National Park Service

Northeast Temperate Network (NETN)

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Forest invaded with Japanese Barberry
Background image shows what can sometimes happen when invasive species find ideal conditons to flourish. Japanese barberry has taken over the understory in many parts of Morristown NHP's forest. It is hoped that diligent monitoring can help detect and prevent the spreading of other invasives, such as the Asian Long-horned Beetle (left) and the Emeral Ash Borer (right). Background image: NPS photo.
  • Utilize opportunistic sampling to detect invasive species in the early stages of establishment while the costs of eradication are relatively low.



Download Program Brief:

forest health brief

In broad terms, an invasive species is an organism that has been introduced deliberately or unintentionally into an environment in which it did not evolve, is capable of establishing self-sustaining populations in "untransformed ecosystems", has no natural enemies to limit its reproduction and spread, and is likely to cause harm to human health or the environment.

Early detection monitoring of incipient invasive plants, animals and diseases was ranked among the top priorities in the Eastern Rivers and Mountains Network (ERMN) and the Northeast Temperate Network (NETN) in the vital signs selection process due to the clear identification of, and concern about, the effects these organisms can have on park ecosystems. The known ecological impacts of invasive species include loss of threatened and endangered species, altered structure and composition of terrestrial and aquatic communities, and reduction in overall species diversity.

The A.T. poses a unique challenge among NETN parks because of its length and the large number of communities through which it passes, opening it up to numerous groups of invasive exotic species. Unfortunately, the same reasons that the A.T. region is a potential destination for invasive and/or exotic species -- the number of communities through which it passes -- also makes it a very difficult resource to systematically inventory. To date, several regional or limited surveys have occured along the trail, but none have systematically searched the A.T. region. Consequently, resource managers are underequipped to address this problem.

While long-term changes associated with invasive species are being monitored through other protocols, it is also critical to catch new populations of invasive species early in their invasion of new and sensitive habitats. Only when invasions are caught early will the chance of eradication remain high.

Early detection monitoring in ERMN and NETN will include creation of individual park early detection species lists; opportunistic surveillance monitoring of invasive plant and forest pest species that will focus on educating monitoring field crews, cooperators, volunteers, and resource managers on invasive species identification; and a coherent framework for reporting and disseminating information on potential infestations. This will allow park resource managers to target limited resources toward highest priority risks.

NETN Invasive Species Early Detection Materials

Displaying latest version of protocol. For earlier versions, click "See full bibliographic record" and scroll down to Version History

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Other Invasive Species Monitoring Information:

Northeast Temperate Network Staff Contacts for Invasive Species Early Detection

Name Title/Position Phone Number Email Address
Aaron Weed Program Manager 802-457-3368
ex. 237
Kate Miller Plant Ecologist 207-288-8736
Camilla Seirup Biological Technician /Project Leader 207-288-8738
Fred Dieffenbach Environmental Monitoring Coordinator - Appalachian NST 802-457-3368 ext. 236
Adam Kozlowski Data Manager 802-457-3368 ex 240
Ed Sharron Science Communication Specialist 802-457-3368
ex. 223
Last Updated: October 17, 2017 Contact Webmaster