Investigation, Planning & Prevention Case Study
Nick Fuller, Chief Ecological Officer, Natural Communities Native Plants
Nick Fuller and Natural Communities Native Plants conceptualize IPM as a pyramid of control practices for invasive weeds in natural areas, shorelines and coastlines, "We need to rebuild our ecosystems from the ground up and probably the best way to do that is through the integrated pest management system."
Investigation, planning and prevention form the foundation of Fuller's IPM pyramid concept as shown in the slideshow below. Fuller said he first conducts an inventory of plants on the site, "Do you have any remnant communities on your site? Do you have strictly invasive species? Do you have a combination of native and invasive species? Are you starting off with an agricultural field or a blank slate? All those things are important to understand where you are at now and where you want to be going."
Fuller's inventories focus on the site's soil moisture and hydrological communities. Fuller shared an aerial of one of his recent inventories in the image to the right. The inventory color-codes different hydrological communities of wet soil in blue, mesic or normal soil in yellow and swales in green. Fuller elaborated, "Laying stuff out this way, you understand the size of the area, you understand the hydraulics and you can plan for that."
Fuller, also, tracks how much light an area receives of "full sun" or 6+ hours of direct sun, "partial sun" or 4-6 hours of direct sun and "shade" or 3 hours or less of direct sun. Finally, Fuller's assessments research the remnant ecosystems and plant communities that previously inhabited the site over thousands of years. These site inventories largely determine next steps for native plant installation and management according to Fuller, "Once you understand what your site is, then you can begin to select the proper plants for the site."
Nick Fuller presented his efforts to reduce glyphosate use and manage diverse natural ecosystems during the Lawn & Land Forum's "Plant Selection along Shore and Coastlines" in September of 2020. For the full recording of that webinar, please visit bit.ly/MGGsept10recording.