Biological Exchange and Biological Invasion in World History
by J. R. McNeill
A brief introduction to biological exchanges in world history. A later version of this draft appeared in the Oxford Encyclopedia of World History (2011).
International Congress of the Historical Sciences, Oslo, 2000
by Joe Roman
A modest proposal to confront invaders by eating them, with recipes for kudzu sorbet and nutria eggrolls.
Conservation in Practice, January-March 2006
Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants
Based at the Institute for Food and Agricultural Science at the University of Florida. The resources here are mind-boggling. Wander in and days later a search party will have to be mounted!
A couple of the field guides that you’ll find at the center
Invasive Aquatic and Wetland Plants Field Guide
With a focus on Illinois and Indiana, 21 invasive aquatic species of great national or regional concern are identified through color photographs, line drawings, and descriptions of growing conditions in a binder containing 42 waterproof pages. $15. Go overboard.
Invasive Aquatic Plants of Connecticut
Connecticut’s brochure, which contains local and national invaders, is available for free.
Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health
Based at the University of Georgia
Cooperative Weed Management Areas
CWMA Cookbook: A Recipe for Success. How to put together a Cooperative Weed Management Area, or CWMA, a partnership of federal, state, and local government agencies, tribes, individuals, and groups to manage noxious weeds or invasive plants in a defined area.
Eccles Centre for American Studies.
Euell Gibbons: Author of Stalking the Wild Asparagus
Interview by Hal Smith
It has been 40 years since this wide-ranging interview was published. None of the issues Gibbons addresses–pollution, kids’ alienation from nature–has gone away. His books are all still in print, and Gibbons became a household name (at least for an older generation). Foraging’s hot. But has his open-armed embrace of nature, and mistrust of authority, been lost sight of–or does it continue with writers such as Pollan, Brill, and Moore Lappe?
Mother Earth News, May/June 1972
A brochure produced by the National Park Service and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. It contains excellent suggestions on what you can do to stop invaders. (Prevention is mightier than the knife and fork.)
Flying Fish, Great Dish
USGS fish biologist Duane Chapman shows how to debone the Asian carp step-by-step, as well as how to remove bones after the fillets are cooked. Available as a DVD and in three parts on Youtube.
Foraging with the Wildman
Wildman Steve Brill, a New York City institution, teaches foraging and identifying wild plants and mushrooms. (He’s a vegan.) As an urban forager, many of Brill’s plants and recipes focus on invaders.
Implementing Policies to Control Invasive Plants
Prevention is the best way to control invasions. All newly introduced plants should be screened, banning those species with a high likelihood of becoming invasive.
Controlling Invasive Plants
Two biologists weigh in on some of the controversies surrounding invasion ecology.
Misleading Criticisms of Invasion Science: A Field Guide
Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
Recipes using invasive species
Run by a group of graduate students out of Notre Dame, invasivore.org has dozens of invasive recipes. And boy do they walk the walk. From bullfrogs to autumn olive, they’ve been cooking up species since early 2011.
Lake Champlain Basin Invasive Species Guide
Helpful, nicely illustrated guide to established and potential invaders to Vermont and New York’s “great” lake.
First published in 1938 and last revised in 1988, Larousse Gastronomique is one of the culinary world’s most familiar reference sources. And oh, my, it’s fabulous! For the invasivore, there’s a nice little entry on the Burgundian way with the rat. And, of course, all those North American invasive weeds are in there. Surprisingly cheap copies languishing on Amazon.
by Tricia Ferguson and Lad Akins
Recipes, background on the lionfish invasion, and information on how to safely catch, handle, and prepare the fish. Sale of this book supports REEF Environmental Educational Foundation.
Nonnative Species of Lake Superior
Tidy but awesome list of the invasive species of Lake Superior, compiled by Minnesota Sea Grant.
In 1759, the American botanist John Bartram, a native of colonial Pennsylvania, published a list of “Introduced Plants Troublesome in Pennsylvania Pastures and Fields.” The list, which included dandelions and docks, can be found here.
Why Not Eat Insects?
by Vincent Holt, 1885
Holt celebrates the consumtion of invertebrates and other exotic foods. Though not pitched toward invasives, Part III is especially good.
Wikipedia’s List of Introduced Species
A good, if incomplete, list to browse for new ingredients.
Wild Plants I Have Known . . . and Eaten
by Russ Cohen
Forager Russ Cohen did a nice thing for the Essex County Greenbelt Association in Massachusetts. His book is published by the association and proceeds from its sales support land conservation. The Association allows responsible foraging on its property. You can buy the book, which includes several invasives, here.
Blue Plate Special: Prickly Pear
Fall is here, and the “cactus fig” is in season. Time to plate-up another widespread invader.
