The Importance of Native Plants, Part 2
The following article, which features Dr. Doug Tallamy's book, Bringing Nature Home, was submitted by Karina Veaudry, FNPS Landscape Committee Chair. Excerpts of Tallamy’s original text were reprinted with his permission. For part 1 of the article, click HERE.
|Landuse in Florida today and predictions for 2060; the|
rust color depicts developed land, green is conservation
and yellow is undeveloped.
Throughout the U.S., we have fragmented the habitats that support biodiversity by the way we have landscaped our cities, suburbs, and farmland. This is a problem because isolated habitats cannot sustain themselves or support populations large enough to survive normal environmental stresses. We can reconnect viable habitats by expanding existing greenways, building riparian corridors, and by changing the landscaping paradigm that dominates our yards and corporate landscapes. Replacing half of our lawns (areas that are essentially barren and ecologically sterile) with plants that are best at supporting food webs would create over 20 million connected acres of connectivity and go a long way toward sustaining biodiversity in the future.
|Illustration from http://www.restoringthelandscape.com|
|Above: Lagerstroemia indica; below: Prunus umbellata|
Your Yard Has a Function
|The Florida Scrub Jay is a federally-listed endemic |
species - it needs NATIVES!
Studies have shown that even a modest increase in the native plant cover on a suburban property will significantly increase the number and species of breeding birds present, including birds of conservation concern. As gardeners and stewards of our land, we have never been so empowered to help save so many species from extinction, and the need to do so has never been so great. All we need to do is plant natives!
posted and edited by Laurie Sheldon