Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Garlic Mustard Survey

There are two types of people, so goes the saying. Those that divide people into two types . . . .

Seriously, if you're among those that can resist the urge to pull up Garlic Mustard this citizen science project may be for you. Personally, I don't think I could leave the plant alone long enough to collect the data they want. We've been stalwartly defending our property from its relentless assault for a couple of years and we're not about to give up now.

That said, the folks at the Global Invasions Research Coordination Network launched a Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey with the goal to "form a broad network of scientists, students and environmentalists from across Europe and North America to fill an important gap in data on native and introduced plant populations."

From their introduction,

It is widely believed that invasive species are larger, reproduce more and reach higher densities compared to their native ancestors. However, there are surprisingly few hard data to support this claim, even for some of the most well?known invaders. One of the most problematic invaders in North America is garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), yet without good field data, important questions remain unanswered. Does garlic mustard really grow larger and reproduce better in North American populations than in native European populations? How much variation in performance is there among populations within Europe and North America? Answers to questions like these will ultimately lead to better understanding and management of invasive species.

A worthwhile cause which could yield some fascinating results - but not at the expense of our little plot of land.


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