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projects > collection of information on the old world climbing fern for use in a model for control of this invading vine

Collection of Information on the Old World Climbing Fern for Use in a Model for Control of this Invading Vine

boardwalk at Loxahatchee Refuge
Project Investigators: Donald L. DeAngelis, Laura A. Brandt

Project Start Date: 2002 End Date: 2005

Recent Funding: (FY05) USFWS, USGS/BRD


The results of this study will provide core information needed for the control of Old World climbing fern on the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and throughout the South Florida Ecosystem.

Lygodium microphyllum (Old World climbing fern) is an aggressive and destructive Exotic Pest Plant Council (EPPC) category I invasive plant. It has spread, unabated, across the South Florida landscape compromising and destroying a plethora of habitats along the way. Lygodium's ability to spread rapidly and over a long range is a function of its reproductive structures, small spores that can be carried great distance by air currents. While one study has addressed the seasonality of Lygodium spore production, no one has examined the range of spore dispersal. If the bulk of spores produced land near the source, then eradication efforts can be concentrated in and around dense infestations, but if the majority of the spores are carried a great distance then additional efforts may need to be expended to detect and treat small patches before they become reproductive. There is a need to know the distribution of Old World climbing fern (a category I invasive exotic) on the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and throughout South Florida, what factors affect its spread, and the most effective strategies for its control.

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