...are exotic plants and animals that impose negative impacts to the environment and/or economy.
Not all exotic species become invasive, in fact, many exotic plants are grown at large scales and are extremely important food sources for us. A relatively small number of exotics, however, become invasive species. Invasive species tend to express high fecundity and a wide tolerance to environmental conditions. When introduced to areas where they have no natural predators and/or an absence of strong competitors they grow and populate without a natural balance. An invasive species can monopolize and take resources (i.e., nutrients, sunlight, and water) away from native species. Habitats become altered and the population of some of the native members of the community can be pushed to underrepresented numbers or even lost completely.
Invasive species have significant economic impacts, but recognizing and calculating those is not simple, especially with new introductions. The problems that invasive species cause are complex and often poorly understood. There can be a lag of years or decades between the introduction on an invasive species and recognition of their impacts. There are some clearly understood economic impacts, for example, aquatic weed species can clog up waterways and interfere with recreation and water withdraw.
...are in North Carolina.
Invasive species are found all over North Carolina - in every region and in every ecosystem. This website is designed to help users identify invasive species by region and ecosystem.
This photo is an example of a volunteer group doing an organized invasive plant removal effort, or "weed roundup".