North American Invasive Plant Ecology and Management Short Course
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Discussion

A few questions from the 2013-2014 Webinar Series.....

October 24 -

  • Why is the topic of the plant microbiome and invasive plants not closer to the forefront of research or even management?
  • How long will a sorghum rhizome survive or be viable and how much do abiotic conditions affect the sorghum microbiome?
  • Why does it matter more what microorganisms do than what they look like?

November 13 -

  • What is causing the recent spike in interest in Tamarix?
  • What is the reason for the variation in water use by Tamarix - does it relate to competive ability?
  • How much does the fluctuation in annual precipitation play a role in native plant communtiy response to Tamarix invasion
  • What is keeping Tamarix from becoming invasive in its native range?

November 21 -

  • What is the main draw for getting participation from such a large and diverse number of groups?
  • How is shredding simlar to and different from grazing?
  • What type of monitoring is done for the herbicides applied to control Phragmites?
  • Out of all of the management techniques, which one is most effective?
  • What would happen if nothing was done to control Phragmites in the Platte River?

December 5 -

  • Can you tell us more about the cameras - installation, maintenance, protection? How did you get permission on all of the sites where you are working?
  • How did you decide where to put all of the cameras?
  • Capturing ecosystem processes occuring over time - how do we make accurate assessments from these visual images?
  • How is this information being used to educate your audiences?

February 6 -

  • Between land, air, and boat which would you say is the largest perpetrator of spreading the seeds of invasive plants?
  • Is there a way to determine whether invasive species have been transported by humans versus their natural dispersion mechanism?
  • Do you thnk that "invasive" has turned into a more emotional term than Darwin or Watson ever intended?

February 20 -

  • Ben Franklin didn't have internet and yet was able to spread an invasive plant by sending the seeds to America from China. Interesting how we're still doing the same thing with more knowledge about the impact.
  • Is there a cause for why germination of tallow tree seed is so poor in the natural environment?
  • How has this pioneering research helped to confirm the EICA theory of invasion?

March 4 -

  • Is this active management the same for arid lands and temperate grasslands and savannah type regions?
  • What is the best way to get desirable plants back into an open niche? Or, what is the best way to protect a possible open niche in an ecosystem?
  • Increasing the probability of success is a major focus, but what is the biggest part of the cost for achieving success - chemicals, labor, or something else?

March 20 -

  • You showed a picture of the roots of leafy spurge. How important is it to know something about the roots to effectively manage leafy spurge?
  • Interesting that to keep an orchid, the leafy spurge had to be controlled, but doing so would remove the orchid. Is this any motivation for developing new herbicide chemistries?
  • Any thoughts on how to reduce the susceptible plant species without changing the compound?
  • Toadflax is an emerging weed problem, what are your thoughts on management in cool season grasses?

April 3 -

  • Reconstruction vs. restoration - what is the difference?
  • Would the affect on the native grasses be different if the soil had been conditioned by a non-native grass, for example smooth brome?
  • Do all invasive species have legacy effects in some form?
  • Would indroducing more insect species that pollinate native plant species over invasive species be a possible restoration method?

April 17 -

  • Settling the prairies has provided positive and negative consequences, just like the alteration of rivers through dams and irrigation. Now, we are seeing the recent changes in vegetation structure and function, which begs the question of how to restore for the future knowing that we can't go back to the past.
  • If the fire is large enough and hot enough to kill trees, won't it also inhibit native forbs and benefit invasives like cheatgrass?
  • Is there a different protocol for burning during a drought in the summer versus burning in the spring or late winter with adequate moisture?

May 1 -

  • What types of invasive plants did you see in New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa?
  • Many prairie grassland species can withstand drought to -14 bar. Is there variation within a species? How much does this affect survival?
  • What is the mechanism by which forbs outcompete grasses - fatter roots and wider leaves?
  • Will sustained drought eliminate completely those plant species that are not drought tolerant?

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