What are Invasive Plants?
Invasive species are, generally, non-native species that cause ecological or economical harm. They share certain characteristics, such as being able to mature quickly, generate many offspring and can tolerate a wide range of habitats.
Because of the characteristics that allow a species to successfully establish in new territory, invasive species make terrible neighbors. They out-compete native species for the same resources, eventually reducing the populations of native species (and in some cases even removing species from a community altogether). Some invasive species have more complicated effects which have ramifications higher up the food chain, resulting in fewer native birds and wildlife. The third main effect of invasive species is that they have the ability to alter natural functions of communities and ecosystems.
Some of the most common and highly invasive species we have in our City Parks are:
|Autumn Olive - once touted for its benefits to birds, has now out-competed much of the other vegetation in some stream valleys|
|English Ivy - is an evergreen climbing plant that climbs up trees in search of more light and covers native ground cover
Read more: http://www.ehow.com/info_8479003_english-ivy-invasive.html#ixzz2ccsjV2yq
|Garlic Mustard - has been linked to poor regeneration of our native oak-hickory forests|
|Honeysuckle Bush - produces copious amounts of “junk food” berries that birds eat and disperse into our pristine forests; spreading this highly invasive shrub.|
|Mile-a-Minute/Devil's Tear Thumb - grows very fast enveloping small native plants and forming a dense carpet|
|Multiflora or Wild Rose|
|Japanese Stilt Grass|
|Tree of Heaven|
Some progress has been made towards removing invasive plants from our parks. Volunteers from Lands & Water have held several volunteer days to help remove English ivy, euonymus, vinca, wild roses and honeysuckle bushes from the woods at Kutner Park.