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.
Are you concerned about the impact of invasive plants on our landscape? Do you want to learn how to manage invasive plants to aid in the restoration of biodiversity and degraded habitats?
Join instructors from the RI Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), URI Cooperative Extension and the URI Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology for a one-day workshop or a two-day certification program.
Option 1: Invasive Plant Management 101 Intensive
This full-day educational workshop is open to anyone interested in learning about invasive plant ecology, management methodologies, control strategies and restorative planting. Registration Fee: $100.00 (includes coffee/tea, lunch and training materials).
Option 2: Invasive Plant Management Certification
This two-day certification program is open to those seeking certification recognized by the RI CRMC for coastal buffer zone management permits for invasive plant management. Day 1 will cover invasive plant ecology, management methodologies, control strategies and restorative planting; while Day 2 will delve into rules and regulations related to invasive plant management in sensitive areas and associated permitting processes. The program will culminate with a site visit to a restoration project site in Narragansett, RI. Registration Fee: $200.00 (includes coffee/tea, lunch, training materials and 3-year certification pending completion of program requirements).
Certified Invasive Managers
Last updated October 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the July 2020 session of the Invasive Plant Management Certification Program will be postponed until 2021.
- Invasive Manager 2020 Recertification Training on October 21, 2020
- Web-based sessions available by registration.
*Attendance at one session is required to maintain recertification.
*Certified Invasive Managers are granted certification for three years effective July 1, 2016. Please see the list of Certified Invasive Managers to determine when your certification is valid through.
Invasive Plant Management Resources & FAQs
RI Natural History Survey – Rhode Island Invasive Plant Species | Last updated October 2013
Present and Widespread
- Ailanthus altissima (Tree of Heaven)
- Berberis thunbergii (Japanese Barberry)
- Bromus tectorum (Cheatgrass)
- Celastrus orbiculatus (Oriental Bittersweet)
- Centaurea jacea (Black or Lesser Knapweed)
- Cynanchum louiseae (Black Swallowwort)
- Elaeagnus umbellata (Autumn Olive)
- Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush)
- Fallopia japonica (Japanese Knotweed)
- Ligustrum sp. (Privet)
- Lonicera japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle)
- Lonicera morrowii (Morrow’s Honeysuckle)
- Lythrum salicaria (Purple Loosestrife)
- Persicaria longiseta (Creeping Smartweed, Oriental Lady’s Thumb, Tufted Knotweed)
- Phalaris arundinacea (Reed Canary Grass)
- Phragmites australis (Phragmites)
- Rhamnus cathartica (Common Buckthorn)
- Rhamnus frangula (Glossy Buckthorn)
- Robinia pseudoacacia (Black Locust)
- Rosa multiflora (Multiflora Rose)
- Salix cinerea (Gray Willow)
Localized Distribution/ Early Detection
- Acer ginnala (Amur Maple)
- Acer platanoides (Norway Maple)
- Acer pseudoplatanus (Sycamore Maple)
- Alliaria petiolata (Garlic Mustard)
- Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (Porcelain-Berry)
- Campsis radicans (Trumpet Creeper)
- Cynanchum rossicum (White Swallowwort)
- Ficaria verna (Fig Buttercup)
- Microstegium vimineum (Japanese Stiltgrass)
- Miscanthus sinensis (Eulalia)
- Persicaria perfoliata (Mile-A-Minute Weed)
- Phellodendron amurense (Amur Corktree)
- Phragmites australis (Common Reed)
- Rosa rugosa (Beach Rose)
- Rubus phoenicolasius (Wineberry)
Additional InfoSafety and Environmental Precautions
Herbicide Labels – database of agro-chemical information and decision support tools for the agricultural, turf & ornamental and food industries.
Invasive Plant FAQ
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.
QUESTIONS? Please contact
Community Engagement Coordinator, Produce Safety Educator
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Program Administrator, Extension Educator
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