What are Invasive Species?
Any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that ecosystem; and whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health. Invasive species can come from other regions of the U.S., or even another country. They become a problem because they are beyond their natural range and there are no natural predators to control the new species population growth. Plants, animals, or even microbes can be classified as invasive species. There are many modes of transportation (wind, water, animal, or human).
Invasive species are being introduced and spread at an ever-increasing rate. Once established, they can permanently alter the soil structure, disrupt native plant communities, reduce dependent wildlife populations, and impact long-term forest productivity.
To slow the spread of existing infestations and minimize the risk of introducing new infestations of damaging invasive species into our forests.
Invasive species move much farther and faster with our help. Here is a training video that the United States Forest Service put together with the help of many partners to educate road maintenance crews.
Common Forest Invasive Species
- Garlic mustard – Alliaria petiolata
- Japanese honeysuckle – Lonicera japonica
- Kudzu vine – Pueraria montana var. lobata
- Amur honeysuckle, bush honeysuckle – Lonicera maackii (https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/MF3222.pdf)
- Tartarian honeysuckle - Lonicera tatarica
- Morrow’s honeysuckle - Lonicera morrowii
- Autumn olive – Elaeagnus umbellata
- Common buckthorn – Rhamnus cathartica
- Japanese barberry – Berberis thunbergii
- Multiflora rose – Rosa multiflora
- Saltcedar - Tamarix ramosissima
- Tree of heaven – Ailanthus altissima
- Russian Olive - Elaeagnus angustifolia
- Princess tree - Paulownia tomentosa
- Black locust - Robinia pseudoacacia
A complete list of species considered invasive in Kansas is maintained by the Kansas Native Plant Society at http://www.kansasnativeplantsociety.org/invasive_plants.php
Remote Sensing of Invasive Species
In 2017, the Kansas Forest Service partnered with the KSU Polytechnic AARC to assess the feasibility of remotely mapping infestations of invasive bush honeysuckle. This partnership produced succesful results, summarized in a Report and Poster.
Invasive bush honeysuckle is present throughout many Kansas urban and rural landscapes. Because quantitative geospatial data is lacking, persons responsible for managing these infestations must rely on informal and anecdotal data to inform their deployment of limited resources to manage these infestations. To address this lack of quantitative data, the Kansas Forest Service partnered with Kansas State University’s (KSU) Applied Aviation Research Center (AARC) to acquire aerial vegetation imagery and identify areas of bush honeysuckle using image classification algorithms. AARC conducted flights over the Kansas cities of Manhattan, Lawrence, Topeka, Hutchinson, and Wichita during fall 2016. Following these flight, still imagery was processed and stitched together into an orthomosaic for each city. The orthomosaics were then analyzed using common image classification algorithms to highlight concentrations of honeysuckle within and around each city. Identification of these areas was informed by using confirmed locations of bush honeysuckle to train image classification software. The final product of this research is a map of each city highlighting areas of bush honeysuckle.