Biodiversity

Ecosourcing

Ecosourcing is using native plants sourced from local seeds to preserve an area's ecological history and maintain local biodiversity.

You will have greater success with your restoration project or backyard planting if you use ecosourced plants.

Plants that are the same species but come from different localities vary in their characteristics, including growth rate and tolerance of environmental conditions.

Although we may call them by the same name, there are often subtle genetic differences between the same types of plants from different regions.

Some plant species from the South Island are as alien to Auckland as non-New Zealand species.

Even within the Auckland region there are 12 distinct ecological districts with unique topography, geology, climate, soils and land use (see map below).

Map of Auckland's ecological districts showing the distinct areas Ahitu, Great Barrier Island, Hunua, Inner Gulf Islands, Kaipara, Little Barrier Island, Manukau, Otamatea, Rangitoto, Rodney, Tāmaki and Waitākere
Auckland's 12 ecological districts.

Plants sourced from within the Auckland region - and within the applicable ecological district - are better adapted to local conditions, are more likely to survive, and will help preserve the distinctiveness of plants from this region.

Where to get ecosourced plants

Buying from local nurseries doesn't guarantee locally sourced plants.

Many Auckland nurseries sell plants originating from other parts of New Zealand, because that's where the major seed suppliers are based.

Ask your nursery or local garden centre if they stock or can provide ecosourced plants.

If you can't buy ecosourced plants, you can 'wild source' - collect your own stock from the natural environment in which the plant originally grew.

Be sure to ask permission from the landowner first.

For more on ecosourcing and wildsourcing, read our ecosourcing brochure (PDF 1.7MB).

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