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Meeting Agenda

8:00 a.m. Registration/Check-In (light refreshments available)

8:30 a.m. Welcome

8:45 a.m. State of the State Summaries of Invasive Species:

  • Aquatic Plants –  John McPhedran, Biologist – Invasive Aquatic Species Unit, Maine Dept. of Environmental Protection
  • Terrestrial Plants – Nancy Olmstead, Invasive Plant Biologist, Maine Natural Areas Program
  • Agricultural Pests – Dr. Eleanor Groden, School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine
  • Marine Invasives – Robert Russell, Maine Department of Marine Resources

10:15 a.m. BREAK

10:30 a.m. Keynote Address – Maine’s Climate: What are the Right Questions Now?

  • Professor Ivan Fernandez, School of Forest Resources, Climate Change Institute, and School of Food & Agriculture, University of Maine

11:30 a.m. Small Group Discussions: Impact of Climate Change on Invasive Species

  • What research do we need to move forward?
  • What questions do we need answered?
  • What Knowledge do we have to share?

12:00 p.m. LUNCH (provided onsite)

12:45 p.m. Poster Session and Networking Opportunity

1:15 p.m. Forest Health Panel – Part 1

  • Forests of Maine – The Final Frontier – Andy Cutko, Maine Natural Areas Program
  • Spruce Budworm Update – Allison Kanoti, Forest Entomologist, Maine Forest Service

2:15 p.m. BREAK

2:30 p.m. Forest Health Panel – Part 2

  • What’s Eating our Forests? An Update on Maine’s Major Forest Insect Pests – Colleen Teerling, Forest Entomologist, Maine Forest Service
  • Invasive Plants Threatening Maine’s Forests – Nancy Olmstead, Invasive Plant Biologist, Maine Natural Areas Program

3:30 p.m. Review Climate Change Questions and Program Evaluation

4:00 p.m. Adjourn!

Sponsored by University of Maine Cooperative Extension, with funding from New England Grows

2016 MISN Annual Meeting Planning Committee:

  • Cheri Brunault, Kennebec Estuary Land Trust
  • Caroline Casals, GMRI’s VitalSigns Program
  • Amanda Mahaffey, Forest Stewards Guild
  • Nancy Olmstead, Maine Natural Areas Program
  • Lois Berg Stack, University of Maine Cooperative Extension

Meeting Minutes

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Annotated Agenda

Registration; morning refreshments
80 attendees total


State of the State Summaries of Invasive Species:

Aquatic plants: John McPhedran, Maine DEP Invasive Aquatic Species Unit

  • McPhedran sticker revenue, $1.1 mill/yr
  • Less than 1% of Maine lakes have known IAP infestations. However, nuisance fish and other issues abound. Still a great deal to protect.
  • More paid inspectors and inspections than 15 years ago
  • Goal of imparting an ethic of self-inspection
  • 2.5-3.0% of Maine boat inspections yielding IAPs
  • By far, most IAPs found on boats leaving.
  • Can focus funding on lakes like Lake Arrowhead, which can have as much as 50% of boats leaving with milfoil attached.
  • Boats from out-of-state weren’t as much of a problem as initially anticipated. Therefore, switch strategy to focus on local engagement.
  • Also focused on pet stores. Letters to distributors and wholesalers.
  • Really need to have all milfoils prohibited.
  • Maine VLMP. Workshops. Plant paddle. 225-300 trained annually. Focus on teams.
  • So far, about 500/6,000 waterbodies surveyed in ME
  • The only way to get at an infestation is to catch it early.
  • Since 2001, a lot of people trained to look for plants. High level of awareness.
  • It is the people on the ground that make it happen.
  • Even though Eurasian Water Milfoil was eradicated, it still may come back. Therefore, don’t make a big deal about removing it from the list.
  • Hydrilla warrior
  • Hancock Co. SWCD taking threat seriously, even while much of the map shows southern and southwest ME. Very mobilized public. Seaplane Pilots Association.
  • Eradicated = 3 consecutive years of not finding it, though may go 4 or 5.

