The effects of the herbicide applications are now plainly evident throughout the forest. It is really interesting to see the actual structure and stratification of native shrubs and trees revealed as the blanket of air potato has died back.
This is only the beginning of a long term non native invasive species control program. Many of the non native invasive species infesting Florida and those in our little neck of the woods will never be completely eradicated. But, by aggressively treating established populations and taking actions to prevent new introductions we hope to mitigate the detrimental effects of these invaders on our forest’s ecosystems.
Although it may hard to believe, there are some positives associated with the invasion of non native species. There are opportunities for educational outreach and for people of varied backgrounds to come together to tackle an issue that affects us all. On that note, one of the greatest challenges we will face in the Back Woods will be maintaining the level of non native species suppression obtained by the professional treatments. Volunteers will be critical to the process helping us locate and identify new outbreaks, monitor and control existing populations, and educate the public to the threats posed by non native invasive plant species. If you would like to learn more about Florida ecosystems by volunteering in the Back Woods at Mosi, please contact our volunteer team, Joel Bates, JoelB@MOSI.org, or Esteban Tarré, EstebanT@MOSI.org, at (813) 987-6370.