The Maryland Native Plant Society

The Maryland Native Plant Society

The Rapid Loss of Maryland's Native Plants

Most Maryland citizens are aware of natural areas being lost to residential, commercial, and other uses. This loss is occurring at a rapid pace to accommodate our increasing population and its preference for suburban living. What many are not aware of is that even our remaining natural areas—our forests, our meadows, and our wetlands—are severely stressed. The idea that nature is doing fine somewhere “out there” is no longer valid.
This Chapter covers the following:
  • Challenge: Habitat loss and fragmentation
    The scope and pace of development in Maryland
    • The impact of development on native plants
      Effects of fragmentation
    • Existing initiatives to address development and fragmentation
    • Role of education and outreach in public support for conservation
    • Recommendations for improved conservation of natural habitats and listed (rare, threatened and endangered) species
  • Challenge: Devastation from the over-abundance of white-tailed deer
    • The deleterious impact of the over-abundance of white-tailed deer
    • How the white-tailed deer herd in Maryland came to be so large
    • Alternative methods of deer management
    • Recommendations to address the over-abundance of white-tailed deer
  • Challenge: Insufficient prevention and control of biological invasions
    • What is an invasive species?
    • What harm do invasive species cause
    • Control of non-native invasive species in Maryland
    • Early detection and eradication
      Management of established invasive species
    • Public outreach on invasive species
    • Recommendations to combat the threat of invasions by non-native species
  • Challenge: restoration and landscaping practices
    • How restoration and landscaping affect native plant conservation
    • The role of local genotypes (“ecotypes”) and genetic diversity
      State Highway Administration and Department of the Environment Planting Practices
    • County/Municipal planting guidelines
    • Public outreach on native landscaping and gardening
    • Recommendations to increase the use of native plants in restoration and landscaping

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Download the Rapid Loss (720 KB pdf) section

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