Terrestrial plants: Nancy Olmstead, Maine Natural Areas Program

  • Hope to someday build as robust a program as the DEP aquatics program
  • Perennial pepperweed — check out Dave Tibbets’ poster from Rachel Carson NWR
  • Himalayan balsam, yellow iris, others
  • Working on a Do Not Sell list. Criteria for establishing what plants are invasive. Currently reviewing 38 species. Will be outreach. Group representation from horticulture industry, state, conservation groups. List in next 1-2 yrs, rulemaking.
  • Updated fact sheets, new invasive species titles. More info. Look on Coop Ext website later this year.
  • MNAP/SWOAM partnership — pocket ID guide. Hope to have by end of this year. Focus on ID and control, rather than ecology.
  • iMap Invasives online mapping tool, tracking treatments and areas surveyed
  • Started with 600 records, now over 5,000
  • 4,000 observations. 107 surveys, 81 treatments. 290 users from 115 organizations.
  • Trying to build a sense of the distribution of these plants on the landscape.
  • Mobile app. Need to have an account before you can log in.
  • Mapping & prioritization on state lands. Scouted likely sites. Prioritized management recommendations.
  • Vital Signs collaboration — engaging the next generation — reaching a lot of classrooms and students.
  • Helping some teachers take iMap Invasives to the next level — management.
  • Other initiatives around the state. Harpswell Invasive Plant Partnership. Town of Falmouth. Ft. Williams Park. And more!
  • Watch out for: Mile-a-minute vine, Japanese stiltgrass.
  • Perennial pepperweed. Rachel Carson NWR.
  • Garlic mustard. Following I-95. Want to keep it localized if possible.
  • Black swallowwort. Nasty perennial invasive vine.
  • Yellow iris. Wetland plant. Dense stands in forested and open wetlands. Emerging “early management” species.
  • Suggestion for a Do Not Buy List in advance of the Do Not Sell list.
  • Some nurseries have put out lists of plants they are not selling because of this.

Agricultural pests: Dr. Eleanor Groden, School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine

Drosophila suzukii.

  • This critter so difficult because unlike the native fruit flies, these have a saw-like ovipositor which enables them to lay their eggs in ripening fruit.
  • Multiple generation potential. Exponential increase in Hancock/Washington Counties in early August.
  • A lot of attention on this pest has been on lowbush blueberries; however this pest also devastates highbush blueberries and raspberries. Basically no fall crop of raspberries.
  • Frank Drummond UMO. Change harvest strategy?
  • Implications of climate change.
  • Prediction that more insects will survive overwintering. Develop sooner. Hotter summers, develop faster.
  • Questions of long-term strategy for blueberry growers.
  • 2014 and 2015 did not see exponential increase. Dry late summer. Insect requires a high level of moisture.
  • In highbush blueberries, flies pupate in fruit. In raspberries and lowbush blueberries, they pupate on the ground. Up to 90% predation of pupae in blueberry fields. Crickets.
  • Future uncertain. If warm, dry summers continue, will be detrimental to this fly. Also if significant buildup of predators. However, highbush and raspberries, continued problem.
  • 3 national strategies. 1) sterile male release of genetically engineered male. Detrimental gene that gets passed on to daughters. 2) biocontrol. 3) genetically engineered yeast. Females need to feed on yeast to mature eggs.

Winter moth.

  • Caterpillars feed on buds of a tremendous variety of host plants. Oak, but also apple, highbush blueberry. First picked up in Harpswell and Vinalhaven in spring 2012. Tracking spread.
  • Originally from Europe, do well in northern climates. Very serious problem in Nova Scotia in 40s-50s. PNW. 90s, started to become very serious problem in southern New England. Origin unclear.
  • Populations higher on oak, but also high on apple. Not very present on lowbush blueberries.

Brown marmorated stinkbug. Lots of hosts.

  • Some have been picked up in Maine. Severe infestations in other parts of Northeast.

African fig fly. Not yet clear whether has ability to attack ripe fruit.

Swede Midge. Found in NY. Deform heads of cabbage, broccoli, growing tips.

Spotted lanternfly. Beautiful and incredibly scary.

  • Tree trunks coated with this insect. Reported that tree of heaven is the primary host plant in native Asia.
  • Causes splitting and weeping of trunk.
  • Egg masses look like mud splatters.
  • Right now, in 4 quarantined counties in PA.

