Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Carla Andrews

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Background: Category 1 invasive plants are species that cause significant damage to local ecosystems and have been reported to displace native species. Research has shown the invasive species are extremely harmful to native wildlife by outcompeting native species for resources and introducing new pathogens to the population eventually resulting in native species extinction. Local and online nurseries that sell invasive species, including non-native plants and seeds, can cause significant damage to local ecosystems. Purpose: This research project aims to answer the following questions: 1) Are Category 1 invasive species still being sold in local plant nurseries across the Metro-Atlanta area and 2) What impact does the sale of invasive plants have on the health of the local ecosystem? Methods: Surveys will be conducted from 20 nurseries in the 11 different counties in the Metro-Atlanta area to identify the presences of any invasive species in the Category 1 list created by the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council. The survey data will be analyzed to quantify types of invasives being sold and the possible impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Results: Most nurseries are expected to contain at least one species of Category 1 invasive plants with common landscaping plants such as English ivy and honeysuckle being the most prevalent. This data may provide evidence that regulatory measures are needed to slow the spread of invasive plants in the Atlanta area to preserve local ecosystems.

Disciplines

Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Plant Biology

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Investigating the Prevalence of Invasive Plant Species Being Sold in Metro-Atlanta Nurseries

Background: Category 1 invasive plants are species that cause significant damage to local ecosystems and have been reported to displace native species. Research has shown the invasive species are extremely harmful to native wildlife by outcompeting native species for resources and introducing new pathogens to the population eventually resulting in native species extinction. Local and online nurseries that sell invasive species, including non-native plants and seeds, can cause significant damage to local ecosystems. Purpose: This research project aims to answer the following questions: 1) Are Category 1 invasive species still being sold in local plant nurseries across the Metro-Atlanta area and 2) What impact does the sale of invasive plants have on the health of the local ecosystem? Methods: Surveys will be conducted from 20 nurseries in the 11 different counties in the Metro-Atlanta area to identify the presences of any invasive species in the Category 1 list created by the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council. The survey data will be analyzed to quantify types of invasives being sold and the possible impact on the surrounding ecosystem. Results: Most nurseries are expected to contain at least one species of Category 1 invasive plants with common landscaping plants such as English ivy and honeysuckle being the most prevalent. This data may provide evidence that regulatory measures are needed to slow the spread of invasive plants in the Atlanta area to preserve local ecosystems.

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