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Investing:  Funding Projects

2014 - 2015 Projects
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2012 - 2013 Projects
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Project Database
Call for Proposals
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Future Funding


Funding Projects

Since its inception, the Invasive Species Centre has managed a grant program with funding provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to provide seed funding for worthy projects in natural and applied science, policy research, outreach and education.  The intention behind the grant program is to facilitate priority projects, and encourage partnerships, collaboration and leverage. 

To date, the Invasive Species Centre has contributed to 159 projects resulting in the creation of new knowledge and development of tools, practices, marketing campaigns and innovations. Importantly, the Invasive Species Centre has succeeded in convening stakeholders and breaking down silos in the discussion and action around invasive species. 






Call for Proposals



2013-14 marked the first, broadly advertised Call for Proposals where the Invasive Species Centre implemented a competitive process for awarding grant funding based on the merit of projects and on meeting the terms and conditions set out in the application process. The Call for Proposals process attracted a range of proposals including pure research (helping to understand the unique characteristics of species and how they interact with the natural environment), to policy research, to furthering knowledge on responding to and controlling invasions, to enabling citizen science with the use of technology and best management practices. 

We have not launched a call for 2016 at this time. To receive future funding opportunities, please sign up to our mailing list.


Projects Completed in 2014-15



Prevent

  • Continuation and Expansion of the "Keep. Care. Be Aware." Campaign 
    (Ontario Streams)

    This project is a continuation and expansion of the “Keep. Care. Be Aware.” campaign, which produced and distributed outreach and awareness materials, geared toward pet owners, to aquariums and pet stores in southern Ontario that are known to sell invasive species. The development of two new products; 1) a multi-lingual education brochure for aquarium and water garden owners, and 2) awareness signs were installed at high risk release points, to raise general public awareness of the impacts caused by invasive species. By spreading awareness and building upon existing industry partnerships, the impacts of invasive species will be reduced by reducing the number of introductions through changes in social behaviour, thus providing alternatives to intentional and unintentional release.

  • Engaging Municipalities in Invasive Species Prevention and Control 
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    Following a survey conducted by the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC), Invasive Species Centre (ISC), Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), the OIPC undertook a pilot project with the Region of York to develop an Invasive Plant Management Strategy to assist municipalities with invasive plant management. The strategy will provide a framework for municipalities to identify priorities for invasive plant management, optimize municipal resources, and reduce the impacts of invasive plants within their jurisdictions. The plan will identify and prioritize existing and potential invasive plants based on associated impacts, costs and risks, and will outline strategies/actions to prevent introduction and spread. It also describes opportunities to address invasive plant management on public and private lands, agency roles and responsibilities, community engagement and partnership opportunities. 

    The template for a management strategy produced through this pilot project will be shared with key municipal associations and networks to encourage its use by municipalities province-wide to provide guidance, and consistency, to invasive plant management.

  • Screening Candidate Attractive Semiochemicals for select jewel beetles 
    (Agrilus cyaneoniger and A. suvorovi) 

    (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

    Many of the invasive forest insects that are introduced to Canada are often first discovered in Ontario (e.g. EAB, Asian longhorn beetle, pine shoot beetle) where their introductions are linked to solid wood packaging material. The project will examine two potential species, related to EAB, (A. cyaneoniger andA. suvorovi) that are not yet detected in Canada but may pose a future threat. The project will screen potential host tree volatiles that are potentially attractive to the target species with the intent of developing effective, pro-active early detection survey methods. The experiments will determine if there is a physiological response to a given chemical, but will not indicate whether the chemical is attractive or repellent; further trials in future years will be conducted to test these specific responses. Such tools will greatly improve the ability of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and other Ontario resource managers in mitigating any incursions of Agrilus species in the future.

Detect

  • Environmental DNA (eDNA) as a Tool for Detecting and Monitoring Invasive Water Soldier at Multiple Life History Stages
    (Trent University)

    Water soldier, an invasive perennial aquatic plant native to Eurasia, has the potential to form dense mats of floating vegetation that crowd out native species, alter water chemistry, and hinder recreational activities. This study utilizes environmental DNA (eDNA) markers (developed in 2012/2013), as a means of early detection of water soldier throughout various stages of its life history. The project resulted in a set protocol for sampling and eDNA marker detection, as well as a map providing known and suspected areas of water soldier invasions or populations in the Trent River. The results will help design a protocol for managing areas where the water soldier DNA is found, allowing rapid response and prevention of new populations.

Respond and Control

  • A Partnership Based Early Detection/Rapid Response Initiative to Eradicate European Water Chestnut
    (Ducks Unlimited Canada)

    European Water Chestnut was recently discovered in Bayfield Bay, Wolfe Island, an area that includes a provincially significant wetland area that provides habitat for many fish and wildlife species. It is also one of the most important waterfowl staging areas in Ontario. If water chestnut is allowed to expand and invade these habitats, it will degrade the functions of the wetlands and shallow open water habitats, negatively impacting fish and wildlife in the area. Its spread will also significantly impact the high amount of recreational and commercial activities associated with the area. This project enabled rapid response with the intent of eradicating European Water Chestnut before it continues to spread. By developing a strategic plan for identification, eradication and monitoring of water chestnut for Wolfe Island and surrounding Islands of lake Ontario/St Lawrence River, a successful management plan for eradication of this pest was created and implementation initiated. 
    View "Invasive European Water Chestnut on Wolfe Island" Brochure


  • Augmenting Native Phasgonophora Wasp to Slow the Spread of Emerald Ash Borer
    (University of Toronto)

    The project will examine the use of biocontrol for the management of emerald Ash borer (EAB), and demonstrate whether a native natural enemy can provide safe, effective control to help suppress and slow the spread of EAB in Ontario forests. The main deliverable includes augmentation of a native biocontrol agent, Phasgonophora sulcata (Phas), introduction into newly infested areas, and site assessment of augmented parasitism on EAB survival. While this work will carry on for several years, this year’s funding will be instrumental in determining whether Phas can establish, and if so under what conditions, and what impact it will have on EAB. It represents the initial step in building a successful biocontrol program to slow the spread and lessen the impact of EAB in Ontario. 

    This project will result in:

    1) Expansion of release sites for Phas against EAB in Ontario;

    2) Pre- and post-release monitoring wasp survival, dispersal, parasitism and EAB mortality in field sites where releases have been made; and

    3) Assessment of the potential for this approach in EAB biocontrol as a new tool for slow-the-spread management.


  • Community Level Response Following Treatment with Zequanox®: a Biocide for Invasive Zebra and Quagga Mussels
    (Queen’s University)

    Dreissenid mussels (zebra and quagga mussels) are invasive freshwater molluscs that have caused significant ecological and economic problems since their introduction to the Great Lakes in the 1980s. Zequanox® is a promising new dreissenid-specific biopesticide that is used as a limited use treatment in hydroelectric facilities. This study will compare the potential direct and indirect effects of Zequanox®, as compared with existing molluscicide treatments (e.g., chlorine) and a control (no treatment), on native species and the community in which it’s applied. The work will evaluate the direct and immediate effects, and the long term and possible indirect effects associated with the death and decomposition of dreissenid mussels on the environment. This information will inform the regulatory approval process for Zequanox® for broader use in Canada beyond the current restricted use in hydropower facilities.


  • Implementing Biological Control to Manage Invasive Dog-Strangling Vine
    (University of Toronto)

    European swallow-worts, more commonly known as dog strangling vine (DSV), is an invasive plant established in northeastern North America that outcompetes native plants with dense monocultures. DSV is Ontario’s number one invasive plant in natural ravines and watersheds, where it outcompetes native vegetation and disrupts habitat restoration efforts. This project contributes toward implementing a new biocontrol agent, the defoliating moth (Hypena), against DSV. Building on previous years’ work, the current project will: 

    1) Mass rear Hypena during the winter at Agriculture and Agri-food Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre and University of Toronto; 

    2) Release Hypena at nurse sites with varying DSV populations and monitor for establishment and impact; 

    3) Redistribute Hypena from established to new sites for time series assessment of biocontrol impact on DSV; and 

    4) Finish an evaluation of native root/leaf-feeding beetles Chrysochus (auratus cobaltinus) beetles against DSV. 

    This work will deliver DSV control and enable restoration of invaded sites through ecologically sound practices.


  • Field Evaluation of TreeAzin as a Potential Tool Against Asian Long-horned Beetle in Canada
    (Natural Resources Canada) The Asian Longhorn Beetle (ALB) is an invasive wood-boring insect that poses a serious risk to the deciduous forests of Eastern Canada. It is known to infest several different species of host trees, including sugar maple, the foundation of the multi-million dollar maple syrup industry in Canada. This study will test the effectiveness of TreeAzin for use against Asian Longhorn Beetle in Canada to help support the label extension of this product in use against ALB. In order for label extension to occur for TreeAzin to be used in maple syrup producing sugar bush, field studies will be required that clearly demonstrate: 

    1) efficacy of ALB population control under typical use scenarios, and 

    2) azadirachtin (chemical compound found in TreeAzin) residues in sap and finished maple syrup products are either non-existent or far below those of human health significance. 

    The label expansion, if approved, will help managers prepare for the spread of ALB, and provide a proven tool to be used to control the insect should it become necessary.

Manage and Adapt

  • Early Detection, Eradication and Management of Phragmites at Key Areas for Biodiversity
    (Nature Conservancy of Canada)

    This project provides a coordinated, evidence-based approach to understanding and responding to Common Reed (Phragmites australis australis) in priority natural areas for biodiversity conservation on Nature Conservancy-owned properties on the coast of the Great Lakes. This work will introduce and apply new mapping of Common Reed along the Great Lakes coastline, aid in the dissemination of this new mapping technology among land managers, and support on-the-ground control efforts to eradicate Common Reed. This project aims to:

    1) Implement best management practices for eradication of Common Reed in four areas for biodiversity conservation

    2) Identify new priorities and apply Common Reed Best Management Practices to protected areas. NCC will implement MNR’s published best management practices where possible, monitor the results and use them to inform future management. The project will allow the NCC to identify new priorities inside some of our natural areas where Common Reed should be addressed.


  • First Nations Aquatic Invasive Species Network
    (Chiefs of Ontario)

    Chiefs of Ontario (COO) convened resource managers and technicians from Great Lakes-region First Nations groups in a network to explore factors influencing First Nations engagement in aquatic invasive species (AIS) prevention, management and control activities. Chief of Ontario will use the collected information to advise the Government of Ontario and Government of Canada on AIS policies and programming, and to advise a complementary initiative to create a First Nations Aquatic Management Toolkit. It is anticipated that the advice provided to Government will inform AIS prevention, management and control programming and policies while the toolkit will promote greater literacy for First Nations to actively engage in AIS PMC initiatives.


  • Managing for Inland Aquatic Invasions: Which Ecological Networks Facilitate the Spread of Invasive Fishes Under Climate Change, and What Can We Do About It?
    (University of Toronto)

    This project focused on the potential spread of various aquatic invasive species (round goby, tubenose goby, goldfish, rudd and ruffe) to serve as models for potential future invaders. With climate change scenarios forecasting warmer thermal regimes in the Great Lakes and their tributaries, many inland rivers and lakes could become at risk of invasion as distribution patterns of invasive species shift. This study aimed to answer the question: Are some river-lake network configurations more resistant to invasion than others?

    This research contributed to invasive species policy and management by providing a comprehensive assessment of freshwater fish invasion risk in Ontario’s inland rivers and lakes. It identified priority high risk areas where monitoring can be implemented or enhanced for early detection. It also highlighted characteristics of systems that are more susceptible to invasion, and explored appropriate measures that may be taken for prevention and/or regulation. The outcome of this study will provide a framework for assessing pathways of potential invasion in other regions of the Great Lakes and for other species not yet established in the Great Lakes, such as Asian carps and Northern Snakehead.


