invasive plant

The beetle battle against purple loosetrife

May 14, 2009 // 0 Comments

An imported beetle that eats an invasive plant is being used to restore native wetland species such as cattails. Jim Biener and Bob Stegmier of the Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League of America are looking for some friends with good eyesight and steady hands to again collect these beetles and spread them into loosestrife infested wetlands. Jim, 361-1353, coordinates the efforts in the townships of Cannon and Grattan. Bob Stegmier, 866-4769, coordinates the efforts for the Ike’s and the Rouge River Watershed Council in the Rogue River watershed.   Purple Loosestrife is an unwanted “beauty” in our midst. This statement so definitely describes the non-native Purple Loosestrife wetland plant in North America. From a good beginning in 2007 volunteers will again be in the wetlands colonized with the Gallerucella calmariensis beetle collecting the beetle as they emerge from the soil and beginning their spring eating and mating process. The aim of these volunteers is to collect beetles before they lay their eggs and transplant them into areas with P.L. so the eggs will be hatched in the new area. That way two beetles transplanted produces 500 new larva to eat loosestrife blossoms and seeds making our effort very effective.   The Rogue River Watershed Council (RRWC) with the guidance of Dwight Lydell Chapter of the Izaak Walton League will continue to collect and spread the Purple Loosestrife eating Gallerucella calmariensis beetle in the Rogue River watershed. This is a volunteer effort to control the spread of the non-native Purple Loosestrife wetland plant. Good progress is being steadily made from the south of the watershed northward. While this plant is pretty with its tall slender purple spikes it is still very much a plant that if left uncontrolled would significantly alter the native plant structure of our wetlands. Native Michigan wetland species find very little value in the plant. The beauty is short lived lasting only a few weeks in July before the blossom and stalk structure dies and turns brown. The damage continues all growing season long as the plant crowds out native plants. The result is that Michigan native wetlands species loose their “preferred” living habitat.  Volunteers are needed and folks throughout the watershed are invited to volunteer to help in this […]