USDA Invasive Plant Research Laboratory
On April 22, 2013, at Fern Forest Nature Center in Coconut Creek, 15 volunteers filled 15 large trash bags with invasive plants as part of a volunteer project for the USDA's Invasive Plant Research Laboratory (IPRL) in Fort Lauderdale. The IPRL investigates major plant invasions and how to employ biocontrol as part of a comprehensive management plan for plant invasions in Florida. The IPRL and its scientists cooperate extensively with Broward County Parks on several invasive species and came to us looking for a site for a volunteer project to commemorate Earth Day 2013.
IPRL staff correctly identified and removed T. incisa from an approximately one-acre parcel within the nature center, which will allow T. heracleifolia a respite from direct competition and help reestablish it in the area. The skills and effort put forth by IPRL to differentiate between these ferns and to remove T. incisa with minimal impact to nature species highlights the importance of cooperation among agencies.