Non-native species – introduce with care!

We tend to get carried away, impressed by our knowledge, while forgetting that what we don’t know is vastly greater than what we do. We introduce non-native species to an area because, in another part of the world, they do something we like. What’s quoted below is from the book “The Vegetarian Myth” by Lierre Keith. She goes into great detail about the lives of plants and this gives us an insight into just how ignorant we are about the intricacies of ecosystems.

We have to understand that the permaculture designs we make are but a pale imitation of the real world; a vastly simplified system designed to provide food for us. We should approach this with humility and care. The quotes within the text are from a book called “The Lost Language of Plants” by Stephen Harrod Buhner.

Buhner talks about archipelagoes of plant communities, groupings of intercommunicating plants around a dominant or keystone species, usually a tree. These archipelagoes form in response to mysterious and unpredictable cues, and often announce the wholesale movement of ecosystems. The process begins with an outrider or pioneer plant, who literally prepares the soil for its cohorts. When the soil is ready, the nurse plant sends out the chemical message: join me. What happens next is astounding.  Continue reading “Non-native species – introduce with care!”