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In
biogeography Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defin ...

biogeography
, a native species is indigenous to a given region or
ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syst ...

ecosystem
if its presence in that region is the result of only local natural evolution (though often popularised as "with no human intervention"CEQ (1999))
Executive Order 13112
/ref> The term is equivalent to the concept of indigenous or autochthonous species. Every wild organism (as opposed to a
domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care of another group to secure a more predictable supply of resources from that sec ...
organism) is known as an
introduced species (''Melilotus sp.''), introduced and naturalized Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the law o ...
within the regions where it was anthropogenically introduced. If an introduced species causes substantial ecological, environmental, and/or economic damage, it may be regarded more specifically as an
invasive species Kudzu, a Japanese vine species invasive in the southeast United States, growing in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia An invasive species is an introduced species, introduced organism that becomes overpopulated and negatively alters its n ...
. The notion of nativity is often a blurred concept, as it is a function of both time and political boundaries. Seen over long periods of time, plants and animals take part in the constant movement of tectonic plates—species appear and may flourish, endure, or become extinct, and their distribution is rarely static or confined to a particular geographic location. A native species in a location is not necessarily also
endemic Endemism is the state of a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, molecular interact ...
to that location. Endemic species are ''exclusively'' found in a particular place. A native species may occur in areas other than the one under consideration. The terms endemic and native also do not imply that an organism necessarily first originated or
evolved Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolved
where it is currently found.


Ecology

Native species form communities and
biological interaction In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Topics of interest include the bio ...
s with other specific flora, fauna, fungi, and other organisms. For example, some plant species can only reproduce with a continued mutualistic interaction with a certain animal
pollinator A pollinator is an animal that moves pollen File:Pollen Tube.svg, Pollen Tube Diagram Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes ...

pollinator
, and the pollinating animal may also be dependent on that plant species for a food source. Many species have adapted to very limited, unusual, or harsh conditions, such as cold climates or frequent
wildfires A wildfire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction ...
. Others can live in diverse areas or adapt well to different surroundings.


Human impact and intervention

The diversity of species across many parts of the world exists only because
bioregion A bioregion is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Topics of inte ...
s are separated by barriers, particularly large
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...

river
s,
sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
sea
s,
oceans The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
oceans
,
mountain A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least ...

mountain
s, and
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
s. Humans can introduce species that have never met in their
evolution Evolution is change in the heritable Heredity, also called inheritance or biological inheritance, is the passing on of Phenotypic trait, traits from parents to their offspring; either through asexual reproduction or sexual reproduction, ...

evolution
ary history, on varying time scales ranging from days to decades (Long, 1981; Vermeij, 1991). Humans are moving species across the globe at an unprecedented rate. Those working to address
invasive species Kudzu, a Japanese vine species invasive in the southeast United States, growing in Atlanta, Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia An invasive species is an introduced species, introduced organism that becomes overpopulated and negatively alters its n ...
view this as an increased risk to native species. As humans introduce species to new locations for cultivation, or transport them by accident, some of them may become invasive species, damaging native communities. Invasive species can have profound effects on ecosystems by changing ecosystem structure, function, species abundance, and community composition. Besides ecological damage, these species can also damage agriculture, infrastructure, and cultural assets. Government agencies and environmental groups are directing increasing resources to addressing these species.


Conservation and advocacy

Native plant organizations such as the
Society for Ecological RestorationThe Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) is a conservation organization based in the United States, supporting a "global community of restoration professionals that includes researchers, practitioners, decision-makers, and community leaders". T ...
, native plant societies, Wild Ones, and
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Image:WildflowerCtr dragonfly onTower.jpg, 140px, Giant dragonfly sculpture on side of limestone water tower, Wildflower Center The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at University of Texas at Austin, The University of Texas at Austin is the st ...

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
encourage the use of native plants. The identification of local
remnant natural area A remnant natural area, also known as remnant habitat, is an ecological community A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of desi ...
s provides a basis for this work. Many books have been written on the subject of planting native plants in home gardens. The use of cultivars derived from native species is a widely disputed practice among native plant advocates.


