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The purpose of the Georgia EPPC Invasive Plant List is to identify and categorize plants that pose threats to natural areas in Georgia. Natural areas are those areas that are managed to conserve or restore the native plant communities. For this list, invasive plants do not include plants that are only problems in agricultural or pastoral systems. The list does not have regulatory authority; it is intended to aid in land management decisions and increase public awareness of invasive species.
Category 1 Alert – Exotic plant that is a not yet a serious problem in Georgia natural areas, but that has significant potential to become a serious problem.
Category 3 – Exotic plant that is a minor problem in Georgia natural areas, or is not yet known to be a problem in Georgia but is known to be a problem in adjacent states.
Invasive Plant Definition
Invasive species is defined as any species, including its seeds, spores or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that ecosystem; and whose introduction does or is likely to cause environmental harm. Political boundaries are not used when determining a species nativity. Instead a species is defined as being exotic when it is not native to a particular ecosystem, making it possible to have a species that is native to parts of Georgia, but considered invasive in others.
Category 1 – Exotic plant that is a serious problem in Georgia natural areas by extensively invading native plant communities and displacing native species.
Category 2 – Exotic plant that is a moderate problem in Georgia natural areas through invading native plant communities and displacing native species, but to a lesser degree than category 1 species.
The invasive plant list is separated into 4 categories, with one subcategory (see category definitions below). Species were ranked by EPPC members with input from other professionals and land managers. Detailed distribution information does not exist for many of these species, making it difficult to use demonstrable distribution data as a criterion for ranking a species. Efforts are underway to collect this distribution data and future revisions of the Georgia EPPC Invasive Species List will incorporate the data.