Invasive Plant Task Force - James River Park System

Archer Island Study Area

Archer Island Study Area Map

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Study area summary

The Archer Island study area includes approximately 5.2 acres of park land and was divided into four management units of various sizes. The lead organization for the baseline study of this park section was the James River Outdoor Coalition. The task force field team identified a total of 13 invasive plant species across all management units, including:

  • 9 species ranked with high invasiveness;
  • 3 species ranked with medium invasiveness; and,
  • 1 species ranked with low invasiveness.

Of the four management units, the densest populations were located within Management Unit 2 and 3, each of which were observed 50 to 75 percent cover (Cover Class 4) of invasive plants. Management Unit 2 was recorded with dominant autumn olive in the shrub stratum; however the most abundant invasive plant was Oriental bittersweet in the vine stratum. Conversely, Management Unit 3 did not have Oriental bittersweet, but the percent cover of autumn olive was much higher (50 to 75 percent, or Cover Class 4). Other dominant invasive plants identified included mimosa, which was found in every management and was dominant in Management Unit 3, and Japanese stiltgrass which was low in density but distributed throughout all management units.

Observations regarding the native plant community in the Archer Island study area were similar to other floodplain and small island study areas. The overstory is composed by trees such as red maple, box elder, green ash, and tulip tree, while the understory often consists of sapling/shrubs such as ironwood, paw paw, and spicebush. Native herbaceous plants can include pokeweed, Virginia creeper, white grass, wild rye, and cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), while native vines typically include muscadine, greenbrier, trumpet creeper, and poison ivy.

ยป Phase One Baseline Study Data Summary (PDF)

Updates from the study area

None at this time.