A new graduate student, Kennedy Calhoun, is working on projects aimed at studying some commonly overabundant aquatic plants, in the context of managing their impacts on human use of wetlands, while minimizing negative impacts of management activities. For example, Kennedy is looking at chemical control methods for four nuisance plant species at the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, while also monitoring potential water quality impacts on treated waters. Her work was funded by the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute and the US Geological Survey, with additional support from the MSU Department of Biological Sciences.
Graduate students Cory Shoemaker and Evelyn DiOrio spent the years 2014-2017 working to understand the ecology of restored wetlands in the Mississippi Delta. Specifically, they were interested in interactions among wetland plants, water quality, and land use in this agriculturally dominated landscape. This work was funded by the Mississippi Water Resources Research Institute and the US Geological Survey, with additional support from the MSU Department of Biological Sciences.
The Invasive Plant Atlas of the Mid-South (IPAMS) was an effort funded by grants from the US Geological Survey and the US Department of Agriculture. In addition to serving as an educational resource for those interested in the spread and management of invasive plants, IPAMS supported research components aimed at evaluating relationships of invasive plant distribution and spread with land use. The end goal of all these projects was use of this information to educate agriculture stakeholders, natural resources managers, and other interested parties about potential human-induced opportunities for invasive species spread, as well as on approaches for managing invasive plants.
IPAMS research activities resulted in a database on plant distribution throughout Mississippi and adjacent states, and a portion of those research records have been made available publicly by deposition of voucher plant specimens in regional herbaria, sharing of distributional data directly with other interested scientists, and through scientific publications and presentations at regional and national conferences. Other data collected as part of surveys associated with IPAMS are the focus of ongoing research by students David Mason and Adrian Lazaro Lobo.