  • Outreach, Surveillance and Response for Water Soldier in the Trent Severn Waterway
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    As a continuation of the previously funded 2013/2014 project “Ecological and Life History Attributes of the Invasive Aquatic Plant Stratiotes aliodes (Water Soldier)” which furthered our basic understanding of this species, this new component implemented the Integrated Management Plan for eradication of water soldier from the Trent Severn Waterway. This plan relies on the principles of integrated pest management, with the primary control method focused on the use of the aquatic herbicide Reward, which is a proven method for controlling water soldier. In 2014/15, the project team conducted surveillance in order to determine the best sites for treatment with Reward, coordinate the treatment of the source populations in order to contain the spread of the plant, control smaller, satellite populations as resources dictate, and continue to raise awareness among communities by engaging local citizens and community groups in the management of this invasive plant. The outcomes of this project informs the management to water soldier response moving forward on the eradication from Ontario.


  • Predicting the Inland Spread of Round Goby: How Many Gobies Does it Take to Establish a New Population?
    (University of Toronto)

    Understanding the relationship between propagule pressure (the number and frequency of arriving species) and population establishment success is a critical step needed to design and enforce invasive species management programs. Round Goby, an aquatic invasive species of concern in Ontario, has fundamentally reshaped the Great Lakes food web, with widespread impacts on biodiversity and fisheries. This study aims to answer the question: How many arriving Round Goby does it take to establish a population? Using stage-based modelling that considers different infestation and environmental scenarios, the probability of 2,920 inland lakes in Ontario becoming infested by Round Goby in a single year was modelled. By manipulating propagule pressure and examining the resulting outcome on population establishment success, we gained a better understating of the invasion process and thus be able to better design management programs. Two research papers are in production: one to investigate the relationship between Round Goby establishment and propagule pressures, and another to determine invasion outcomes for inland lakes. Understanding this component of invasive species establishment will inform the management of round goby, and potentially other aquatic invasions in Ontario.


  • Round Goby Invasion of Great Lakes’ Tributaries : Understanding Physical Factors Affecting Colonization Success
    (McGill University)

    When considering the establishment, impact and management of most aquatic invasive species, most attention is focused in the Great Lakes proper, with less attention left to Great Lakes tributaries. The Eurasian round goby has been slow to colonize Great Lakes tributaries, despite having rapidly colonized near-shore habitats of all the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, causing shifts in the food web, reducing native species, and increasing contaminant bio-magnification. This project assessed the invasion success of round goby, and the management implications, for the Grande River in Ontario. The analysis of a multi-year dataset (2010, 2011, 2013) will inform management decisions regarding flow regulation and the role of dams/reservoirs in facilitating round goby colonization in the river. Additionally, an assessment of the current distribution and abundance of the round goby in the upper Credit River in southern Ontario including a pre- and post-eradication evaluation, was determined in order to aid management decisions.


Projects Completed in 2013-14



Prevent

  • Educating Ontario Youth about Invasive Species
    (Green Teacher)

    Green Teacher published a book “Teaching about Invasive Species” in print and digital form and distributed copies to Ontario schools in partnership with Ontario school boards, with promotion across Canada and beyond. The authors expect that the book will be read by more than 10,000 educators, working inside and outside of schools.
    View Table of Contents
    Order Here


  • Invaders in our Forest Video Public Service Announcement
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters produced a public service announcement (video) entitled “Invaders in Our Forests” to profile significant invasive forest plants and pests in Ontario (including garlic mustard, dog-strangling vine and emerald ash borer), the pathways by which these species are spread and actions that can be taken to prevent introduction and spread. Invaders in Our Forests can be accessed at www.youtube.com/invspecies.


  • Look Before You Leave Project Expansion
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    The Look Before You Leave campaign was created to educate cottagers, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts about invasive species and how to avoid their spread. With funding from the Invasive Species Centre, the campaign was expanded to target campers, trail users and recreational boaters. Four new posters, targeted to the new audiences were created along with a children’s activity book which introduced the “Invader Raiders”, a group of child superheroes who try to save biodiversity against evil invasive species through interactive activities and educational games. These books have been made available to schools across Ontario and can be found at www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca.
    View and Download Look Before you Leave Poster
    View and Download Colouring Book
    View Hiking Poster, Biking Poster, Boating Poster, and Camping Poster


  • Signage on High Traffic Outdoor Recreational Trails
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    Funding from the Invasive Species Centre was used to create and install signage to inform visitors of the invasive plant phragmites, to develop information on the impacts of phragmites on Ontario’s environment and to provide information on control, reporting, and preventing its spread. Bilingual signs have been posted in high profile areas throughout a number of Ontario Parks and traffic corridors. The outcomes of this work will increase public awareness of the risk of phragmites to Ontario’s ecosystem, help members of the public identify the plant as well understand the need for control, and control options used by professionals.


  • Invasive Plant Management Workshop for Landowners and Practitioners
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    Funding from the Invasive Species Centre has helped to expand this program to a provincial scale and host two workshops in Ontario (Simcoe County and York Region) to provide landowners and field practitioners with information on identifying, managing and reporting invasive plants using materials and toolkits that can be replicated regionally. Each toolkit contains a standard presentation, workbook, reference guide to invasive plant species, Clean Equipment Protocol booklet and step-by-step instructions on how to host a regional workshop. This project has enabled communities across Ontario to conduct these workshops within their regions with the ultimate outcome of building communications networks and enhancing the overall state of knowledge of invasive plants among practitioners and landowners. Learn more at www.ontarioinvasiveplants.ca/index.php/learn.
    Workshop for Landowners and Land Managers Kits
    Workshop for Field Practitioners Kit

Detect

  • Suitability of Northwestern Ontario Climate to Invasion by Mountain Pine Beetle
    (Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service)

    This multi-year study estimated the potential for mountain pine beetle to survive the winter in Ontario pine species, which in turn can help predict the risk of this insect establishing in Ontario.

    With funding from the Invasive Species Centre and other partners, test plots in northwestern Ontario were established in August of 2013; data collection took place over the winter of 2013/14, and ended in spring of 2014. Future work will repeat the overwintering data collection and evaluate winter temperatures in Ontario pine subjected to a simulated mountain pine beetle attack. While the final results are still some years away, interest in the project from the professional community has been significant and this work will contribute to the knowledge of how mountain pine beetle may behave in a new ecosystem, which could lead to estimating the risk of mountain pine beetle establishing in Ontario and suggest possible management activities.


  • Tools for Early Detection of the Beech Leaf-Mining Weevil and Risk of Anthropogenic Movement
    (Acadia University)

    The objective of this research was to identify tools for early detection of beech leaf-mining weevil, which has caused significant damage to the foliage of American beech. The research determined that beech leaf-mining weevil fed and overwintered on the leaves of a number of species such as beech, red maple, red spruce, and apple trees, indicating that this weevil could potentially pose an economic threat to commercially important species such as apples and possibly other fruit. This work also confirmed that one type of trap was more effective in capturing adult weevils than were other traps; this could allow practitioners to more effectively survey for beech leaf-mining weevil, and more quickly detect and track its spread. It was also found that firewood remained a high-risk pathway for spreading the weevil into new areas.


  • Round Goby in Lake Ontario: A Critical Knowledge Gap for Whole Lake Food Web Modeling
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)

    The objective of this study was to estimate round goby abundance across a range of depths and substrates using a deep-water high resolution camera. The findings of this work demonstrated that round goby abundance decreased as water depth increased, and that the camera was able to best detect round goby in sandy shallow areas or in shallow areas of mixed substrates. This study suggests that the true abundance of round goby may be underestimated and that this species may be more abundant in Lake Ontario ecosystems than originally suspected. This technology could also help determine the abundance of other types of invasive fish in deep waters.


  • Genomic Resources for Chemical Ecology Research in Invasive Longhorn Beetles
    (Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service)

    The brown spruce longhorn beetle is an exotic invasive insect originating from Europe. Brown spruce longhorn beetle is currently present in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, but is at risk of spreading to Ontario, where hosts species (black, white and red spruce) are widely distributed and commercially valuable. The purpose of this study was to sequence the genome of brown spruce longhorn beetle to provide a better understanding of its molecular biology which is an essential precursor for future genomics-based population studies. This project resulted in the sequencing of over 38 billion DNA bases. The full brown spruce longhorn beetle genome sequence will be available through the National Centre for Biotechnology Information. This data will be useful for a wide number of stakeholders, including scientists involved in the study of invasive longhorn beetles, as well as for practical application such as the design of effective lures for population monitoring.


  • Validating Environmental DNA Detection of Aquatic Invasive Species: Round Goby as a Model System
    (Trent University)

    Environmental DNA (eDNA) has been shown to be a potentially effective method for early detection of aquatic invasive species where other, more traditional census methods fail. The objective of this study was to further develop eDNA techniques for field application and testing on round goby in the Trent-Severn Waterway, Ontario, where round goby has been present since 2003. As an outcome of this study, an efficient and inexpensive device and method to improve field sampling, along with a low-cost technique for DNA extraction was developed. The outcomes of this work are directly applicable to the early detection of round goby, and can potentially be refined for other aquatic invasive species.


  • Sensitive Detection of Water Soldier Invasions with eDNA
    (Trent University)

    Water soldier is an emerging invasive plant in North America, for which the only known wild population is in the Trent River, Ontario. Environmental DNA (eDNA), or the identification of DNA from water, is an effective means of early detection of invasive species that can facilitate their containment and potential removal. The purpose of this study was to develop species-specific markers for detecting water soldier DNA from water samples and to test these findings in the 2014/15 field season. With funding from the Invasive Species Centre, in 2013, approximately 150 water samples were collected from which eDNA was extracted, and specific markers for water soldier were developed. Field testing will take place in 2014, which if successful, will make an important contribution to the long term, sustainable management of water soldier in Ontario.


  • EDDMapS Mobile Application
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    EDDMapS (Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System), developed by the University of Georgia, is a webbased mapping system to track invasive species distribution. With funding from numerous partners including the Invasive Species Centre, a mobile EDDMapS applications for iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones was developed to further enhance the EDDMapS experience and make this tool more accessible for citizens. The app is available for free through Google (Android) and the Apple app store (iPhone/iPad). A communications strategy, which included a media release, workshops and webinars, helped to raise awareness of this new app.
    Download for Apple
    Download for Android


  • EDDMapS Promotion and Training Workshops
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    To promote the new EDDMapS tool, a series of online and faceto- face training approaches were developed and implemented, a WebEX license was acquired for webinars, workshops, media releases, and printed materials were developed to support outreach and education efforts.


  • EDDMapS Intern
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    An intern was hired to assist with marketing EDDMapS Ontario, by running workshops and collecting feedback to improve the applications.


  • Insect Diagnostics
    (Invasive Species Centre)

    With funding from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, the Invasive Species Centre supplied insect identification services through an insect identification biologist. The biologist received insects collected by the Ministry and its partners, and worked collaboratively with the Canadian Forest Service and Canadian Food Inspection Agency to identify insects and report results.

Respond and Control

  • Implementing Biological Control to Manage Invasive Dog-Strangling Vine
    (University of Toronto)

    Dog-strangling vine outcompetes native plants and forms dense clusters that threaten vegetation and urbanized landscapes. It has become Ontario’s number one invasive plant in natural ravines and watersheds. Controlling dog strangling vine is costly and labour intensive using conventional methods (mowing, hand pulling, and herbicides), most of which are unsuccessful. The objective of this multi-partner, multi-year study was to develop a greater understanding of dog strangling vine biological control and assess two potential biocontrol agents (Hypena and Chrysochus). The herbivore, Hypena was identified, reared and a permit was acquired for its release in 2014 for operational field testing. If successful, these efforts will result in a non-chemical control method for dog strangling vine which will contribute to reducing the spread of this species and helping to restore invaded sites using ecologically sound practices.


