Invasive Species are any organizsm that is not native to an ecosystem and cause harm to its environment. Invasive plants and animals typically outcompete native species by spreading aggressivly, reproducing quickly and draining an area of its natural resources like food and sunlight. Long Island is home to many types of plants and animals all competing for food and space to grow. Different species are classified into types depending on their impact on the environment.
Native Species are species that once established, thrive in the environment they are naturally adapted to.
Invasive Species are capable of rapid spread into relativly undisturbed natural communities. Once established they begin outcompeting native plants, damaging soil and causing adverse ecological impacts.
Invasive Plant Management Resources and Databases
Ecowatch article - Common Invasive Plant Species in the US
Do you live in Nassau County and are interested in helping fight against invasives? Consider downloading the iMapInvasives app! This app allows you to take a picture of a plant or animal and identify that species instantly. You are directly helping scientists and environmental professionals by collecting data with iMapInvasives. The data you collect is then used to plan projects and manage invasive species throughout New York State.
Learn more and educate others about the dangers of Invasive Species. Public awareness and education about invasive species is critical to preserving the health of our local plant and animal communities.
Collect Data using tools like iMapInvasives, iNaturalist to identify local plants.
Volunteer with organizations like LIISMA, Save the Great South Bay, The Nature Conservancy and NYS Parks to help eliminate the threat of invasive species in your local parks and preserves.
Southern Pine Beetle
This tiny but powerful insect has the potential to devistate many of Long Islands Pine trees. In New York, Pitch Pines (Long Island native) have been targeted more than any other species. Southern Pine Beetle has the potential to quickly spread throughout Long Island without proper management.
Example Species: Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) is an invasive perennial that is widespread throughout North America, though it is most common in the eastern United States and Canada. It commonly grows in nurseries, turfgrass, vineyards, waste areas, forest edges, and roadsides. Mugwort spreads aggressively through an extensive rhizome system and will readily form large, mono-specific stands. Mugwort is native to Europe and eastern Asia, where it has historically been used as a medicinal herb.
Mugwort in the early spring
Mugwort at the end of its growth cycle
Example Species: Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) was introduced to America as an ornamental plant, Norway Maple are prolific seed producers and as individual seeds escape cultivation the species now threatens forests and forest edges. Norway Maple releases a unique milky white sap when the leaf stalk is broken