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INVASIVE PLANT SPECIES DISTRIBUTION
AND ABUNDANCE
IN ACADIA NATIONAL PARK

National Park Technical Report NPS/NER/NRTR--2004/003

Craig W. Greene, Jill E. Weber, Sally C. Rooney,
and Karen B. Anderson

Craig W. Greene
College of the Atlantic
105 Eden Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609

Jill E. Weber
Botanist / Ecologist
9 Cedar Avenue
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609

Sally C. Rooney
Botanist / Ecologist
R. R. 1 Box 4030
Sedgwick, Maine 04676

Karen B. Anderson
Acadia National Park
P.O. Box 177
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609

 

December 2004

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service
Northeast Region
Boston, Massachusetts

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Executive Summary

The Park Service has a mandate to preserve native species diversity and natural ecosystems. Invasive plant species can decrease native plant diversity and disrupt ecosystems. This report presents the results of an inventory of the distribution and abundance of 24 invasive plant taxa in Acadia National Park.

Acadia National Park is located in east-coastal Maine. Three main units comprise the majority of its holdings: Mount Desert Island, Schoodic Peninsula and Isle au Haut. The current inventory was limited to the Mount Desert Island Unit.

The scope of the invasive plant distribution and abundance inventory was narrowed to sites with known disturbance history and areas proximal to them. De novo searches were made in areas likely to harbor invasive plants. These sites included the many old estates and other locations that were inhabited prior to Park ownership, areas disturbed by Park construction projects, carriage roads and sites with proximity to boundaries where invasive species might enter Park property. Additionally, much of the eastern portion of ACAD burned in 1947 as the result of a wildfire, a catastrophic disturbance which created habitat for invasive plant species.

About 600 invasive plant sites were documented by the inventory. Of the 24 taxa inventoried, alder-buckthorn, non-native honeysuckles and Japanese barberry occur at the greatest number of sites. Japanese barberry is also the most widely distributed species and can colonize natural areas, as well as the disturbed sites where it would be expected. The majority of documented invasive species occurrences are on the east side of Acadia National Park, within the extent of the 1947 wildfire. Specifically, invasive species sites are concentrated in the area around Great Meadow and Sieur du Monts Spring, and the number of plants per site is higher there than in other parts of the Park. Only three of the taxa inventoried, were listed in a flora of Mount Desert Island published in 1894; all but one taxon was listed as occurring here when a regional flora was published in 1950. The results of the current inventory suggest the best strategy for invasive plant species management at Acadia National Park is by site rather than by species.

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The file for this report is large, therefore it has been divided into eight pdf files. Click on a file to open it

pdf file 1
Executive Summary
Acknowledgements
Objectives
Background
Methods

pdf file 2 Results
Amur maple
Norway maple
Garlic mustard

pdf file 3 Results
Ottawa barberry
Japanese Barberry
Common barberry
European bittercress

pdf file 4 Results
Oriental bittersweet
Canada thistle
Winged euonymous
Japanese knotweed

pdf file 5 Results
Alder buckthorn
Shrubby St. Johnswort
Privet species
Japanese honeysuckle

pdf file 6 Results
Honeysuckle species
Forest woodrush
Moneywort
Ninebark

pdf file 7 Results
Black Locust
Multiflora rose
Bittersweet nightshade
Coltsfoot
Cowvetch

pdf file 8
Summary
Literature Cited