We determined the capacity of exotic plants to invade major environmental types of the northern Rocky Mountains. We did this by observing their presence on disturbed and undisturbed sites in relatively well inoculated locations—corridors adjacent to highways—on transects across the mountains in Glacier National Park and Grand Teton National Park and on low-altitude sites between them. We draw 3 primary conclusions. First, of 29 exotics commonly found, the most dominant are intentionally introduced grasses (Agrostis, Bromus, Dactylis, and especially Phleum pratense and Poa pratensis) and legumes (Melilotus, Medicago, and Trifolium) rather than the forbs more often listed as noxious. Second, in the environmental types studied, disturbed sites are invasible, except in the alpine. Third, invasion of undisturbed sites declines from grasslands and open forests to alpine to moist forests. This gradient probably represents a decline in resource (light, water, nutrients) availability for herbs, except in the alpine, where a physical limitation is suggested by the poor performance of exotics on noncompetitive disturbed sites.
Weaver, T.; Gusafson, D.; and Lichthardt, J.
"Exotic plants in early and late seral vegetation of fifteen northern Rocky Mountain environments (HTs),"
Western North American Naturalist: Vol. 61:
4, Article 5.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/wnan/vol61/iss4/5