[permaculture] Exotic Species: #2 Cause of Extinction?

Heide Hermary heidehermary at pacificcoast.net
Thu Jul 4 22:38:01 EDT 2002


What do they call "exotic" plant species: all our food plants that were
originally imported from other continents? Weeds? Urban ornamental
gardens? I don't know, I'd like to see some of the original research /
statistics on this.
Heide

Kirby Fry wrote:

> Hello, Has anyone heard the figure that exotic plant species are the
> number two cause of species extinction in the U.S.A?  I'm hearing it a
> lot from the native plant societies.  My first response to this is;
> what's the number three cause?  It sounds like this snippet may come
> from a study which lumps all DIRECT human disturbances into one
> category - i.e. farming and urbanization fall into "direct
> disturbance," and then exotic plants somehow not belonging in the
> number one category and sweeping second place. This factoid is also
> referred to often by ecosystem restoration and prairie enthusiasts and
> aimed like a weapon at non-native vegetation - i.e. China-berry,
> Chinese tallow trees, bastard cabbage, Johnson grass, and many others
> exotics of which I'm sure you've had your local culprit. My question,
> however, is how much money and time do we spend on exotic / invasive
> (including native invasives) species eradication? Has there ever been
> a species eradication project that didn't require perpetual
> maintenance?  Can exotics naturalize in a symbiotic manner? Fukuoka
> rather surprised me in his third book, "The Road Less Traveled," when
> he recommended the heavy use of pesticides to control an inevitable
> outbreak of the Mediterranean fruit fly in Japan.  Even Mollison told
> me to get rid of a patch of Georgia Cain or elephant
> grass. Thanks,  Kirby Fry For the real scoop on environmental and
> social justice issues check out the archives of Democracy Now!
> http://www.webactive.com/webactive/pacifica/demnow/archive.html
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