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2022 Conference – Idea Exchanges – Thursday, February 24

Presentation Descriptions

9:00-10:00am EST

Poisonous Anacardiaceae: Poison Ivy and Beyond
Susan Pell, United States Botanic Garden

The cashew family, Anacardiaceae, includes a number of economically important plants and many notoriously poisonous species. From poison ivy to cashew and poisonwood, we will explore the diversity of the family and learn more about its toxic members, which are distributed across approximately 33 genera. Detailed information about poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) and the contact dermatitis it causes will be presented. The economic and ecological importance of these toxic taxa will also be discussed.

10:15-11:15am EST

100 Plants to Feed the Monarch Butterflies
Stephanie Frichie, Xerces Society

A book about planting for monarchs (and for motivated readers and gardeners) is not quite as wondrous as monarchs and their individual life cycles, their host relationship with milkweeds, or their annual migrations in North America, but it is something of a miracle. Only a few decades ago, the concept of creating native-plant gardens was just beginning to gain traction. Fortunately, with wider awareness, the movement has grown. In addition to monarch and milkweed life history, the threats to monarchs and the best practices for supporting this North American royalty, we’ll cover selecting plants, designing habitat, site preparation, planting, follow up management and monitoring – including how to contribute to monarch conservation through community science projects.

12:45-1:45pm EST

Panel Discussion: Understanding the Jumping Worm Problem
Moderator: Mark Richardson
Panelists: Christopher Evans, University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences; Angela Gupta, University of Minnesota Extension; Brad Herrick, University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

What’s with these worms?! Snakeworm. Jumping Worm. Crazy Worm. The common names provide an apt description of Amynthas agrestis. Introduced in the U.S. 80 years ago, this aggressive invasive earthworm is making its way across the country. Join our panel of experts to learn about the threat. 

2:00-3:00pm EST

Declining Numbers of Hummingbirds: Stressors that Affect Them and What Can We Do To Help
Christine Bishop, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Globally over 300 species of hummingbirds contribute substantially to both biodiversity and ecosystem services as pollinators. Recently, however, there has been increasing concern for their survival as some of their populations decline in North America and as we continue to lose large and complex habitats for wildlife. Hummingbirds depend on nectar from flowers, but also on insects; they even utilize sap wells on trees. Remaining habitats, including those in urban and suburban and agricultural settings, need to provide high quality spaces for wildlife and people. But in 2015, for the first time, it was found that hummingbirds are exposed to and bioaccumulate pesticides with neonicotinoid insecticides and other chemicals chronically present in the urine, feces and feather rinsates in hummingbirds from Canada and California. Other stressors can also affect hummingbirds, including invasive plant species that bloom at the wrong time for hummingbird migrants or for breeding females to access nectar and insects. Even well intentioned humans unintentionally kill hummingbirds if the feeders they provide are not kept clean and therefore transfer fungus to the hummingbird tongue. Window strikes also kill many hummingbirds, so feeders need to be accompanied with methods to deter birds from colliding with windows. Landscape maintenance during hummingbird breeding season can also destroy hummingbird nests. This presentation will provide an overview and important details about the lives of hummingbirds and how to help these birds thrive.

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