Publication Abstract

EDRR and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth Project

Madsen, J. D., Maddox, V. L., Ervin, G. N., & Wersal, R. M. (2012). EDRR and the Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth Project. Society of Range Management Annual Meeting. Spokane, WA.


Invasive weedy plants are a widespread problem throughout the United States. This project was developed to quantify relationships of weed distribution and spread with land use, then use that information directly in educating agriculture stakeholders, natural resources managers, and other interested parties on potential human-induced opportunities for invasive species spread. The Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South (IPAMS) is an integrated research and extension project to develop an invasive plant program for the Mid-South states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Research activities include conducting systematic regional vegetation surveys to assess the distribution of key invasive plants, developing models for predicting the occurrence of target species based on land use and cover, and evaluating the relative effectiveness of different survey methods. Initial analyses of these data have demonstrated a strong correlation of land use/cover with the presence of exotic plant species, especially key invaders such as the grass Imperata cylindrica (cogongrass). Outreach and extension activities include developing training programs for volunteers to identify and report invasive species using IPAMS, developing an efficient Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) system for invasive plants, developing best management information, and developing an online mapping system. Our webpage (www.gri.msstate.edu/ipams) is fully operational, with over 10,686 records of 218 species from 39 states. . The system currently has 96 registered users, most of which are trained volunteers. The Mississippi Cooperative Weed Management Area (www.mscwma.org) has adopted IPAMS as their tool for tracking species and promoting EDRR.