The rapid establishment of invasive plant species in Rhode Island remains a threat to native ecological biodiversity. Freedom from natural predators, high seed production, and affinity for disturbed habitat sites all contribute to the success of invasive species, leaving native species to struggle for space and resources. The Invasive Plant Management Certification Program (IPMCP) trains green industry professionals working in the coastal zone to provide sustainable invasive plant management services to clients, and to facilitate restoration of degraded coastal habitats.
The URI Extension Outreach Center works alongside professionals from the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), the RI Natural History Survey and the URI Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology to gather information about techniques related to invasive plant eradication and management.
We conduct professional training programs that provide participants with working knowledge of the following topics:
- RIDEM and CRMC Regulations
- The Ecological Value of Vegetative Buffers
- RI’s Native Plant Communities
- Invasive Species Ecology
- Landscape Site Assessment
- Invasive Plant Control Method Overview
- Plant Removal Techniques
- Restorative Planting Considerations
- Monitoring and Maintenance Strategies
Program participants will leave the program as a Certified Invasive Manager recognized by the CRMC. Certification is valid for two years, with the opportunity for recertification and continuing education through the Outreach Center. With the skills learned through the IPMCP, green industry professionals can contribute to habitat management, improvement, and restoration in Rhode Island coastal zones.
Invasive Plant Management Resources & FAQs
Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group – comprehensive database of factsheets; last updated August 2010.
Phellodendron amurense (Amur Corktree)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asian Bittersweet)
Elaeagnus umbellata (Autumn Olive)
Rosa rugosa (Beach Rose)
Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust)
Cynanchum louiseae (Black Swallowwort)
Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush)
Rhamnus cathartica (Common Buckthorn)
Phragmites australis (Common Reed)
Miscanthus sinensis (Eulalia)
Ficaria verna (Fig Buttercup)
Alliaria petiolata (Garlic Mustard)
Rhamnus frangula (Glossy Buckthorn)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle)
Fallopia japonica (Japanese Knotweed)
Microstegium vimineum (Japanese Stiltgrass)
Persicaria perfoliata (Mile-A-Minute Weed)
Rosa multiflora (Multiflora Rose)
Acer platanoides (Norway Maple)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental Bittersweet)
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelain-Berry)
Ligustrum sp. (Privet)
Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife)
Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven)
Campsis radicans (Trumpet Creeper)
Cynanchum rossicum (White Swallowwort)
Rubus phoenicolasius (Wineberry)
Phragmites Australis: Additional Information
Herbicide Labels – database of agro-chemical information and decision support tools for the agricultural, turf & ornamental and food industries.
What is an invasive plant species?
- Native Plant – a species that reached its location without assistance from humans.
- Exotic species – a non-native plant or animal introduced into a new location by human activity, either intentionally or by accident.
- Invasive species – a non-native (adventitious) species that is capable of moving aggressively into a habitat and monopolizing resources such as light, nutrients, water, and space to the detriment of other species
How do invasive species spread?
- Horticultural activity is responsible for about 60% of invasive species introductions (arboretums, gardeners).
- Conservation activities (Soil Conservation Service, Department of Agriculture) introduced about 30% of invasive plants, mostly for screening, windbreak, and erosion control, but also to supply food and cover for wildlife.
- Accidental introductions make up the remaining 10%. For example, purple loosestrife was first brought to the U.S. in the hold of a ship via ballast water, then later introduced for horticultural purposes.
- Some species may be native to certain regions of North America where they are not invasive, but arrive in new regions through assisted range expansion or transportation to other parts of the country for ornamental purposes where they can become invasive.
Why are we concerned?
- According to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens “Biota of North America” study, at least 4,000 species of non-native plants occur outside cultivation in the United States. Most of these escaped species cause few problems, but 79 species cost the U.S.economy more than 97 billion dollars annually in lost crops, failed recovery efforts for endangered species, and control efforts.
- Invasive species have contributed to the decline of 42% of U.S. endangered and threatened species, and for 18% of U.S. endangered or threatened species, invasives are the main cause of their decline.
- Invasive species compete directly with native species for moisture, sunlight, nutrients, and space. Additionally, some studies suggest that the fruit produced by invasives may not be as nutritious for local wildlife, requiring them to eat more frequently. Fruits and seeds of invasive species are the “junk food” of the natural world.
Why are invasive species so successful?
- Most species have predators in their natural range that keep their population numbers in check. When new species are introduced, however, they come without their natural predators.
- Most invasive species produce copious amounts of seed. This seed is often bird- or wind-dispersed, allowing it to cover great distances in a short period of time.
- Some invasives have aggressive root systems that can spread long distances from a single plant. These root systems often grow so densely that they smother the root systems of surrounding vegetation.
- Some species produce chemicals in their leaves or root systems which inhibit the growth of other plants around them.
- Most invasives cast extremely dense shade beneath which native vegetation can not survive.
- Most invasives thrive on disturbed soil, such as that around newly developed land, or along highways.
- As our region becomes more fragmented, through development, local habitats become more vulnerable to invasives.
Certified Invasive Managers
July 20 and 21, 2016 FULL