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Old 08-11-2020, 01:43 PM   #1
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Default Study First to Confirm Invasive Plants Threaten Native Wildlife

I would think most of us here are not surprised, but it is nice to have a study confirm this...


"Researchers at Virginia Tech have confirmed that when invasive plants take over an area, they actually alter the ecosystem and deplete the native animalsí natural food sources. Itís a major driver of wildlife extinction, the researchers say. And itís even worse than they thought."


https://www.wvtf.org/post/pretty-poi...dlife#stream/0
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Old 08-12-2020, 01:42 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing this. There are researchers out there, professors even, especially out west, that make arguments saying things like invasive trees provide habitat for non-native birds that are performing ecological functions; or the leaf litter from non-native trees have more species abdundance and diversity, not mentioning nativity of the species in the leaves; or some rare butterfly species is only surviving because the larvae were able to eat an invasive plant; therefor host plant specialization is over exaggerated. My favorite is when development destroys an ecosystem and the argument is something like "well the native forest plants wont grow there anymore because the forest is gone, and only non-natives can grow in this new human environment". No surprise, but there are other nearby native plant communities that have adapted to disturbance, right? What natives would have turned up after a flood, washout, fire, tornado, hurricane, or ther natural disaster? Those are the natives for your human landscape. A new argument I keep seeing is that environmentalists are just "racist" against non-natives because Darwin and some guys from that time and even into the mid 1900s believed in eugenics. Im kind of attacking a straw man right now, but these are things I've actually read. Its nice to have somethings that says "Look, according to all the available research out there, non-native invasives are 1. An actual thing, and 2. Harming our ecosystems and wildlife." The divisiveness of modern discourse, and anthropization and misunderstanding of scientific issues is so strong right now, you need a peer reviewed study to confirm the obvious to some people.
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:07 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing this. There are researchers out there, professors even, especially out west, that make arguments saying things like invasive trees provide habitat for non-native birds that are performing ecological functions; or the leaf litter from non-native trees have more species abdundance and diversity, not mentioning nativity of the species in the leaves; or some rare butterfly species is only surviving because the larvae were able to eat an invasive plant; therefor host plant specialization is over exaggerated. My favorite is when development destroys an ecosystem and the argument is something like "well the native forest plants wont grow there anymore because the forest is gone, and only non-natives can grow in this new human environment". No surprise, but there are other nearby native plant communities that have adapted to disturbance, right? What natives would have turned up after a flood, washout, fire, tornado, hurricane, or ther natural disaster? Those are the natives for your human landscape. A new argument I keep seeing is that environmentalists are just "racist" against non-natives because Darwin and some guys from that time and even into the mid 1900s believed in eugenics. Im kind of attacking a straw man right now, but these are things I've actually read. Its nice to have somethings that says "Look, according to all the available research out there, non-native invasives are 1. An actual thing, and 2. Harming our ecosystems and wildlife." The divisiveness of modern discourse, and anthropization and misunderstanding of scientific issues is so strong right now, you need a peer reviewed study to confirm the obvious to some people.
That is actually depressing. I have only heard of a small fraction of those arguments.

Many years ago, right here on Wildlife Gardeners, there was a discussion about being called "plant nazis". To this day, I still think of that on occasion. People don't understand it is about ecology.

I read somewhere someone saying that native plants are all about nostalgia--"stop living in the past".

I'm glad I shared it. I had shared it on my Facebook page, and Jack suggested I post it on WG. Thanks Jack.
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Old 08-12-2020, 09:21 PM   #4
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I just searched this site...only one post came up...apparently, there was discussion about comments made on another site--that is where the debate was, not actually on Wildlife Gardeners forum, itself.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:20 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by skip1909 View Post
Thanks for sharing this. There are researchers out there, professors even, especially out west, that make arguments saying things like invasive trees provide habitat for non-native birds that are performing ecological functions; or the leaf litter from non-native trees have more species abdundance and diversity, not mentioning nativity of the species in the leaves; or some rare butterfly species is only surviving because the larvae were able to eat an invasive plant; therefor host plant specialization is over exaggerated. My favorite is when development destroys an ecosystem and the argument is something like "well the native forest plants wont grow there anymore because the forest is gone, and only non-natives can grow in this new human environment". No surprise, but there are other nearby native plant communities that have adapted to disturbance, right? What natives would have turned up after a flood, washout, fire, tornado, hurricane, or ther natural disaster? Those are the natives for your human landscape. A new argument I keep seeing is that environmentalists are just "racist" against non-natives because Darwin and some guys from that time and even into the mid 1900s believed in eugenics. Im kind of attacking a straw man right now, but these are things I've actually read. Its nice to have somethings that says "Look, according to all the available research out there, non-native invasives are 1. An actual thing, and 2. Harming our ecosystems and wildlife." The divisiveness of modern discourse, and anthropization and misunderstanding of scientific issues is so strong right now, you need a peer reviewed study to confirm the obvious to some people.
I've noticed that, even at the National Wildlife Refuge in my town, there are phragmites that they have given up on trying to remove in favor of native wetland plants. On a walk through a trail there last week, I noticed that even along that trail the edges of the forest were highly populated by invasives. It was a discouraging walk...
On my own property I have fought for years against invasives, mostly the big five, but that I wasn't really making the kind of progress I was aiming for, so this year, I resorted to using herbicides, telling myself that this is a temporary solution but needed to be done. I've learned, however, that there are now so many viable seeds on the ground in rural areas that it will take a national united effort to eradicate these misplaced plants and that there is absolutely no sign that will happen. Now I justify my actions by insisting upon an invasive free yard to truly create a refuge on my property for native animals, including insects. it's a losing battle, but one that I will wage as long as I am able. All the while, however, I experience the paucity of pollinators and night insects when compared to the numbers here only a decade ago. These are times that try men's ecological souls....
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
I would think most of us here are not surprised, but it is nice to have a study confirm this...


