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Invasive plants

In summer 2016, student Erin Chapman was granted Sustainability Committee funds for the project entitled Documenting Invasive Plant Species Distribution using Herbarium Specimens and Field Collections. The project proposes to collect existing specimen voucher data from the College of William and Mary collection, and identify gaps in expected distribution of invasives plants known from floristic studies in the state.

Invasive plant species have been identified and classified by the Virginia Invasive Species Working Group, and a list of targeted taxa promulgated by the Natural Heritage Program of the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR-NHP). Some invasive plants are well-known and have been in the state for several generations, such as kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata), while others were much more recently found, such as the aquatic invasive carnivorous waterwheel (Aldrovandra vesciculosa). Ms. Chapman and herbarium staff plan to search several coastal plain counties to determine the etent of invasive plants in the region, assisting with ongoing management plans and efforts by state and local agencies. New records will be submitted for inclusion in maps published on-line in the Digital Atlas of Virginia Flora, maintained by the Virginia Botanical Associates.