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View Diary: Backyard Science - Native Plants Versus Privet, A Photo Diary (84 comments)

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  •  Plants move. They don't move as individuals, (6+ / 0-)

    but on a generational level. Humans, because they are able to identify characteristics and remember what they prefer, want plants to stay in place. There are no so-called native plants anywhere on the North American continent where the glaciers advanced and scraped the soil down to the crust.

    Lady's slippers, for example, aren't threatened by competitors. They bloom early in the growing season, but not every year. So, humans, who look for them in the same place year after year are disappointed when they aren't found. Since they are only visible for about two weeks and the blooming is erratic, not being seen doesn't mean they don't exist.

    Humans aren't particularly observant. But, when they are, they think they've discovered something new.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Sat May 04, 2013 at 01:41:20 PM PDT

    •  Before humans existed, and even after (12+ / 0-)

      the rise of humans but before we became so mobile, plant and animal populations advanced and retreated due to glaciation, sea level change, climate change, and other factors. In general, organisms gradually moved from nearby locations as conditions changed. One can easily argue that they were "native," and their native ranges moved around over time.

      Rarely did a plant from Australia have an opportunity to colonize an area left bare by a melting glacier in North America.

      Now, plants and animals move all over the world at jet speed, either intentionally or by mistake.

      Lady's slippers grow over a wide enough natural range that they are not likely to be wiped out. But they cannot grow underneath a monoculture of privet (which is evergreen in the South, leaving no window of sunlight for early blooming). Neither can they thrive in lawns, farm fields, or parking lots. They are indeed at the mercy of competitors. Threatened with extinction, no. But each year, fewer acres of land exist where they can live. Ditto for many other species.

    •  I read a good definition of a native plant (5+ / 0-)

      the other day at our Florida Native Plant Society meeting.
      Plants that existed in Florida before Europeans arrived.

      "You are what you write, not what you look like."

      by PHScott on Sat May 04, 2013 at 05:34:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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