Native plants evolved as part of the ecosystem and have been part of our landscape since before the arrival of Europeans. They have adapted through natural selection to the soil, climate, and other plants and animals of the ecosystem. A non-native plant species is not native to an area and has usually been introduced by people. People have transported plants to new locations for hundreds of years. Many were introduced for agriculture, landscaping or range improvement. These relocated species become a problem when they successfully colonize and spread into new areas. Non-native plants are considered invasive when they are known to displace native plant species. Invasive, non-native species can be harmful or destructive to native plant and animal communities, as well as negatively impact local economies and human safety.
Why do we care?
Invasive plants know no boundaries. They can affect native plants and wildlife, change the fire regime, endanger the ecosystem, make the park less attractive for visitors, and spread beyond park borders to adjacent land.
Whether they arrived by wind or water, bird or boots, invasive plants are a threat in SaguaroNational Park.