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May 3, 2024
10:30 AM
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Invasive Weeds On The Platte River

Photos courtesy of the Weeds of the Great Plains
Saltcedars have long tap roots that allow them to intercept deep water tables and interfere with natural aquatic systems. Saltcedar disrupts the structure and stability of native plant communities and degrades native wildlife habitat by outcompeting and replacing native plant species, monopolizing limited sources of moisture. Although it provides some shelter, the foliage and flowers of saltcedar provide little food value for native wildlife species that depend on nutrient-rich native plant resources. More
Purple Loosestrife
Purple loosestrife adapts readily to natural and disturbed wetlands. As it establishes and expands, it outcompetes and replaces native grasses, sedges, and other flowering plants that provide a higher quality source of nutrition for wildlife. The highly invasive nature of purple loosestrife allows it to form dense, homogeneous stands that restrict native wetland plant species, including some federally endangered orchids, and reduce habitat for waterfowl. More
Once introduced Phragmites invades a site it quickly can take over, crowding out native plants, altering wildlife habitat, and becoming a monoculture very quickly. Phragmites can spread both by seed dispersal and by vegetative spread via fragments of rhizomes that break off and are transported elsewhere. New populations of the introduced type may appear sparse for the first few years of growth but due to the plant’s rapid growth rate, they will typically form a pure stand that chokes out other vegetation very quickly. More
Leafy Spurge
Leafy spurge displaces native vegetation in prairie habitats and fields through shading and by usurping available water and nutrients and through plant toxins that prevent the growth of other plants underneath it. Leafy spurge is an aggressive invader and, once present, can completely overtake large areas of open land. More
Canada Thistle
Canada Thistle is declared a "noxious weed" throughout the U.S. and has long been recognized as a major agricultural pest, costing tens of millions of dollars in direct crop losses annually and additional millions costs for control. Only recently have the harmful impacts of Canada thistle to native species and natural ecosystems received notable attention. More
Musk Thistle
Musk Thistle is an aggressive, biennial herb with showy red-purple flowers and painful spiny stems and leaves. Each plant may produce thousands of straw-colored seeds adorned with plume-like bristles. More
Russian Olive
Although not declared a noxious weed in Nebraska it is on the states watch list. Russian Olive can outcompete native vegetation, interfere with natural plant succession and nutrient cycling, and tax water reserves. Because Russian Olive is capable of fixing nitrogen in its roots, it can grow on bare, mineral substrates and dominate riparian vegetation where overstory cottonwoods have died.
Nebraska Ivasive Species Watch List


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