  • Control of Water Chestnut at Voyageur Provincial Park
    (Ministry of Natural Resources)

    The objective of this project was to test various management practices to control the spread of water chestnut in Voyageur Provincial Park, Ontario, before this species becomes established. Undertaken during the 2013/14 summer season, this project was successful in eradicating water chestnut from approximately 253.5 hectares of wetland within the park and surveying wetlands within the Park and along a stretch of the Ottawa River to detect any new outbreaks or spread. This project also increased awareness with the public, including over 100,000 visitors to the Park, of the environmental risks posed by water chestnut. The Ottawa River contains the only wild population of water chestnut in Ontario. Given that the plant still had a limited distribution, there is a real opportunity to eradicate this plant before it spreads.
    View Report


  • Augmenting Native Natural Enemies to Slow the Spread of Emerald Ash Borer
    (University of Toronto)

    As compared with previous insects that affect trees, emerald ash borer is the most serious invasive insect to arrive in North America over the past decades. It spread rapidly in Ontario since 2002, killing all ash species. There are no known methods for control, other than tree protection using chemicals and removal of infected trees. Native biocontrol provides an alternative to conventional insecticides, has low environmental impact, and is cost-effective over the large areas requiring treatment. The objective of this study was to advance knowledge and field test a potential native biocontrol for emerald ash borer using a native parasitic wasp (Phasgonophora sulcata). The wasp will be released and monitored in the spring/summer 2014 in several test sites around Southern Ontario. While this project is still ongoing, the outcomes will be to assess whether this parasitic wasp is successful in controlling populations of emerald ash borer over the test areas. If successful, the broader scale implementation of biological control for emerald ash borer in both woodlot and urban settings can provide an alternative and cost effective tool for long-term management of this invasive insect.


  • Ecological and Life History Attributes of Water Soldier
    (Trent University)

    The purpose of this study was two-fold: to assess potential management strategies that will aid managers in eradicating water soldier from the Trent Severn Waterway in Ontario, and to understand the reproductive biology and abiotic requirements of water soldier to inform management planning exercises. Preliminary results demonstrated that fall application of herbicide had the greatest success in removing water soldier, however none of the treatment applications were 100% effective in eradicating water soldier from treatment plots. The minimum light requirements for plant growth suggested also that water soldier offsets (a method of reproduction) will not survive in water depths of greater than 3 metres in the area of infestation. While this study is still continuing, the eventual results will directly inform the creation of a risk assessment for water soldier in Ontario as well as an integrated management plan for eradication of water soldier from the Trent River.

Manage and Adapt

  • Raising Awareness, Increasing Knowledge and Battling Spread of Emerald Ash Borer through Video and Targeted Community Outreach
    (Eastern Ontario Model Forest)

    The objectives of this project were to produce information products (videos and slideshows) for municipal practitioners and rural woodlot owners to provide them with information and management practices for detecting and managing emerald ash borer on their lands. The materials include presentations, recommendations, interviews with experts and a “Seven Step Strategy” to guide those who are tasked with developing or reviewing management strategies for their jurisdictions. The video, “Facts and Tactics for Woodlot Owners and Forest Managers” specifically targets rural landowners and woodlot owners who manage community forests, conservation areas, or private woodlot owners with tracts of ash. These products are available through the Eastern Ontario Model Forest (www.eomf.on.ca/eab) and the Invasive Species Centre website.


  • Community Productivity in Ontario Lakes
    (University of Toronto)

    The impacts of aquatic invasive species on fish production in Ontario lakes are not well understood. The objective of this study was to assess, using biomass size spectra and statistical analysis, the influence of aquatic invasive species on fish production relative to other factors that affect fish communities (e.g. lake characteristics, climate, and exploitation rates). Using data compiled for 515 lakes (as part of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources broad-scale Fish Community Monitoring program), it was demonstrated that aquatic invasive species were more common in southern Ontario and lakes closer to the Great Lakes shore than the interior of the province. The modeling exercises found that lakes with spiny water flea, zebra or quagga mussels, rainbow smelt and other multiple aquatic invasive species had fewer larger fish and less fish biomass for harvesting. The results of this work demonstrated that aquatic invasive species have negatively impacted productive fisheries habitats.


  • Best Management Practices for Wild Parsnip and Wild Honeysuckles
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    This project complements a series of Best Management Practices for invasive plants, undertaken further to a 2012 survey of land managers, practitioners and biologists that found that the lack of best management practices were a key gap hindering control programs for invasive plants.
    This project developed best management practices for wild parsnip and invasive honeysuckles. Each best management practice includes information on the biology, history, distribution, habitat, identification features, and impacts of the plants, as well as control options, regulations, and reporting information. This work rounds out a series of best management practices for: phragmites, common buckthorn, giant hogweed, dog-strangling vine, Japanese knotweed, garlic mustard, reed canary grass, white sweet clover, and European black alder.
    View the Best Management Practices


  • Emerald Ash Borer Liaison 2013/14
    (Harri Liljalehto, Consultant)

    In the third and final year of this work, the emerald ash borer liaison provided a central focal point for public agencies, municipalities and practitioners dealing with the effects of emerald ash borer in Ontario by being a key point of contact for information (scientific information, peer contacts, and practical operational knowledge) and fostering collaboration and cooperation. A key outcome of this work was the development and deployment of a survey to determine needs for future information and tools among a broad range of stakeholder groups including municipalities, landowners and woodlot owners. This survey determined that the quality and availability of scientific information is satisfactory but further clarification on roles and responsibilities of responsible authorities is required. The largest gaps were identified as: detection and monitoring, treatment options, environmental impacts, and strategies for forest recovery.

  • Predicting Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer in Forested Areas beyond the Fragmented Forest of Southwestern Ontario
    (Carleton University/Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service)

    As the emerald ash borer spreads throughout Ontario, infestations will occur on landscapes with a significantly higher percentage of forest cover (from about 3% when emerald ash borer was first detected in Essex County in Southern Ontario to about 65% forest cover in Renfrew County in Eastern Ontario). The main objective of this study examined whether a higher abundance and diversity of forest cover will support a greater abundance and diversity of natural predators which, in turn, could slow or stop the spread of emerald ash borer into certain regions of Ontario.

    This work was undertaken by quantifying the abundance and diversity of natural predator populations across varying forest cover prior to invasion by emerald ash borer. Funding from the Invasive Species Centre and other partners helped to sample 24 sites ranging in forest cover from 4 to 94% for native bark beetles and their associated parasitoids; over 10,000 specimens of parasitoids were collected from ash, birch, poplar, and oak trees.

    While the final results of this study are still some years away, the ultimate results could have important management and policy implications for managing emerald ash borer in woodlots and commercial forests, as opposed to urban settings.


  • Predicting the Consequences of Asian Carp Establishment in the Great Lakes
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)

    If Asian carps were to become established in the Great Lakes, it would disrupt exiting food webs and impact commercial and recreational fisheries. Despite these risks, there are few robust and objective decision support tools to forecast the consequences of establishment to facilitate management and policy responses. This multi-year project uses two different computer models to simulate the outcomes of Asian carps on food webs in Lake Erie and Lake Ontario. While the final results of this work are a few years away, the ultimate findings will be used to predict how food webs may change as a function of increasing Asian carps abundance, and compare findings using the two different models. This work, together with efforts of many in Ontario and across the U.S. Great Lakes region, will help to advance our collective understanding of how quickly Asian carps can establish and spread if they were to enter the Great Lakes basin.


Projects Completed in 2012-13



Prevent

  • Outreach to Northwest Ontario Outpost Camps and Lodges (Targeting Anglers Importing Bait Fish)
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    The purpose of the project was to make non-resident anglers aware of the threats and associated impacts of importing and transporting bait fish, and to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species (e.g. crayfish, Asian carps) into Ontario waters. Promotional materials and products were developed and distributed to camps and lodges in northwestern Ontario, where anglers frequently import and release baitfish. This project built on efforts by Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to address introduction of invasive species through bait fish. The key deliverables included: development and production of promotional materials, promotion of messaging to outpost camps and lodges, and engagement of Northern Ontario Trading Outpost to assist with distribution of outreach materials and messaging. This education will help reduce the amount of bait fish being released into Ontario lakes and reduce the spread of invasive species.


  • Asian Carp Display
    (Toronto Zoo)

    This project, which is in place at the Toronto Zoo, provided an educational Asian Carp display within the marine wing at the zoo. This display included a taxonomic display and an interactive screen. The Invasive Species Centre-Toronto Zoo display project was improved with expert advice from the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. The project significantly enhanced the aquatic invasive species segment of the Toronto Zoo's marine section as well as provided the public with valuable information regarding Asian carps.
    View Asian Carp Display


  • EAB Prevention in Northern Ontario
    (EAB Task Force – Northwestern Ontario)

    The Northwestern Ontario EAB Task Force is comprised of volunteers from a myriad of not-for-profit organizations based in northern Ontario who aim to slow the spread of emerald ash borer (EAB). The task force launched a public awareness campaign to assist with prevention of EAB in northern Ontario. Television, radio, and print ads were developed, presented in local media, and incorporated in tourist maps and travel magazines. This integrated and proactive prevention strategy could be used as a model by other regions in future invasive species mitigation measures.
    View Emerald Ash Borer: Raising Awareness in Northwestern Ontario


  • Pet Owner Outreach
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and Ontario Streams)

    This project encouraged pet owners not to release unwanted pets into the wild by engaging pet stores to educate customers about the negative impacts of releasing unwanted pets, particularly when the pets are known to be an invasive species.  Key project deliverables included: development of a new slogan (Keep. Care. Be Aware.) and promotional materials with this key messaging (e.g. fish bags and turtle boxes); production of the promotional materials; and, initiating/coordinating discussions with over 300 pet stores and corporate head office executives in the Greater Toronto Area to secure space in major pet stores for display of promotional material.  This project ensures that the general public is aware of the impacts of invasive species, thus reducing the number of unwanted introductions.
    View Keep. Care. Be Aware. Poster
    View Keep. Care. Be Aware. Sticker


  • Invasive Species Interactive Display at Algonquin Park
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    An iconic destination, Algonquin Park, located in central Ontario, attracts upwards of half a million visitors annually with many coming from southern and eastern Ontario.  This project provided an educational invasive species interactive display at the Algonquin Park Visitor Centre. The project was developed in partnership with Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Algonquin Park and Friends of Algonquin Park.  This project addressed a specific outcome of an Invasive Species Centre-sponsored Education and Outreach Workshop, held in March 2012, which identified a need to enhance invasive species awareness among the public through informative, interactive displays at sites that attract high volumes of visitors.


  • Education and Outreach Compendium
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    This project produced and printed an updated edition of the Education and Outreach Compendium; the original was produced in 2011/12 and contained factsheets for key aquatic (fish, plants, pathogens) and terrestrial (plants, forest insects, diseases) invasive species in order to reduce redundancy and maintain consistency in messaging across the key agencies involved in invasive species education and outreach. This updated document was distributed to government and non-government agencies in Canada and the Great Lakes states for reference and benchmarking of outreach efforts.
    View Education and Outreach Compendium


  • Grow Me Instead: Nursery Recognition Project, Phase II
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    Grow Me Instead is an outreach program that informed gardeners, landscapers, and growers about invasive horticulture plants and readily available alternatives. The first phase of the project, undertaken in 2011-12, provided Grow Me Instead brochures and presentations to 30 gardener and industry groups in southern Ontario. The phase II of this project extended the campaign to other areas of Ontario where invasive plants are sold within the horticultural industry. The project was conducted by the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) which developed and promoted the Grow Me Instead Guide.  The guide was used to educate nurseries and promote the sale of non-invasive plants which are listed in the Grow Me Instead guide. The OIPC also provided nurseries with signage, displays, guides and PowerPoint presentations to further educate the public about the impacts of invasive plant species on native flora, and as a result, reduce the number of invasive plant introductions into gardens and ecosystems.
    Full information about the Grow Me Instead program can be found on the Ontario Invasive Plant Council's website .


