Saturday, February 6, 2010

Increasing Biodiversity

From several sources now I have heard people argue that bringing in new species of plant to an area must be a good thing because it increases biodiversity. To that, I propose an experiment. In a large enclosure, put deer, squirrels, groundhogs, mice, coyote, and whatever other North American fauna you like. Provide ample plants for the herbivores to eat. Now sit back and watch. There should be something akin to balance here. Hooray.

Now add tigers.

Hooray, the biodovirsity has increased! Or it has, at least, until the tigers get hungry.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I think your point may have been that not just any plant (or critter) in a location increases biodiversity, there is more to it than numbers of species. How well do the species fit into the historical scheme, may be a fitting question. We live in a highly disrupted landscape nowadays, in which those of us who concern ourselves with the natural history of a place are most often belabored with repairing or mitigating the damages previously (and still being) done. We can be thankful to still have remaining any cultural or actual living artifacts of the previous makeup of the local environment. Thanks for giving your son opportunities to be outside and touch the living world, and let it touch him.