Southern Plains, Sonoran Desert, & Chihuahuan Desert Exotic Plants Monitoring
Project Status: Ongoing
Invasive exotic plants represent one of the most significant threats to natural resources in national parks. Exotic plants are a concern because they are able to reproduce prolifically, rapidly colonize new areas, displace native species, and alter ecosystem processes across multiple scales. Established invasive exotic plants may exist in small populations for long periods, making detection difficult. However, if discovered in these early stages, control efforts are likely to cost less and achieve higher success rates than after a species has become more widespread. Therefore, it is critical to both detect exotic plants during this time-lag between introduction and subsequent rapid expansion, and to implement a rapid management response.