  • Clean Equipment Best Management Practice, Phase II (Industry Engagement)
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    The Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) led the development of provincial best management practices (BMP) for the proper inspection and cleaning of equipment for invasive species control. The aim of this project (Phase II) was to develop a training program that focused on providing “how-to” and “hands-on” training that went beyond current clean equipment messaging. Provincial contacts in key locations were identified to deliver the training programs, including industry sectors, provincial and municipal staff and recreational user groups. Initial training was undertaken in the spring of 2013, and training materials were made available online and by request. The implementation of this training program ensured consistent invasive species management throughout the province.
    View Clean Equipment Protocol Report


  • Water Garden/ Aquarium Trade as a Pathway
    (Ontario Streams)

    This project targeted the Aquarium and Water Garden Retail Industries as important pathways for the introduction of aquatic invasive plant species into Ontario.  Inventories of retail outlets were conducted within the Greater Toronto Area, York Region, Simcoe Region, Halton Region, Wellington County, Kitchener-Waterloo, Middlesex County, and the Ottawa Region. Using this data, this project developed a better understanding of how broadly invasive species are available through retail outlets throughout the inventoried area, identified the most popular invasive aquatic plants grown by water garden enthusiasts (including water hyacinth, water lettuce and parrotfeather), and the most common countries of origin for imported invasive aquatic plants (including Denmark, south-east Asia, and the USA).

Detect

  • EDDMapS Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    This project allowed the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and the Invasive Species Centre  to work with the University of Georgia (the main developer of EDDMapS), to reconfigure and update EDDMaps for use in Ontario. EDDMaps, or Early Detection & Distribution Mapping System, is a tool that can be downloaded and used by any individual/organization to track invasive species occurrences in Ontario, and allows users to access a library of identification and management information. The key deliverable was the release of an Ontario version of EDDMaps which includes data entry forms specific to Ontario; Ontario-specific geographic data; e-mail notification for verification of entered records according to provincial standards; and, uploads of existing invasive species distribution information currently housed in Ontario’s Natural Resource Verification Information System (NRVS) into the University of Georgia servers. This project allowed all users to view invasive species data and helped to ensure that all invasive species distribution data collected by provincial ministries, non-government organizations, municipalities, members of the public and volunteers are entered into EDDMapS through a web-based data entry form and interactive Web mapping interface. EDDMapS can be accessed at: www.eddmaps.org/ontario.


  • Forest Pest Survey and Methods Development
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Being able to detect an invasive species rapidly and knowing its current range are critical to developing effective management and containment strategies. This project tested the effectiveness of new detection methods for four invasive forest insects: 1. Sirex woodwasp: Compared the standard pinene lure with a newly discovered pheromone, and found that too few wasps were captured in the field for statistical analyses; future lab studies are recommended. 2. Pine false webworm: Tested the effectiveness of a pheromone developed as an early warning system for rising populations and changes in range, and found that trap capture was greatly enhanced when traps were deployed in mid-April, and that the lure has potential for use in mating disruption. 3. Pine shoot beetle: Evaluated the effectiveness of bait log control method using visual surveys of infested shoots, Lindgren traps to catch adult beetles, and quantifying infestation levels in bait logs. Findings indicated that pine shoot beetle had not developed any detectable populations north of the already regulated area.  4. Emerald ash borer (EAB): Compared the CFIA visual survey, CFS baited trap, and CFS branch sampling methods, and found that EAB continues to expand its range and cause significant mortality of ash trees.  The results of this work were used to implement detection surveys and to design effective control or containment programs.


  • Forest Pest Insect Diagnostician
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    The project lead provided insect diagnostic (e.g. identification) services for insect samples collected by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (as part of their routine forest health sampling), for samples sent in from other OMNRF studies, as well as for general public inquiries. At a time where there is a shortage of qualified entomologists, this project provided skilled capacity to help ensure timely and accurate diagnostics of insects which is important in the early detection of new insect incursions or the spread of invasive insects to new places.  The end result produced findings that will provide greater understanding of care, protection and conservation of forest health, thus aiding in education, decision making, policies and procedures.


  • Survey Module: Stream Assessment Protocol Extension to Invasive Species
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Management actions to control invasive species and reduce their negative impacts are dependent on sound inventory and monitoring information. An Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry tool used by stream assessment professionals is the Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP); however, the OSAP manual provided no direction to practitioners on how to report invasive species. This resulted in a lost opportunity to gather valuable inventory and monitoring information for invasive species. This project resulted in a new draft of the OSAP that was released in spring of 2012 to track invasive species observed in river valleys. The module provides a means of documenting observations of key species of interest to Ontario’s biodiversity and in particular invasive species.  Several organizations agreed to test the module over the summer and provide feedback on the module enabling revisions to be incorporated into a final version (version 8) of the OSAP manual. The product of this project is the compilation of all comments and incorporation of changes into both the module and field sheet to be used in future surveys, ensuring a systematic approach to recording information on invasive species during these surveys.


Respond and Control

  • Water Soldier Assessment and Eradication, Diquat Herbicide Registration
    (Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation)

    Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides), an invasive aquatic plant, was first detected in North America in the Trent Severn Waterway in 2008.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry initiated an integrated control effort utilizing the herbicide Diquat with a temporary emergency use label extension (water soldier was not specifically on the Diquat label, precluding its use as a management tool except under “emergency” time-limited situations). To support a permanent label expansion, preliminary herbicide efficacy trials conducted in 2011/12 demonstrated success in ideal laboratory conditions. This phase of research aimed to establish efficacy of Diquat on water soldier in field conditions. Diquat was tested on water soldier at a range of concentrations and exposures. It was determined that water soldier is highly susceptible to Diquat under favorable treatment conditions. The most significant factor impacting Diquat efficacy is dispersion from the treatment area due to water flow. Effective use of Diquat on budding populations of water soldier provides a tool to significantly decrease water soldier biomass in large areas and therefore reduce the potential for spread within the Trent Severn waterway as well as reduce the likelihood for further introductions.


  • Pathogens Effects on Terrestrial Invasive Plant Species
    (Algoma University)

    The project documented the time it takes for pathogens to significantly and increasingly harm terrestrial invasive plant species (TIPS), and then analyzed the resulting data to inform new invasive species management strategies for terrestrial plants. The project leads used the citizen science approach and partnered with organizations to engage collaborators and participants. Deliverables consisted of a project website with directions for participants; TIPS location maps and IT capacity for participants to follow results in real-time; and a concept paper for publication in a scientific journal.


  • Herbicide Registration for Label Expansions for Invasive Plants
    (CAIN Vegetation Inc.)

    Kudzu (Pueraria lobata) is an invasive plant recently found at one site in southern Ontario.  There are no herbicides registered for its control in Canada.  This project generated the data portion of a User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion (URMULE) proposal to add kudzu to the label of Lontrel 360 (clopyralid) and support an Emergency Use registration of this herbicide for this weed. The key deliverable was the data portion of the URMULE proposal which included: a search of relevant published and unpublished literature, copies of the cited documents and a summary of the findings; letters from experts who have experience with use of clopyralid for control of kudzu to create a credible use history; and a rationale document tying these findings together. An application for use of Lontrel 360 was prepared for submission to the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency.


Manage and Adapt

  • Aquatic Research Assessment (Determining Research Priorities Via Delphi
    (French Planning Services)

    This project identified science gaps and prioritized needs with a focus on supporting more comprehensive aquatic invasive species (animals and plants) policy and management. Through workshops, over 100 stakeholders discussed priorities for research for aquatic invasive species. Through these workshops, information gaps and priorities for invasive species education and outreach, research and management were identified. During these workshops, the Delphi process was used to involve participants and to focus discussions to shape and coordinate ideas. This process was used to generate a detailed list of actions to be reviewed and prioritized, and has contributed to setting priorities for future investment by the Invasive Species Centre.
    View Prioritizing Aquatic Invasive Species Science Information and Research Needs.


  • Invasive Species Effects on Fish Dynamics
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    This project examined fish community and select fish demographic responses to the presence or absence of aquatic invasive species—particularly zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and spiny water fleas (Bythotrephes longimanus)—in freshwater lakes of Southern Ontario. Both zebra mussels and spiny water fleas consume large amounts of plankton, thus reducing food sources for native species, altering the food web, and causing a decline in native fish.  This project provided a predictive model of the effects of invasive species in lakes, and associated timing for these effects to play out at the ecosystem level. This study confirms that some lakes are more susceptible to zebra mussel and/or spiny water flea invasions based on predictors such as lake characteristics, water chemistry variables, and lake access levels. The results of this study confirmed that even inland lakes that are physically separated from source populations of invasive species are not immune to the introduction of non-native invaders through human activity. Studies such as this which identify predictors of invasion are useful to more effectively direct outreach and management efforts aimed at preventing or slowing the spread of future invasions.


  • Effects of Spiny Water Flea Invasion on Lake Nipissing Fish Community
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    This was a continuation of a project conducted in 2011/2012 titled: “Changes in the Lake Nipissing fish community following the invasion of the spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus)”. The first component of the project indicated i) that food-web structure has shifted and ii) walleye (Sander viterum) reproductive effort has declined since the invasion of spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) in Lake Nipissing, Ontario. Spiny water flea is a small invasive aquatic predator that feeds on plankton, causing large declines in food availability for young native fish. The second phase of the project tested whether the two aforementioned trends found in 2011/2012 were related. The study found that changes in food web structures among the fish community in Lake Nipissing can be linked to rapid increase in the abundance of spiny water flea. Presence of spiny water flea in the aquatic food web reduced the flow of essential nutrients to higher trophic levels, resulting in decreased walleye populations. This change caused alteration in walleye reproductive investment and energy distribution. Lake Nipissing is one of the largest lakes in northeastern Ontario and supports many important recreational, commercial and subsistence fisheries; therefore, it is important to understand the relationships between the food web structures of the fish community and this new introduced species to effectively manage this fishery.


  • Internship: Wood Movement as a Pathway
    (Canadian Food Inspection Agency and University of Toronto)

    This initiative served as a pilot project under the Invasive Species Centre’s Internship Program, and was conducted in partnership with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and University of Toronto.  A Masters student was hired to review CFIA records and conduct interviews with CFIA officers, the transportation industry and the public to analyze how firewood and logs are imported into, and moved within, Canada.  The student provided a report to CFIA to advise the wood movement policy, D-01-12: Phytosanitary Requirements for the Importation and Domestic Movement of Firewood.
    View High-Risk Pathways of Forest Invasive Alien Species Spread: How firewood and log import data can be used to identify detection survey areas


  • EAB Management Workshop Documentation
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Emerald ash borer (Argrilus planipennis) (EAB) is an invasive forest insect that has caused millions of dollars in damages by parasitizing and killing ash trees. On November 22, 2011, the Invasive Species Centre hosted an emerald ash borer workshop for 270 attendees representing provincial and federal government, municipalities, industry and academia at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. The workshop served as a forum to share new tools and methodologies for EAB monitoring and rapid response. Topics included components of an invasive species strategy, estimates of the cost of EAB to Ontario municipalities, as well as case studies from selected municipalities. This project provided written record of proceedings and outcomes for distribution among agencies and industry practitioners. The publication of Science Transfer Workshop proceedings included documentation of new technology and the best management practices shared.
    View EAB Workshop Proceedings


  • Invasive Species Monitoring and Quick Response Pilot
    (Couchinching Conservatory)

    The Couchiching Conservancy trained teams of volunteers to monitor and respond to target invasive species including dog-strangling vine and garlic mustard in south-central Ontario.  Two training workshops were delivered to volunteers providing an overview of invasive threats and instruction on how to identify species and record their locations using GPS. In addition to the training and outreach, a workshop was held for private landowners and ranchers, and an invasive plant action plan template was developed for individual property owners to guide management of invasive plants on their properties. These projects improved public knowledge of how to report and respond to invasive species, subsequently increasing the likelihood of invasive species detection.