"Researchers at Virginia Tech have confirmed that when invasive plants take over an area, they actually alter the ecosystem and deplete the native animalsí natural food sources. Itís a major driver of wildlife extinction, the researchers say. And itís even worse than they thought."


https://www.wvtf.org/post/pretty-poi...dlife#stream/0
thanks for posting, Dap. This information needs to be broadcast everywhere to all!!!
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:03 PM   #7
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thanks for posting, Dap. This information needs to be broadcast everywhere to all!!!
Yes, it does... ...social media, anyone?
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by jack View Post
I've noticed that, even at the National Wildlife Refuge in my town, there are phragmites that they have given up on trying to remove in favor of native wetland plants. On a walk through a trail there last week, I noticed that even along that trail the edges of the forest were highly populated by invasives. It was a discouraging walk...
On my own property I have fought for years against invasives, mostly the big five, but that I wasn't really making the kind of progress I was aiming for, so this year, I resorted to using herbicides, telling myself that this is a temporary solution but needed to be done. I've learned, however, that there are now so many viable seeds on the ground in rural areas that it will take a national united effort to eradicate these misplaced plants and that there is absolutely no sign that will happen. Now I justify my actions by insisting upon an invasive free yard to truly create a refuge on my property for native animals, including insects. it's a losing battle, but one that I will wage as long as I am able. All the while, however, I experience the paucity of pollinators and night insects when compared to the numbers here only a decade ago. These are times that try men's ecological souls....
Probably the saddest thing I saw all summer was jewel weed, which isn't really as common as should be anymore, being surrounded and overcome by japanese knotweed.
Deer are a big contributor in some areas regarding invasives because they selectively eat all the native plants. You might not like hunting or killing animals but the deer are out of control. Check out this podcast if you have time, a professor talks about deer populations and their effect, then the next episode the guest is from a deer population management association. https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-bri2t-e2bfcc

There needs to be a unified strategy to restore habitat and fight climate change. I saw Rutgers doing a study on the carbon sequestering potential of queen annes lace... why not do the same thing with Thaspium trifoliatum or another native taprooted plant? Then we still have NJ fish and wildlife planting food plots for deer, which is stuff like alfalfa and corn for the deer to eat. Hello??? Who is making these decisions?
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skip1909 View Post
Probably the saddest thing I saw all summer was jewel weed, which isn't really as common as should be anymore, being surrounded and overcome by japanese knotweed.
Deer are a big contributor in some areas regarding invasives because they selectively eat all the native plants. You might not like hunting or killing animals but the deer are out of control. Check out this podcast if you have time, a professor talks about deer populations and their effect, then the next episode the guest is from a deer population management association. https://www.podbean.com/eu/pb-bri2t-e2bfcc

There needs to be a unified strategy to restore habitat and fight climate change. I saw Rutgers doing a study on the carbon sequestering potential of queen annes lace... why not do the same thing with Thaspium trifoliatum or another native taprooted plant? Then we still have NJ fish and wildlife planting food plots for deer, which is stuff like alfalfa and corn for the deer to eat. Hello??? Who is making these decisions?
That's one problem, thanks to the numerous coyotes surrounding my area, that I don't suffer from. Coyotes, if left alone and supplied with ample hunting zones, will control deer populations, especially these coy wolf coyotes we have here in the Northeast. DNA testing has shown they have some grey wolf in them, and they are larger and more powerful than the western coyote, but with the same mental acuteness.
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Old 08-30-2020, 09:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack View Post
I've noticed that, even at the National Wildlife Refuge in my town, there are phragmites that they have given up on trying to remove in favor of native wetland plants. On a walk through a trail there last week, I noticed that even along that trail the edges of the forest were highly populated by invasives. It was a discouraging walk...
On my own property I have fought for years against invasives, mostly the big five, but that I wasn't really making the kind of progress I was aiming for, so this year, I resorted to using herbicides, telling myself that this is a temporary solution but needed to be done. I've learned, however, that there are now so many viable seeds on the ground in rural areas that it will take a national united effort to eradicate these misplaced plants and that there is absolutely no sign that will happen. Now I justify my actions by insisting upon an invasive free yard to truly create a refuge on my property for native animals, including insects. it's a losing battle, but one that I will wage as long as I am able. All the while, however, I experience the paucity of pollinators and night insects when compared to the numbers here only a decade ago. These are times that try men's ecological souls....
Aw, Jack, this is so disheartening.

However, I feel the same way, I will continue to create habitat here and battle our invasives. My feeling is, we are establishing our own seed bank of natives that will build up over time.

Just the other day, I noticed that one of my natives seem to have spread to the woodlands edge of the lot across the street from us. It seems to be happy there and established a larger colony than anything I have on our property.

Never give up hope, and keep fighting the good fight.
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