Restoration Ecology projects See below for information on my ongoing and finished projects
Herbicide usage in invasive non-native plant management (finished and ongoing projects)
Although initially developed for weed control in agriculture, herbicides are widely employed to suppress invasive plants in natural ecosystems. This is particularly true for North America where herbicides are a standard choice to manage invasive species and restore native plant communities. However, how much herbicides are sprayed and to what extent this might harm native plants is not well known. Together with my collaborators, I have launched several projects that 1) investigate the magnitude of herbicide usage in invasive species management in North America and 2) evaluate the effects on native plants. We are using a variety of tools, including data surveys, meta-analyses, greenhouse - and field experiments. The results of our work will provide guidance to restoration practice and land management in North America (and beyond).
Calochortus macrocarpus var. maculosus, a rare native plant in Idaho and Washington, U.S.A. – A) Healthy individual. B) Individual hit by herbicide drift from a nearby invasive species management operation. Practitioners are increasingly concerned about the effects of herbicides on native plants. Photos courtesy C. Björk, University of British Columbia, Canada.
Project duration: since November 2011 Funding: Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation (post-doctoral fellowship, 2011-2012), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Invasive Species Centre (2012) Collaborators: Cara R. Nelson (University of Montana, U.S.A.), Pedro Antunes (Algoma University, Canada), Michael Irvine (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Canada) Publications: Wagner, V. & Nelson, C.R. (2014): Herbicides can negatively affect seed performance in native plants. Restoration Ecology 22: 288–291.