  • Plant Management Compendium
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    In 2011/12, the Ontario Invasive Plant Council (OIPC) developed a survey to identify ongoing invasive plant management projects in Ontario. Survey results were used to develop a compendium of invasive plant management projects and activities occurring within Ontario. The intention of the compendium was to facilitate information sharing among organizations working on similar projects. In 2012/13, a desktop-published compendium was produced, and is shared with agencies through the OIPC and Invasive Species Centre networks.
    View Plant Management Compendium


  • Assessment of Risk of Rusty Crayfish Invasion to Habitat Recovery (Using Queensnake As Case Study to Determine Effects of Invasive Species on Habitat Recovery)
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Rusty Crayfish (Orconectes rusticus) is non-native to Ontario and notoriously invasive, having caused the extirpation of native crayfish in several jurisdictions within south-central and northwestern portions of the province.  Moreover, rusty crayfish poses a threat to Queensnake populations, which is listed as a species at risk in Ontario and which require native crayfish as a food source. In anticipation of the invasion of rusty crayfish in southwestern Ontario, the Queensnake recovery strategy under the Endangered Species Act identified the following priority actions: (1) conduct crayfish surveys, including identifying the presence of Rusty Crayfish, and (2) investigate Rusty Crayfish impacts on native crayfish. Through the Invasive Species Centre-funded project, researchers addressed these priorities by assessing the impacts of the Rusty Crayfish on native crayfish species and the secondary impacts on Queensnake populations. The project included an assessment of crayfish inventories in rivers currently occupied by Queensnake as well as south-central Ontario rivers within the current distribution of Rusty Crayfish. Rusty crayfish was found to be more abundant than native species of crayfish in areas where they were present, but was not located in any areas occupied by Queensnake; therefore the impacts of rusty crayfish on Queensnake are still unknown and require further research. Deliverables included: completion of crayfish sampling at 20 sites; compilation of audit data from 2011 and 2012 fieldwork; and initiation of data analysis and reporting.


  • Water Chestnut Removal, Voyageur Provincial Park
    (Voyageur Provincial Park)

    Water chestnut is an invasive aquatic plant that outcompetes native plants, produces floating mats and sharp-spined fruits that limit boating and outdoor recreation, and reduces levels of dissolved oxygen which lead to fish die-offs. Voyageur Provincial Park, located in Eastern Ontario, is the only location of this plant in Ontario. In 2011, a mechanical cutting tool, which cut the plants underwater prior to flower and seed production, was implemented as a new control tool and was found to be much more effective than previous methods. This phase of the project proposed the same management strategy (the elimination of seed production in the infested area) for a second consecutive year; an updated report; an evaluation of water chestnut presence on the Ottawa River; and flyovers to take aerial photos comparing progress from 2010 to 2012. With continuing improvements to the water chestnut control strategy each year, the goal to manage and control the growth of water chestnut at this location is becoming more attainable.


  • Spray Efficacy Research Group International
    (Forest Protection Limited)

    The project provided funding to support a suite of forest pest management research projects under the auspices of the Spray Efficacy Research Group International (SERG-I). SERG-I provided a mechanism for members and associate members to identify research and technology priorities, and leverage and combine financial or in-kind resources to support projects of mutual interest to SERG-I members. The research projects were identified by the key proponent(s), and additional financial support was leveraged from other SERG-I members (e.g., Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service) to advance invasive species research. Associate members included professors, the pest management industry, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The deliverable was a report of the proceedings of the Annual SERG-International Workshop on the status of the projects supported by the Invasive Species Centre, and can be ordered online at www.serg-i.org.


  • Water Soldier Assessment and Eradication, Trent Severn Waterway
    (Institute for Watershed Science, Trent University)

    The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) is working towards the goal of completely eradicating water soldier (Stratiotes aloides) from the Trent River in central Ontario. Preliminary studies have documented the effectiveness of the OMNRF approaches, which have been herbicide applications and manual removal in the summer months. Both approaches have been effective at the patch level, but they have different effects on the rate of recovery of the native flora. This project complemented the OMNRF’s previous work by varying the time in which management activities occur and documenting the effectiveness of both treatments, as well as the rate of recovery and composition of the native communities.  In addition, the project explored novel techniques that can be used towards detection and monitoring of water soldier populations in the Trent River and elsewhere in Ontario. The project included an assessment of the effectiveness of the herbicide “Reward” in combatting water soldier and the use of remote sensing to detect ecological impacts of water soldier.


  • International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species
    (Professional Edge)

    The Invasive Species Centre sponsored the 18th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species (ICAIS) in Niagara Falls, Canada in April 2013.  The conference attracted over 300 participants from over 30 countries, representing academia, industry, government agencies, NGOs and other stakeholders involved in the issues surrounding aquatic invasive species.  The forum provided an opportunity for researchers, policy makers, practitioners and students to engage in dialogue about issues and mitigation measures regarding aquatic invasive species. This recurring conference is widely considered as the most comprehensive international forum on aquatic invasive species and continues to evolve to address new and emerging issues. Some key topics discussed at ICAIS included Asian carp, shipping and ballast water, bloody-red shrimp, and zebra mussels. The key deliverables were a conference program and comprehensive event plan.
    View the 18th International Conference on Aquatic Invasive Species


  • Emerald Ash Borer History
    (Kenneth Marchant, Plant Health Consultant)

    Despite a coordinated effort by various levels of government in Canada and the U.S., emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to spread in both countries and threatens an estimated 9-10 billion ash trees in eastern North America.  This project analyzed past and current efforts to manage EAB in Canada and offered a unique opportunity for regulatory specialists and scientists to gain valuable knowledge and insight on managing future incursions of invasive species. A report outlining the steps taken in Canada to deal with EAB included: a  chronological history of the pest in North America; a detailed, science-based description of various strategies available to regulatory authorities (and other stakeholders) to manage invasive pests such as EAB; a synopsis and analysis of initiatives taken by U.S. and Canadian authorities and municipalities to manage EAB and mitigate its impacts; and a prognosis of EAB in Canada with realistic management goals and expectations. Information obtained from the study was valuable in developing pest risk analyses and rapid response plans for other invasive alien pests.


  • Emerald Ash Borer, Liaison Specialist
    (H. Liljalehto)

    The emerald ash borer (EAB) Liaison Specialist provided a liaison role between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Natural Resources Canada and a myriad of clients including municipalities, conservation authorities, landowners, associations, arborists, and pest managers in the management of EAB. The project entered its second season in the winter of 2013 as a continuation of the pilot project held in the winter of 2012. The specialist provides technical expertise to clients by interpreting regulatory requirements, scientific information, and research results for incorporation into integrated insect management programs for EAB.
    View Emerald Ash Borer Liasion Specialist Report


  • Emerald Ash Borer, Assistant to the Forest Health Liaison
    (J. Gagn )

    The assistant worked alongside the emerald ash borer (EAB) liaison specialist to disseminate and coordinate information between the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Natural Resources Canada and a myriad of clients including municipalities, conservation authorities, landowners, associations, arborists, and pest managers in the management of EAB. This initiative provided an opportunity to build capacity and to more systematically convene stakeholders and decision makers around issues to do with EAB.


  • Meta Data Amalgamation
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    In 2011/2012, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry conducted an inventory and assessment of provincial invasive species resources with the goal of making them accessible.  During this project, data was extracted, shared and placed in a specific invasive species data layer housed in the Ontario Land Information warehouse, where it can be easily recovered. The project also yielded a communication plan to create awareness of this resource and encourage its use by OMNRF program areas. The information will be available to OMNRF, partners, collaborators and the public to support monitoring, modeling and management activities in Ontario.


  • Invasive Species Centre Technical Report Series
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    The Invasive Species Centre Technical Report series addressed invasive species issues within Ontario by enabling better communication and easier access to information and promoting sharing and use of knowledge. This project: (a) created a visually-appealing template for the Technical Report Series; and, (b) produced plain language reports of projects submitted by partner organizations.


  • EDRR Exercise Planning
    (International Joint Commission and Invasive Species Centre)

    The Invasive Species Centre and the International Joint Commission co-hosted an Aquatic Invasive Species Rapid Response Workshop in Michigan in February 2013 to develop an action plan to implement a rapid response framework to combat the introduction of invasive species. Participants of the workshop included: Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry; Michigan Department of Natural Resources; Fisheries and Oceans Canada; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; U.S. Fish and Wildlife; and, U.S. Geological Survey.  The action plan was developed to assist with the establishment of a rapid response framework, a requirement of the recently revised Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. Progress on implementing the action plan is reported biannually at the Great Lakes Executive Committee chaired jointly by Environment Canada and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.



Projects Completed in 2011-12



Prevent

  • Algonquin Park Aquatic Invasive Species Prevention Project
    (Friends of Algonquin Park)

    This prevention project provided detailed guidance on management actions for reducing the risk of introducing invasive species through the recreational boating and bait fish pathways, and development and partial implementation of a plan for Algonquin Park (signage, boat wash stations, messages, etc.). A conceptual design was also created for an invasive species display for the Algonquin Visitor Center. Increasing awareness of invasive species and how they can be prevented is essential to reduce their spread in protected areas, particularly frequently visited areas such as Algonquin Park. As a result of this work, a document for assessing and reducing the risk of introducing invasive species in protected areas of Algonquin Park was produced. This document will provide practical guidance to Ontario Parks’ staff in assessing the risk of invasive species introductions into protected areas. The document also includes a summary of best management practices to reduce risk from primary pathways.
    View Junior Ranger Invasive Species Activity Book


  • Clean Equipment Protocol
    (R. Gagnon)

    Invasive species invade new habitats through a variety of different pathways. This project focused on a common pathway through which invasive plant species spread from one area to another: the movement of industrial equipment. A clean equipment protocol was developed and tested for industry sectors such as forestry, construction and utilities (i.e. hydro), and municipalities to reduce the unintentional spread of invasive species. The protocol was designed for use in Ontario, using best practices from other jurisdictions such as Australia and the US. The protocols provided the basis of a training program (Phase II) planned for development and implementation in 2012 led by the Ontario Invasive Plant Council and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
    View Clean Equipment Protocol for Industry


  • Compendium of Education and Outreach and Fact Sheet Development
    (Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters)

    A compendium of projects in the area of invasive species education and outreach was compiled and peer reviewed by government and non-government organizations involved in invasive species. This project involved the development of factsheets for key aquatic (fish, plants, pathogens) and terrestrial (plants, forest insects, diseases) invasive species. The factsheets reduce redundancy and maintain consistency in messaging across the key agencies involved in invasive species education and outreach. This compendium is posted online and has been shared with agencies delivering invasive species projects in Ontario. This compendium was used at the invasive species education and outreach workshop held in February of 2012 in affiliation with the Ontario Invasive Plant Council.
    View Education and Outreach Compendium: Materials and Resources in Ontario 2012


  • Grow Me Instead and Nursery Recognition Pilot Project
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    Grow Me Instead is an outreach program that informs gardeners, landscapers, and horticulturalists about invasive horticulture plants and readily available alternatives. This project provided Grow Me Instead outreach information that was followed by presentations to 30 gardener and industry groups. It developed a gardener web page that provides information regarding invasive plants and alternatives to their use in Ontario. The Nursery Recognition project built on the success of the outreach project to develop a voluntary recognition system for nurseries and landscape companies. The project was piloted in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), and identified nurseries in the GTA that were selling non-invasive plants listed in the Grow Me Instead Guide, and worked with them to promote the sale, use, and distribution of the guide. Training was also provided for nursery and landscape staff. A variety of recognition incentives were also investigated to encourage other nurseries to participate in the Grow Me Instead campaign.
    View Grow me Instead Factsheet
    View Northern Ontario Grow Me Instead Guide
    View Southern Ontario Grow Me Instead Guide


  • Translating Mountain Pine Beetle Genomics Outputs into Genomics-Enhanced Environmental and Economic Risk Models
    (University of Alberta)

    Mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae), indigenous to British Columbia, is a forest pest that infests lodgepole pine in British Columbia and Alberta, causing widespread loss of merchantable timber. With its movement eastward into eastern pine species such as jack pine, the mountain pine beetle poses significant risks to provinces east of British Columbia as a “native” invasive species that has evolved beyond its natural range. This project investigated the genomes of mountain pine beetle, lodgepole pine and jack pine to determine the genetic characteristics of mountain pine beetle and its host trees. These characteristics may influence the rate of spread of the insect eastward, the behaviour of mountain pine beetle in these new hosts, and the expected impacts on jack pine forests. Results were used to develop models to help predict the spread of mountain pine beetle.

