Welcome to the Town of Groton, Connecticut

Native and Invasive Species

As you manage your property, you have many decisions to make about the kinds of plants you encourage to grow there. Did you know that some plants can support local birds, insects, and wildlife by providing a source of food and cover, whereas other plants can harm them?

Native plants are plants that evolved here in the northeastern U.S. Because these plants have been here a very long time, they have co-evolved with many insects, birds, and wildlife species. Native plants play an important role in local food webs by providing seeds, berries, and foliage. They also fulfill other lifecycle needs by serving as locations for nesting and overwintering, providing refuge and cover, and more.

Invasive species did not evolve here and do not have the same relationships with native insects, birds, and wildlife that native species do. Most invasive species were introduced by humans, sometimes purposefully. Invasive species tend to have aggressive growth habits and can spread very quickly, alter soil chemistry, and change the physical structure of an ecosystem. Invasive species often outcompete native plant species while not providing the same food and lifecycle support to local insects, birds, and wildlife that native species do.  As a result, they are a contributing factor to the decline of pollinators, like bees. Once they are established, invasive species can be very difficult to remove.

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