Ensuring Survival of Native Species at Bass Harbor Marsh
As Acadia’s climate shifts and the growing seasons expand, invasive plants like glossy buckthorn will thrive and outcompete native shrubs and plants if unmanaged. The park’s Invasive Plant Management Team works each year to reduce infestations that they discover, including a large, 14-acre site populated by glossy buckthorn at the Bass Harbor Marsh, the largest salt marsh in Acadia.
Removal of invasive plants is the first step toward ensuring the survival of Acadia’s native plant communities and the diverse birds, insects, and wildlife that depend on them. However, without a directed restoration after the invasive plants have been removed, impacted sites may be left vulnerable to reinfestation. This could result in significant costs due to the prolonged effort to keep reducing invasive plant populations.
Friends of Acadia is supporting the work of Acadia National Park and partners to remove the invasive glossy buckthorn at the Bass Harbor Marsh, monitor biodiversity at the site, and try several planting methods and native plant species mixes to determine what will best hold up to stress from climate change, deer browse, invasive earthworm disturbance to soils, invasive forest pests, and other factors.
The lessons learned in directing the future of this important site will be applicable to other habitats as the park evolves with climate change.