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Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Change – Invasive Landscaping

Autor:   •  October 1, 2015  •  Essay  •  1,081 Words (5 Pages)  •  497 Views

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Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Change – Invasive Landscaping

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Ecosystem Structure, Function, and Change – Invasive Landscaping

Many types of landscaped gardens can be incorporated into an ecosystem-design approach, but all of these designs share definitive characteristics. The first characteristic is diversity and the more diversity that is contained in an ecosystem, then the more stable it will be. In order to have unique gardens, we endeavor to create different types of habitats and the use of a varied array of plants can attract many types of wildlife, from the smallest microorganisms to large birds, insects and mammals. Here in New England we have met the challenge of landscaping our properties and parks in spite of our harsh winters by introducing various non-native or exotic species into our environment. The introduction of these non-native species of plants, shrubs and other greenery enables us to have lush, productive and hardy landscaping year round that would normally not be possible before. However, there are often consequences to bringing new species into a community of plant life that may not always have a positive impact.

Protection of Our Native Species

There are many ways that non-native (or exotic) species can have a negative impact on our native environment as well as to the diversity of life in New England. When compared with other threats to an area’s biodiversity, the introduction of exotic species has been ranked second with habit destruction ranking first for being the cause of the extinction of many species. Furthermore, most non-native species cause more damage than pollutants with almost half of native species in the United States alone becoming endangered because of the introduction of these non-native species. When one native species is eliminated by a non-native species, other species are eliminated and may end up becoming extinct or introduce another new species through the form of hybridization.

Landscaping in New England

New England seasons can be harsh to plant life, so many people have turned to more hardy sources for sprucing up their properties. In some cases, the introduction of non-New England plant species brings positive results such as having plants with strong roots that help guard against erosion. However, some plants introduced to New England properties bring issues to the ecosystem that are hard to control against the exotic and sometimes invasive species.

Eager to have our properties look like a thriving and natural environment, we may have inadvertently affected the cycling of matter in our native ecosystem through the effects to the nitrogen, phosphorus, or carbon cycle. One example of a plant that looks nice to have

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