Marine invasives: Robert Russell, Maine DMR

  • MDMR split between commercial and green crab.
  • Marine world low on totem pole — wide-open system, people don’t want to spend money on this. Rely very heavily on collaboratives, oceanfront homeowners.
  • “Maine” Marine Invasive Species Collaborative. Quarterly meetings in Portland.
  • Green crab abundance studies. Predation on softshell clams, commercial impacts.
    • Wells NER, Broad Cove, Yarmouth. Damariscotta
    • Over 12,000 mature crabs trapped. Small ones can escape.
    • 2015 numbers half of what was caught in 2014. Not sure why. Scour?
    • Flowerpots with pet screens. Collection, search for predators.
    • Hatchery stock. Can measure set to harvest by dark band.
    • Wild clams, low survival in open ocean.
    • If doing hatchery rearings, replant clam flats, have to do something to mitigate predators.
  • Invasive seaweed — Dasysiphonia japonica.
    • SoPo students first to discover landfall in ME.
    • Very stinky when decomposes. Big problem.
    • Index of baby lobsters
    • Pilot project, took out all seaweeds, aggregated by site, gave “trash” to Vital Signs.
    • Vital Signs posted postings of sightings.
  • Green crab EDRR
    • Haven’t found mitten crab in ME yet.
    • Want to identify most vulnerable habitats, first set of eyes
    • Vital Signs getting students to talk to community members.
    • Casco Bay Invasive Species Network. Depend on community groups.
  • DMR, DEP, USGS monitoring efforts
    • Didemnum.


Keynote address:

Maine’s Climate: What are the Right Questions Now?

Professor Ivan Fernandez, School of Forest Resources, Climate Change Institute and School of Food and Agriculture, University of Maine