Detect

  • Optimization of Sampling for Early Detection of Emerald Ash Borer Infestations
    (Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Services)

    This study determined optimal sampling protocols for early detection of emerald ash borer (EAB). Branch sampling is an effective sampling technique in locating EAB infestation of ash trees not yet showing symptoms; however, sampling efforts in areas where EAB infestations have not yet been detected will depend on resource availability at the municipal level. Based on the results of this study, branch sampling of 5-10 trees per plot, in plots spaced 1-2 kilometers apart, will provide a reasonable probability of detecting an EAB infestation, as well as provide delimitation of the infestations. Sampling of ten trees per plot and recording the proportion of trees infested also provides an index of the infestation density. Work is ongoing to further optimize detection and delimitation strategies, allowing municipalities and landowners to sample more efficiently in order to detect EAB infestations at an earlier stage.


  • Guide to Buprestid Beetles
    (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

    This project resulted in the development and printing of a guidebook to aid with identification of buprestid wood boring (metallic) beetles which includes the emerald ash borer and other invasive tree boring beetles. The guidebook was distributed to practitioners including foresters, entomologists, arborists and field technicians. This handbook assists practitioners to quickly identify wood boring insects in order to aid in early detection.
    View Field Guide to the Jewel Beetles (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) of Northeastern North America (English)
    View Guide des Buprestes (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) du nord-est de l’Amerique du Nord (Francais)


  • Search for an Effective Lure Based on Bark Volatiles for Trapping and Detecting Emerald Ash Borer
    (Trent University)

    Emerald ash borer (Argrilus planipennis) (EAB) is a forest pest that has the ability to decimate ash tree populations. Green leaf and bark volatiles of host trees are used as lures for forest pests, with the most commonly-used lure for EAB being a green leaf volatile emitted from healthy ash trees. This project researched the volatiles produced by stressed ash trees in order to find a more effective lure for EAB, since they are more attracted to stressed trees. Seventeen compounds were identified, and future work will determine their effectiveness. With a more effective lure, the probability for early detection of EAB increases. This is particularly important to detect EAB in new areas or to help control the spread.


  • Surveillance of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Great Lakes
    (University of Windsor)

    This project looked to determine whether genetic analysis is a cost-effective management information tool that can be used to identify invasive plankton species in the Great Lakes (part of a larger study). This information aided in the development of state-of-the-art pyrosequencing (genetic analysis) techniques capable of rapid detection of invasive species in Canadian ports for targeted taxonomic groups, thus improving surveillance and detection rates of invasive species.


  • Testing Survey and Detection Methods for Invasive Forest Insects
    (Ontario Tree Seed Plant)

    The project tested newly developed detection technologies for sirex woodwasp, pine false webworm, emerald ash borer, and pine shoot beetle. The results were used to improve the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry detection program, thereby increasing the speed at which invasive forest insects can be detected and controlled.


Respond and Control

  • Investigating the Efficacy of Diquat on Aquatic Invasive Plants in Ontario
    (Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation)

    A literature review on the efficacy of the herbicide diquat on cabomba (Cabomba caroliniana), water chestnut (Trapa natans), and water soldier (Stratiotes aloides) provided background information on the biology of these aquatic invasive plants, their abundance and distribution in Ontario, and response to chemical management. The literature review revealed that limited information exists on the efficacy of diquat in controlling these three species. It is therefore difficult to conclude that current information on diquat efficacy is sufficient to claim control of any of the species reviewed. Results demonstrated that both water chestnut and water soldier were inherently susceptible to diquat, which has potential to be an effective molecule for management of these two species. In contrast, impacts of diquat on cabomba suggested a more limited role.


  • Lower Trophic Assessment of Lake St. Clair
    (Lake Erie Management Unit – Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    This project assessed the lower trophic levels (organisms that exist on the lowest levels of the food chain) of Lake St. Clair prior to the potential arrival of Asian carp. A chlorophyll-measuring instrument called a fluoroprobe was purchased and used to provide quick and reliable measurements of chlorophyll in the lake, as well as determine the presence of algae and allocate them to various spectral algae classes. This provided base-line background data that can be used to assess potential Asian carp impacts in Lake St. Clair.


  • Biological Control of Emerald Ash Borer Through Auto-Dissemination of Naturally Occurring Fungal Pathogens
    (Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Services)

    Beauveria bassiana is a fungus that grows naturally in Ontario soils and parasitizes both native and introduced insects like the emerald ash borer (EAB). This project examined the effectiveness of an auto-contamination trapping system to spread B. bassiana as a mechanism to biologically control emerald ash borer populations. Green multifunnel traps coated with fluon (a slippery substance used to keep crawling insects from escaping) were developed to trap flying EAB. When EAB passed through the trap they were coated with the fungus, and re-released to allow for spreading between adults during mating (auto-contamination). Future research will look at the extent to which the fungus is spread following auto-contamination, thus evaluating this method as a potential bio control option.


  • Determination of Tolerable Injury Levels for Emerald Ash Borer Management in Southern Ontario
    (Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Services)

    This project determined the amount of emerald ash borer (EAB) injury that an ash tree can sustain before it is no longer able to survive. Experimental sites for this project were located in Brantford, Toronto, Brockville, and Ottawa. The identification of tolerable injury levels give resource managers objective criteria to use when deciding if a tree can be saved. This modelling tool is useful for prioritizing the treatment of ash trees affected by EAB, thus allocating resources to save trees that are more likely to survive.


  • Development of an In Vitro Method of Screening Butternut Trees For Resistance to the Invasive Fungal Pathogen Ophiognomonia Clavigignenti-Juglandacearum
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    This project involved the development of a laboratory method to predict resistance of butternut trees, a listed species at risk in Ontario, to a fungal pathogen, Ophiognomonia clavignenti-juglandacearum (Oc-j), known to cause butternut canker. The goal was to have the ability to select trees that are genetically resistant to this pathogen to be used as part of a butternut recovery program. In vitro tissue culture was grown from butternut bud tissue and inoculated with the invasive fungal pathogen. The rate/amount of colonization of the tissue culture served as a measurement of disease resistance. While field work was scheduled for subsequent years to test the resistance of butternut to the pathogen, based on initial lab results the project was not continued beyond the initial phase.


  • Dynamics of an Invasive Round Goby Population in its Expansion Phase in the Trent-Severn Waterway: Density, Rate of Spread and Effect on Benthic Competitors and Prey Types
    (Trent University)

    Since its discovery in the St. Clair River in 1990, the round goby has rapidly expanded its range into all of the Great Lakes. This project involved a two-year habitat specific assessment of round goby in the Trent-Severn Waterway that was used to develop a time-transit model to predict rate of range expansion. In addition, the effect of round goby expansion on other benthic fishes and invertebrates was examined. Enhancing our knowledge and understanding of the range expansion process of the invasive round goby is critical to the prevention of its invasion into new locations and assessing management techniques for already invaded areas. This model predicts the arrival of round goby at specific locations based on their distance from the main population; this provides a useful tool for informing where management should be directed in the future.


  • Enhancing Natural Mortality and Parasitism of Emerald Ash Borer
    (University of Toronto)

    Emerald ash borer (Argrilus planipennis) (EAB) is a forest pest that has the ability to cause widespread mortality in ash tree populations. Native species of parasitoid wasps help control populations of wood boring beetles by laying their eggs inside them. Once the eggs hatch, the wasp larvae feed on the host insect from the inside out. This research identified key habitat characteristics associated with the abundance of EAB parasitoids and developed an operational approach to enhance parasitoid populations through the manipulation of key habitat features with the intent of finding a potential bio-control agent for EAB.


  • Evaluating the Risk of Movement of Fishes through the Welland Canal
    (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

    The Welland Canal has been identified as a pathway for direct and indirect bi-directional movement of aquatic invasive species between Lake Ontario and the remaining Great Lakes and the St. Mary’s River. This study examined the direct movement of fishes through the Welland Canal and St. Mary’s River. In 2011, a pilot study was conducted to determine the best methods to sample fishes in the Welland Canal. Using hydroacoustic studies it was found that there are many organisms present in and around lock chambers. In 2012, an acoustic telemetry study was conducted to examine how fishes move between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie through the Welland Canal, and how locks differentially facilitate fish movement between basins. Multistate mark recapture models were used to describe the patterns of fish movement within the Welland Canal and St. Mary’s River by estimating survival, detection, and transition probabilities. This project provided an understanding of how non-indigenous species currently and potentially use these connections to spread from one Great Lakes basin to another. This understanding is critical to the evaluation of management options to prevent the spread of non-indigenous species between basins.


  • Evaluation of the Spread Potential of Dog-Strangling Vine into Northern Ontario
    (Algoma University)

    Dog-strangling vine (Vincetoxicum rossicum and V. nigrum) (DSV) can grow over native plants, shading them out and reducing their space and nutrients. This research project concluded that the spread of DSV from southern to northern/central Ontario is unlikely to be limited by climatic temperature, but rather by competition with abundant native species. The project was carried out by growing DSV in a controlled environment and simulating the temperature and soil conditions found in northern Ontario to predict the plant’s ability to become established. The project included a risk assessment for northern Ontario and a map identifying those areas of risk. This research is important in identifying the potential distribution of dog-strangling vine, which is highly invasive in southern Ontario where it lacks natural predators, thus allowing it to outcompete native plants.
    View The exotic invasive plant Vincetoxicum rossicum is a strong competitor even outside its current realized climatic temperature range


  • Growth Morphology and Life History of Eurasian Milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) Genotypes and Hybrids
    (Trent University)

    Eurasian Milfoil (Myriophyllum Spicatum) is an invasive aquatic plant that forms thick growths that, when dead, fall into the water and decompose, reducing the available oxygen for other species. This project contributed to a larger research project determining whether Eurosion milfoil is hybridizing with native milfoil and if there are resulting changes in life history, resistance to herbicides, and bio-control (e.g. milfoil weevil). This further developed and confirmed management options for Eurasian milfoil.


  • How Invasive Species Affect Ecosystem Functioning: A Case Study of Emerald Ash Borer in Riparian Zones
    (University of Guelph & Natural Resources Canada)

    The input of ash leaf litter to forest soils and aquatic systems, in association with riparian areas, was assessed to determine its role in nutrient cycling, detritus-based, and invertebrate biodiversity. A quantitative assessment of the role of ash in soil and stream ecosystems provided a scientific assessment of the impact invasive species can have on natural systems when a major tree species is removed. Ash leaf litter was found to be the preferred food choice of aquatic invertebrates when compared to beech and maple, suggesting an importance in nutrient cycling. This provided base-line information that can be used in future studies and forest and aquatic ecosystem management.


  • Identification of Peak Breeding Intensity to Maximize Control of Invasive Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus)
    (University of Windsor)

    Round goby (Neogobius Melanostomus) is an invasive bottom dwelling fish that reduces native fish numbers by eating their eggs and young and by competing for food sources. Understanding the reproductive variation in the round goby is essential for the control and management of this invasive fish. This project developed an effective sampling technique to maximize control of round goby by identifying the seasonal breeding patterns for round goby, and examining sounds and pheromones as possible lures and biological control. This will enhance control by implementing management actions at the appropriate time of year (peak breeding season) to maximize capture rates.


  • Impact of Competitors and Natural Enemies on the Population Dynamics of Sirex noctillio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) in Ontario
    (Natural Resources Canada)

    The Sirex woodwasp (Sirex noctillio) is an invasive wasp that attacks a wide variety of pine trees causing tree die back, and subsequent economic loss for the commercial forestry sector. This project examined the impact of natural enemies on sirex and their potential as bio-control options. This project helped to understand the factors that affect population size of the sirex wood wasp, especially the impacts of natural enemies. The report provided a list of natural enemies of sirex and their potential for bio-control.


