Some of the plants we’ve grown used to seeing along roadways, tucked away in the woods, or even in our own backyards are actually invasive species. Invasive species can be hazardous to our local ecosystems for a variety of reasons, but most commonly they out-compete plants that are native to our region.
When an invasive species takes the place of a native plant, we lose all of the benefits that came from that native plant. The most important benefits we lose are:
- Vital food sources for our regional birds, insects, and animals
- Habitat for birds and insects
- Deep root structures that prevent soil erosion
In Northern Michigan, we are already seeing noticeable habitat loss for many of our insect species. Test this out by taking a drive down a country lane in the summer. You may notice there are hardly any insects on your windshield. Without having a safe space to live and food to eat, the insect populations will continue to decline.