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!
Diane Olson Schmidt says
It is great to see that wildlife needs critical food from native plants for the nutrients that they need for mature development for wildlife to Thrive, not just survive.
Donna VanBuecken says
How nice to hear from you, Diane. I agree with you. So often we take for granted what and how nature provides for us. We humans often assume we are apart from the circle of life rather than a part of it.