Project Description :
Invasive plants have well-documented negative ecological and economic impacts. Ironically, humans deliberately introduce the majority of invasive plants, with over 50% of introductions attributable to import and planting of the species as ornamentals in our homes and gardens. Although over 1300 plants have been identified as invasive in the U.S., preliminary data suggest that many of these species remain commonly sold by nurseries and other online vendors (like Amazon and eBay). This project aims to quantify the numbers and types of readily available invasive plants currently for sale in the U.S. Ultimately, these results will highlight nursery industry practices that can be changed to reduce the spread and impact of invasive plants.
For Spring 2018, we are seeking 2-3 students (no previous experience required) to join our ongoing project. Students will assist with data collection by searching the Internet for online vendors of invasive species and recording geographic information about these vendors. In doing so, students will gain experience in standardized data collection, learn about invasion ecology, and have the option to participate in weekly lab group meetings to learn about the latest research on invasive plants and their spatial distributions.