Skip to main content
Sustainable Human and Ecological Development (SHED)

Are Stormwater Ponds Invasion Vectors?

This project is funded by the UF/IFAS Agricultural Experiment Station.  It brings together expertise in biological invasions, wetland ecology, stormwater engineering and management, urban ecosystem ecology, and individual-based modeling to determine the effects of a ubiquitous engineered ecosystem—stormwater ponds (SWPs)—on the movement of invasive plants.  SWPs, being designed to reduce stormwater runoff and nutrient export from developed landscapes into natural water bodies, often exhibit dynamic hydrology and serve as nutrient sinks.  Thus, SWPs may facilitate the spread of invasive plants well-adapted for dynamic, nutrient-rich environments.  This effort will identify associations between the absence/presence of invasive plants and water and soil nutrient levels and use these associations to parameterize spatially-explicit individual-based, computational experiments.  These computational experiments will be designed to quantify how variability in mowing/maintenance frequency, propagule pressure, and invader traits affect the degree to which SWPs facilitate invasive plant movement.  Simulations will be run for smaller residential developments and larger watersheds allowing us to determine how spatial scale affects model outcomes.