New Resource on Invasive Species

Eastern hemlock, American chestnut, sassafras, redbay, every member of the ash family, and many others are plagued by non-native invasive species. A new book synthesizes current science on species invading U.S. forests, grasslands, and waterways. The book was published by Springer, and the entire book is available to download. The book covers invasive species of…  More 

Kudzu’s Entanglement of South Begins to Unravel

Kudzu, the nightmare weed that gobbled the South, is disappearing. Slowly, inexorably, the scientists, foresters, farmers and goats — yes, goats — are gaining the upper hand on the slinky, creepy green vine that makes abandoned homes and utility poles disappear seemingly overnight. Kudzu’s decline is difficult for a Southerner to grasp. Drive down that…  More 

Plant Invasions Across the United States: Patterns and Clues

Garlic mustard, Japanese stiltgrass, Oriental bittersweet, and other non-native invasive plants are creeping across backyards, parks, forests, and roadsides throughout the southeastern U.S. Scientists are still trying to understand what drives their relentless spread. Invasions are often assessed by measuring species richness, or the number of non-native species known to grow in a certain area.…  More 

Field Guide to Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

The U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station publication A Field Guide for the Identification of Invasive Plants in Southern Forests provides a comprehensive identification guide to nonnative trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, ferns and forbs currently invading forests and other natural areas of the southeastern United States. The information included in the guide is also available as an…  More 

Kudzu: The Guest That Just Won’t Leave

Spring is right around the corner, and in the South, “all eyes turn to kudzu as it awakes,” says James Miller, research ecologist (emeritus) for the U.S. Forest Service Insects, Diseases, and Invasive Plants unit. Introduced to United States at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, kudzu was touted as a quick-growing ornamental vine with…  More 

Can the Kudzu Bug Stop the Vine That Ate the South?

Southern Research Station (SRS) entomologist Jim Hanula may be the only person in the South who actually wants to keep kudzu alive. He needs healthy plots of the famous weed to monitor the effect the bean plataspid—a pest that entered Georgia some two years ago and has become known as the kudzu bug—is having on…  More 

Keeping Kudzu at Bay

Accidentally introduced insect shows promise in battle with kudzu In October 2009, Dan Suiter, an entomologist with the University of Georgia (UGA), noticed large numbers of an unidentified insect in and around kudzu fields in northeast Georgia. This turned out to be the first recorded sighting of the bean plataspid  aka “kudzu bug“ (Megacopta cribraria) in…  More