MAISRC focuses its research efforts on species that have been prioritized based on their proximity to Minnesota, pathway of spread, and impact. This list of high risk/high priority species is updated annually with the help of a 9-member inter-organizational Technical Committee (MTC) and with input from the Center’s Advisory Board and the Center’s faculty members.
Active research is underway at MAISRC on many of these species. We will expand our research to additional priority species as funding and partnership opportunities become available.
Species currently being researched at MAISRC:
Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.) is an invasive exotic aquatic plant that was introduced to North America in the early 1940s. It grows rapidly and tends to form a dense canopy on the water surface, which often interferes with recreation, inhibits water flow, and impedes navigation.
Research at MAISRC includes determining whether milfoil weevils can act as a biological control and examining genotype distribution in relation to herbicidal control and biocontrol agent densities. Learn more . . .
Aquatic plant communities perform valuable services, including stabilizing sediment, improving water quality, and providing support for fish and other animals. However, these functions can be disrupted by invasive aquatic plant species such as curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus). Curly-leaf pondweed inhibits the growth of native species and interferes with recreational activities.
Research at MAISRC has determined that low-dose, early season endothall herbicide treatments can successfully control curly-leaf pondweed. Current research includes analyzing data to determine how many herbicide treatments are needed for control and post-treatment monitoring and transplanting native plants to treated areas. Learn more . . .
Starry stonewort is an invasive green alga that can grow tall and dense, forming mats on the surface that interfere with recreation and potentially displacing native plant species.
MAISRC researchers are currently performing ecological niche modeling to assess risk of spread in Minnesota. This involves using data on where starry stonewort occurs in its native and invaded ranges to predict areas of suitable habitat where it could potentially invade and persist if introduced. Learn more . . .