When the “Good Guys” Go Bad: The Role of Native Fauna in the Spread of Invasive Plants

White-tailed deer are spreading invasive species throughout the United States.  Photo taken by Betty Truax.

Humans play a leading role in the spread of invasive species. From accidental introductions, like Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum), to intentional planting, like tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) and mimosa (Albizia julibrissin), we have done an exceptional job of transporting invaders all over the world. Our cars carry seeds and propagules along highways, our boats… [Read More]

Manage White-Tailed Deer to Protect Our Natural Heritage

Left: Forest with healthy understory   Right: Over-browsed forest with no understory. Photos by Charles Smith

Most residents of Virginia understand the need to change human land use practices to stop or minimize habitat destruction and preserve our native plant communities. An increasing number of people also support combating the spread of non-native invasive species to include problem plant species and insects such as the emerald ash borer beetle which girdles… [Read More]