Wednesday, April 18, 2007
The Argument Against Killing Non-Natives
I've been working on thesis that flies in the face of all the native plant advocates out in Marin county. We have a battle brewing here over the use of chemicals to maintain the native forests in Marin County, and I think they are throwing their money in the wrong place when they support removing invasive species such as Scotch broom from Mt. Tamalpais.
My argument is a work in progress, and if the mere suggestion of letting the invasives stay makes you question my credibility, check out this link to audio casts at Science Friday from scientists that predict novel and dissappearing climates by the year 2100.
According to ecologist Stephen Jackson at University of Wyoming, Laramie, we can expect that as temperatures rise, entire plant communities will dissappear and new ones will emerge in their places, ones we've never seen before. He uses an example that the tropical rainforests are the hottest, wettest places on Earth, but may increase in intensity as things heat up. Until new communities emerge, there may be wholesale die-off of native species, with nothing taking their place for centuries.
When I think of this, I can only picture our beautiful Redwoods, (Sequioa sempervirens) and how their range has shrunk over millenia, until all that reamins of this majestic habitat is their little stronghold on the Pacific North Coast. Will they make it into the next century with temperatures rising? If not, will there be anyone to take their place?