Blue Plate Special: Sow Thistle
It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.
Lamb’s quarters was a popular spring tonic in the South—an early season edible green—but its leaves are good throughout the summer. Chenopodium album Native range: Described by Linnaeus in 1753, this European native has been transferred throughout much of the world. Because its spread was rarely recorded, C. album‘s native and invasive [...]
Foeniculum vulgare Native range: Mediterranean, from Turkey west to Spain and Morocco Invasive range: Much of North and South America, South Africa, and parts of Oceania and the British Isles. Check out the USDA Plants Database to see if it’s found near you. Habitat: Roadsides, pastures, along the edge of wild habitats. Rocky shores [...]
Alliaria petiolata Native range: Europe, Asia, Northwest Africa Invasive range: Much of the Lower 48, Alaska, and Canada. (See map.) Habitat: Moist, shaded soil of floodplains, forests, roadsides, edges of woods, and forest openings. Often dominant in disturbed areas. Description: Biennial herb. First-year plant has a rosette of green leaves close to the ground. [...]
Some say it started in 1992 in Miami when Hurricane Andrew smashed an aquarium tank. Don’t blame the weather, others say; in the mid-nineties, disappointed yet softhearted hobbyists…
Undaria pinnatifida Native range: Japan Sea Invasive range: Southern California, San Francisco Bay, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Argentina Habitat: Opportunistic seaweed, can be found on hard substrates including rocky reefs, pylons, buoys, boat hulls, and abalone and bivalve shells. Description: Golden brown seaweed, growing up to nine feet. Forms thick canopy. Reproductive sporophyll in [...]
Asian Shore Crab
The first sighting of the Asian shore crab in the United States was at Townsend Inlet, Cape May County, New Jersey, in 1988. Though the source is unknown . . .
The common periwinkle, which first appeared in New England in the 1860s, is now found along the coast wherever there’s hard substrate–rocks, riprap, broken concrete, or docks–from Labrador to . . .
Since the green crab was first recorded off southern Massachusetts in 1817, it has been hard to ignore. A few minutes of rock-flipping in Maine can turn up dozens of them, brandishing their claws as they retreat…
Red Swamp Crayfish
Procambarus clarkii Native range: Red Swamp Crayfish, also known as Louisiana Crayfish, Crawdad, and Mudbug, is native to the south central United States and northeastern Mexico. Invasive range: Widely introduced throughout the United States including Arizona, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. Populations have [...]
His sister was ailing, and the man in Maryland remembered that, back home in Hong Kong, there was a fish that was considered a delicacy and a restorative. He would make a fish soup…
“They live in a wide variety of habitats, colonize new ones readily, and eat everything that fits into their mouths,” says Dr. Peter Moyle of the Center for Watershed Sciences at UC-Davis…
Nutria, also known as coypu and river rat, is native to temperate and subtropical South America. It has been introduced to Europe, Asia, and Africa, mainly for fur farming. These voracious. . .
For a bottom-feeder, what is the good life? The common carp isn’t very demanding: any body of water that’s sluggish and murky will do. One catching sewage or…
11 Steps to Harvesting Invaders
A couple of months ago we wrote about a new paper in Management of Biological Invasions reiviewing harvest incentives for managing invasives. The folks over at invasivore.org did a bang-up job of parsing these out in 11 recommendations for effective harvest. Read them here.
The 800 Pound Grouper in the Room
Aquarium fish, sold as juveniles in the pet trade but able to outgrow their tanks, are at a high risk of becoming invasive. See the new paper in Marine Policy.
Green Crab Shell Secret Cracked
Researchers at the University of Prince Edward Island in Canada claim to have found a way to enhance molting in green crabs. If they can scale this up, and drum up interest by local chefs, they may just start a market for softshell invaders. Read more here.
Harvest the Invaders: Incentives to Control Invasive Species
Biologists Susan Pasko and Jason Goldberg discuss harvesting invaders in a new paper in Management of Biological Invasions. Incentive programs, such as bounties and encouraging recreational harvests, appear to be appropriate for certain species and regions. Among the many benefits is the development of an outreach program. “By engaging the public and encouraging harvest,” the [...]
An App to Find Nemo
“Creating a consumer market for invasive species is one of the most successful ways of combatting them. Like cupcakes or artisanal pickles, it can take a lot of marketing and hype to create a demand that matches the supply. The Connecticut chef Bun Lai’s invasive-species menu, which Elizabeth Kolbert wrote about in 2012, includes lionfish [...]
“What we see as weeds is dinner for a pollinator. A perfectly green, manicured lawn is a biological desert for pollinators.”