  • Chemical and physical climate change
  • NASA maps, calculations that 2015 hottest year on record
  • Questions that scientists and policy-makers should be asking
  1. Climate change in Maine?
  2. Importance for Maine’s forests?
  3. About those questions?
  • Changing concept of “climate change”
  • Climate was thought of as a factor of the environment, state factors of the system we knew. Could plot species we knew by different factors.
  • Moved on to concept of climate change. Gist, it’s getting warmer.
  • Then realized, not that simple, not that linear. Abrupt climate change. Things happen in system that make it change very fast.
  • Now thinking of changing system, baseline, step functions causing climate to change to new conditions rather rapidly.
  • Climate change is much fuzzier than a mathematic curve. Noise.
  • The End of Climate Change? Anthropocene issue.
  1. It’s not going to go away. GHGs have residence times of 100s to 1,000s of years.
  2. Mitigation is not adaptation. Mitigation is essential. For a long time, we stayed away from talking about adaptation. That era is now over; we have to do both. We have to mitigate, and we are adapting.
  • IPCC – UN-organized, reports every 6 years assessing where we are relative to the state of the climate. Started in 1990. We probably had enough information then to know what to do about it. We haven’t really done any of that.
  • 2014 was last series of reports.
  • Important info that drives international consciousness on climate change.
  • National Climate Assessment for U.S. three so far; every 4 years 2014 excellent website.
  • 2007, only regional climate assessment.
  • Maine? What kind of information do we need? What does this information mean to us today?
  • 2008, UMO profs thinking about what info we need for ME. Era of RGGI.
  • 2009, Maine’s Climate Future. Over 70 scientists. Wasn’t funded, so governor was happy to ask us to do it.
  • Climate signal, expectations for ME’s resources.
  • 2010 adaptation program
  • 2015 update of Maine’s Climate Future.
  • We can’t afford to have imperfect communication; a lot of those that need it, aren’t getting it. Not enough hearing of priority needs for Maine’s communities.
  • Maine’s climate future dashboard
  • Last 100 yrs; by 2050
    • Air temps: +3 degF; +1-3 degF
    • Warm season: + 2 weeks; + 2 weeks. Growing season lengthening.
    • High heat index days/yr: 0-5, 1-15 (more coastal). Human health concerns.
    • Precipitation: +13%; +5-10%
    • Snow: -7%; -20-40%. Greater loss of snow along coast.
    • Ocean temperature: +.01 degF/yr; +0.41 degF/yr (>99% world’s oceans)
    • Sea level rise: +0.62 ft; +0.5 to 2 ft (3 ft or >>!). Storm surge threat.
  • Seasonality to temperature change.
  • Biggest changes in middle of summer and in winter.
  • Greatest warming in winter minimums, which is very important for all sorts of organisms.
  • ME more vulnerable; we’re not air conditioned. Elderly, health-impaired folks living along the coast. 2-3x more high heat index days by 2050.
  • Increased intense precip events. 71% change from 1958-2012. More precip, and more intense events.
  • Maine State Climatologist mapped increased precip events. Significantly higher. Bigger and wetter events.
  • Runoff. Peak flows. Groundwater.
  • Temporal and spatial variability in Maine’s climate.
  • We shouldn’t be paralyzed by uncertainty.
  • Climate divisions: Coastal, Southern Interior, Northern.
  • We have as much spatial climate variation in 40 degrees of latitude that Europe does in 20.
  • Temporal variability. Cycles give a periodicity to ups and downs.
  • AMO – Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. North Atlantic sea surface temperatures increasing.   Cool phase, warm phase. Currently in warm phase. ~30 years/phase.
  • Tipping points – the wild card. Scary. Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change.
  • Map of tipping points. Lenton et al. 2008 PNAS.
  • Arctic Sea-Ice Loss.   Polar express.
  • Physical and Chemical Climate Change
  • Mauna Loa Observatory CO2 graph. We’ve broken 400 ppm.
  • It’s happening in ME. Same trajectory, and we have higher CO2 in Howland, ME.
  • Maine has declining acid rain.
  • 1990 Clean Air Act reauthorization significantly limited sulfur, nitrogen.
  • SO4 dramatic declines since 1980.
  • Very cost-effective policy. Huge human health gains.
  • Acadia case study of changing deposition.
  • Wet deposition. Decreases 34-70% 1980-2015.
    • SO4 down.
    • NO3 down.
    • Inorg. N down.
    • Ca down.
    • Mg down.
    • K down.
  • Nitrogen is a limiting nutrient in your system. Becoming more limiting as nitrogen is going down. Nutrient availability and ecosystem dynamics?
  • Usually ambient ozone is limiting plant productivity.
  • Ozone and Hg also down.
  • Fast changes in last several decades. Think about that as you evaluate your systems.
  • Adaptation & Mitigation across many sectors.
  • Change always happens; it’s the rate of change that’s the big factor now. Plus, too many people on the planet to all escape change.
  • Climate Change in Maine Forests

1. Shifting species ranges. E.g. spruce cover shift 1,000 ya not much. 500 ya Little Ice Age increased. Present, mixed. Species on the move. On average, forests moving .25 mi/yr

2. Changing growth factors.

a. Rising CO2.

b. Declining O3. -> + pressure on growth.

c.  Declining N deposition. Shift of C/N ratio. How plants, communities, species interactions response.

d. Increase precip. Site classes.

e. Increased erosion. Always losing best soil from the top.

f. Drought. All forests have some drought risk. Out West, drought we’re thinking about. For us, late growing season, precip, temps, soil moisture conditions can have higher deficits. Doesn’t take long to kill fine roots. Drought risk increasing. Decrease snowpack. Less soil freezing.

g. Soil temperatures, vernal transition, risk of frost damage increases as you have less snow.   Yellow-cedar dying in Alaska.

