The National Trust has a long-standing policy of only approving ecosourced plants for restoration projects in covenants.
What is ecosourcing?
Ecosourcing is sourcing native plants from local seed for local use. It maintains natural plant distributions and gene pools in a given area.
Why ecosource plants for your covenant?
- Covenants protect native plants that reflect the original vegetation and plant communities in a particular location. By using ecosourced species in restoration plantings, covenantors maintain the unique characteristics of their covenant.
- Ecosourcing respects natural plant distributions. Sometimes native plants that aren't sourced locally can become invasive (eg, karo from Northland has become invasive in more southern regions).
- The appearance, physiology, and the presence of certain genes varies considerably for many New Zealand plant species. Using ecosourced plants for restoration projects helps protect the diversity of our native plant species.
- Closely related plant varieties or species introduced from outside a local area can hybridise with local plants. If this happens on a large scale the local gene pool can be swamped, resulting in the loss of important local genes and plant characteristics.
- Local plants are adapted to local environmental conditions such as soil type and temperature range. Using plants that occur naturally in your area can increase establishment success.
- Using ecosourced plants ensures that plantings to restore native vegetation are as natural as they can be.
Where to go for help
Ask your local QEII representative or other conservation experts about ecosourcing. The internet provides a lot of information on ecosourcing and nurseries that can supply ecosourced plants for your restoration project.