What is an Invasive Plant?
Invasive plants are spread mainly by humans in the movement of whole plants, seeds, burs or root pieces; as horticulture products or on transported goods; by machinery and vehicles, and even on footwear, clothing or pets. Soil erosion, over-grazing, off-roading and other forms of soil disturbance can further spread these invaders. In addition, spread occurs by wind, water, livestock and wildlife.
Invasive plants are capable of producing thousands of seeds per plant, which may lie dormant for many years. They pose a very real threat to the continued existence of many of our native species and the biodiversity of our environment.
The presence of invasive plants can cause environmental and/or economic harm, and some species can harm human health. They are extremely aggressive, reproduce rapidly, and often out-compete crops and native vegetation.
Specific impacts of invasive plant infestations include:
- Disruption of natural ecosystem processes,
- Alteration of soil chemistry – preventing the regrowth of native plants and economic crops,
- Increased soil erosion,
- Livestock and wildlife poisoning,
- Increased risk of wildfires,
- Interference with forest regeneration,
- Allergic reactions, severe skin abrasions and burns on people.