3. Altered phenology. Earlier bird arrivals, bee sightings, butterflies flowering, leaf-out. Comparing Walden Pond data.

4. Insects and disease

5. Forest operations. Mud season.

6. What happens elsewhere! Pine beetle devastation out West. Southeast drought risk.

  • More topics for another day
  1. Recreation (hunting, fishing, hiking)
  2. Specific product lines (e.g. maple syrup)
  3. Tourism (leaf peepers, wing seasons)
  4. Cultural (e.g. Native Americans)
  5. Human health (e.g. Lyme). Transformed our relationship with the environment.
  • Forests influence the climate system:
  1. Carbon sequestration. Twice as much carbon below ground as above on average. Better not mess up what we have.
  2. Albedo. Forests are really reflective. Dark conifer forests add a little more to warming problem than deciduous forests.
  3. Water vapor. More ET. Strongest GHG.
  4. Fire. Fastest way to take carbon above ground and put it back in the atmosphere.
  • The Age of Tools!
    • U.S. Climate Resilence Toolkit
    • Climate Hubs
    • Climate Reanalyzer
    • Institutional programs
  • How do we organize our response to climate change?
  • Draft Climate Scenarios for Acadia Alternative Scenario Planning Project
    • There’s not just one climate future. Think about different possible alternative scenarios. Risks and tradeoffs of investments.
  • Questions
    • What is an invasive species? What should the natural environment be, in a changing climate?
    • What are specific boundaries?
    • Surveillance and monitoring? Critical. Do in broad, interactive way. Forestry, ag, human health. Think cross-sector.
    • Available tools, needed tools? Which ones should we use, how to use it? We need better frameworks.
    • Priority research questions?
  • Take-home messages. Climate change…
  1. Is accelerating.
  2. Is rarely the only factor. Multiplier, new factor, one we’re not well-prepared for, but not the only factor.
  3. “from away” affects Maine.
  4. Brings both risks and opportunities.
  5. New knowledge is needed for the 21st century.

Small group discussions:

  • Impact of climate change on invasive species:
  • What research do we need to move forward?
  • What questions do we need answered?
  • What knowledge do we have to share?

Lunch (provided)

Poster session and networking opportunity

Forest Health Panel, Part 1:

Overview of forest types and ownership patterns

Andy Cutko, Maine Natural Areas Program Maine’s Forests – the Final Frontier

  • Maine is unique in the landscape – largely undeveloped and unfragmented landscape.
  • Light matches a lot with invasive species.
  • Maintaining a forest means maintaining resilience to invasive species.
  • Fast Facts about Maine Forests
    • Forest cover over time
      • Nearly 90% of ME is forested. The most forested state in the country
      • Roughly 5. mill ac harvested each year. A working forestland. 6 million cd wood removed
      • More than 90% of our forest is privately owned
      • Nearly 20% of ME is “conserved;” about half in WFCEs
    • Ownership
      • New England is most densely populated AND forested
      • Hasn’t always been this way
      • Clearing for ag, then 1880s, farmland abandonment -> forest regrowth
      • Recent conversion leading us into decline in % forest cover
      • A lot of our forests in southern New England have regrown on abandoned farmland.
      • 86% in York-Cumberland Counties 40-80 years old.
      • Strong correlation between pastureland and invasive plants
      • Roughly 5,000 ac/yr converted.
      • Land ownership is in flux. Decline in industry, rise in REITs and financial investors
      • Still standards relating to invasives. Forest certification standards. SFI, FSC. State-owned lands certified to both systems.
      • Also Tree Growth program, tax incentive. 11+ million acres.
      • Why do people own land?
      • Part of home or vacation home
      • Enjoy beauty or scenery
      • Privacy
      • To protect nature and biodiversity
      • Timber low on list
    • Forest types
      • Oak-pine in southern ME
      • NS Downeast and northern ME
      • N. mixedwood
      • Maine forest types reflect patterns of species richness. Rich biodiversity in southern ME
      • Baxter SP hotspot of biodiversity
    • Conservation, management and conversion
      • 80.5% privately owned not-conserved
      • 10.8% WFCE
      • 4.8% Working forest fee-0wned conserved land
      • 3.9% reserved. E.g. AT corridor, Acadia
      • Bulk of our conserved land is in Downeast, Western, and far NW ME
      • Our biodiversity is where conserved lands are the lowest
  • What can forestry data tell us about invasive species?
    • Forest inventory plots with little invasion – ME still green
    • Across the Northeast, 45% of all forested plots had at least one non-native species.
    • The number of seedlings and saplings in those plots has decreased in comparison to those plots without non-native species.
    • Preponderance of non-natives on former pasture lands.
    • In ME, only 9% of inventory plots contain non-native species on 3,000 randomly-placed plots
    • iMap data show the same. Some is inventory effort
    • IPANE show that invasive plants more densely populated to our south
    • Greater percentage of non-native plants around edges (note lack of spruce-fir – very few sp-fir plots have many invasives)
    • Roads are an important vector for invasive plants. Roads major opportunity for EDRR.
  • Take-home messages
    • Past land use has lasting impact, particularly in southern ME
    • Many incentives for forest landowners to be proactive about invasive plants
    • ME: The way forests should be. Opportunity to control those populations.

