Invasive Species Mapping
The takeover of invasive plant species has become evident in the forest at Flat Rock Brook. Invasive species quickly spread through a forest ecosystem damaging it in a number of ways. These invasive plants kill off native vegetation and prevent native communities from growing back; they prevent regeneration of a healthy forest by dominating the forest understory and crowding out new woody plant growth that is supposed to replace older trees; and they decrease the levels of overall biodiversity within the forest ecosystem. This is detrimental for forest health and for the survival of numerous wildlife species. When the forest loses its diversity, the habitats available for wildlife will eventually decrease or disappear.
Flat Rock Brook is planning a comprehensive survey of the invasive species that are present within our preserve. The survey will produce a GPS mapping of the entire forest, which will describe where invasive species are currently thriving, their cycles of growth and dispersal and their impacts and intertwined relationships with native vegetation. This mapping survey will allow us to track, monitor and predict the distribution, abundance and resilience of invasive plant communities over time.
Using this information, we will create a 10-year management plan that focuses specifically on the targeted eradication, effective management and consistent monitoring of invasive plant species.