Natural resource managers at Department of Defense installations spend considerable resources on eradication programs for nonnative invasive species (NIS), which, along with regional factors such as nitrogen deposition and a changing climate, have the capacity to intensely impact soil ecology. A SERDP funded effort led by Dr. Kristina Stinson at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, examined  the functional diversity of soil fungi in lands degraded by the NIS garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata). Moreover, the research team tested the feasibility of different eradication measures for recovery of soil biological diversity and function under a range of regional anthropogenic, abiotic stresses.

The Stinson Lab also hosted a Garlic Mustard Management meeting in January for New England land managers, stakeholders, and land owners concerned about garlic mustard. The meeting incorporated both scientific talks given by Stinson Lab members and colleagues, as well as discussions with stakeholders regarding garlic mustard management.  Improved management for the recovery of soil biota in areas affected by garlic mustard was a major outcome of both the research and the resultant meeting.  These improved management techniques have been captured in a comprehensive guidance pamphlet developed to help the DoD and other stakeholders decide when and where eradication efforts may be most warranted and provide understanding of the feasibility and necessary recovery times for restoration of soil biota.

To learn more, visit the project team’s interactive website. Dr. Stinson’s final report will be available on the website in March.