Allison Kanoti – Spruce Budworm Update

  • Spruce budworm is a native insect
  • Food web to illustrate significance of “native” – part of really complex, interconnected web.
  • Spruce budworm is one of those, even though its populations periodically escape.
  • SB in ME for quite a long time. Most recent outbreak 1970s-80s.
  • The past of SB does not necessarily = the future of SB
  • Footprint on landscape of where SB causes most severe damage is shifting towards the north
  • ~6 million acres of host forest
  • Fir/white spruce > Damage than red/black spruce
  • SB life cycle/damage: Now, larvae overwintering. Early spring, larvae begin to feed before balsam fir buds expand, then mind inside expanding buds. As get larger, tie together tips of branch. June/July, pupate, then adult moth emerges. At that time, won’t notice it flying unless you get outbreak conditions. 7-10 p.m.
  • If you drive through clouds of moths, stop and collect them, and save it and send it to the MFS insect and disease lab.
  • Adults lay eggs in clusters on needles. Larvae, caterpillars find a place to overwinter.
  • Where climate change comes into play is when we have warm falls. Overwintering larvae burn through fuel faster than they otherwise wood.
  • Recognizing damage — starts in upper canopy, on branch tips. Subtle at low levels.
  • More damage, yellow hue reduced, reddening foliage in mid- to late-July. Needles are dead, but not entire tree.
  • Often left with pieces of needles, which often get caught up in silk of the budworm.
  • Adult moth has black bar on wings. Multiple color phaases in the adult.
  • Yellow-tinted glasses. Purple as well.
  • Major movement. July 16, 2013 moth flight “snow” on weather radar
  • Pheromone traps to catch adult males. June-September. Flight period of adult.
  • 2012, no traps over 50
  • 2013, many traps 50-150 moths
  • 2015, partner with landowners and managers. 100 traps -> 400 traps statewide.
  • 100 moths/trap is threshold for starting to see defoliation
  • Bump since 2013
  • Despite this, defoliation not yet detected in ME.
  • QC in outbreak since 2006. 8 mill. Ac defoliation in 2013, grown since then.
  • Predictions
    • Outbreak in 1-3 years. Same number as 3 years ago
    • Less severe timber losses than last outbreak
  • Less contiguous fir distribution
  • Warmer fall
  • Infrastructure in place to facilitate targeted harvest
    • Less severe is still significant -> planning and mitigation are possible
    • Some critters will be winners, some losers
  • A lot of trees do survive the outbreak. Impacts depend on site, age, severity of defoliation. After a few years of moderate to severe defoliation, start to see mortality.


Forest Health Panel, Part 2:

Colleen Teerling, What’s Eating Our Forests?

