Thursday, June 3, 2010

Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to draw your attention to the world’s largest collaborative project on invasive species; it may be of particular interest to educators, conservation groups, and resource managers.

Do you want to be part of the world’s largest scientific research project on invasive species? The ‘Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey’ is an international collaboration aimed at obtaining much-needed data on the abundance and distribution of Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) across its native and introduced ranges. In our first field season last year, we received measurements and seed samples from 65 populations, with a majority from Europe – already one of the largest systematic field surveys of an invasive species. Our goal for this summer is 150 or more, with a stronger emphasis on the southern and mid-west to western United States.

This year we are hoping to increase participation among educators, as well as land managers and ‘citizen-scientists’ who may not have much formal science training. The survey involves a simple protocol that can be followed directly or incorporated into field courses and nature surveys. A population takes two people about 2-4 hours to measure. We are also planning to develop internet-based teaching modules and tools to aid with monitoring and managing this invasive plant. The sampling protocol, along with contact information is available at the Global Garlic Mustard Field Survey website: (note that you do not need to log in to the site to participate).

Ideal sampling time is 2-4 weeks after flowering finishes and ranges from early June in southern states (e.g. OK, AR, AL, GA, SC) and lower altitudes to mid to late July in northern states (e.g. OR, WA, ID, ND, MN, WI, MI, VT, ME), higher altitudes and Canada.

Please contact me if you would like to participate.

North American Coordinator
Dr. Robert Colautti
Biology Department
Duke University