Non-native species (aliens) are not native to an area, but rather were introduced by humans, either intentionally or accidentally. These introductions can be very dangerous to natural occurring plant communities because the non-native plants can negatively modify the habitat and thus decrease the survival of native species. In many ways they out-compete the native species because they lack natural inhibitors (such as disease or predators). While many alien species of plants do not make changes to the natural environment or are not able to survive outside of cultivation, many non-native plant species are problematic because they can become invasive.
Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
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