  • Red pine scale — know it’s on MDI, don’t know about elsewhere in ME
    • Had thought it was a coastal problem in ME, but it’s far up in VT, 4B plant hardiness zone, Orange Co., VT
    • More cold-tolerant than previously thought?
  • Invasives in oaks and other plants
  • Winter moth
    • defoliates hardwood trees and shrubs in early spring. Feeds very, very early in spring. Skeletonizes leaves. Pupae looks like piece of dirt. Don’t transplant plants anywhere near infested trees!
    • Mapable defoliation. Expecting high defoliation in Kittery, Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Harpswell, Brunswick, Vinalhaven
  • Some dieback may be seen in harder-hit areas.
    • Biological control agent — have been relesing fly — Cyzenis albicans.
  • Browntail moth
    • Gonna be a bad year for browntail moth.
    • Causes branch dieback, tree mortality
    • Most famous for toxic hairs. Rash, respiratory distress.
    • Defoliation along Wolfe’s Neck, Flying Point, Topsham, Bowdoinham, eastern Brunswick, north Bath
    • High risk in Freeport up to Bowdoinham, Waldoboro
    • Mow lawns when rainy, don’t put clothes out to dry on line
  • Hemlock issues
  • HWA. Caution: You can carry this pest when it is an egg or crawler, March through early August. Teeny, tiny black flecks.
  • Elongate hemlock scale. Also on fir, spruce, and other conifers. Not widespread in ME yet. MFS treats tree
  • Is very aggressively. Only in ME forests in Kittery.
  • New hemlock mgmt publication from USFS for ME, NH, VT
  • EAB
  • Eats Fraxinus spp. And fringe tree.
  • EAB first found in Detroit, MI in 2002. Since then, has spread to half of U.S.
  • We will not ever eradicate it from North America.
  • Let woodpeckers do hunting for you.
  • Purple traps. Also wasp biosurveillance. Trap trees. Sensitized public.
  • Woodpeckers flick off dark outer bark and reveal blond inner bark. Downy, hairy, nuthatches. Do cause 90% mortality of EAB. Not enough to control population.
  • Quarantines. NH has BMPs. We’ll have guidelines for reducing spread within counties. E.g. on delivering ash within 5 miles of where it was cut. Transport of ash firewood to a kiln or mill after Oct. 1 for processing before May 1; chipping into 1″ size chips.
  • Leave your firewood at home!

Nancy Olmstead, MNAP — Invasive plants in the forest

  • Japanese barberry, shrubby honeysuckle
  • Interfere with next generation
  • Compete with native trees, shrubs, and herbs
  • Leaf out early
  • Can kill plants directly or indirectly. Garlic mustard releases secondary compounds into soil to make it less hospitable to other plants.
  • Harm food webs that depend on native plants. We are only just beginning to understand these.   E.g. milkweed for monarch butterflies vs. black swallowwort.
  • Thrive on disturbance
  • Positive feedbacks. Invasive species can reduce a system’s resilience to climate change; climate change may reduce a system’s resistance to invasive species.
  • Protect forest communities from impacts of climate change and invasive species.
  • Environmental tipping points causing benign non-natives to become invasive.
  • 10+ species
  • Invasives take advantage of our disturbance
  • Distribution of invasive plants across Maine could reflect survey, but also disturbance patterns.
  • Key steps in addressing invasive plants
    • Prevent new introductions
  • Clean equipment. Monitor sites with fill, seed mix, etc.
    • Identify and assess
    • Prioritize
    • Control
    • Monitor
    • Act early and often!
  • iMap Invasives can help.
    • Site assessment — what, where, how much?
    • Landscape context — what plants infest your area already?
    • Receive alerts when a new species appears
    • Tools for thinking about invasive plants. Decision-tree
  • Containment
  • Suppression
  • Eradication
  • Different strategies might be appropriate for different species in different parts of the forest
  • Good Forestry in the Granite State invasives chapter.


  • Ecologically, conditions could arise for catastrophic fire; however, difference is now we have road networks in place
  • In Europe, winter moth not a problem because more fragmented landscape
  • Land trusts, consider containment and satellite eradication strategy.
  • Garlic mustard able to contain itself eventually? Different in ME forests because of soil chemistry?
  • Browntail moth — state never has coordinated control programs. State did some education and hand-holding for towns. MFS works with CDC, towns, helps inform.

Review of climate change questions

Program evaluation

 Notes provided by Amanda Mahaffey, The Forest Guild

Notes from Small Group Discussions

Results of small group discussions at MISN annual meeting, 2 March 2016

As a follow-up to Dr. Ivan Fernandez’s presentation about climate change, attendees divided into small groups to address three questions about climate change, from the perspective of invasive species:

  1. What research do we need to move forward?
  2. What questions do we need answered?
  3. What knowledge do we have that we can share?

The notes below provide a transcription of those questions and the groups’ discussions.

Group 1: Forest Pests                                                                      

Notes by Cheri Brunault
15 participants

What research do we need to move forward?

  • Does phenology change impact susceptibility?
  • Which invaders are likely with Maine’s specific climate changes?
  • Can assisted migration help?
  • Abiotic factor changes – how does stress impact resistance?
  • More complex research questions – ecosystem level
  • How does increased fragmentation affect?

