Invasive Plants

Stinkwort plant with green leafy appendages.
Stinkwort is one such species that has spread rapidly along roadsides in California, but early detection and rapid response efforts by multiple agencies have kept it at bay.

NPS / Sarah Inman

Plants that are able to spread quickly and outcompete native plant species are called invasive plants. Plants that are introduced to an area by humans are more likely to become invasive than native plants, as the ecosystem has not co-evolved checks and balances for these introduced plants.

Invasive plants threaten ecosystems when they push out native plants, as loss of native plants can reduce food and shelter for native wildlife. Invasive plant species can also take over waterways, trails, and landscapes, and can be a nuisance for people enjoying the outdoors. Some invasive plants can also increase fire fuel loads, increasing the fire danger to nearby communities.

Understanding these serious threats, the park is working to remove invasive plants and restore areas with native plant species. Once established, native plants help restore the natural balance and proper function of ecosystems. If you would like to help with invasive plant removal or native plant restoration, visit our volunteer page.


Invasive Plant Monitoring

The San Francisco Bay Area Inventory & Monitoring Network conducts surveys for invasive plants at John Muir National Historic Site with the goal of detecting invasive species before they spread widely. Explore the links below for more information.
Close up of invasive species Firethorn (Pyracantha augustifolia).

Invasive Plant Long-term Monitoring

Dig in to monitoring protocols, reports, and more on the San Francisco Bay Area Network's Invasive Plant Monitoring page.

Researcher gathers invasive ice plant on a coastal cliff.

Pacific Coast Science & Learning Center

Browse more resources on invasive plants plants in San Francisco Bay Area parks.

Close up view of a biologist holding a purple flower.

Invasive Plant Survey Results

Explore the Calflora Observation Hotline, where the latest monitoring records can be viewed in an interactive map.

A National Park Service plant biologist and intern record data during an invasive plant survey.

Early Detection Newsletter

Check out what the invasive plant monitoring team has been up to.


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    Last updated: May 4, 2020

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