Cape Cod has numerous ecosystems and habitats that house a wide variety of plant species. Though once, these ecosystems would have been reflections of natural evolutionary processes, hundreds of years of human intervention since the beginning of European colonization have led to many drastic alterations. Read More
Cape Cod has numerous ecosystems and habitats that house a wide variety of plant species. Though once, these ecosystems would have been reflections of natural evolutionary processes, hundreds of years of human intervention since the beginning of European colonization have led to many drastic alterations.
From that time on, many non-native species have imported and introduced to local ecosystems from Eurasia, both intentionally and unintentionally. While some of these persisted while remaining harmless, many species have invaded and continued to overwhelm the native communities. Further, land overexploitation for agriculture, logging, and other colonial practices led to the extinction of many native species and left deserted lands for non-native species to colonize. Along our trails, you will find diverse habitats with varying ranges of these types of species. OCT is committed to conserving our local lands and engaging in stewardship efforts to promote native habitats and remove harmful invasive species. We encourage our local community to be mindful of what we are planting and understand the importance that promoting native plant habitats holds among all parts of our ecosystems!
Native plants: Plant species that occur naturally in ecosystems within the geographical location where they evolved. These have grown in Massachusetts and on Cape Cod prior to European colonization.
Non-native plants: Plant species that are found in ecosystems outside of the geographical location where they evolved and naturally occur, as a result of human activity. These do not necessarily harm native ecosystems, but they may not support their health and other organisms as native plants do.
Invasive plants: Non-native plant species that disrupt and overwhelm native ecosystems by quickly spreading through self-sustaining reproduction. They often dominate and/or eliminate native species, causing substantial harm to the local environment in the process.