What questions do we need answered?

  • Better resources for pest ID?
    • Mobile apps?
    • Sample/photo collection model
    • Hardcopy publications?
  • Better education on species / spread factors
  • Is restoration going to be effective?

What knowledge do we have that we can share?

  • Can land managers collect relevant data?
  • Closer collaboration between managers and climate researchers

Group 2: Aquatic and Marine Invasives                                                       

Notes by Beth Bisson
9 marine plus 7 aquatic participants

What research do we need to move forward?

  • Phenology of aquatic and marine invasive species
  • Baseline monitoring of aquatic and marine invasive species
  • Rate of temperature change in aquatic ecosystems
  • Changing stratification of fresh water from storm events
  • Nutrient loading in aquatic and marine ecosystems
  • Survey of existing data sets for aquatic and marine ecosystems
  • Overlay water temperature change modeling with habitat suitability for aquatic and marine ecosystems
  • Forecasting and modeling future change for aquatic and marine ecosystems

What questions do we need answered?

  • What factors provide advantages for invasive species over natives, in aquatic systems?
  • What adaptations do invasives/natives have that make them more competitive in aquatic systems?
  • How will human impacts (recreation, tourism, etc) change aquatic and marine systems?
  • How will human-related vectors (example: longer fishing seasons) change or increase invasive species in aquatic and marine ecosystems?
  • How will we financially support monitoring activities in aquatic and marine ecosystems over a longer growing season?
  • How do we manage in the fact of inter-annual variability? (Can we predict inter-annual variability?)
  • Separating climate signals from other signals in inter-species interactions and changes (example: blue mussels).

What knowledge do we have that we can share?

  • Existing data sets — ice-out, etc., lake temperature data.
  • Ongoing communication: data-sharing through MISN and Marine Invasives Collaborative; interstate communication (example: Chinese mitten crab).
  • Citizen scientists.
  • Opportunistic data-gathering: what Robert Russel has been doing; and others such as MITA rec. impact surveys.

Group 3: Agricultural Pests                                                                 

Notes by Lois Stack and Ann Gibbs
8 participants in discussion

What research do we need to move forward?

  • Phenology (example: winter moth / bud development).
  • Planting date shift to avoid pests.
  • Impact of changing soil chemistry.
  • Changing window of time for management actions.
  • Pest risk assessment.
  • Cropping alternatives to account for a change in the number of generations of insects.
  • Limiting factors for invasives’ survival.
  • New management strategies (cultural and pest related).
  • Predictive models of pests and crop growth and moisture.
  • Pest threshold as a result of climate change.
  • Soil microbiology (communities): establish baselines of organisms.

What questions do we need answered?

  • How do you convince the public that dealing with climate change will impact their lives? Demonstrate with something relatable.
  • Can we support Maine agriculture with existing water resources (precipitation + irrigation)?
  • Determine the effectiveness of biocontrols.
  • Predicting changes to the ornamental plant palette. –Work to help the nursery industry to make decisions about what plants to offer in the future.

What knowledge do we have that we can share?

  • Biocontrols available.

Group #4: Terrestrial and Wetland Plants                                                     

Notes by Nancy Olmstead
35 participants in discussion

What research do we need to move forward? What questions do we need answered?

  • Which natives / plant communities are more or less successful with climate change? And, which invasives are successful (examples: perennial pepperweed, kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, Japanese knotweed, glossy buckthorn, Norway maple, pale swallowwort)?
  • As a result of climate change, how resilient or more vulnerable will native communities be, in the face of invasive species’ risk?
  • How should we prioritize our control efforts? By species? By site?
  • With climate change, are some species currently “invasive” but beneficial (example: black locust)? Are some of them adapted to the new climate?
  • What is the susceptibility and the response of current plant communities, to climate change and to invasives?
  • Should we redefine desirable: “plant community”; “native plant / community”?
  • What is a transition zone vs tipping points?
  • Should we redefine “native”?
  • How will climate change affect soils / site index and plants?
  • What are “keystone” species? How can we protect tthose?
  • What has worked in past or other places (example: hemlock woolly adelgid elsewhere)?
  • How do we articulate our goals and identify disruptive species?

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