Invasive Species

The Latest

Missing monarchs


We have talked about monarch butterflies before. The orange and black butterflies are often used in school lessons about insect ecology. Monarch caterpillars forage exclusively on milkweed; in the process they acquire foul-tasting chemicals that ward off predators. In late summer, monarchs living in the Eastern U.S. migrate to overwintering grounds in Mexico.

Watch out for this weed!


Weeds are the bane of many a gardener's or landscaper's existence. They sprout up, uncontrolled and unwelcome, and must be tediously managed time and again. But some weeds are more than a nuisance – they rise to the level of a public health hazard. Such is the case with giant hogweed.

Invasive species add to monarch butterfly’s woes

Most readers are familiar with monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus). The striking orange and black species has historically been widespread throughout North America.

Has phragmites met its match?


Goats are gaining a reputation as allies in the fight against invasive plants. Urban parks, college campuses, and nature preserves are taking advantage of their appetites and agility.

Related Projects

Effects of Invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid on Northeastern Forests

Hemlock is a "foundation" tree species in eastern forests and its presence defines the properties of a unique ecosystem that is presently declining due to the introduction and spread of an invasive insect, the hemlock woolly adelgid.

Effects of Gypsy Moth on Nitrogen Cycling

The gypsy moth was introduced to North America from Europe in 1869 and has become a major defoliator of eastern hardwood forests.

Ecosystem Effects of Exotic Forest Pests

Over the last century, forests of the eastern U.S. have been plagued by a series of devastating introductions of exotic pests.

zebra mussel

Zebra Mussels and the Hudson River

Zebra mussels appeared in the Hudson in 1991 and fundamentally transformed the ecosystem. The zebra mussel invasion is linked to losses of native mussels and changes in the fish community.

Effects of Beech Bark Disease on Catskill forests

This project is focused on the consequences of the invasion of the beech bark disease (BBD) in northern hardwood forests, which dominate the uplands of the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada.

Exotic Earthworms & Northern Temperate Forests

Earthworms effect microbial nitrogen cycling and ecosystem nitrogen retention. Earthworm invasion of north temperate forests will have large consequences for nutrient retention and uptake in these ecosystems.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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