Entomologist Doug Tallamy was in Green Bay last week and I had the privilege of hearing two of the four presentations he made. Here are some points I wanted to share with you:
- Regardless of the reason we introduce non-native plants to our landscaping, they displace native plants so necessary for the survival of our native wildlife (insects, birds, reptiles, animals, etc).
- 90% of our insects are specialists. That is, they specialize in using only one or more native plants not only to propagate, but also on which to feed.
- Biodiversity equals ecosystem services.
- Through their shared evolutionary history, plants and wildlife have become specialists. Plants have learned to defend themselves with chemicals and certain wildlife has adapted to the toxicity or bitterness.
- Caterpillars are high in carotenoids which contain many anti-oxidants and are important for good eye development.
- Spiders are high in taurine which is important for baby birds neurological development.
- Pollinators pollinate 50% of our crops, 80% of all plants and 90% of all angiosperms (flowering plants).
I found a film on YouTube entitled Doug Tallamy – Biodiversity from 2012. It’s a little different version from those I’ve heard recently. It’s a little long, but I thought you might enjoy it. Happy spring!