CESI Research Project 04-3
Lygodium microphyllum, is an invasive, nonnative plant that now covers an estimated 300,000 acres of natural areas in central and south Florida. This climbing fern can form a dense canopy which can smother entire forests of native organisms. Like other ferns, L. microphyllum spreads via minute spores. Aided by wind, a single spore can travel great distances and establish the plant in new areas.
This CESI-funded investigation examines the relationship between the dispersal, germination and growth of this species relative to temperature and hydrology. In their final report Philippi & Richards suggest germination is most likely to occur in moist areas during periods of cooler temperatures. The survival of juveniles depends further on areas free from inundation. Monitoring these parameters in the field can help managers focus eradication efforts on those areas most likely to be invaded.
Contact the principal investigator directly with questions about this study.
Did You Know?
Everglades National Park protects the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River. The wilderness area is named for Marjory Stoneman Douglas who was instrumental in creating the park, and who coined the phrase "River of Grass."