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How Non-Native Plants Are Contributing to a Global Insect Decline, summary

How Non-Native Plants Are Contributing to a Global Insect Decline, summary

We wanted to share with you this amazing article encouraging us as to why we should be adding more native plants to our gardens: How Non-Native Plants Are Contributing to a Global Insect Decline, by Janet Marinelli or, you can read our

Two-minute summary

(because we have lots plants to get into the ground!)

The introduction of non-native plants into ecosystems has been found to contribute to a decline in insect populations globally. These plants are often introduced intentionally or unintentionally and have a negative impact on the natural balance of ecosystems. Insects play a vital role in pollination, nutrient cycling, and the food chain, and their decline has far-reaching implications.

Milkweed Assassin Bug

Milkweed Assassign Bug, by Erban

One solution to this problem is to add more native plants to gardens and urban landscapes. Native plants have evolved alongside local insect populations and provide them with food and habitat. By incorporating native plants, homeowners and landscapers can create a more diverse and sustainable environment that supports a healthy insect population.

Eastern Hercules Beetle
Eastern Hercules Beetle, by MBP

 Native plants are also well-adapted to local environmental conditions and require less water, fertilizer, and maintenance than non-native plants. They can help to reduce water usage and pollution, and they provide a range of benefits for wildlife, including birds and other animals.

Pipevine Swallow Tail Caterpillar
Pipevine Swallowtail Caterpillar, by cotinis
In addition to adding native plants to gardens, it is important to limit the use of pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals can harm beneficial insects, as well as other wildlife, and can have long-lasting effects on the environment. By choosing native plants and using organic gardening practices, gardeners can help to create a healthier and more resilient ecosystem.
Brown Lacewing Bug
Brown Lacewing Bug, by Jenn Forman Orth
There are many resources available for gardeners looking to incorporate native plants into their landscapes. Local plant nurseries, botanical gardens, and conservation organizations can provide information on the best plants for a specific area and tips for creating a native garden. By working together, individuals and communities can create a more sustainable and healthy environment that supports the needs of both humans and wildlife.

Banner image credit: Rosy Maple Moth, by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren