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. For instance, Japanese stilt grass will produce seed in as little as 1% sunlight!
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.
There are well over 300 invasive plant species that have been reported from our area. The 20 species that were selected below are an indicator list - or basically a group of species that we're particularly interested in as they can help us determine how the community is functioning.
Invasive Exotic Plant Management Tutorial
for Natural Lands Managers
To report sightings of any of these species in a Fairfax County park, submit the Non-native Invasive Species Report below. Please submit a separate report for each plant sighted.
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