Impacts from Invasive Plants

Economic Impacts

  • Cost to U.S. economy - an incredible $40 billion a year!
  • Weed control costs are passed on to taxpayers
  • Property values for ranches, infested with exotic weeds, are known to have decreased by 60%
  • Highly degraded pasture lands have been sold for housing developments

Ecological Impacts

  • Wildlife - Wildlife requires a variety of plants for food and shelter. Monocultures of weeds are destroying the diversity of the plants wildlife need for survival.
  • Endangered Species - Invasive weeds threaten two-thirds of all endangered species.
  • Soil Erosion - Invasive weeds increase soil erosion, damaging streams that provide habitat for aquatic species.
  • Water - Thick stands of invasive weeds can absorb enough water to dry up small reservoirs.
  • Soil Chemistry - Some invasive weeds change soil chemistry.
  • Wildfire - Invasive weeds are susceptible to wildfires - creating dangerous fire hazards.
  • Recreation - Dense patches of weeds restrict access to recreational sites.
  • Livestock - Some invasive weeds contain chemicals poisonous to livestock.