Abstract Detail

Education and Outreach

Harpold, Trystan [1], Fuentes Soriano, Sara [2].

Natives vs. Exotics: Reducing non-native plant species in urban landscapes of Southern New Mexico.

Invasive plant species have been an issue in North America since their introduction by settlers, intentionally and unintentionally, from Europe in the 1500s. These invasive species have significant negative consequences for many native ecosystems in North America. For example, in New Mexico, exotic plants used as ornamentals in horticulture, like saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) have increasingly encroached on the habitats of native plants, displaced native fauna and flora, damaged riparian zones, and further pushed threatened and endangered species towards extinction. These consequences exemplify the importance of slowing the expansion of invasive species into the environments of native species. One way this can be accomplished, locally, is by reducing the utilization of non-native (exotic) species in horticulture and landscaping. This project aims to 1) provide a reference checklist of woody, ornamental plants on the New Mexico State University campus, 2) evaluate the extent of native, exotic and invasive plant species on the NMSU campus, and 3) to provide fact sheets of native plant species that can be used as alternatives to exotic and invasive species. To accomplish these goals, we updated and annotated the Provisional Key of the Woody, Ornamental Plants of the NMSU Campus and Environs by Allred (2005). Additionally, we corroborated identification of 140 species at the NMC herbarium, conducted fieldwork on campus, produced photo and physical herbarium voucher specimens, determined species origin in the form of native and exotic species, estimated richness and abundance proportions of exotics, and noted any federal or state listed invasive species present on campus. During this study, we added 51 new taxa to the previous plant inventory comprising 138 taxa. These additions included 27 new species, 15 of which were collected for the first time, and 12 additional species were identified after examining herbarium legacy collections. This project generated 118 new photo-voucher specimens, 44 of which are connected to physical specimens. Preliminary data analyses indicate that there is a strong tendency towards the use of exotics on campus. Species richness analysis shows that approximately 75% of plants on campus are exotic and abundance surveys indicate that the proportion of exotics on campus is roughly 0.80 (or 80%). It was also found that there were multiple species on campus that are listed by either federal or state officials as being invasive.

1 - New Mexico State University, 2980 South Espina, Knox Hall 132 P.O. Box 30003, MSC 4901, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, United States
2 - New Mexico State University, Department of Animal and Range Sciences, Knox Hall, Room 202, Box 30003, MSC 3-I, Las Cruces, NM, 88003, USA

Conservation Ecology

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PEO014
Abstract ID:992
Candidate for Awards:None

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