Archbold Biological Station
Biennial Report 1995-1996

P.O. Box 2057 Lake Placid, Florida 33862 USA
863-465-2571 FAX: 863-699-1927

back to biennial 1995 home page

Accomplishments 1995-96

• Organized Exotics Week involving over 30 volunteers and Staff contributing a total of 140 hours to survey and control exotic plants on the Station's Main Property and Price Tract.

• Mapped all known Station occurrences of 6 most invasive exotic species: cogon grass, rosary pea, climbing fern, feral hogs, Brazilian pepper, Melaleuca.

• At the Station, initially treated 8 separate cogon grass populations, 2 areas with rosary pea and air potato, 1 patch of climbing fern, and several individual Brazilian peppers and Melaleuca trees. Also, trapped and removed more than 25 feral hogs.

Locations of some exotic plants, 1996
exotictn.jpg (52844 bytes)
(Click on Image for larger map)

Exotic Species Management

Project Directors: Kevin N. Main, Rebecca Yahr
Exotic Maintenance Crew: Station Staff, Interns, Visiting Scientists, and Volunteers in cooperation with the Exotic Pest Plant Council and The Nature Conservancy

As part of the Station's commitment to understand, interpret, and preserve our share of the earth's natural diversity, we must ensure that exotic plants and animals do not displace native species, communities, or ecological processes. Although scrub, with its droughty, infertile soils, is often regarded as relatively immune to invasion by exotic plants, increasing development and concomitant habitat fragmentation are bringing high-quality scrubs in closer contact with disturbed soils and fallow lands which can be seed sources for exotic plant species. Exotic plant species sporadically but continually appear along roads and railroad rights of way and as ornamental escapees. For example, the Station's Main Grounds are home to more than 10 plant species listed as invasive by Florida's Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC). Two of these, rosary pea (Abrus precatorius) and air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera), have slowly crept outward from the Main Grounds toward high-quality scrub since the 1960s. We are unwilling witnesses to a few cases of increasing threats from exotic species: the slow but insidious invasion of rosary pea in several intact, though overgrown, sites distant from the Main Grounds; climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum) threatening to overtop a bayhead; and cogon grass (Imperata brasilensis) establishing in a previously undisturbed seasonal pond. Despite these few examples, the Station's 5,000-acre Main Property has largely persisted as an extensive, high-quality landscape. To prevent encroachment by exotics and to preserve the biotic integrity of the native communities and species we study, we must control, and eventually eliminate exotic species.

As a critical part of land management planning and in cooperation with the EPPC, the Station is developing an Exotic Species Management Plan. Our upcoming work will involve identification and prioritization of our most invasive species and invaded sites followed by treatments recommended and tested by EPPC. Already, we have made progress mapping current distributions of exotics on the Main Property (see map, this page) and on our satellite tracts. In November 1996, we organized a week-long work session to control and eliminate exotic species; thanks to more than 30 staff, interns, and volunteers from The Nature Conservancy who participated. Successful treatments already applied include disking and/or spraying several separate cogon grass invasions and pulling rosary pea and air potato from a focal invasion on Red Hill and in the Main Grounds. Bert Crawford, Maintenance Supervisor, has continued to successfully trap feral hogs at the Station. Other treatments include removing Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) and Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia) trees from the Lake Placid Scrub Preserve. Research regarding the efficacy of different control methods will be integrated into our control efforts. Our work will concentrate on controlling our focal infestations, but should be eventually integrated into maintenance operations rather than a major offensive program.



Lohrer, F.E. (Editor). 1998. Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1995-1996. Archbold Biological Station, Lake Placid. 62 pp.
Archbold Biological Station, 1998 October.
Webmaster: Fred Lohrer.