Monday, August 11, 2008

Invasive species redefined

Definitions are a challenge in the area of invasive species. What do we mean by “native”? What exactly is an exotic species? Even the term invasive is problematic; is poison ivy invasive, are white-tailed deer invasive? I had conversation about invasive species with a reluctant audience of one. He struggled to change the topic to the Olympics, but I held on. I pointed out the damage that his beautifully manicured beds of English ivy caused the local environment. I told him that his Japanese wisteria enveloped by his ‘Queen Elizabeth’ climbing rose was a threat to biological diversity in the local eco-system. He pointed to a well- designed perennial border surrounding a circle of brick with a few benches, and told me that he was moving the native weeds to the back forty and replacing them with low maintenance grass, which would not harbor so many bugs and reptiles.

The conversation was not going well, when he suddenly said that he understood the issue. An example of an invasive species causing harm would be humans like the Russians invading Georgia…and when they got to the South Carolina border he would be there ready with the Maryland National Guard holding the Old Line. So much work so little time.

1 comment:

Ewa said...

Interesting metaphor I must admit.