Invasive Species Program

Control and Management

Tracking the establishment and spread of existing and new invasive species is critical to reducing their incurred costs. USGS research improves existing invasive species control methods and develops and tests new chemical, physical, molecular, and biological methods of control, including gene silencing, microbial symbionts, and other innovative technologies.

Filter Total Items: 31
Date published: August 29, 2019
Status: Active

Sourcing plants for conservation and restoration: developing a risk assessment framework

Tallgrass prairie species are planted in a variety of settings for a variety of reasons. Much of the seed used for these plantings is produced commercially in agricultural-like conditions and can be contaminated by “weed seeds.” In this study, we are creating an analytical tool to assess the risk of inadvertently introducing weed seeds into a prairie planting. We purpose that increasing the...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: August 6, 2019
Status: Completed

Treasure Coast and Central Florida Fish Slams- 2019

In March and June 2019, USGS researchers joined partners in Treasure Coast and Central Florida where they sampled freshwater bodies for non-native fishes. The bi-annual Fish Slam event helps monitor new introductions and document range expansion of known non-native fishes. 

Date published: July 19, 2019
Status: Active

Using Robots in the River: Biosurveillance at USGS streamgages

For more than a decade, researchers around the world have shown that sampling a water body and analyzing for DNA (a method known as eDNA) is an effective method to detect an organism in the water. The challenge is that finding organisms that are not very abundant requires a lot of samples to locate this needle in a haystack.  Enter the "lab in a can", the water quality sampling and processing...

Date published: May 23, 2019
Status: Active

Cheatgrass and Medusahead

Invasive annual grasses, such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) and medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), are one of the most significant stressors to rangeland ecosystems in the western U.S. Their expansion and dominance across this area are the most damaging ecosystem agents on this iconic landscape.

Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Residual toxicity testing and chemical characterization of ballast water following treatment with NaOH, sparging with scrubbed marine diesel engine exhaust, and aeration

Title of Study Plan:  Residual toxicity testing and chemical characterization of ballast water following treatment with NaOH, sparging with scrubbed marine diesel engine exhaust, and aeration

Contacts:
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

An adaptive management framework to control invasive annual brome grasses in Northern Great Plains parks (ABAM)

Invasion by annual brome grasses (cheatgrass and Japanese or field brome) into National Park Service units (parks) in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) impacts park historical and ecological integrity by reducing native plant diversity and altering ecosystem functioning. Parks currently implement few management actions targeting annual bromes, and consequently these species persist and have even...

Contacts: Amy Symstad
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

What role does prescribed fire play in managing annual bromes in Northern Great Plains grasslands?

Prescribed fire is used in grasslands throughout the Northern Great Plains National Park Service units (parks) to manage fuel loads, control nonnative species, and maintain a vital ecosystem process. Questions about its effects in areas with invasive annual brome grasses require answers to ensure its application produces desired results. Using an experimental approach at two parks in South...

Contacts: Amy Symstad
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Evaluation of tallgrass prairie restoration methods to improve resistance to invasive species and maintenance of plant species diversity over time

When reconstructing native tallgrass prairie from abandoned farmland, patience can pay off. In this research effort, we observed that as reconstructions matured, Canada thistle cover declined even though herbicides were not applied.  There is no single best planting method for all situations.  Ten years after planting, cover of planted, native non-planted, and exotic species varied little...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 28, 2018
Status: Active

Effects of invasive plant species on reproduction of the rare endemic plant Dakota buckwheat (Eriogonum visheri) at Badlands National Park

 Endemism in plants is extremely uncommon in the Great Plains.  Dakota buckwheat is a rare, endemic plant found in only a few locations at Badlands National Park and sites with similar soils outside the park.  In an earlier study, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center inferred that of two common, co-flowering invasive plants, Russian thistle was more likely than yellow sweetclover to...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 26, 2018
Status: Active

To control or not to control: response of pollinator communities to invasive plant management

If invasive plants are producing pollen and nectar used by native pollinators, what happens when a manager decides to control the invasive plant?  Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center is addressing this question and has found that pollinators are adept at changing their resource acquisition strategies as abundantly flowering invasive species decline.  In addition, it appears that the...

Contacts: Diane Larson
Date published: June 20, 2018
Status: Active

Integrated Pest Management / Adaptive Management

A focus of USGS research is to integrate control strategies where applicable to empower land and water
managers to respond rapidly to a wide variety of new invasions across the United States.

Contacts: Earl Campbell
Date published: May 22, 2018
Status: Active

Strategic Planning

The USGS provides science for Department of the Interior bureaus and other decision makers with vital information that they need to fulfill their mission. The diversity of USGS scientific expertise enables the bureau to carry out large-scale, multi-disciplinary investigations and provide impartial scientific information to resource managers and planners. Scientific coordination and...

Contacts: Earl Campbell