Tuesday, February 26, 2008

native flora and fauna

Last Saturday I went to a conference on native flora and fauna called Through the Eyes of Nature:The Birds' View of Landscaping

It was pretty interesting. I could sum it up in a few sentences. Basically it's all about providing the basics of food and shelter in as many ways as possible to attract the most species of fauna as possible.

1. Native plants don't need as much maintenance as exotics. They are genetically programmed to thrive on tough conditions.
2. Native fauna enjoy living and eating in pockets of native plantings.
3. Birds in particular like a variety of native plants, from the tall oaks, to the medium birch, to the low juneberry, to the small bearberry. Most birds like trees under 15 feet tall or so.
4. You can attract twice as much species of bird if you add a water feature to your landscaping, twice more then that if your water feature flows or drips in some ways.
5. Dead trees and brush (snags) provide sanctuary and food to birds.

A lot of this repeats many of the lessons I've learned form Forest Gardening and Permaculture principles.

Landscape architecture is extremely important for overyielding polycultures. Perennial polyculture patches of native species of various heights and structure fill various niches that are necessary to provide food and shelter for the most amount of fauna species as possible.

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