To combat this invasion, some agencies are utilizing airborne LiDAR (Light Detecting and Ranging) to detect infestations and eradicate them through the aerial application of herbicide. Rapid growth rates and pyrogenic (fire adapted) characteristics allow this plant a competitive edge over native species, engulfing vast areas of critical habitats in a relatively short time frame.
“If left unnoticed or unchecked on Sanibel, the fern could have irreversible and devastating impacts to our natural habitats,” said SCCF Land Steward Victor Young. “SCCF and our partner agencies continue to monitor for infestations throughout the island.”
If you spot this invasive on the islands, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos by UF/IFAS, click here for more photos to help with identification.