Reporting Invasive Plants
Effective mapping and tracking of exotic invasive plants in Tennessee is a critical but underutilized component in combating their spread and protecting sensitive ecosystems and habitats. Is a plant’s occurrence widespread or localized? Has a new species been introduced? How quickly is it spreading? Are certain habitats more vulnerable to particular invasive species? A clear picture of the problem allows for more effective formulation of management plans and allocation of resources to control current plant infestations and prevent future establishment. TN-IPC relies on distribution data in the development of our plant list.
Early Detection and Distribution Mapping System – EDDMapS
The University of Georgia’s Bugwood Network developed EDDMapS to provide a more accurate picture of the distribution of invasive species across the South. It was designed as a tool for each state to develop more complete local, state, and regional level distribution data of invasive plants, identify “leading edge” ranges of new invasive threats, provide a means of implementing Early Detection and Rapid Response, and help corroborate threats and refine invasive plant lists and management priorities. EDDMapS utilizes various software and internet technology, such as Flashmaps and Google Maps, to allow easy pinpointing of plant locations. Each state, including Tennessee, has a coordinator to review and verify data submitted to EDDMapS for that state.
Please use EDDMapS to record sightings of any TN-IPC listed invasive plant in Tennessee.
TN-IPC drafted an easy step-by-step guide – EDDMapS Reporting Instructions – that lists the information you’ll need to have on hand to complete a report and explains the simple online process to submit the data. Locations may be noted using GPS coordinates or Google Maps. Unless a plant specimen is collected, photos (digital uploads) will be required showing the plant and its main identifying characteristics. Tennessee’s state coordinator will use these to verify all entries.
Even when unsure of a plant’s identity, information may be submitted to EDDMapS by selecting “Unknown” for the plant name. However, anyone uncomfortable reporting through EDDMapS, may send TN-IPC an email with the following information:
- Photo(s) of the plant
- Contact information
If the plant is an invasive species, then you may report it to EDDMapS or provide TN-IPC with the necessary details to file a report. These would include size of the area affected, abundance, habitat, GPS or street location, property ownership type (public, private), etc.