Tracking Treatment Effectiveness with iMapInvasives in Florida

 

Note: Information discussed in this article is from 2010-2013.

 

Florida’s Natural Heritage Program, the Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI), has used the iMapInvasives application to record data associated with evaluations of invasive plant treatment efforts.

 

Using iMapInvasives, FNAI would map:

  • Pre-treatment areas infested with invasive species (assessment polygons). 

  • Areas treated (treatment polygon).

  • Portions of the treatment areas checked (post-treatment survey polygons).

  • Post-treatment assessments that depict areas still occupied by invasives.

 

The post-treatment surveys are particularly useful to many users of iMapInvasives since these records indicate areas that were surveyed for invasive plants, but none were found (i.e, negative data). 

Wendy Jones (Tyndall Air Force Base) and Matt Phillips (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) examining Chinese tallow trees (Triadica sebifera) at Tyndall Air Force Base.  Photo by Ann Johnson, FNAI.

Green polygons are seen here in the Florida iMapInvasives database, representing areas treated for invasive species in the SE portion of the state near West Palm Beach.

The FNAI also used these data tools (i.e., assessments and treatments) to record the effectiveness of evaluated treatments. As a natural heritage program, the FNAI is particularly concerned with the impacts of invasive plants and associated management efforts on biodiversity.  In the instance of surveying for rare plants in the vicinity of invasive management areas, impacts from invasive species would have been noted in iMapInvasives.

Areas in need of further management are clearly identifiable in iMapInvasives and contractors can be recalled to a site if areas planned for treatment were missed. The data in iMapInvasives is also available for export in making custom reports and tables.

Large-plumed beaksedge (Rhynchospora megaplumosa)

The Large-plumed Beaksedge (Rhynchospora megaplumosa) is an example of a rare Florida plant tracked by the FNAI. This sedge may be outcompeted by invasive species, a problem that poses an even higher risk to its already threatened existence.

Photo credit: © Shirley Denton

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