Determining the Origins of Plants at a Vancouver Park to Help Preserve Urban Biodiversity


  • Elsie F.


Preserving natural biodiversity is a great way to increase ecological richness (Vila-Ruiz et al,
2014.) and to help do so, I made it my objective to determine how many plant species are native
or non-native to North America in a Vancouver park. I hypothesized that if the majority of the
plants in the park I had surveyed were non-native to North America, then it was likely that other
parks in the city had a majority of plants non-native to North America as well. I counted trees
and individual plants by sight and used a plotless distance-based plant survey technique, the
closest individual method, to determine the number of higher-density plants in the area. It was
determined that the majority of the plants were not native to North America (150/244 plants).
The p-value was found to be 0.9185. There was no significant difference between the native and
non-native plants in Vancouver. The reasons for this are most likely due to sources of error, such
as the plotless technique I used or issues in plant identification. There were a few limitations
during this study such as the fall weather and park restrictions. In the end, it was found that the
majority of the plants in the park were non-native to North America and this has no effect on the
other parks in the city.