Osoyoos Desert Society

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Invasive Plant Control

In British Columbia, invasive plants pose a serious threat to many native species. Without the insect predators and plant pathogens found in their native habitats, these noxious weeds are able to spread rapidly and out-compete native plants, alter native plant communities, impact water quality and destroy valuable habitat for wildlife.

Ongoing work is done by Desert Society staff and volunteers to restore the antelope-brush habitat at the Desert Centre. Efforts include the Society’s Restoration Work Parties – volunteer events held each spring to remove invasive species like knapweed, houndstongue, Russian thistle and puncturevine.

Biological Controls
Bio-control agents have been released to manage some invasive plants found at the Desert Centre. The weevil Mecinus janthinus has been used to help control the highly invasive dalmation toadflax. The larval stage of this weevil feeds on the center of the plant’s shoot, which damages the growth tissues of the toadflax.

Crested Wheatgrass Control
The Desert Society has been conducting research to help determine which species are best at filling the gaps left by weeding out invasive bunchgrasses like crested wheatgrass – a non-native species that was seeded at the Desert Centre site as cattle forage prior to the Society’s lease. Plots measuring 2 by 3 meters are weeded of crested wheatgrass and other non-native plants then replanted with a different native species in each plot.