Non-native plant species are increasing in frequency and abundance in many natural areas in the United States. In Midwestern National Parks, as much as one third of the flora may be non-native. It was hypothesized that botanical characters of these species could be used to typify them and improve the methods of predicting invasions. Data on 19 characters of 341 non-native species from the four Great Lakes national lakeshores (Apostle Islands, Indiana Dunes, Pictured Rocks, and Sleeping Bear Dunes) and invasive non-native species for the State of Wisconsin were collected and studied. For many of the species, little data could be found, but for 139 of them, data were collected for at least 80% of the characters. The frequencies of classes of the characters were tabulated and ranked to typify the most common non-native species. This led to a description of a 'type species' just for these four National Parks. Three species of Cirsium, including Canada (C. arvense), marsh (C. palustre) and bull thistle (C. vulgare), matched the type species better than other species. C. vulgare occurs in more National Parks than the other thistles.
Additional Publication Details
Type characters of non-native plant species in Great Lakes national parks (USA)