BRWS Chapter Meeting: Oh, The Places You Will Go—Invasive Plants and Their Impacts on Animals and Ecosystems with Ariel Heminger

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Date(s) - Monday, November 25, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Roanoke Council of Garden Clubs


Very few introduced species ever become invasive but when they do the consequences can be enormous. On average, invasive species cost nearly $1.4 trillion worldwide. Plants represent the majority of invasive species and often travel unnoticed to new locations. Invasive plants pose risks to biodiversity, impact landscapes, and may cause detrimental impacts to organisms including many native animals. These findings provide important insight into the overall trends of invasive plants and provide justification for managing invasive plants.

Ariel Heminger is a graduate student in the School of Plant and Environmental Science at Virginia Tech. Her graduate work focuses on how microbes found in the flowers are shaped by the landscapes and pollinators. She has worked with invasive species including the brown marmorated stink bug and the hemlock woolly adelgid. She is an author on the paper “Invasive plants negatively impact native, but not exotic, animals” (Fletcher et al. 2019). Ariel is fascinated by invasive species and is amazed by the impacts that invasive species cause.

Jacob Barney and six graduate students conducted the first-ever comprehensive meta-analytic review examining the ecological impacts of invasive plants. From left: Cody Dickinson, Ariel Heminger, Becky Fletcher, Gourav Sharma, Jacob Barney, Rachel Brooks, and Vasiliy Lakoba.

Contact: Ellen Holtman, 389-1514