Invasive Non-native Plants

Kudzu <em>Pueraria montana</em> along the river bottom in Buffalo National River.
Kudzu (Pueraria montana) along the river bottom in Buffalo National River.

NPS-Photo

Humans move plants around the globe for many reasons. A plant brought in to a new area where it was not previously found is referred to as “non-native”. These plants may be valued as food, for their usefulness, or for their beauty. Some of these plants continue to depend on the direct care of humans for their survival. Others, however, will be able to survive and reproduce in their new home. Of these plants, a fraction will spread rapidly in to new areas. A plant that spreads rapidly is known as “invasive”. Non-native plants that are invasive may be a problem in national parks.

Park managers have the difficult job of deciding whether a non-native, invasive plant might be a problem. To assist with this decision, biologists map the locations and estimate the amount of these plants in national parks. This information can be combined with general risk information about the invasive plant and knowledge about important park features. Park managers can then decide whether or not to try to control the plant. Success in controlling non-native, invasive plants is much greater when these plants are found before they have spread widely, making regular monitoring even more important.

Monitoring Questions and Approach

  • Which invasive, non-native plants are found in parks?
  • Where are invasive, non-native plants found in parks?
  • Which invasive, non-native plants are uncommon and which are wide-spread in parks?

Monitoring Reports

Source: Data Store Collection 4067. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Monitoring Protocol

Source: Data Store Collection 4453. To search for additional information, visit the Data Store.

Last updated: October 5, 2018