Living shorelines are structures made of natural materials such as oyster shell, sand, mangroves, salt marsh plants, and other organic materials built to protect properties from erosion. In addition to increasing shoreline stability, living shorelines enhance many valuable ecosystem functions. In this new 11-page publication of the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, we provide homeowners, land managers, and Extension agents materials lists, protocols, and data sheets for measuring change in ecosystem function. Measuring and interpreting these measurements will help evaluate living shorelines projects as well as provide the foundation for monetarizing the value of these structures. Written by Laura K. Reynolds, Natalie C. Stephens, Savanna C. Barry, and Ashley R. Smyth.
The “bird’s nest” fungi (Nidulariaceae) are charismatic mushrooms that look like small nests containing multiple tiny eggs. Because the ecological role of bird’s nest fungi is to decompose wood, they are extremely common in disturbed areas with plant debris and mulch, such as trails and backyard gardens. These fungi tend to grow in large clusters, so it is common to see ten to a hundred of these “nests” at once. Bird’s nest fungi are not considered dangerous to plants, animals, or humans. This new 3-page publication of the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department was written by Nattapol Kraisitudomsook and Matthew E. Smith.
This series of Key Plant, Key Pests publications is designed for Florida gardeners, horticulturalists, and landscape professionals to help identify common pests associated with common Florida flora. This new 9-page publication provides information and general management recommendations for borers, caterpillars, insect-induced galls, twig girdlers, oak leaf blister, root and butt rot, Tubakia leaf spot, mistletoe, psocids, lace bugs, woolly aphids, powdery mildew, Spanish and ball moss, and lichens. Written by Juanita Popenoe, Caroline R. Warwick, Adam G. Dale, and Alfred Huo, and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department.
Blackberry and dewberry are often viewed as nuisance weeds that reduce grazing in a portion of the pasture. However, severe financial losses can occur if these growing thickets injure cattle. This 4-page document provides information regarding blackberry and dewberry management in pastures. Written by Brent Sellers, Pratap Devkota, and Jason Ferrell, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised November 2020.
Este artículo tiene como objetivo informar al público en general, administradores de tierras, investigadores, autoridades locales y estatales, y a todo aquel que busque orientación para acceder a listados de plantas no autóctonas en el estado de Florida, tanto normativos como no normativos. En este documento se explica el origen de las listas, el significado de la inclusión en una lista en concreto y la forma de acceder a cada una de ellas. Written by Deah Lieurance, Lyn A. Gettys, and Germán Sandoya-Miranda, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, November 2020.
La papaya es un importante cultivo frutícola que se cultiva en el sur de Florida con un área estimada de 356 acres. Este documento se centra en las técnicas de programación de riego basadas en ET para la papaya en las condiciones de Florida. Written by Haimanote K. Bayabil, Jonathan H. Crane, Kati W. Migliaccio, Yuncong Li, Fredy Ballen, and Sandra Guzmán, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, November 2020.
Learn more about eastern indigo snakes!
The Wildlife of Florida Factsheet series was created to provide the public with a quick, accurate introduction to Florida's wildlife, including both native and invasive species. Authors Tyler Buckley and Raoul K. Boughton hope this 2-page quick guide and others in the series published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation will inspire readers to investigate wildlife in their own backyards and communities and understand the amazing biodiversity of wildlife in the state of Florida.
This 4-page document provides an overview of smutgrass biology, control, and general recommendations. Written by Brent Sellers, Neha Rana, José Luiz C. S. Dias, and Pratap Devkota, and published by the UF/IFAS Agronomy Department, revised October 2020.
This 8-page article explains how agriculture and natural resources may respond to projected future climate and how climate projections can be useful in developing management plans for the improved sustainability of Florida's agriculture and natural resources. It also aims to help increase the public awareness of climate change impacts on Florida and improve understanding of the connections among climate, agriculture, and natural resources. Written by Young Gu Her, Ashley Smyth, Zachary Brym, and Elias Bassil, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, September 2020.
Species in the Laetiporus sulphureus species complex, also known as “chicken of the woods” mushrooms, are wood-decay fungi that cause brown rot within the heartwood of their tree hosts. The common name “chicken of the woods” is given to some species in this group because they are tasty edible mushrooms. Several Laetiporus species have been harvested to use as food colorants, to dye natural products such as wool, and for human consumption. This new 4-page publication of the UF/IFAS Plant Pathology Department, written by Brianna Benitez, Claudia A. Paez, Matthew E. Smith, and Jason A. Smith, describes these fungi as well as their ecology, management, and potential edibility.
