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Old 03-02-2012, 09:15 AM   #1
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Default Nonnative plants versus birds - what's true?

Nonnative plants versus birds - what's true?
Pam Peirce
Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nonnative plants versus birds - what's true?
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Q: I have always been puzzled by the long list of nonnative plants designated as "invasive" by the California Invasive Plant Council. As an avid gardener for 50 years, I know many of these plants, and I know they don't spread (in gardens). So why are they considered "invasive"?

Your column of Dec. 4 gives me one clue. Many plants are only on this list because they...
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Old 03-02-2012, 11:24 AM   #2
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While this is very good info, and I like the reasons listed to support natives, I'm surprised the answer didn't contain anything regarding the need for birds to feed their young insects, and how large enough populations of said insects need natives species of plants to eat/live on.
I've also never heard anyone say, after having it explained to them, "planting native doesn't make sense to me". I get plenty of apathy, but never pure non-understanding. Maybe I've been lucky though...
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:53 PM   #3
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While this is very good info, and I like the reasons listed to support natives, I'm surprised the answer didn't contain anything regarding the need for birds to feed their young insects, and how large enough populations of said insects need natives species of plants to eat/live on.
There is a place for comments if you'd care to leave one and continue education through discussion. Native plants that support native insect populations, which in turn support native birds (especially their young) is a great point...and it would've been nice had it been included directly in the article. I've yet to read the comments to see if someone else addressed it yet or not.


I like the point made below...I hadn't really thought of that but it makes sense...
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Birds might flock to a new area, feast on the new food source till it's gone, but then not find enough food for so many birds in the rest of the habitat.

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...
and attracting birds to yards with non-native berries but no protection from predators (most likely free roaming cats in the suburbs, I guess) is another point.

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I've also never heard anyone say, after having it explained to them, "planting native doesn't make sense to me". I get plenty of apathy, but never pure non-understanding. Maybe I've been lucky though...
Too bad about the apathy, but at least you've not experience the "pure non-understanding"...I hope your luck continues--and improves.
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:16 PM   #4
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So far I've only read the first comment...which tries to show that there is a much bigger picture...and mentions (almost in passing) that insects are food for birds:

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6:21 AM on February 24, 2012

Some birds eat fruit: some eat seeds. When non-native fruit plants displace native seeds plants, the seed eating birds have no food.

Some fruit can change the feather color of the birds! (Japanese honeysuckle, for example). When looking for mates, wrong color means no nookie. No nookie, no babies.

Its not just about the birds. A non-native invasive plant disrupts all of the ecosystem. The fruiting plant displaces a native shrub, the native shrub is food for a native caterpillar, the caterpillar turns into a beautiful butterfly, the butterfly is food to an insect eating bird, the bird is eaten by........
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:32 PM   #5
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Wow...after reading all of the comments, I see a lot of antagonism toward "the native plant movement" and the claim that scientific evidence does not support it. ~sigh~
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Old 03-03-2012, 12:05 AM   #6
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Their "science" doesn't support it.
--
With usernames like birdbrain, PermieWriter, ilikeitwarm, and nativegrump…. didja really expect anything productive? newsjunky’s comments were a trip… especially this 1, “Non-native plants are not displacing native plants. Read Professor Mark Davis' Invasion Biology to learn”. Mark Davis…. Ha ha ha. He’s right up there with David I Theodoropoulos. People like newsjunky are the reason why our mommas taught us we should never ever ever spar with anyone who’s unarmed. The comment that left me laughing outload at 11 pm in a house where everyone's asleep was birdbrain’s, “It's elementary evolution: you will find more birds in the habitat where they are surviving better.” Click on the replies to the comments and you can see where birdbrain really gets on a roll. Maybe it's just me but.... I'm thinking that poster’s totally robbing a village of an idiot somewhere. Oh oh oh…. if anyone goes and posts over there….. couldya give Chronolla1 a link to a Googling for Dummies book for this comment, “If you don't have factual, scientific studies to support your statements, please don't print somebody's biased opinions as facts!” Now…. if that wasn’t good for a deep belly laugh I don’t know what is.
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Old 03-03-2012, 03:02 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
Wow...after reading all of the comments, I see a lot of antagonism toward "the native plant movement" and the claim that scientific evidence does not support it. ~sigh~
Antagonism runs rampant in local papers, She may have written an article in the past that they felt snubbed by or just don't like the topic. Just take a look in any seed catalog and notice how many plants can't be shipped to California, Hawaii, and Oregon. Seems they have a real problem with bamboo and eucalyptus while some gardeners still crave them. I think they have 3 zones with fig trees in the south, One thing they don't have is enough rain in the summer. Plants that aren't adapted die-back and fuel the fires during the Santa Anna winds in Sept. Those are also listed in the Invasive species list. California has such a nice variety of birds that stay around all year, With a little garden planning you could provide them with a year round buffet.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:16 AM   #8
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Whenever I read the comments section for our local paper, I want to move away. It does seem that, all too often, those sections are mostly used by ill-informed and mean-spirited people with nothing better to do.
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