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Aquatic Plant Research > Invasives > Invasives in Trade > Plants in Trade Final Report

Aquatic Plant Research Plants in Trade Final Report

Concerned citizens from around the state reported that aquatic invasive plants were readily available in pet stores and garden stores despite regulations prohibiting the sale of certain species that had been in effect since 2009. In addition, populations of NR40 prohibited plants continued to be found in ponds and water gardens. DNR Science Services wanted to learn 1) how prevalent the sales of regulated invasive species were across Wisconsin; 2) if education and outreach with live plant retailers could increase the rate of NR 40 compliance; 3) whether invasives were more likely on the landscape nearby retail outlets selling invasives; and 4) whether retailers' self-reported behavior and beliefs about invasive species changed following education. Researchers found that illegal species were available for sale by 51% of retailers. Compliance and adherence to best management practices improved following education (availability of illegal species down to 26% of retailers), with one-on-one educational visits to stores more effective than mailings about the regulations. Researchers found that invasives in ponds are more common in the live trade than plants not found in ponds, and that some species are more likely in ponds closer to stores (notably, purple loosestrife).


  • Scott Van Egeren
  • Mindy Wilkinson