2017 Illinois Indigenous Plants Symposium

Plant and Animal Relationships:  It’s Complicated

March 31 – April 2, 2017

John A. Logan Center for Business and Industry
700 Logan College Dr.
Carterville, IL

Cost: $25 per person by March 17, $30 afterwards
includes Italian, turkey, or vegetarian sub served with chips, apple, large cookie, and beverage

Download Symposium Booklet (pdf)

Online registration (credit, debit, or Paypal)

To Mail-In Registration, download the symposium booklet. A registration form can be found on the last page.

The symposium is made possible by the Southern Chapter of the Illinois Native Plant Society in collaboration with Southern Illinois University Department of Plant Biology, University of Illinois Extension, John A. Logan College.

Visit the Plant Sale held during the symposium.  More information here.


Friday, March 31, 2017

2:30PM: Cove Hollow Trail hike, USFS. Photo right by Chris Benda

Saturday, April 1, 2017

8:00AM – 9:00AM: Registration
9:00AM: Opening remarks
9:05AM – 10:00AM: Keynote address
10:00AM – 10:15AM: Break
10:15AM – 11:05AM: Session 1
11:10AM – 12:00PM: Session 2
12:00PM – 1:25PM: Lunch
1:25PM – 2:10PM: Session 3
2:15PM – 3:05PM: Session 4
3:05PM – 3:15PM: Break
3:15PM – 4:05PM: Session 5

Sunday, April 2, 2017

10:00AM: Guided hike to Snake Road, La Rue Pine Hills, USFS


A little history of some Illinois landscapes and to be a good entomologist you need to be an even better botanist.  Discussion on an early record of the Illinois landscape and how knowing plants can save time in the field.


Session 1: What to expect now that Emerald Ash Borer is in southern Illinois?
Chris Evans
Emerald ash borer (EAB) has moved through much of the upper Midwest, including the majority of Illinois. It is only now reaching southern Illinois. This presentation will discuss the potential impacts this exotic species will have to our forests, the role of ash trees in southern Illinois ecosystems, and what has been seen elsewhere when EAB gets a stronghold.

Session 2: Honeybees and the habitat that supports them
Scott Martin
The European Honeybee (Apis mellifera), while not native to the Western hemisphere, has been a source of honey that men have sought out for centuries. Today three quarters of all honeybee colonies in the US are used to pollinate crops. This talk will review the life cycle of honeybees, their habits of nectar and pollen collection, and the types of trees, shrubs, and forbs that honeybees visit to keep their colonies healthy.

Session 3: The Role of Native bees in Pollination: Everyone wants to save the bees, but which bees need saving?
Sedonia Sipes
When most people think of bees, they think of the honey bee, a domesticated species native to Europe. However, honey bees are not typical bees, and in many ways very dissimilar from our native bees: most bees do not live in hives, are not social, do not make honey, and are not subject to colony collapse disorder.  Native bees are among the most important pollinators of native plants in Southern Illinois.  Most people are familiar with bumble bees (Bombus spp.) and carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.), but there are many other smaller but critically important species.  Many are specialists that visit only particular species of native plants. Native bees are increasingly threatened by human activities, with numbers of individuals and species in decline throughout the world. Loss of native bees will negatively impact reproductive success of our native plant species.  I will discuss the bees present locally and describe their biology with an emphasis on bee-plant activities. I will conclude with a brief description of a large scale native pollinator inventory my lab is carrying out in southern Illinois.

Session 4: Two decades of searching in the wrong plant!

Jim Wiker
Account of the recent discovery of the life history of the undescribed moth “Papaipema new species #5”.

Photo above by Chris Benda


Session 1: Effects of Invasive Plants on Wildlife and Processes
Kevin Rohling
We often consider the impacts invasive plants have on other plants growing in our natural areas, landscapes, and gardens. Often, we discuss how invasive plants outcompete and usurp resources, such as nutrients and sunlight, to the detriment of native flora. Looking deeper, this talk will examine the cascading and dramatic effects invasive plant infestations sometimes have on wildlife and natural processes. On occasion, a synergy between invasive plants and animals or between invasive plants and natural processes, leads to even greater impacts. From pollinators and other invertebrates, to amphibians, birds and mammals of all sizes, invasive plants impact wildlife. By influencing natural community compositions and structure, changing soil chemistry, and disrupting natural processes at multiple scales, invasive plants often have significant effects on wildlife and natural communities. Fortunately, some studies have shown that natural areas management can sometimes reverse these effects and restore natural processes and communities.

Session 2: Seed Dispersal and Propagation: How do Plants do It?
Sonja Lallemand
What ecological advantage exists in seed dispersal? What happens when the site is not ideal? This presentation will look at the various means of plant reproduction via seed dispersal mechanisms and what they mean for the survival of the plant species and their predators.

Session 3: The trees are ganging up! Why plants mast, and how it affects wildlife and people
Dr. Eric Schauber, Wildlife Ecologist — Cooperative Wildlife Research Lab. SIUC
Masting occurs when a population of plants (such as trees in a forest) produce bumper crops of seeds in some years and almost none in others. Because many animals rely on these seeds as food, this fascinating pattern drives wildlife populations on a roller coaster ride — with effects that ripple throughout the ecosystem. This talk will summarize the basics of masting and introduce some of the latest research uncovering how and why plants behave in this way and what it means for people and their environment.

Session 4: Managing Grasslands for Grassland Wildlife
Robert Gillespie
Grasslands of different shapes and sizes require varied management strategies. Grasslands are dynamic plant communities that require active management to maintain the highest levels of diversity. Grassland management benefits native flora and fauna and may promote populations of imperiled organisms. Learn about the management of contemporary grasslands and how to manage grassland communities for species of conservation concern and the native plant communities we so enjoy.

Session 5: Beyond Beauty: Fascinating Stories About Our Native Plants and their Names
John Manion
Many of our native plants are beautiful in appearance and are essential food sources for many of our pollinators, their larvae, and myriad of other living things. Covering many common favorites such as Poke Sallet, Bloodroot, Yellowroot, Resurrection Fern and Jack in the Pulpit, this talk will look beyond beauty, and instead focus on the intriguing stories (both fact and folklore) that accompany some of our native species and their names.

Vendor Registration

Educational Exhibit – no sales ($50)
Vendor with items for sale ($100)
Sponsor, complimentary lunch ($200)

Online Registration (credit, debit, or Paypal)

Mail-In Registration (cash or check)

We will provide one (1) table 4′ x 8′ for your display.

If you have any questions, please contact: indigenousplants@hotmail.com