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Old 06-10-2010, 01:14 AM   #1
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Thumbs up The Biodiversity All Stars - Bill Cullina

New England Wild Flower Society
From Bill Cullina: The Biodiversity All Stars
Bill Cullina lists his Top Ten
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One of the most common questions I get from people as I travel and lecture is “why is it important to use native plants?” Certainly the recent attention on the problem of invasive species has made planting natives more acceptable and also made the plants themselves easier to come by in nurseries. ...
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,,, Arguments like this are akin to those swirling around the issue of global warming – they are impossible to settle and often evoked by those opposed to banning invasives or mandated use of native substitutes. It is an impossible argument to win and thus keeps the attention off the real problem of invasive species and the effects they are having on native ecosystems.
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I think that it is time for native plant advocacy organizations to look hard at these trends and weigh in with some perspective. I believe that in addition to their beauty, adaptability, and contextual appropriateness we need to stress that planting natives can foster biodiversity. Few would argue that increasing rather than decreasing biodiversity is a laudable goal for no other reason than a more diverse planet is a more stable, beautiful, and intricate planet for all its inhabitants. Since plants are the keystone of any ecosystem – that is, they provide food directly or indirectly for just about every other living thing – plants are really the key to enhancing or diminishing biological diversity. ...
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I have coined the term bionegative for plants like multiflora rose, because though you can argue that its fruits do nourish certain songbirds, its overall effect on diversity is strongly negative here in New England. I am sure that in its native Japan it supports quite a cadre of organisms that have evolved over time to depend on it, but this takes thousands if not hundreds of thousands of years and it has only been in the US for several hundred. ...
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... I think that along with beauty, ease of culture and adaptability, we should be promoting these “biodiversity all stars” as the first choice for any gardener or professional concerned about the environment. ...
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... Several generalizations I can make about highly biopositive species are: ...
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The Biodiversity All Stars:
From Bill Cullina: The Biodiversity All Stars — New England Wild Flower Society
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Old 06-10-2010, 01:17 AM   #2
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Check out his book!
The New England Wild Flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers (Cullina)
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Old 06-10-2010, 09:20 AM   #3
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What an excellent article. When I read that TOP 10 I was sceptical but by grouping plants he arrives at a good place for people to start. Each garden does not need all the plants, but if each gardener plants a few the resulting increase in biodiversty can be impressive even in urban areas with small gardens.
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:59 AM   #4
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Cirsum,
Thanks for posting the link to the above article, The Biodiversity All Stars. The article is very good.

The article introduced a couple of new terms for me, bionegative plants and biopositive plants.

I was thrilled to learn that I have 8 of the 10 native plants from his list called "The Biodiversity All Stars."
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