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School of Environment and Natural Resources


Invasive Species

Invasive Species

The Ohio State University’s Extension Program in Invasive Species offers education and information regarding invasive species in Ohio and their effects on the environment.  The Nature Conservancy estimates that damage from invasive species totals more than 1.4 trillion dollars worldwide, or 5% of the global economy!

What is an invasive species?

A species is considered invasive when it is both non-native to the ecosystem in which it is found and it is capable of causing environmental, economic or human harm.  These species thrive in their new ecosystem to the point of displacing native species and disrupting important ecosystem processes.

What is their ecosystem impact?

  • Displacement of native species
  • Degrade and reduce native wildlife habitat
  • Disrupt natural ecosystem processes
  • Reduce forest productivity and health

Several emerging pests have been discovered in Ohio recently, including insects such as the Asian longhorned beetle, plants such as the ornamental pears and pathogens such as the boxwood blight.  The sustainability of Ohio’s forests, urban areas, and inland waterways is continuously threatened by a never-ending onslaught of emerging pests.  

Ohio State works hard to provide educational opportunities about emerging issues.  Some of SENR's programs are:

  • Classes to educate and create awareness
  • Presentations from experts on the subject of invasive species
  • FactSheets that provide information about multiple invasive species and our changing environment.  To access these factsheets visit the Forestry-related publication listing on the OWS website
  • Great Lakes Early Detection Phone App that helps you to identify the changes in the water system around us.  Learn more and download here.
  • Resources to keep up-to-date on important information on invasive species available here.
  • ID cards of invasive species currently in Ohio (Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, White Nose Syndrome, Thousand Canker Disease).  To request invasive species ID cards send an email request to:
  • Ohio Sea Grant Extension focuses on the prevention and management of aquatic invasive species. Learn more about this outreach.