Invasive species pose a serious threat to native species and natural ecosystems and cost the country billions of dollars to combat. Learn what is being done to address the serious issues of both land and water invasives in an online symposium hosted by University of Illinois Extension. The one-hour webinars begin at 1 p.m. daily beginning May 11 through May 15. 

Two criteria must be met for a species to be considered invasive: the species is not original to the ecosystem it's currently living, and the species is likely to cause economic and environmental harm or harm to human health if left unchecked.

One must register online at go.illinois.edu/ILinvasives for any of the sessions to receive the logon information.

May 11: INVASIVE SPECIES RESEARCH UPDATE 
Presented by Kevin RohlingChris Evans, and Nick Seaton from University of Illinois Extension Forestry

Invasive species research is a critical component of invasive species management. Research can provide a better understanding of the ecology and impacts of invasive species and can help determine the best control methods. This presentation will give updates on recent research conducted by the University of Illinois Extension Forestry Program, with assistance from the River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area

Topics include:

  • The effectiveness of unmanned aerial vehicles to survey for invasive shrubs
  • Foliar control of bush honeysuckle
  • Pre-emergent treatments for controlling Japanese stiltgrass 
  • Herbicide application timing to extend spring treatment windows for garlic mustard

MAY 12: AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES PREVENTION THROUGH OUTREACH
Presented by Greg HitzrothElizabeth “Bizzy” BergAmanda HuegelmannIllinois Natural History Survey

Aquatic invasive species are economically and ecologically detrimental to the Laurentian Great Lakes. Once populations establish, they are often difficult, expensive, or impossible to remove. We use outreach and educational materials targeted to specific audiences to prevent new introductions of aquatic species and the spread of known aquatic invaders. This presentation will discuss some known aquatic invasive species and how we apply outreach to address those issues. 

Topics include:

  • aquarium trade
  • crayfish of the Great Lakes
  • K-12 education
  • Quagga and zebra mussels
  • Recreational water users

MAY 13: PRAIRIE INVADERS: TAKING ADVANTAGE OF A DISTURBANCE-DEPENDENT ECOSYSTEM
Presented by Erin Garrett, Extension Educator, Energy & Environmental Stewardship

Because prairies need disturbance to remain healthy ecosystems, certain invasive plants that are able to withstand and thrive after disturbance have an upper hand in taking over a prairie.This adaptation to a disturbance, however, also makes these invasives challenging to eradicate.This talk will cover prairie ecology, which plants are suited to invade prairies and why, and current best management practices for managing prairie invaders.

MAY 14: UNWANTED: INVASIVE INSECTS ON THE ILLINOIS HORIZON 
Presented by Kelly Estes, State Survey Coordinator, Illinois Natural History Survey

Invasive insects impact everyone living in Illinois. They are a continual threat to Illinois’ agriculture, forestry, horticulture, and natural resources. While several are on our radar, including the Asian Longhorned Beetle and Goldspotted Oak BorerSpotted Lanternfly continues to top our list. This invasive leafhopper is continuing to spread in several eastern states. The threat of its spread is real. Learn more about its potential impact on Illinois as well as what we are doing to prepare for it.

MAY 15: FOREST INVADERS
Presented by Ryan Pankau, Extension Educator, Horticulture

Illinois forests are unique plant communities of towering trees as well as tiny, spring wildflowers. Invasive plants threaten native plant diversity in forest communities across Illinois by outcompeting our natives for water, light, and other resources. This presentation will focus on the identification and control of non-native forest invaders so you can help keep plant diversity up in your neck of the woods.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in programming, contact the presenter. Early requests are strongly encouraged to allow sufficient time for meeting your needs.

SourceChristopher EvansDixon Spring Agricultural Center
University of Illinois Extension Forestry and Research Specialist
Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences