Thursday, June 19, 2014

Maine Coastal Islands NWR with Rose Zoller

Out here on Ship Island, we have a variety of other work that we do. I originally thought that I would be only researching Common Terns but a biologist's work never seems to be quite so limited. I have enjoyed learning about various different types of research here. The most common work, besides tern, is helping to remove invasive plant species.
Flash cards in an attempt to study.

Cow Parsnip, now taller than me.
This island is currently threatened by Garlic Mustard, or Allaria petiolata. This species is in the Mustard Family and biennial. Our Island is small at about 7 acres and almost clearly divided between Cow Parsnip and the Garlic Mustard. Garlic Mustard is a problematic invasive plant because it will quickly spread through disturbed soil and continues to grow back even when the roots are pulled. The seeds of this herb can lay dormant for up to several years.
My view of the lovely sky when I weed.
Currently the refuge is working with local biologists and invasive specialists to find an effective control method and we are caring for plots on the island and collecting soil samples to ensure that we do not damage the island. So far we have removed all of the Garlic Mustard that we can locate(about 12 garbage bags altogether), but it is proving to be more challenging as the Cow Parsnip grows taller than both of us.
Blossoming Garlic Mustard.

No comments: