Ecological Threats

Each natural community faces ecological threats that could change its defining features, leading to its decline.

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Rock Creek Park

Non-Native Invasive Plants

Dense-rooted colonies of native mountain laurel help keep the numbers of non-native invasive competitors down. The Oak – Beech / Heath Forest has shallow, acidic, and drought-prone soils, which only a few hardy non-native invasive plants can handle. The harms caused by non-native invasive plants include competition with natives for soil nutrients, sunlight, and pollinators, and degradation of animal habitat. (* indicates non-native)

Diseases, Pests, and Other Threats

Some current and potential ecological threats for the Oak – Beech / Heath Forest in Rock Creek Park include:

Learn more about some of the ecological threats to the natural communities of Rock Creek Park.

See Making a Difference to learn about some of the ways park staff are addressing these threats—and ways you can help, too.