Why are Invasive plants a problem?

An invasive plant is one that is not native to the area, but has been introduced and is causing damage to the natural environment. Since these plants are in a new environment, free from natural predators, parasites, or competitors of their native habitats, they can have very high population sizes. These large populations can out-compete and displace native species, or can reduce wildlife food and habitat. Some species can also disrupt vital ecosystem functions. Other invasive plants cause massive amounts of economic damage to agriculture. They can harm or kill crops, clog equipment, and contaminate produce. Some invasive plants can even cause direct harm to humans or domestic animals.

Photo Credit: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org