  • Pest Risk Assessment for the Recently-Discovered European Oak Borer (Agrilus sulcicollis)
    (Natural Resources Canada)

    The European oak borer (Agrilus sulcicollis) (EOB) was first detected in Canada in 2008 on red oak. This represents another invasive Agrilus species (same family as the emerald ash borer) that has been introduced into North America. This was a pioneering study on the impact of EOB on native red oak; very little previous research had been conducted. The results suggest no correlation between crown condition and EOB density; in other words, healthy red oaks do not appear to be at risk when studied on a small scale. The study did, however, increase our understanding of the relationship between host and insect. Due to limited information this study suggests that increased sampling efforts be made so that the potential impact might be better understood.


  • Research and Development of TreeAzin as a Systemic Insecticide for Control of the Exotic Invasive Insect Pest – Asian Long-horned Beetle
    (Natural Resources Canada & BioForest Technologies)

    The Asian long-horned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) (ALB) is an invasive forest pest that attacks nearly all broadleaf trees, especially native maple trees. Trees infested with ALB die due to larval tunnels blocking water and nutrient flow through the phloem of the tree. This research determined the level of uptake of the botanical insecticide, TreeAzin, in hardwood species that host the ALB. It determined residue levels of TreeAzin in the host tree (stem and leaves). Efficacy and residue data was produced in support of a Canadian registration of TreeAzin for controlling Asian long-horned beetle. Having an effective treatment for ALB allows for rapid response if the pest begins to spread.


  • Techniques for Quantifying Effects of Aquatic Invasive Species on Food Webs
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    The project explored different aspects of aquatic invasive species on fish health and fitness. The laboratory experiment utilized Hemimysis, an invasive shrimp-like crustacean, to investigate: 1) the rate of digestion in fish stomachs; 2) which tissues best reveal the ingestion of invasive prey relative to time post-ingestion and proportional contribution to the diet; and 3) which physiological assays are most reflective of changes in fish health and fitness associated with dietary shifts, therefore improving our ability to detect this invertebrate invader. A molecular genetic technique was developed that provided a cost effective tool for detecting the presence of Hemimysis in fish guts, thus enabling researchers to better detect and quantify populations of Hemimysis following consumption by different fish species.


  • The Impact of Dreissenid Mussels on Commercially Harvested Lake Whitefish
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    The aim of this project was to conduct an analysis of the impacts of invasive zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. bugensis) on lake whitefish throughout the Great Lakes. Zebra and quagga mussels are filter feeders, and often occur in such high abundances that food sources are depleted for native species. This also results in clearer water and increased sun penetration, leading to increased plant and algal growth. This analysis was part of a larger project funded by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission and Canada-Ontario Agreement. Funds provided by the Invasive Species Centre enabled additional whitefish populations to be analyzed from southern Lake Huron and Lake Superior. This work has led to an improved understanding of how invasive mussel introductions have influenced key ecosystem processes, and eventually impact sustainable harvest levels of lake whitefish. The study provided information on how invasive species have altered the productivity of Great Lakes ecosystems and provided suggestions to better manage aquatic ecosystems impacted by invasive species.


Manage and Adapt

  • Invasive Plant List of the Province of Ontario
    (Urban Forest Associates Inc.)

    Built upon the work of the Society for Ecological Restoration, Invasive Species Research Institute, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and other resource agencies, this project reconciled the various invasive plant lists for Ontario, and identified priority species for prevention, management and control. The plants were ranked according to dominance, rate of spread, current distribution, and how long they persist. Collaborators were the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, and Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The list can be accessed at: http://ufora.ca/index.php/resources/invasive-species/.


  • Invasive Plant Photo Library
    (Stewardship Services)

    The invasive species photo library compiled over 2000 photos of invasive plants and animals. The photos were provided by a variety of sources including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Ontario Invasive Plant Council, and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. Standard labels attached to each photo recorded the species, photographer credit, and other details (e.g. location). These photos promote citizen science and public awareness, and aid in the identification of invasive plant species throughout the province.


  • Invasive Plant Response to Emerald Ash Borer: Ecological Impacts on Understory Forest Plants in Ontario
    (Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Services)

    Understory plants, or plants that exist below the tree canopy, are subject to stress when drastic changes occur in their local environment. This stress provides an opportunity for non-native plants to compete with established native plants for a place in the understory plant community. This project evaluated the response of understory vegetation to the mortality of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) following emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) infestations. The results provide baseline information for risk assessment, mitigation strategies and recommendations for science-based invasive plant species management following an emerald ash borer infestation.


  • Invasive Species Liaison Specialist
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Canadian Food Inspection Agency and H. Liljalehto)

    A specialist in emerald ash borer biology and management, with expertise in outreach and integrated pest management, acted as a conduit between Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Service research scientists, university researchers, pest control companies, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry entomologists and foresters, Canadian Food Inspection Agency regulators, and land managers including municipalities, landowners, conservation authorities and consultants. The specialist interpreted scientific and research information and regulatory controls, and provided guidance in developing management programs to address emerald ash borer in Ontario. This project helped to ensure a steady flow of information and communications, and ensured management programs in Ontario were based on best available science and followed the principles of integrated pest management. The project resulted in a template for developing emerald ash borer management plans.


  • Invasive Species in High Value Hardwood Stands
    (Algoma University)

    This project developed a guide book and a website that outline control options for land managers to eradicate, contain, and/or control invasive plants in high value hardwood stands. Titled, “A Guide to the Identification and Control of Exotic Invasive Species”, this comprehensive guidebook focuses on the biology, ecology and management of plant and insect species, as well as pathogens, that invade hardwood forests - a major natural resource in Canada. The book is aimed at a broad audience, including academics, students, natural resource managers, woodlot owners and the general public.
    View A Guide to the Identification and Control of Exotic Invasive Species in Ontario's Hardwood Forests


  • Management and Ecology of Two Invasive Aquatic Plants in Ontario: Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides) and Eurasian Milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum)
    (Ecological Restoration Program)

    This study assessed the efficacy of the management activities to date in eradicating water soldier and recovering the native plant community in Ontario. This information was used by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to seek a label expansion for the herbicide Reward from the Pest Management Regulatory Agency. This study improved understanding of the biochemical and morphological differences in different genotypes and hybrids of Eurasian milfoil. It also increased our understanding of the overwintering dynamics of Euhrychiopsis lecontei, a native insect being utilized in biological control of Eurasian milfoil.


  • Management and Eradication of European Water Chestnut (Trapa natans) in Voyageur Provincial Park
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    This project took an integrated approach to water chestnut eradication using manual, mechanical and chemical control in Voyageur Provincial Park. Funding was used to modify the current harvesting practice (including the installment of a containment boom, as well as modifications to strengthen and enhance the cutter assembly on the cutting boat) to improve efficiency of Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s eradication efforts. Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry prepared a technical report summarizing information on control efforts over the past five years. As a result, future cutting operations will be faster and more efficient, and the boom will prevent the spread of water chestnut seeds to Quebec as well as other Ontario water bodies.


  • Meta Data Project
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Information on invasive species in Ontario is collected and stored in numerous forms by various agencies across the province, including the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Services and Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. To manage invasive species effectively, practitioners and resource managers need easy access to the most accurate and up-to-date information on invasive species and their distributions in Ontario. The main objective of this project was to determine who is collecting what type of data, who is managing the data, and where and in what form data is stored. Information on the time period each dataset covers and the size of each dataset was compiled. Finally, datasets were analyzed to determine which contained extractable invasive species records, and were subsequently used in the creation of EDDMapS.


  • Options for De-Vegetating and Re-Vegetating Erosion Prone Environments Infested with Invasive Plants
    (CAIN Vegetation Inc.)

    This project provided a working framework for decision making, and developed options to eradicate an outbreak of kudzu (a new invasive plant to Canada) which had been identified on one steep-sloped site in southwestern Ontario. The framework will be a model for control of other invasive plant species on similar environmentally sensitive sites and will be completed in detail for the kudzu site. This project complemented and informed the Kudzu Response Plan drafted by Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.


  • Assessing a Native Biological Control Option for the Management of Invasive Dog Strangling Vine in Ontario
    (University of Toronto)

    This project assessed the effectiveness of the native dog bane beetle (Chrysochus auratus) as a biological control agent for the management of invasive dog strangling vine (DSV) in Ontario. The project examined the various hosts of C. auratus, and determined whether the beetle would feed on DSV at different life stages. The study found that, the beetles lay their eggs on DSV and fed on DSV roots. This study provided early evidence of an effective potential biological control for DSV, but as with any potential biocontrol method, further work including field studies are required before the beetle can be registered as a biocontrol agent.


  • Assessment of the Risk of Rusty Crayfish Invasions on Queensnake Recovery
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Rusty crayfish is an aggressive invasive crayfish that displaces native crayfish. The queensnake (Regina septemvittata) is listed as endangered (Endangered Species Act, 2007), and is dependent on freshly moulted crayfish as a food source. The queensnake is extremely vulnerable to declines in the availability of native crayfish, particularly following the introduction of rusty crayfish into its habitat. This project examined the effect of rusty crayfish on native crayfish, determined the impacts of available food supply for the queensnake and noted required revisions to the queensnake recovery strategy under the Endangered Species Act. In anticipation of the invasion of rusty crayfish into southwestern Ontario, the queensnake recovery strategy identified the following priority actions: (1) conduct crayfish surveys, including identifying the presence of rusty crayfish, and (2) investigate rusty crayfish impacts on native crayfish. These priorities were addressed through crayfish inventories of rivers currently occupied by queensnake, and south-central Ontario rivers within the current distribution of rusty crayfish in order to inform the recovery strategy for queensnake.


  • Best Management Practices Document for Dog-Strangling Vine (Pale Swallowwort)
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    Dog-strangling vine, Cynanchum rossicum (also known as pale swallowwort), is an invasive plant that grows in a wide range of habitats and spreads quickly along roadsides, ditches, ravines and fence lines. This project consolidated information, current science and guidance for controlling dog-strangling vine into a single Ontario-focused best management practices (BMP) document that is available for use by land managers and other interested parties.
    View Best Management Practices for Dog-Strangling Vine (Pale Swallow-wart)


  • Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Rapid Response and Risk Assessment Report
    (Ontario Streams)

    It is imperative that field staff have the ability to quickly recognize and identify potential invasive species, and to coordinate among local agencies and authorities, in order for early detection and rapid response to be successful. This project summarized the cooperative actions undertaken by provincial, federal and regional resource agencies in response to the detection of blue crab in Mimico Creek in 2011. These actions were compared to the draft Rapid Response Framework to Aquatic Invasive Species for Ontario, and informs the further development of this framework. This project serves as a useful case study for early detection and rapid response.


  • Changes in the Lake Nipissing Fish Community Following the Invasion of the Spiny Water Flea (Bythotrephes longimanus)
    (Laurentian University & Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Surveys of Lake Nipissing in 2000 and 2001 detected low numbers of the invasive spiny water flea. More recent surveys have shown that the population of the spiny water flea has expanded and become dominant. At the same time, surveys have shown changes in fish abundance (primarily a rise in yellow perch and rainbow smelt, and a fall in walleye). This project examined changes in food web structure over time and walleye reproductive ecology between the early 2000s and 2012 in order to establish a link between fish community changes and spiny water flea invasion in order to support a fisheries management strategy for Lake Nipissing. Results demonstrate that both the food web structure and reproductive ecology of walleye have undergone significant changes in the past decade. Food web analyses indicated shifts in energy flow with effects extending up to walleye. These results are consistent with the effects of spiny water flea invasion reported in other Ontario waters. The work was useful in informing the fisheries management strategy for Lake Nipissing to mitigate the impacts of spiny water flea.


