flea beetles & introduced species

Marcie Rosenzweig fullcircle at jps.net
Fri Apr 19 08:55:20 EDT 2002

Hi Jennie,

As an ecologist, you hubby probably also recognizes that it is 
possible for an ecosystem to be so out of balance and disrupted that 
some species become endangered and even die out.  Some things for him 
to think about:

1. Farming is a human-introduced, artificial system.  Those of us who 
strive for sustainability try to learn from  natural systems to 
minimize the impact of what we are doing but we are still disrupting 
what was there and replacing it with what we want.

2.  The absence of predatory nematodes (or any other "good bug") 
doesn't mean they were never there.  Until a few years back, grey 
wolves were absent from Yellowstone; bison are still absent from most 
of their historic plains range.

3.  Introduction of a species that may have once been there or a 
introduced species-specific predator to control an out-of-control 
introduced species within a relatively closed system, ie the soil of 
one farm/ranch, may very well be the most environmentally benign way 
of dealing with the problem.

He's right to question before acting.  All possible solutions must be 
considered to find the one that addresses the weak link within the 
life cycle of the pest then the weak link withing the cultural system 
that allowed the pest to become out-of-control.  We must always be 
aware we are creating an artificial system and there will always to 
consequences to that.


Marcie A. Rosenzweig
Full Circle
3377 Early Times Ln
Auburn, CA  95603-7900
(530) 885-9201

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