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Invasive Plant Survey on the Little River in Westfield, MA

We conducted an invasive plant survey of the Little River area on the Westfield State University property in Westfield, MA. Invasive plants are non-native plants that are introduced to an area. After introduction, these plants can outcompete native plants, decrease biodiversity, cause soil erosion, and a loss of habitat.  It is important that we survey where these plants are located so that we will be able to remove them at a later date. Our survey consists of counting how many invasives there are and how many native woody species there are in a circular plot 10-meter in diameter, so we can determine a density of the invasive relative the number of native species that are also located in the plot. We have three plots set up along 7 transects that are perpendicular to the river which will help us determine if these plants are more commonly found closer or farther from the river. We hypothesize that we will find a higher density of invasives near the river, as seeds can be transported by routinely flooding waters.

Katrina Bingham-Maas '23, Noah Tyler '23   
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