Ecology of Invasive Species


High Density Invasion of an Iowa Wetland by Purple Loosestrife
Natural, Low Density Distribution of Purple Loosestrife in Native Habitat, Germany

     I have been involved in a number of projects exploring the dynamics of invasive species over the last 15 years or so. This all started with the development of an international collaborative project comparing the population biology of invasive species in native and invaded habtiats. Our contention was that the only way to fully understand and control invasive species is through an indentification of the cructial demographic stages that differentiate native from invaded habitat. This work focused on comparing the population biology of purple loosestrife (Lythurm salicaria L.) in North America (invaded habitat) and Europe (native habitat), using a common garden approach.

Since that initial work, my students and I have worked with a number of other invasive species, including crown vetch (Coronilla varia L.) garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata (M. Bieb.) Cavara & Grande), multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora Thunb.), and the grasses Schismus arabicus and Bromus rubens. The latter two are part of a larger project examining the impact of invasive grasses on fire risk in creosote shrublands of the desert Southwest, which is ongoing.

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  © kmoloney — September 2018