The State of New England's Native Plants

From the Native Plant Trust:

For the first time in 200 years, every state in New England is losing forest, and the conservation community has issued the call for increased land and habitat protection.

But what’s on the land we seek to protect? Our forests bear little resemblance to those the pilgrims encountered. The mix of trees and understory plants has changed due to the enduring legacy of settlers’ clearcutting and farming, which altered soils and microclimates; to a history of management favoring useful or commercial species; and, more recently, to diseases and pests. The understory vegetation is comparatively species-poor, and non-native plants have a strong foothold. The tale is similar for other habitats in the region, which face a constellation of threats and are losing the plant diversity that makes nature resilient.

Saving acreage from development is an important first step, but conserving native plants on those parcels and private land is critical for sustaining healthy, biologically diverse landscapes. Native plants are the backbone of habitat, for us and for insects, birds, mammals, and other organisms. Plants supply the oxygen we breathe, regulate the climate, and clean the water. They are the base of the food chain that leads to our own dinner table, and the loss of a single plant species can disrupt an intricate web supporting myriad plants and animals.

When native plants are imperiled, the entire ecosystem is at risk ..... click here for full report

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