• The Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave

    Mammoth Cave

    National Park Kentucky

Nonnative Species

Nature and Science

Garlic mustard, a pervasive alien species

Exotic Species: There are two categories of exotic species which have had significant impact on park forests: pathogens and invasive plants. Chestnut Blight and Dutch Elm Disease have virtually eliminated American chestnut and American elm and a similar fungal disease is currently impacting the American Butternut tree. Invasive exotic plant species such as honeysuckle, garlic mustard, kudzu, Microstegium, silver poplar, and Ailanthus out-compete native species and are therefore spreading. With over 1,000 species of flowering plants - including 84 tree species - the potential for loss of biodiversity is great.

Did You Know?

Did You Know? Native Americans mined minerals in Mammoth Cave for 2,000 years.

Native Americans of the Early Woodland period gathered minerals from Mammoth Cave between 2,000 and 4,000 years ago ... no one knows why. Objects they left behind – slippers, cane torches, gourds, and mussel shells – remain perfectly preserved in the cave.