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Our native wildlife and plants evolved over thousands of years into a integrated system of food producers and food consumers, each species affecting and affected by the other.
For convenience, we have divided the list into four sections, reflecting basic ecological similarities of each species:
A small number are not included because their fruits are low in nutritive value (Mountain Laurel, Kalmia latifolia; Maleberry, Lyonia ligustrina) or are poisonous to humans (Poison Ivy, Toxicodendron radicans and T. rydbergii; Poison Sumac, T. vernix).
State listed rare species are not listed here because extensive planting will obscure their natural ranges and, if non-native source material were used, may disrupt their genetic integrity.
Alnus rugosa or incana ssp. rugosa
Sun, light shade
Planting alien species of shrubs and trees to enhance wildlife populations is a widespread practice, but unsupported by sufficient valid data to conclude that such non-native plants are superior to native species in nutritive value, etc. Furthermore, many alien species are proving to detrimental to natural ecosystems by outcompeting native species and replacing them, thus reducing the overall species diversity and altering natural patterns of ecological succession. Examples are the buckthorns (Rhamnus frangula and R. cathartica), Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora), Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus), and Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii). Additionally, the value of alien species with respect to nesting cover they provide, the nutrients they take and give to the soils, and many other details of their ecology remains to be evaluated.
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