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Dynamic interactions among invasive species

Research Achievements

Dynamic interactions among invasive species

Exotics can facilitate establishment and invasion of other exotics, which is known as an invasional meltdown that can make predicting how any one population of invasive species will respond to management efforts very difficult. Three IGERT faculty, three trainees (Koch, Heidel, Mohl), one international partner (Chinese Institute of Plant Protection) and one regional partner (MNDNR) are working together to better understand the dynamic interactions among invasive species and between invasive and native species. Specifically, they are determining how Asian soybean aphid, European buckthorn and an invasive earthworm interact to create soil conditions that further the spread of invasive buckthorn. Soybean aphids need the buckthorn to overwinter and buckthorn establishment and spread is facilitated by earthworm soil processing. Their research results inform managers by recommending that suites of species and their dynamic interactions be considered when developing management options.