Invasive and Noxious Species Control

 

Damaging Both Our Environment and Economy

Invasive species are plants and animals that damage both our environment and economy. Invasive species are often exotic (not found in North America prior to European settlement), and wreak havoc on native ecosystems. These species invade an area and out-compete native plants and animals for resources. Since these invasive species do not have any natural predators, their numbers will continue to grow unchecked without human intervention. Some of these invasive species were brought to the United State intentionally, while others were inadvertently introduced. A great deal of time and money are spent each year in an attempt to control these invaders.

Examples of Invasive Species

Some examples of invasive species here in Tippecanoe County include the Emerald Ash Borer beetle (Agrilus planipennis), which has been eliminating ash trees across the state. Asian bush honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) is an aggressive understory shrub which forms a dense thicket in the forest, shading out all other plants beneath it. Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) forms thick stands in wet areas, over-taking native plants and forming a monoculture. Another invader is the zebra mussel (Dreisenna polymorpha), which attaches to any hard surface underwater, including native mussels, forming a thick layer which damages boats and structures, and kills the native mussel.

Weed: is a plant growing in a location where it is not wanted.

Noxious weeds: government-regulated plants that are deemed detrimental.

Invasive species: aggressive species which reproduce rapidly and out-compete other species for resources, negatively impacting the ecosystem.

Exotic species: species introduced to an area where they do not naturally occur.

State-listed Noxious Weeds:

  • Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)
  • Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria)
  • Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
  • Burcucumber (Sicyos angulatus)
  • Columbus grass (Sorghum almum)
  • Shattercane (Sorghum bicolor)
  • Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense)
Bush-honeysuckle
Bush honeysuckle is a difficult plant to eradicate, since birds feed on the berries and disperse seeds.
Burning-bush
Burning bush (Euonymus alatus), a common landscape shrub, can become established in woodlands and form large thickets. Plants like periwinkle (Vinca minor),English Ivy (Hedera helix) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides) can escape from yards and damage natural areas.
EmeraldAshBorer
Symptoms of Emerald Ash Borer damage include crown die off, epicormic shoots (leaves sprouting from the trunk), splitting bark, increased woodpecker activity, D-shaped holes in bark and winding galleries beneath the bark. (Photo courtesy of USDA)
zebra-mussels
Cluster of zebra mussels attached to a larger, native mussel. Zebra mussels have been found in the Tippecanoe and Wabash Rivers. (photo courtesy of Indiana DNR)

For more information on Invasive and Noxious Species Control:

 

Midwest Invasive Plant Network, Cooperative Weed Management Area Resource Page

Indiana Invasive Species Council

Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Invasive Species Page

National Invasive Species Council

Purdue University Botany and Plant Pathology, Invasive Species

Play, Clean, Go

Invasive Plant Species Assessment Work Group (IPSAWG)

Report IN, Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System

Brown County Native Woodlands Project, Non-Native Invasive Species Calendar of Control

 

 Additional Links for Specific Species:

Asian Bush Honeysuckle

Canada Thistle

Garlic Mustard

Tree of Heaven

 

 

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