Why Native Plants Are Best

This article was written to celebrate Native Plant Month in Arkansas. It was originally published in Our Ozarks. In 1733, Peter Collinson, a botanist and cloth merchant, walked with great excitement to the ship docks in London. He picked up two boxes of seeds from an American farmer named John Bartram. With these exotic seeds,…  More 

Effects of Forest Fragmentation and Restoration on Invasive Species

Managing invasive species is one of the largest challenges that land managers face. They threaten the health of natural ecosystems, prevent the growth of native species, and leave landowners with significant amounts of damage. “More than 4,300 exotic plant species and 66 foreign pest species that can cause negative effects on forest ecosystems and economies…  More 

Elevation and Invasion

When humans wander the planet, they carry their plants along, often inadvertently. For example, Plantago major earned the common name ‘white man’s footprint,’ because it hitchhiked to the U.S. with European settlers and began growing along trails and roads. It is a very common species in the Southeast and has naturalized all over the globe.…  More 

Planting for Pollinators

On a misty November day, 15 gardeners gathered in front of the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs, Arkansas. They brought their shovels and many pots of native plants. “We installed about 30 different species,” says U.S. Forest Service forestry technician Virginia McDaniel. McDaniel designed the garden with Susan Hooks, Ouachita National Forest botanist. They…  More 

Ecosystem Resilience in a Changing World

Native forests and grasslands across the world face a range of threats, including climate change, urbanization, and exotic species invasions. Ecosystem restoration is frequently offered as a partial solution to these threats, because less stressed ecosystems seem better equipped to resist invasion. “By aiming to restore ecosystem resilience, plant communities can endure in the face…  More