Reasearch Shows Many Garden Ornamentals Are Invasive Plants

Reasearch Shows Many Garden Ornamentals Are Invasive Plants

UMass Amherst study finds that inconsistent regulations are responsible for this phenomenon  Results of a new study by ecologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst show that 1,330 nurseries, garden centers and online retailers are still offering hundreds of invasive plant species as ornamental garden plants. This includes 20 species that are illegal to grow or sell nationwide.   The study, “Invaders for Sale: The Ongoing Spread of Invasive Species by the Plant Trade Industry,” published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, shows that existing regulatory and ethical guidelines do not serve to limit the widespread introduction of invasive plants and that more than 60 percent of the 1,285 plants identified as invasive remain for sale. “Once we’ve recognized that an ornamental plant can be invasive, we would hope that commercial sales of that species would stop,” says lead author Evelyn M. Beaury, a graduate student in organismic and evolutionary biology at UMass. “But our findings show that our current framework for removing invasive plants from plant...
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Research Shows We Can Understand Ecology by Connecting the Dots

Research Shows We Can Understand Ecology by Connecting the Dots

UMass Amherst study shows demography is the key to managing habitat loss and fragmentation   City sprawl and road development is increasingly fragmenting the habitats that many plant and animal species need to survive. Ecologists have long known that sustainable development requires attention to ecological connectivity — the ability to keep plant and wildlife populations intact and healthy, typically by preserving large tracts of land or creating habitat corridors for animals. New research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst argues that it’s not enough for ecological modeling to focus on the landscape. If we want the best-possible ecological management, we should consider when and where individuals are located. “Everybody needs a place to live,” says Joseph Drake, a graduate student in the department of environmental conservation and the organismic and evolutionary biology program at UMass, and the lead author of the research that appeared recently in Ecography. “Humans build roads, but animals and plants have pathways. Movement along the pathways are essential to the...
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Research Reveals Invasive Plant Management Requires Communication

Research Reveals Invasive Plant Management Requires Communication

UMass Amherst study shows inconsistent regulations across states are hindering attempts to control propagation As summer unfolds, more than 500 species of invasive plants will be taking root in fields, lawns, and gardens across the U.S. And as plants continue to move north driven by climate change, the number of invasives will only increase. Unfortunately, inconsistent regulations that vary from state to state means that invasive plants have an edge on our attempts to control them. However, new research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently published in the Journal of Applied Ecology suggests that we already have an answer in hand: communication. “We know that invasive plants are causing both ecological and economic harm in the U.S.,” says Emily Fusco, one of the paper’s lead authors and a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Environmental Conservation at UMass. One of the best tools that invasive-species managers have are prohibited plant lists, which are compiled and maintained by state and county-level officials to...
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New Recreational Angling Technologies May Pose Risks to Fisheries

New Recreational Angling Technologies May Pose Risks to Fisheries

UMass Amherst co-authored study shows scientists need to work closely with resource management agencies to assess impacts. New developments in recreational fishing technology — from the use of aerial drones and social media scouting reports to advances in hook design — are creating challenges for fisheries management and effective policy making, according to a new study co-authored by University of Massachusetts Amherst researcher Andy Danylchuk. With the opening of the spring fishing season, millions of recreational fishing aficionados across North America are dusting off their tackle boxes, fitting together their rods, and heading to the bait and tackle shop to purchase the latest in fish-catching gear. But what impact does all that new technology have on the fish themselves? “There are still so many unknowns,” says Danylchuk, professor of fish conservation in the UMass Amherst department of environmental conservation, and co-author of a new paper that investigates the relationship between fishing technology and fish ecosystems. “There’s more attention paid to products we use with our pets than...
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We congratulate our 2021 Natural Resources Conservation graduates!

We congratulate our 2021 Natural Resources Conservation graduates!

Congratulations Natural Resources Conservation graduates! We are so very proud of you and all of your accomplishments these past years. Good luck out there, in the workforce, graduate school, or on other life adventures. Keep in touch, and keep us as part of your professional network. We wish the best for you and will continue to be here for you. Find our Senior Celebration page here with a recording of our spring 2021 Awards ceremony, where students were recognized for exceptional work and accomplishments....
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