Natives for Natives

Our Purpose

Important terms:

Native Plant: Native plants are plants that naturally grow in an area and are adapted to survive in the environment without the assistance of humans. They are also an integrated part of the ecosystem and have predators and pollinators that inhabit the ecosystem.

Ecological Community: An ecological community is defined as a group of actually or potentially interacting species living in the same place. A community is bound together by the network of influences that species have on one another.

Invasive Species: An invasive species is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.

Biological Diversity: Biological diversity is the variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Diversity can be defined as the number of different items and their relative frequency.

Flora: The plant life occurring in a particular region or time, generally the naturally occurring or indigenous.

Introduced Species: An introduced species (also known as an exotic species) is an organism that is not native to the place or area where it is considered introduced and instead has been accidentally or deliberately transported to the new location by human activity.

What are several plant species native to the Santa Barbara area?

  • Spreading Gum Plant
  • Purple Three Awn
  • Alkali Sacaton
  • Silverbeard Grass

How do native plant species benefit the environment?

  • Prevent erosion (native plants give the right nutrients to the soil, preventing desertification)
  • Ensure diversity (since no native plants outcompete all others, the ecosystem maintains a large biodiversity which creates a more stable ecosystem)
  • Help conserve water (native plants are acclimated to the conditions in their area, so they need little water beyond normal rainfall amounts)
  • Provide shelter for animals and other plants
  • Support community-level interactions

How do native plant species benefit humans?

  • Affordable (the plants are adapted to the water and nutrient levels of the ecosystem, so they don't require watering, fertilizers, or other additional maintenance)
  • Aesthetic value
  • Filter runoff and pollution
  • Prevent flooding and other natural disasters
  • Grazing food for livestock

How do invasive plant species threaten native plant species?
Invasive plant species are not adapted to work in harmony with native plants, so they consume the nutrients that native plants need to thrive. Some invasive plant species release toxins that can kill native plant species.

How do invasive plant species threaten native animals?
Invasive plant species sometimes eliminate the native plants that the native animals rely on for food and shelter. Other invasive plant species are directly harmful to certain animals.

How do invasive plant species threaten ecosystems?
They cause a chain reaction by creating change in the environment making it difficult for native plants to survive which also affects native animals.