This week EEB welcomes Dave Ensing from the Department of Biology, Queen’s University:
Research and management in an invasive plant species complex
Alien, invasive species are considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and ecosystems services worldwide. One such group of invasive plants is the Pilosella hawkweeds (formerly Hieracium, Asteraceae), which are native to central Europe and found as exotics throughout the Americas and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand). Similar morphology and complex life history have resulted in a variety of taxonomic classifications, and considerable difficulty and confusion when identifying them in their introduced ranges hindering control efforts. I will provide a brief natural history of this fascinating (IMO) group of species and their putative control agents. I will then highlight the potential for misplaced control efforts due to mis-identifications, establish how morphology and genetics agree that the invasive species are unique, and emphasize the necessity for species specific control efforts. This talk highlights work Dr. Chandra Moffat (AAFC) and I conducted on hawkweeds while we were students in (Queen’s alum) Jason Pither’s lab at UBC’s Okanagan Campus.
The EEB Seminars run weekly, on Thursdays, in the EEB Lounge of the BioSciences Complex, Room 4338, from 12:30-1:30pm. Light refreshments are served starting at 12:15.