  • Common Buckthorn – Best Management Practices
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    This project produced a best management practices (BMP) document for common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). Common buckthorn is now found throughout southern Ontario and grows in a wide range of habitats, spreading rapidly and outcompeting native plants along roadsides, fence lines, woodland edges, and in pastures and abandoned fields. The BMP document included: species description (including botanical information), literature review to provide detailed distribution for Ontario, habitat, impacts, literature review of best practices for management, methods to prevent spread (for foresters, roadside managers, land managers and recreationists), and information on outreach, monitoring and mapping. The project was conducted in partnership with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to provide land managers across the province with the appropriate tools to manage this invasive plant.
    View Best Management Practices for Common Buckthorn


  • Compendium of Aquatic Management Research Projects
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    This project resulted in a compendium of invasive aquatic species management projects that were conducted by government, academia and NGOs specific to Ontario. The purpose of the compendium was to identify and describe research, and through the process identify gaps in knowledge, organisms and/or geography related to aquatic invasive species in Ontario. It was developed by gathering information from current researchers in the province, as well as through a review of peer-reviewed, published literature over the past two decades (1992-present). The resulting document revealed that most current/active research is concentrated in the Great Lakes, with most research focusing on vectors for invasive species dispersal. It is predicted that future research will concentrate more on early detection and rapid response, as governments try to prevent high-risk invaders from entering aquatic ecosystems in Ontario.


  • Compendium of Invasive Plant Management Projects
    (Ontario Invasive Plant Council)

    A compendium of projects in the area of invasive plant research and management in Ontario was compiled, and peer reviewed by government and non-government organizations involved in invasive plants. The compendium has been shared with agencies delivering invasive plant management projects in Ontario, is posted online and has been shared with agencies with an interest in invasive plant research. The compendium identified and described research, and through the process identified gaps in knowledge, organisms and/or geography related to aquatic invasive species in Ontario.
    View Compendium of Invasive Plant Management in Ontario


  • Dam Removal, Construction and Conversion Initiative: The Link between Dams, Impoundments and Biological Invasions
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Research suggests that impoundments—reservoirs formed by a dam—facilitate the introduction and establishment of aquatic invasive species. Alternatively, in-water barriers such as dams can prevent the dispersal of aquatic invasive species to new areas of a watershed. This study produced a literature review that identified potential invasive species colonization sites within the Grand River Watershed (southern Ontario), examined how dams and their removal affect invasive species introduction and colonization, and developed decision criteria that can be used to inform the removal, mitigation and construction of new dams in the Grand River Watershed.


  • Effects of Aquatic Invasive Species on Fish Dynamics in Inland, Freshwater Lakes
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Aquatic invasive species can significantly affect the condition, growth, and relative abundance of some of the most highly valued game fish in inland lakes. This project was designed to identify indicators for aquatic invasive species in inland lakes in Ontario. By examining the species composition of fish communities within a lake, it was determined that it is possible to use biological indicators to determine aquatic invasive species presence or absence with a high degree of certainty. Over one hundred lakes within the southern region of Ontario were randomly selected and assessed for invasive species indicators during a Broad-scale Monitoring Program. A technical report was produced that analyzed the effects of invasive species (spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus), fishhook water flea (Cercopagis pengoi) and zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha)) on inland, freshwater fish communities and population dynamics. The ability to quickly and accurately identify predictors of invasion will help to control invasions and, if detected early enough, prevent or slow the spread of invasive species.


  • Effects of Inter-Trap Distance on Large Woodborer (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) Trap Catches
    (Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Services)

    Using a series of field trapping studies, this project explored the effects of inter-trap distance on large woodborer trap catches to develop an efficient and cost effective protocol for sampling large woodborers, such as the Asian longhorned beetle. The results have the potential to improve the designs for surveys, detection and management programs for invasive woodborers from the family Cerambycidae, like the Asian longhorned beetle.


  • Emerald Ash Borer Impacts in a Forested Landscape in Eastern Ontario
    (Eastern Ontario Model Forest, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, & Natural Resources Canada – Canadian Forest Services)

    This was a collaborative project with contributions from specialists in monitoring, entomology, growth and yield, forest and riparian ecosystems that produced empirical data on the impacts of an invasive species following the loss of a major forest component in eastern Ontario. The project complements a similar project focused on the fragmented forested area of southwestern Ontario. This project established a suite of monitoring plots ahead of the expected invasion of emerald ash borer from the Ottawa infestation into surrounding forested areas. It monitored the impacts of the invasion on ash tree health, and the response of the major ecosystem components (e.g. forest succession, understory plants, riparian zones) to the loss of ash component of the forests.


  • Emerald Ash Borer Workshop
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Emerald ash borer (Argrilus planipennis) is an invasive insect species that carries out its life cycle in ash trees, with the larval feeding stage killing almost 100% of those infected. On February 29, 2012, the Invasive Species Centre hosted an emerald ash borer workshop for 270 attendees at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario. The workshop served as a forum to share new tools and methodologies for EAB monitoring and rapid response.

  • Eradication of Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides) in the Peterborough District of the Trent Severn Waterway
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    Water soldier is an invasive aquatic plant that can form dense mats of vegetation, blocking out native species. The first North American reported occurrence was found in the Trent Severn Waterway in 2008. Chemical and mechanical treatments in 2009 and 2010 were utilized to contain the distribution of the plant. This project evaluated the success of these treatments and developed a management strategy to improve control and eradication efforts in the future, as well as work to expand the label for Reward to include water soldier for uses other than 12 month emergency use. Funding was also used to monitor the treated areas and to conduct outreach and education for landowners in the Trent River area by sending outreach packages that included water soldier fact sheets, information on how to report sightings, and resources on gardening with native species.

  • Forest Management of Invasive Alien Species
    (Forest Ecosystem Co-op, University of Guelph)

    A detection system was created for invasive species in Ontario through the development of a DNA Barcode Database for Ontario forest pests, where the DNA sequences of species can be kept and referenced. In addition, survey data from collaborators was gathered and the invasive species spread in Ontario forests was evaluated. This work adds to the surveillance network of invasive species in Ontario. This database will be linked to the plant IAS barcode of life database.

  • Homeowner’s Guide to Emerald Ash Borer
    (City of Toronto)

    The Homeowner's Guide to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a comprehensive and practical guide developed for use by Ontario homeowners to help identify and manage EAB on their properties. The guide contains information on detection, identification, tree injections, tree removal, tree replacement and quarantine rules. This guide allows the general public to monitor the trees on their property, making it more likely that an infestation will be detected and addressed.

  • Legislative and Regulatory Review
    (York University)

    The existing suite of federal and Ontario legislation was reviewed to assess jurisdictional mandates and authority for invasive species. The review examined and evaluated legislation and regulations to describe existing coverage of invasive species issues and to highlight gaps in the legislative/regulatory framework that potentially hinder governments’ response and coordination of invasive species-related threats. The scope of the research included aquatic and terrestrial invasive species, but not invasive species that impact agriculture, human and wildlife health. The scope, legal standards, enforcement mechanisms, and regional coordination were used to assess the effectiveness of existing legislation. Officials in implicated federal and provincial government departments and agencies were interviewed for feedback on strengths and weaknesses of the existing legislative framework as it relates to addressing alien invasive species threats. The final report outlined the strengths and weaknesses of existing invasive species legislation.

  • SERG International Forest Alien Invasive Species Projects 2012-2013
    (Forest Protection Limited)

    With funding provided to SERG (Spray Efficacy Research Group), the Invasive Species Centre was able to contribute to multiple projects on the topic of forest invasive pests. The projects were:

    • Efficacy of semiochemical-based methods of suppressing populations of the brown spruce longhorned beetle (Tetropium fuscum).
    • Identification of an attractant pheromone for the woodwasp (Sirex noctilio) and the development of a trapping system for population monitoring and field testing.
    • Auto-dissemination of pathogenic fungi for control of the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis).
    • Efficacy of "generic fuscumol", fuscumol acetate, and monochamol for detection of Cerambycidae species in hardwood and softwood sites.
    • Survey and discovery of entomopathogens associated with and infecting mountain pine beetle in North America.
    • Mountain pine beetle range expansion into new habitats: The impact of phenology, survival and productivity.
    • Investigations into the chemical ecology of the emerald ash borer.
    • Development of adaptive management strategies for the emerald ash borer in urban environments.


  • Setting Priorities for Invasive Species Management: Three Workshops and Delphi Process Facilitation and Evaluation
    (French Planning Services)

    A Delphi-based process was used to identify priorities for the management of invasive plants in Ontario. Funding was used for three surveys and a workshop in March 2012 which engaged experts, researchers, and practitioners in the field of invasive plants. The results of this process included agreement on lists of priority invasive plants in Ontario as well as priority management actions grouped under six themes: Mechanical Control; Chemical Control; Site Restoration; Monitoring and Detection; Research Needs; and Climate Change. The Invasive Species Centre and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry held a facilitated workshop in March 2012 which engaged education and outreach experts, managers and practitioners to seek consensus on priorities for invasive species education and outreach. A report was developed which summarizes the key priorities with respect to communication, education and outreach.
    View Identifying Strategic Priorities for Invasive Plant Management in Ontario Key Findings

  • Terrestrial Invasive Plant Conference
    (Invasive Species Centre)

    This conference, which was held at the Delta Sault Ste. Marie Waterfront Hotel on August 20-22, 2012, was funded and co-hosted by the Invasive Species Centre in partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the Ontario Invasive Plant Council, Algoma University, Government of Canada and Government of Ontario. It provided a forum through which policy makers, academics, and practitioners were able to share research, effective management practices, and strategies for enhancing the response to the threats of invasive plant species. The three-day conference included presentations on the status of invasive plants, legislation in place, and various emerging invasive plant issues. The TIPS conference improved the overall knowledge of invasive plants and provided an opportunity for the research community to engage and present their findings. The conference program and presentations can be found on the TIPS website, www.tipsconf.ca.

  • The Use of Herbicides in Invasive Species Management: A Review on Current Practice
    (Algoma University)

    This project provided a review of the use of herbicides in controlling invasive plants. Specifically, this work provided an estimate of the area sprayed by herbicides and identified the most commonly used herbicides in invasive species management. This information supported the development of best practices for invasive plants by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

  • Towards Improved Understanding of the Distribution and Abundance of Invasive Plant Species in Southern Ontario Forests
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry & University of Toronto)

    This project compiled, reviewed, and analyzed invasive plant data collected through Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Vegetation Sampling Protocol (VSP). This project examined the available VSP information, assessed to what extent the VSP captures detailed invasive species information, and demonstrated how it can inform invasive species management and related conservation needs. The project also developed protocols to improve integration of invasive plant monitoring into the VSP to help support Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry management decisions.

  • Towards Improved Understanding of the Distribution and Abundance of Invasive Species in Ontario Streams
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    The Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) provides a consistent, comprehensive assessment of the distribution of fish species in southern Ontario streams. This project aimed to address the key gaps in OSAP and funded the creation of a new "Tracked Species" module which improved the quality and quantity of invasive species observations recorded by OSAP practitioners. OSAP is widely used by provincial government, conservation authority, academia, consultants and ENGOs staff who collect hundreds of new samples across the province each year. By incorporating invasive species information into OSAP, there is a greater picture of their distribution in the province, allowing for new and improved management protocols.

  • Using a Native Enemy for Biological Control of the Invasive Emerald Ash Borer
    (University of Toronto)

    This research assessed the potential of a native wasp (Phasgonophora sulcata) as a biocontrol agent to control the spread of emerald ash borer (Argrilus planipennis) (EAB). The wasp was found to be attracted to pheromones produced by adult EAB such as Z-3 hexenol and 3-Z lactone. These wasps have been moved to areas of EAB infestation where their ability to control EAB populations will be assessed in future studies.

  • Zooplankton Community of Lake Erie
    (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

    This project analysed the zooplankton community in Lake Erie, over a span of seven years, focusing on invasive species. The Lake Erie zooplankton community was examined for evidence of food web impacts caused by the spiny waterflea (Bythotrephes longimanus) and the fishhook waterflea (Cercopagis pengoi). The project provided information on the long term demographics of already established zooplankton and served as an early detection exercise for newly introduced species. The relative composition (including density and biomass) of the zooplankton community informed research questions about the ability of each of the lake basins to support invasive planktivores.


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