Importance of nativity in conservation

When
ecological restoration Restoration ecology is the scientific study supporting the practice of ecological restoration, which is the practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of l ...
projects are undertaken to restore a native ecological system disturbed by economic development or other events, they may be historically inaccurate, incomplete, or pay little or no attention to ecotype accuracy or type conversions. They may fail to restore the original ecological system by overlooking the basics of remediation. Attention paid to the historical distribution of native species is a crucial first step to ensure the ecological integrity of the project. For example, to prevent erosion of the recontoured sand dunes at the western edge of the
Los Angeles International Airport Los Angeles International Airport , commonly referred to as LAX (with each of its letters pronounced individually), is the primary international airport serving Los Angeles Los Angeles (; es, Los Ángeles; "The Angels"), officially ...

Los Angeles International Airport
in 1975,
landscaper Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including: # Living organism, elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly called gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creat ...

landscaper
s stabilized the backdunes with a "natural" seed mix (Mattoni 1989a). Unfortunately, the seed mix was representative of
coastal sage scrub Coastal sage scrub, also known as coastal scrub, CSS, or soft chaparral, is a low scrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community A plant community is a collection or Association (ecology), association of plant speci ...
, an exogenous plant community, instead of the native dune scrub community. As a result, the
El Segundo blue butterfly The El Segundo blue (''Euphilotes battoides allyni'') is a rare subspecies In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical struc ...
''(Euphilotes battoides allyni)'' became an endangered species. The El Segundo Blue butterfly population, which had once extended over 3200 acres along the coastal dunes from to Ocean Park to Malaga cove in Palos Verdes, began to recover when the invasive ''(Eriogonum fasciculatum)'' was uprooted so that the butterflies' original native plant host, the
dune buckwheat ''Eriogonum parvifolium'' is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest gr ...
''(Eriogonum parvifolium),'' could regain some of its lost habitat.


See also

*
Introduced species (''Melilotus sp.''), introduced and naturalized Naturalization (or naturalisation) is the legal act or process by which a non-citizen of a country may acquire citizenship Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under the law o ...


References

{{Reflist, refs= {{cite book , last1=Aitken , first1=Gill , title=A New Approach to Conservation: The Importance of the Individual through Wildlife Rehabilitation , date=2018 , publisher=Routledge , isbn=9781351163545 Indigenous, Aliens and Invasives
Envirofacts
{{cite book , last1=Levin , first1=Phillip S , last2=Poe , first2=Melissa R. , title=Conservation for the Anthropocene Ocean: Interdisciplinary Science in Support of Nature and People , date=2017 , publisher=Academic Press , isbn=9780128092989 {{Cite Merriam-Webster, Autochthonous, access-date=16 January 2019 {{Cite OED, Endemic {{cite web , title=What are native plants? , url=https://web.uri.edu/rinativeplants/what-are-native-plants/ , publisher=University of Rhode Island , access-date=16 January 2019 {{cite book , last1=Stein , first1=Sara , title=Noah's Garden: Restoring the Ecology of Our Own Back Yards , year=1993 , publisher=Houghton-Mifflin , isbn=9780395709405 , url=https://www.google.com/books/edition/Noah_s_Garden/aKcSsRjdB00C?hl=en&gbpv=0, language=en {{cite book , last1=Tallamy , first1=Douglas W. , title=Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens , year=2007 , publisher=Timber Press , isbn=978-0-88192-854-9 , url=https://books.google.com/books?id=JA45XbUm48gC , language=en {{cite book , last1=Tallamy , first1=Douglas W. , title=Nature's Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard , year=2020 , publisher=Timber Press , isbn=978-1604699005 , url=https://books.google.com/books?id=ToqHDwAAQBAJ , language=en {{cite book, last=Wasowski, first=Andy and Sally, title=The Landscaping Revolution: Garden With Mother Nature, Not Against Her, year=2000, publisher=Contemporary Books, isbn=9780809226658, url=https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Landscaping_Revolution/oqK9GAAACAAJ?hl=en Biogeography Ecological restoration Ecology terminology Habitat