Co-authors: Amy Carrozzino-Lyon, UW-Green Bay; Brian Glenzinski, Ducks Unlimited; Amanda Smith, Wisconsin DNR
Title: Early discovery and management of the invasive European Frog-Bit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae) in Wisconsin
Abstract: In collaboration with Ducks Unlimited, Wisconsin DNR, and US Fish and Wildlife Service, UW-Green Bay aims to restore native aquatic vegetation and manage invasive species at priority coastal wetlands on Green Bay's west shore. The field team visits these sites frequently throughout the growing season, monitoring aquatic vegetation and invasive species that have the potential to severely impact the success of restoration. In mid-July 2021, a botanist conducting surveys noted the first occurrence of European Frog-bit (EFB) in a coastal wetland just north of Oconto, WI. The UW-Green Bay field crew identified and reported the species again at a second site one week later. EFB is a free-floating aquatic plant species similar to a small water-lily. Native to Europe and Southern Asia, it first began to invade North America in the mid-20th century. Since then, it has become an established invasive species in lower Michigan but was not reported in Wisconsin until summer 2021. EFB is of particular concern as it forms dense mats within the water column, limiting light penetration, inhibiting growth of native species, and decreasing habitat quality for wildlife. Following the discovery, UW-Green Bay took part in emergency response efforts in collaboration with the Michigan DNR and Wisconsin DNR. We carried out innovative surveillance techniques (using field GIS apps), hand removals, and herbicide treatments in late summer 2021 to learn about and attempt to manage EFB. We will use collective findings to formulate a management plan to prevent EFB from spreading to additional vulnerable wetlands along the Green Bay's west shore.
View Poster: https://www.wisconsinwetlands.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Stephanie-Cole-Poster.Cole_
Bio: Stephanie is a second-year graduate student in the environmental science & policy master's degree program at UW-Green Bay. She has been taking part in a year-long internship helping to restore wetlands along the Bay of Green Bay's western shore. The main focuses of her internship include restoring native wild rice and managing invasive species in eight priority wetland areas.