to provide ecosystem services that cannot be outsourced. These forests are subjected to ongoing human-caused disturbances that provide challenges to restoration, from extreme fragmentation and local atmospheric warming to frequent introduction of non-native, invasive species. Studies of the effects of restoration treatments after 15-20 years in New York City Park forests invaded by non-native woody plants indicate both successes and a need for possibility-based approaches to setting targets for urban ecological restoration.
11:00am Using Research to Guide Invasive Plant Management Efforts in the Anacostia River, a River in the Nation's Capital -Jorge Bogantes Montero, Natural Resource Specialist, Stewardship Department, Anacostia Watershed Society
For the last 10 years, the Anacostia Watershed Society (AWS), an environmental non-profit organization in the Washington, DC area, has been tackling the threat posed by invasive plant species in the wetlands, forests, and meadows of the Anacostia River watershed, an urban watershed in the Mid-Atlantic region. Throughout these years, AWS has been looking for ways to prioritize its invasive plant management efforts to make them more successful. As a small non-profit organization, scientific research has not been a top priority for AWS. However, as a way to make invasive plant removal efforts more beneficial and cost effective, AWS has started to measure the efficacy of its invasive plant management efforts by conducting applied field research. This research has made a difference in measuring removal success, recovery of native plant community, and also to determine what removal techniques work best.
11:30am Prioritizing Early Detection Species in the National Capital Region —Mark Frey, Exotic Plant Management Team Liaison, National Capital Region
Invasive plants are found throughout the mid-Atlantic and no one has the resources to attack all plants impacting all areas. One important component of an effective invasive plant control program is target species prioritization. This presentation will discuss the qualitative and semi-quantitative prioritization systems in use or development for the National Parks Service's National Capital Region.
12 noon Lunch
1:15pm The Linville Gorge Wilderness: A Case Study in Adaptive Management —Ben Prater, Director of Conservation, Wild South
The 1964 Wilderness Act called for preservation of “natural” conditions in wilderness areas. For wilderness managers, preserving natural conditions has historically meant to do nothing or to actively prevent the destruction of the resource by disturbance. In recent years, wilderness managers have begun to see that this is a contradiction especially when it comes to “natural” disturbances like wildfire. To further complicate matters we now have threats to our wild places such as the invasion of exotic pests that have drastic impacts on the “natural” conditions and wild character of wilderness areas. Ben will use the Linville Gorge Wilderness, a fire-adapted 12,000 area with rare endemic plants, as a case study in adapting our management strategies as our ecological knowledge expands, threats grow, and our value for wilderness deepens. He will discuss the combined problems of the ecological degradation due to fire suppression and the invasion of non-native invasive plant species.
1:45pm Managing Co-Invaded Forest Ecosystems: Lessons from Research on Co-Occurring Invasive Woody Shrubs —Sara Kuebbing, Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
It is now common to find multiple nonnative, invasive plant species growing side by side in invaded habitats. Yet, a disproportionate amount of research has focused on understanding the effects of single rather than multiple invaders. This is true for eastern deciduous forests, which can be invaded by multiple woody shrub species. I discuss how interactions between invasive shrubs can alter their impacts on native plant communities and ecosystem function, and how co-occurring shrubs may indirectly promote the presence of other nonnative plants.
2:15pm Forming a Landowner-Centric Cooperative Weed Management Area (CWMA) —Rod Walker, One of the founders of the Blue Ridge PRISM; landowner in Albemarle County, VA
A brief introduction to CWMAs will be followed by an update on the Blue Ridge PRISM (Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management). The Blue Ridge PRISM is the first CWMA to be headquartered in Virginia. It covers 10 counties (almost 3 million acres) including the entire Shenandoah National Park. This update will cover the strategies and plans for pulling together a large number of diverse landowners to work toward common goals.
3:00pm Mechanical and Biological Controls Methods for Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) —Samantha Nestory, Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Delaware
Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) is an invasive grass that poses a major threat to the biodiversity of many natural areas throughout its introduced range. While there are recommended control methods, few studies have scientifically quantified the efficacy of these control methods. A study conducted through the University of Delaware evaluated the effect of mowing height on regrowth, reproductive output, and the resident plant community.
