Students, researchers, and the public come to the Lakeshore Nature Preserve to learn, study, and enjoy nature. Invasive non-native plant species threaten natural areas and restoration efforts. They invade natural areas, killing existing native plants and creating a simplified ecosystem that will not support a diverse set of native animals. They also invade restorations, preventing the establishment of native plants. Many of these invasive plants increase erosion by killing native ground level plants that normally hold soil.
Many invasive plants have become established in the Lakeshore Nature Preserve including:
Emerging Invasive Species
by Roma Lenehan
Preserve staff and volunteers spend much time controlling existing non-native invasive species to prevent them from taking over, replacing diverse native plants, and interfering with Preserve restoration. New species are repeatedly introduced, either accidentally or intentionally. Many of these new species initially stay where they were first introduced, but some later adapt to the environment and escape (S. Carpenter, “Gardening with Native Plants,” July 2010, NewsLeaf). For instance, the now highly invasive and widespread Buckthorn was planted for almost a century before it began invading natural areas.
The Preserve has numerous “new” invasive species that have begun to limit native plant species or have the potential to become highly invasive. Some of these plants are not invasive or widespread in other areas of Wisconsin, but may become a problem in the future.