[nafex ibiblio list] Autumn Olive

Michael Dossett phainopepla at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 9 14:10:54 EST 2012


Larry,
 
A cavalier attitude about plant introduction, or an attitude that plants can be controlled with more careful hand weeding and less television is, unfortunately, exactly why we have some of the problems with invasive species that we do.  Whether or not invasives cause problems, I suppose, depends on what your definition of "a problem" is.  
 
Invasive species are widely recognized in the scientific community as the second leading cause of loss in biodiversity worldwide.  Conventional agriculture doesn't get off the hook here either; habitat loss (often for agriculture) is ranked as number one.  Here in the Pacific Northwest we have a number of particularly noxious invasives, although probably the best example of two that have widely caused negative impacts on native ecosystems are Rubus armeniacus (Himilayan Blackberry) and Scot's Broom (Cytisus scoparius).  Both of these species form dense stands, especially in disturbed habitats, that completely take over open fields and in the case of the blackberry, even forest understories.  As a result in many areas they have completely stopped the natural successional progression of the ecosystem.  Scot's Broom, as a legume, ads a significant amount of nitrogen to the soil, changing its chemistry and further altering the natural successional
 progression of native vegetation on sites where it has been successfully cleared.  Both species have spread from their introduction 100+ years ago to the point where they are now widely found in areas miles from the nearest road.  It saddens me greatly when I am backpacking in pristine wilderness only to stumble into a patch of one of these or some other invasive that is altering the ecosystem because of an ill-advised introduction years ago.  You may be able to control these plants in your yard with careful weeding and less television, but that doesn't mean that they will stay there.
 
I'm not saying that all introduced or invasive species are bad or harmful, but to claim that the "hysteria" is due to "unwarranted trumped up charges" ignores the facts in many cases.
 
Michael

Michael Dossett
Mission, British Columbia
www.Mdossettphoto.com
phainopepla at yahoo.com

From: "Lawrence F. London, Jr." <lflj at bellsouth.net>
To: nafex ibiblio mailing list <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org> 
Sent: Sunday, January 8, 2012 11:21 PM
Subject: Re: [nafex ibiblio list] Autumn Olive

On 1/8/2012 11:13 PM, Road's End Farm wrote:
> Because a plant, insect, fungus, etc. does not cause a problem in one
> area doesn't mean that people are "hysterical" to say that it's
> causing problems somewhere else.

Its hysterical to recommend massive removal in areas where they are not 
a problem, which seems to be happening. I also challenge, rightfully so,
claims of "invasives" _causing problems_; i.e. unwarranted trumped up 
charges against a plant. Often, follow the money trail to see the root 
cause of this. I grant no special consideration for conventional 
agriculture, i.e. broadacre monocrop farming; everything other than the 
cash crop is invasive. They need to practice natural farming. The third 
world will not starve w/o conventional, chemical-based or gmo 
agriculture, a ploy to gain control of a nation's food supply, 
destroying traditional farming infrastructure in the process. Again, I 
challenge the "causing problems" rationale to justify eradication of 
certain plants. To tell homeowners that they need to go out and cut down 
and dig up eleagnus wherever it is found is ludicrous and ridiculous. 
Look at the lists of invasive plants and think about how many have 
positive attributes and can easily be controlled with careful
planning and manual labor. Less TV and more hand weeding.
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