3:30pm Halt! Who Goes There? Maryland's Weed Risk Assessment Process —Kerrie Kyde, Invasive Plant Ecologist/ Regional Biologist
Natural Heritage Program, Maryland DNR - Wildlife and Heritage Service
In 2011, Maryland created an Invasive Plant Advisory Committee, and adopted a formal risk assessment and ranking system for plants, largely those introduced through ornamental horticulture, This session explains the background of the law, the assessment tool and its use, and the current species rankings of invasive plants within the state. The need for and development of the new Statewide Eyes program is also described.
5:00pm Poster Session and Reception
Day Two, August 5
8:15am Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00am Mid-Atlantic Invasive Plant Council Business Meeting —Damien Ossi, President, MAIPC
9:45am Sustaining Native Pollinators: Beyond the Butterfly Garden -Deborah Delaney, assistant professor of entomology in the Entomology and Wildlife Ecology Department at the University of Delaware
If our native landscapes are to be “sustainable,” our native flora needs to be able to self-perpetuate. This requires seed production and, in turn, the services of pollinators. This presentation will discuss pollinators found in the northeast and their nutritional requirements; the effect of land use on pollinator health and diversity; and new data on pollinator preferences of different plant cultivars within specific genera. Deborah will also cover invasive Plants and their impacts on native pollinators.
10:30am The Ecology and Control of Wavyleaf Basketgrass (Oplismenus undulatifolius) —Vanessa Beauchamp, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Towson University
In her talk Dr. Beauchamp will cover habitat, seed production, dispersal and competitive ability of wavyleaf basketgrass, a relatively new forest understory invader in the mid-Atlantic. She will also talk about an ongoing herbicide control study and a new citizen-science initiative to map the distribution of wayleaf basketgrass.
11:00am Hits and Misses: Managing Japanese Stiltgrass with Preemergence Herbicides—Art Gover, Research Support Associate with the Roadside Vegetation Management Project of the Department of Horticulture at the Penn State University
This talk will review the specifics of using pre-emergence herbicides to manage stiltgrass, compare this approach to postemergent methods, and consider how this approach integrates with other management tools and management of other species in the same setting.
11:30am Source materials for ecological restoration and the role of local adaptation —Norris Muth, associate professor of biology at Juniata College—Managing the invasive species in a site is but one important aspect of the larger goal of restoration. Whether the goals of a project include restoration of function, aesthetics, or a particular community composition, it is always necessary to consider what might come after the weeds are gone (if we should be so fortunate). In the most promising of cases, native or desirable plants may colonize a site at an acceptable rate, unassisted. In other cases it is often necessary to play a more active role towards shaping the future vegetation by intentional introduction or reintroduction of selected species. This type of management leads to a number of potentially non-trivial decisions, including, from where should our restored plants be sourced? Addressing this question carefully is important as it will affect the ultimate success of the effort, the price tag and logistical ease of the project, and the ecological and evolutionary future of the site and the species therein. Our presentation here aims to address some of the major concerns about revegetation provenance choices with a particular focus on the role and scope of local adaptation.
12 noon Lunch
IPC Strike Team Field Demonstration
During this session participants will take a 15 minute stroll to the Peace Chapel Natural Area. The Peace Chapel occupies 14 acres just east of the Juniata College campus, off Warm Springs Avenue in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, and is part of the larger 315-acre Baker-Henry Nature Preserve. The preserve was originally donated to Juniata by John C. Baker and C. Jewett Henry as a bird sanctuary and land preserve. The crew from one of Invasive Plant Control, Inc’s (IPC) Mid Atlantic Strike Teams will be onsite to demonstrate the tools, equipment, and various methods used to treat some of the common invasives in the Mid Atlantic including Ailanthus and spotted knapweed. IPC’s strike teams travel thousands of miles each year selectively treating invasives in natural area and are currently developing a model EDRR Strike Team for the Department of Defense.
3:30pm Return to Conference Room and Adjourn