Most of MTU’s students may have moved home for the summer, but some are sticking around to continue research with the school’s Keweenaw Invasive Species Management Area (KISMA). Soon enough teams studying the spread of European Frog Bite and Invasive Phragmites. Teams are split up, and travel around the area documenting where they find and where they don’t find each of the invasive species. There has been evidence of European frog bite found near the Michigan-Wisconsin boarder and the St. Marys River in Sault Ste. Marie. The biggest issue with invasive species is they often produce mono-culture ecosystems in places they should not be.
Invasive Phragmites can be confused with another native plant, also called Phragmites. KISMA suggest replacing the Invasive Phragmites in wetlands with native plants such as Native Willow, Red Osier Dogwood, or Sweetgale. The hardest part for teams when removing the invasive plant is it’s wide spreading root system.
KISMA’s research on aquatic invasive plant species will begin in just a couple of weeks, and will go into the early fall. Along with research KISMA students offer boat cleaning sites spread out throughout the Keweenaw, that will take place at various times during the summer. Keeping the hull of your boat, kayak or canoe clean really helps these students out. As invasive species can attach to your hull, and travel with you to your next destination. Check out their scheduled boat cleanings and research online here.