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NY Invasive Species Research Institute appoints Carrie Brown-Lima as Coordinator

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Thousands of introduced species have taken up residence in the US, posing serious threats to agriculture, human health, and the integrity of our lands and waters.

As a major port of entry, New York State, with its vast natural and agricultural resources, is vulnerable to damage from many of these invasive species.

NYISRI serves the scientific research community, natural resource and land managers, and state offices and sponsored organizations by promoting information-sharing and developing recommendations and implementation protocols for research, funding, and management, all in an effort to improve the scientific basis of invasive species management.

Spotlight on Research

What is the importance of deer and earthworms in facilitating non-native plant invasions? How can we manage these multiple stressors?

These important questions motivate the research of Annise Dobson, a graduate student of Dr. Bernd Blossey, Associate Professor of Natural Resources at Cornell University. Evidence from work in the Finger Lakes Region and in the Hudson River suggests that native white-tailed deer are the overwhelming stressor of forest ecosystems in the region.  But advancing Asian earthworms in the genus Amynthas 1 (often called crazy worms due their rapid wiggling behavior) have devastating effects on forest floor communities including invertebrates and salamanders.  Both advancing earthworms and high deer populations favor non-native plant invasions.  Targeting invasive plants for removal (such as garlic mustard) will have little conservation benefits without also addressing the underlying deer and earthworm problems. 

 1 Asian Earthworms (Amynthas sp.) are on the NY Department of Environmental Conservation list of prohibited species.  The new Part 575 invasive species regulations was recently published in the September 10, 2014 NYS Register (see the PDF for more information)

Find out what other species are on the list:



Photos: Bernd Blossey and Vicki Nuzzo
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