I attended the Invasive Plant Symposium 2011 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on December 14 and 15. The event was co-hosted by the North Central Weed Science Society. I tried to take a step back and look at some of the overarching topics discussed in the talks:
Mapping – critical for early detection and management of invasive species. EDDMapS, for example, is a nationwide effort to map invasive species distrubution.
Invasion Vectors – roads, railroads, waterways, powerlines are all routes for the spread of invasive plants.
Prevention (e.g., cleaning off seeds and propagules from equipment), detection, and early control can limit the spred.
Cooperative Weed Management Areas – neighbors banding together to prevent, detect, and control invasive plants.
Protecting Gems – native prairies, wetlands, and other ecosystems can’t just be islands. Buffer zones around these areas are critical.
Urban Area Management – some of these sites are highly disturbed and altered. But at every conference I have been to, someone talks about rare and endangered plants that exist right in cities like Milwaukee.
Best Practices – Guidelines for organizations (forestry, construction, utilities, etc.) on detecting and preventing the spread of invasive plants.