The Big Woods is inundated with invasive plant species including buckthorn and garlic mustard. Volunteers are needed to stifle the expansion of these species in the Big Woods and to educate the community on how to destroy these species in their home environment.
Why is buckthorn such a problem?
Out-competes native plants for nutrients, light, and moisture
Degrades wildlife habitat
Threatens the future of forests, wetlands, prairies, and other natural habitats
Contributes to erosion by shading out other plants that grow on the forest floor
Serves as host to other pests, such as crown rust fungus and soybean aphid
Forms an impenetrable layer of vegetation
Lacks "natural controls" like insects or disease that would curb its growth
Why is garlic mustard such a problem?
Spreads into high quality woodlands upland and floodplain forests (not just into disturbed areas)
Invaded sites undergo a decline on native herbaceous cover within 10 years
Alters habitat suitability for native insects and thereby birds and mammals
This European exotic occurs now in 27 Midwestern and northeastern states and in Canada