The Effects That Native Species Have On Ecosystems Biology 111 A Research Paper

1389 words - 6 pages

Although all species have a native environment, species do appear and can survive in environments that are not their native environment. Some species intentionally migrate to a different environment while others are forced to, this could be due to human impacts, including technology or environmental impacts, such as a natural disaster. A native species in an environment can be defined as “a species or race that occurs naturally in an area (for this review, the UK), i.e. whose dispersal has occurred independently of deliberate human translocation. In general, a species or race thought to have occurred in an area since before the Neolithic can be considered to be native” (Manchester, S.J., & Bullock J.M. 2001). Michigan native plants specifically can be defined as “species that occurred prior to European settlement. The Floristic Quality Assessment, developed in 2001by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Natural Heritage Program, was used to determine whether a species is native to Michigan”(Native Planting Preserve: Why Go Native?, n.d.)”. While on the other hand, a non-native or invasive species “refers to a species or race that does not occur naturally in an area, i.e. it has not previously occurred there” (Manchester, S.J., & Bullock J.M., 2001). Native and Non-native species are basically exact opposites of each other.
Ecosystems usually benefit from Native species more than they do from non-native species or invasive species. This is because “native plants possess certain traits that make them uniquely adapted to their local conditions” (Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2011). “In addition, native plants can match the finest cultivated plants in beauty, while often surpassing non-natives in ruggedness and resistance to drought, insects and disease” (Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2011). A species that is over all very much similar to another species may have the ability to adapt to that species’ environment and benefit it as well. “Native plant materials are used for a variety of purposes, such as beautifying your garden, stabilizing stream banks and floodplains, reducing soil erosion and sedimentation, reducing the spread of non-native invasive plants”(Native Planting Preserve: Why Go Native?, n.d.)”.
Non-native species tend to be a huge disadvantage to an ecosystem, but they are not necessarily always a disadvantage. One of these disadvantages being the land having to do more work than it usually would in order to keep the plant alive and healthy. Non-Native species can also be a disadvantage to the other species in the ecosystem. Ironically, species can be transported to an invasive environment from another species, such as an animal, plant or manmade tool. “An excellent example of this is the zebra mussel. Native to the Black and Caspian seas, the zebra mussel was introduced into the Great Lakes via the ballast water from a transoceanic ship. The zebra mussel has since...

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