From the category archives:

Land

Japanese Knotweed

October 17, 2012

It’s the 1880s. Frederick Law Olmstead, who, in his thirties, co-designed a little patch of ground in New York called Central Park, in his forties sells Boston on the Emerald Necklace, a whole new…

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    White Man’s Foot

    August 20, 2012

    When was the term invasive species first used? It could have been 1891, when an article in The Indian Forester noted, “As [purple loosestrife] can exist under different climatic conditions and is an invasive species, it has extended far beyond its original home.” Or has a much earlier usage been hiding in plain sight all [...]

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      Dandelion

      June 11, 2012

      You look out over your lawn and curse. The dandelion is back again, doing what it does best: invading. And yet it’s so common now that you may be surprised to learn it’s not a native species––it’s one of the 2,000…

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        Curly Dock

        June 9, 2012

        Stare out across the empty lots and fields on the outskirts of Denver, Colorado, and you will see scattered clumps of dark green leaves towering above the grass. In spring the…

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          Kudzu

          November 19, 2011

          Kudzu was first brought to the U.S. by Japan, which promoted it as an ornamental and as a forage crop at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. By 1900, its fragrant grape-scented purple flowers…

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            Troublesome Weeds

            October 18, 2011
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            Although many Americans grow greens for spring and summer salads, there are numerous exotic species–relished in their native lands but abundantly ignored here–that require…

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              Land

              Wild_boar

              Wild Pig

              Did the domestic ancestors of today’s feral pigs streak off De Soto’s ship into the Florida scrub of their own accord in 1539? Or did they have to be urged to go find something to eat? All you need to…


                EAT ME!
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                Garden Snail

                Deliberately or accidentally, by the movement of plants and by hobbyists who collect snails, humans have spread the garden snail to temperate and subtropical zones around the world.


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                  Garlic Mustard

                    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. [...]


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                    Prickly Pear

                    Fall is here, and the “cactus fig” is in season. Time to plate-up another widespread invader.


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                      Sow Thistle

                      It’s spring and time to weed. Sow thistle is a delicious invader found throughout the continent.


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                        Sea

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                        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 . . .


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                          Periwinkles

                          Periwinkle

                          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 . . .


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                            Lionfish

                            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…


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                              Wakame

                                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 [...]


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                                Green Crab

                                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…


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                                  Fresh

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                                  Armored Catfish

                                  The armored catfish is abundant and destructive in Florida, Texas, and Mexico. Cast your nets for these flavorful natives of the Amazon. Scientific name: Two types have become established in North America: armadillo del rio, Hypostomus plecostomus, and sailfin catfishes in genus Pterygoplichthys Native range: Amazon River Basin Invasive range: Texas, Florida, and Hawaii; also [...]


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                                    Common Carp

                                    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. If the water is clean, and you’ve got corn for bait, try one of these recipes.


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                                      Watercress

                                        Nasturtium officianale Native Range: Northern Africa, Europe, temperate Asia, and India Invasive Range: In USA: all lower 48 states, except North Dakota. Found in Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Also southern Canada, Sub-Saharan Africa, South America, Australasia, and parts of tropical Asia. Habitat: Common along stream margins, ditches, and other areas with [...]


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                                        Crayfish

                                          There are numerous invasive crayfish. We include details for the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) and the rusty crayfish (Orenectes rusticus). The same recipes can be used for both species–and many other invasive crayfish. Red Swamp Crayfish Native range: Known as Louisiana crayfish, crawdad, and mudbug, Procambarus clarkii is native to the south central [...]


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                                          Nutria

                                          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. . .


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                                            Field Notes

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                                            Murder Hornet Eludes Washington State Scientists

                                            Researchers in Washington State have lost track of an Asian giant hornet they were following — a stinging setback in the pursuit to eradicate an invasive species that threatens to decimate North American bee populations. Listen on NPR and read about hornet cuisine in Japan.


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                                              When Invasive Species Become the Meal

                                              Invasivore campaigns are part of a broader movement to reduce, if not eradicate, invasive species. Educational websites such as Eat the Invaders, founded in 2011 by Joe Roman, a conservation biologist at the University of Vermont, and slogans like “If you can’t beat ’em, eat ’em” frame what might otherwise be merely an epicurean decision [...]


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                                                Can Harvest Programs Reduce Bighead Carp?

                                                A new study looks at the impact of invasivorism on bigheaded carp on the Illinois River. With enough market demand, it just might work. But we might need to ditch the “carp.” Bighead. It’s what’s for dinner. Read the study here.


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                                                  Invasive Species Become a Hot Commodity

                                                  By developing architectural uses for nonnative species and timber thinnings—specimens that are strategically removed as part of forest management—architects are hoping to wean the building industry off carbon-intensive materials, such as concrete, steel, and aluminum, while creating mutually beneficial supply chains. Read more here.


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                                                    A Menu of Invasive Species

                                                    Across America, feral pigs are on the rampage, wrecking fields of crops, hunting local wildlife to extinction, and even attacking humans. In the United Kingdom, Japanese knotweed is taking over the landscape: Banks deny mortgages to infested properties, and the government regulates its disposal with the same precautions it takes for low-level nuclear waste. Humans [...]


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                                                      What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.

                                                      Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1878