Florida LAKEWATCH is a citizen scientist program that monitors Florida's lakes. Since it was established in 1991, Florida LAKEWATCH has worked with thousands of volunteers to collect water quality data on more than 2,700 aquatic systems in Florida. It is the most comprehensive and longest-running water quality data source in the United States, if not the world. This 18-page circular written by Mark V. Hoyer and published by the UF/IFAS Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation describes Florida LAKEWATCH's volunteer aquatic bird-monitoring program. Citizen volunteers can provide a comprehensive and intimate understanding of birds and their interactions with Florida lake systems, helping to detect the changes in the types and numbers of birds using lakes that may indicate important natural or human-caused environmental trends. Whether you want to identify birds you’ve spotted or take an active role in the management and conservation of Florida's natural resources, this circular can help you learn the basics.
American horseshoe crabs (Limulus polyphemus) look prehistoric and in fact really have not changed very much in the 200 million years they have been around. This 3-page fact sheet written by Savanna Barry, Holly Abeels, and Shelly Krueger and published by the UF/IFAS Program in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, School of Forest Resources and Conservation tells the story of these interesting and valuable “living fossils,” including their importance both to ecology and human medicine. It provides tips on how to find horseshoe crabs and a few ways you can help them.
Florida has experienced more introductions of nonnative reptiles than any other region on Earth. Approximately three times as many species of established, nonnative lizards live in the state as do native species. This 5-page fact sheet written by Kenneth T. Gioeli and Steve A. Johnson and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation provides background information about the visually striking Peters's rock agama, including information about its introduction to Florida, as well as its biology, conservation issues, and management recommendations.
Urban tree diversity is important when attempting to create a healthy, beneficial, and resilient urban forest. Having a variety of trees can increase the aesthetic value for residents and create habitats for plants and animals. Some common street trees currently in the landscape are not site-appropriate and create infrastructure damage. By planting different types of trees in these locations, maintenance costs and infrastructure damage can be reduced and tree longevity increased. This new 4-page fact sheet is intended to provide urban foresters, arborists, landscape designers, and others in charge of tree planting with a process for introducing new species into the urban environment. Written by Deborah R. Hilbert, Andrew K. Koeser, and Robert J. Northrop, and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department.
Two-leaf nightshade, Solanum diphyllum, is a member of the Solanaceae or potato family. It is native to Mexico southwards to Costa Rica. It has escaped cultivation in Florida and grows as far north as Duval County and from Volusia County south to Miami-Dade County. A “bird-dispersed” volunteer, it occurs in urban and conservation areas and on disturbed land. The plants produce abundant berries with many many small seeds. This new 5-page publication of the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department is primarily intended for Florida gardeners, landscapers, and land managers, and it contains information on identification, flowering, fruiting, and management recommendations for this widely occurring plant. Written by Stephen H. Brown, Chris Marble, and Stephen F. Enloe.
Railroad vine is one of the most widely distributed beach plants in the world. The moving sand and salt spray make the beach environment a harsh one, and the plants that live there are specialized to colonize this environment. This new 7-page document, published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department, describes railroad vine’s leaves, flowers, fruit, planting and maintenance, and insect and disease problems. Written by Stephen H. Brown and Marc S. Frank.
What does the general public know about neonicotinoids used in ornamental horticulture and their effects on pollinators? The question is an important one given that home landscapes serve as pollinator habitat and can impact pollinator health. This 5-page fact sheet written by Hayk Khachatryan, Xuan Wei, and Alicia Rihn and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department summarizes a survey addressing consumer knowledge about neonicotinoids and pollinator plants, as well as their interest in enhancing pollinator health. The survey is part of a larger research project aimed at incorporating pollinator conservation into the ornamental horticulture industry's sustainability initiatives.
Garden spurge is a prostrate, herbaceous, short-lived, warm-season annual weed commonly found in Florida landscapes, container nurseries, and other agricultural production areas. This 5-page article is written to aid green industry professionals and others in the identification and management of garden spurge in and around ornamental plants. Written by Thomas Smith, Chris Marble, Shawn Steed, and Nathan Boyd, and published by the UF/IFAS Environmental Horticulture Department, July 2020.
This new 9-page factsheet describes the defining characteristics of the eleven pondweed species that are present in Florida. It serves as a pondweed identification guide for aquatic habitat managers, lake monitors, conservationists, and plant enthusiasts, and it gives some context on each species’ life history and ecological role. Written by Christine Rohal, Laura Reynolds, Carrie Reinhardt Adams, and Charles Martin, and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences.
This 4-page document discusses life cycles, damage, monitoring, and management of southern red mites and false spider mites in southern highbush blueberries. Written by Oscar E. Liburd, Lorena Lopez, and Doug Phillips, and published by the UF/IFAS Entomology and Nematology Department, June 2020.