Scientists in the News

How state workers are taking on an invasive fern in the Green Swamp

Mike Busacca, 31, a vegetarian management specialist with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, uses Aqua Neat, a herbicide, to eliminate a stand of the invasive Old World climbing ferns last month, which had emerged in the Tully Plantation section of Green Swamp West, near Dade City. DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

Tampa Bay Times

State workers are wielding machetes, shears and sprays in their fight against an invasive fern species. The Old World climbing fern has been in central Florida for at least 15 years, said Brian Nelson, a vegetation management manager with the Southwest Florida Water Management District, often called Swiftmud. The fern is a leafy green plant that grows upward in a column, domineers native plant life and poses a fire hazard, too.