Management and Control of Invasive and Weedy Plants
Midwestern State University and the Dalquest Desert Research Station are custodians of a pristine section of the northern Chihuahuan Desert with bluffs, canyons, streams, and springs that shelter and provide habitats for a diversity of living things. The region has never been plowed, and it has been ungrazed by domesticated ungulates for over 50 years. Occasionally, feral burros are known to visit the site. The twin objectives of this policy are to prevent the invasion of alien or invasive plants and to control the inadvertent introduction of a non-native plant species.
Invasive plants are typically from biomes on other continents that share a common climate. They are capable of surviving and breeding in the Chihuahuan Desert, and the natural checks and balances of their home ecosystem are lacking in Southwest Texas.
Some invasive plants are native to the region, but cultural changes may have reduced the features that kept their growth in check.
|The following rules assist in keeping invasive and alien plant species out of DDRS. When you explore the site, please:|
Use of Alien Species in Experimental Studies
The use of alien species in experiments, as controls, bait, comparisons, etc. must be approved by the expressed, written permission of the Director after consultation with the members of the Science Advisory Panel. The permission must be in a direct, specific letter that is counter-signed by the Dean of Science and Mathematics and the President of the University. The experimental plants must be sacrificed and removed as soon as the study is completed, and the scientists must affirm in writing that all the introduced plants have been removed from DDRS.
Removal of Alien Plants
Alien species must be identified unequivocally, but then should be removed as soon as possible to prevent their spread using the most conservative technique possible to prevent damage to the ecosystem. Whenever possible, the plant(s) should be dug from the habitat with all roots and placed in a black plastic bag for removal from DDRS. For epiphytes (either photosynthetic or parasitic) remove as much tissue of the host-plant as necessary to eliminate the alien, and then place both the host tissue and the alien plant in a black plastic bag.
Whenever possible, herbarium specimens should be prepared of the pest plant for on-site identification purposes with duplicates sent to appropriate repositories.
Chemical removal should be a last resort and must conform to the following policies of pesticide, herbicide application.