Friday, July 20, 2012

Maryland Invasive Species Council meeting report to MNLA July 19, 2012

MISC meeting report to MNLA July 19, 2012 Adkins Arboretum

               A report to MISC concerning the spread of emerald ash borers into Montgomery and Garrett counties is awaiting confirmation. Antietam Battlefield's historic ash trees are now at risk of death. Ash trees in Maryland are at serious risk of death from an invasive species of beetle called the emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis. All native species of ash are susceptible to attack. Millions of trees have been killed by this pest. It attacks all ages of trees, young trees to mature. Unlike some of Maryland’s native borers such as the banded ash clearwing borer (Podosesia aureocincta) and the redheaded ash borer (Neoclytus acuminatus) that mainly attack weakened or stressed trees, the emerald ash borer attacks healthy and weakened trees alike. Emerald ash borer-infested trees die rapidly after the infestation occurs (MD Extension Fact Sheet 836).

               Nevin Dawson, Forest Stewardship Educator, University of Maryland Extension made a presentation on how targeted grazing with goats can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly method of controlling invasive species. Considered as a broad-spectrum herbicide on legs, goats graze in places that mowers cannot reach and humans do not want to go, including thickets of both brambles and poison ivy. This is a possible business opportunity for the nursery and landscape industry to explore.

               The gypsy moth, a classic invasive species has had population crash for the year. In 1869, gypsy moths, Lymantria dispar, were brought to Massachusetts from Europe. They were brought to be crossbred with silkworms. Several caterpillars escaped and gypsy moths began to spread throughout New England. Today, gypsy moths can be found feeding on hardwoods, especially oaks, in all Maryland counties (MD DNR).

               Kerrie Kyde, Chair of the Maryland Invasive Plant Advisory Committee, reviewed the work of the committee as of this date including the selection of the USDA APHIS Weed Risk Assessment (Koop et al. 2012) tool as the recommended analytic mechanism for the creation of Maryland's invasive plant list. The Maryland Department of Agriculture's (MDA) Invasive Plants Advisory Committee, established during the 2011 Legislative Session as an advisory body to the Secretary. The Committee's charge is to advise the Secretary on regulations that should be adopted to establish a risk assessment protocol for invasive plants and to establish lists of invasive plants using the protocol.  

               Two P. ramorum trace forwards, one shipment of which was directly to a private  home owner, were reported to MISC.Phytophthora ramorum is known to infect a number of ornamental plants and may also weeds in the pots or on the rootball. Three weed species have been found to develop leaf lesions: northern willowherb (Epilobium ciliatum), fireweed (Chamerion angustifolium), and a fern (Pteris cretica) (Shishkoff 2012). MDA,USDA-APHIS PPQ and the University of MD are working together to follow up on the P. ramorum trace forwards from the infested western nurseries that shipped potentially infested stock to MD. The lag time between the shipments to MD and the notification that the material may have been exposed will probably mean that little material will be left unsold to test. Cash sales are generally not traceable. The take home message is to be very careful about where your nursery stock originates.    

               APHIS reported the interception by CBP of Microxeromagna lowei (Potiez and Michaud, 1852) in a shipment of granite from China. The shell of this species is 3-5 mm high and 5.5-8.5 mm wide, with 4.5 whorls. The shell is tan with numerous brown spots of various shades. The lower portion of the shell has narrow stripes that are not continuous. There may be short hairs covering the shells (0.05 mm long). In many empty shells, the hair may be absent due to abrasion of the surface, leaving hair scars. It has a narrow umbilicus. The body of the animal is white with a brown spot at the margin of the mantle (Terrestrial Mollusc Tool). In additon APHIS reported the interception of a still to be identified click beetle in a furniture shipment form India, as wel as the interception of Sitonia humerrlais in a cut flower shipment and Bruchidius atrolineatus foudn in baggage coming from Nigeria.

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