Indigenous Plants Vital To Local Ecosystem
Over the years, people have moved plants all over the globe, allowing them to root themselves in already developed ecosystems, affecting native species.
Native plants are those that grow naturally in the area in which they evolved. The plants, animals and insects that co-evolved with them become dependent and develop a delicate system of survival. Many plants for sale in local nurseries are alien species from other countries. The more alien plants added to a garden, the more competition the native plants have.
According to audubon.org, “Restoring native plant habitat is vital to preserving biodiversity. By creating a native plant garden, each patch of habitat becomes part of a collective effort to nurture and sustain the living landscape for birds and other animals.”
Take into consideration the relationship between the Monarch butterfly and milkweed plant. Monarch butterflies have evolved to have an immunity to the toxic alkaloids in milkweed. They are so dependent that Monarchs can only feed on milkweed. If there is more planting of the native milkweed, there are more Monarch butterflies.
Turning a green space into a Certified Wildlife Habitat may help mainatin these relationships.
WHS science department member, Troy Worth stresses that minute discrepencies in the climate surrounding the plant cause these invasive species to out compete the native species.
“If the invasive species creates enough of a detrimental effect, it could cause trophic cascades in the surrounding areas aswell,” Worth said.
Native plants are also easier to grow, as they are already adapted to the soil and climate, so there is no need for extra fertilizers or pesticides.