INVASIVES: WHY SHOULD WE CARE? - Monday, January 13, 7 p.m., the Irvington Library
This talk was organized by the Pollinator Pathway Project in collaboration with the GPTF. It focused on invasive plants and their impact on our environment.
Dr. Linda Rohleder spoke about invasive plants and how, if left unchecked, they can aggressively undermine biodiversity and the health of our community. She talked about why certain plants are deemed “invasive”, why non-native plants, specifically invasive non-native plants, are so harmful to pollinators that depend on native plants, why invasive plants can grow so aggressively and what can be done to stop and eradicate them. Dr. Rohleder has long been an important voice in addressing how invasive species negatively impact our environment: “Plants are the basis of the food web. Most insects are adapted to eat three or fewer species of plants, and when you change those species, suddenly there are fewer insects and less food for birds and butterflies. Invading species have a ripple effect on the whole environment. If we let them run their course, it would still be green, but there would be a lot less species.”
Dr. Rohleder is the Director of Land Stewardship of the New York – New Jersey Trail Conference and the Coordinator of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (“PRISM”). The Lower Hudson PRISM partners with a wide range of organizations and conservation groups who are actively involved in education and outreach about invasive species, management of invasive species, surveying and mapping of invasive species, and/or researching invasive species. Dr. Rohleder received her PhD in Ecology from Rutgers University, where she studied the effects of deer on forest understories. She speaks widely about the threat of invasive species and their impact on our environment.