National Park Service

Klamath Network (KLMN)

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Early Detection of Exotic & Invasive Plants

Controlling non-native plants at Lassen Volcanic NP
Controlling non-native plants at Lassen Volcanic NP

Non-native Plant Inventory Brief

Inventory Reports
(part of KLMN vegetation inventory efforts)

Monitoring Reports

Monitoring Protocol & Sampling Procedures

For more information contact: Sean Smith

Importance and Issues

Non-native invasive species have been directly linked to a number of impacts that are in direct conflict with National Park management goals, including the replacement of native vegetation, the loss of rare species, changes in ecosystem structure, alteration of nutrient cycles and soil chemistry, shifts in community productivity, reduced agricultural productivity, and changes in water availability. The damage caused by non-native species to natural resources can be devastating and our understanding of the consequences is incomplete. Consequently, the dynamic relationships among plants, animals, soil, and water established over long periods of time are at risk of being degraded in a relatively brief period.

Given the ecological impacts of non-native species, it is understandable that they ranked as the top vital sign for monitoring within the Klamath Network. Prevention of plant invasions is the most effective, economical, and ecologically sound approach to managing invasive species. When preventive measures are not successful, approaches dependent upon early detection of new species and new populations are the next best tactic. Many non-native species experience a time-lag between introduction and rapid expansion. The need for proactive approaches to manage non-natives and the existence of vulnerable and valuable sites throughout the Network suggest that early detection of incipient populations and new species is the best approach for monitoring this vital sign.

Parks Monitored

  • Crater Lake National Park (CLRA)
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park (LAVO)
  • Lava Beds National Monument (LABE)
  • Oregon Caves National Monument (ORCA)
  • Redwood National & State Parks (REDW)
  • Whiskeytown National Recreation Area (WHIS)

Monitoring Objectives

  1. Detect populations of selected invasive plants by sampling along roads, trails, and power line corridors, and in campgrounds, where introduction is most likely.
  2. Provide the information to park management on a timely basis to allow effective management responses.
  3. Develop and maintain a list of priority invasive plant species with greatest potential for spread and impact to park resources for monitoring in each park.
  4. Adapt spatial sampling as knowledge improves through monitoring
  5. Use monitoring data collected from this protocol and the vegetation protocol to estimate possible trends and develop and refine models of invasive species habitat requirements and of the most susceptible habitats.

Parameters to be Measured

  • Presence or Absence
  • Abundance
  • Distribution
  • Habitat Characteristics

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Last Updated: December 30, 2016 Contact Webmaster