January 25, 2010
Freya in the garden
Should cats be allowed to roam free outdoors?
January 20, 2010
I came across an article at the NatGeo News Watch blog that relates directly to an ongoing theme at Gardening Zone 3b — that gardens have the potential to help support biodiversity. The article is based on a new study released by scientists at the University of Leeds, England.
Some quotes from lead author Mark Goddard, as found in the NatGeo article:
“Gardens don’t exist in isolation, they link together to form interconnected habitat networks that should be planned and managed in conjunction with parks, nature reserves and the surrounding countryside,” said Mark Goddard, PhD student in the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of Leeds and lead author of a paper entitled: “Scaling up from gardens: biodiversity conservation in urban environments.”
“One person may plant a tree or create a pond in their own back garden, but the survival of many of the mobile species that live in towns and cities, such as birds and mammals, is dependent on the provision of larger areas of habitat,”
“If neighbors in a street were all to coordinate the management of their gardens in a complementary way, for example by planting a continuous strip of trees throughout a swathe of gardens, the benefits to backyard biodiversity will far outweigh the contribution made by one or two households alone,” Goddard said.
Read the complete National Geographic article: Connect neighborhood gardens to save biodiversity.
See an article on the study at the University of Leeds.
As urbanisation increases globally and the natural environment becomes increasingly fragmented, the importance of urban green spaces for biodiversity conservation grows. In many countries, private gardens are a major component of urban green space and can provide considerable biodiversity benefits. Gardens and adjacent habitats form interconnected networks and a landscape ecology framework is necessary to understand the relationship between the spatial configuration of garden patches and their constituent biodiversity. A scale-dependent tension is apparent in garden management, whereby the individual garden is much smaller than the unit of management needed to retain viable populations. To overcome this, here we suggest mechanisms for encouraging ‘wildlife-friendly’ management of collections of gardens across scales from the neighbourhood to the city.
Scaling up from gardens: biodiversity conservation in urban environments. Mark A. Goddard, Andrew J. Dougill and Tim G. Benton. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2009.07.016
January 7, 2010
Through this blog I have tried to look at gardening as more than a personal pleasure. I have tried to show that responsible naturalistic gardening is of benefit not only to the human environment but to the natural environment as a whole. In Canada and around the world, urban-sprawl continues to pave over fields, forests and wetlands. On farms and in the city the inappropriate use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers are affecting our water, soil and air — all to the detriment of natural diversity. Preserving natural areas must be the primary goal, but gardens as habitat have the potential to partially mitigate some of the damage being done by our continued abuse of the natural world that supports us.
The United Nations has declared 2010 to be the International Year of Biodiversity.
“It is a celebration of life on earth and of the value of biodiversity for our lives. The world is invited to take action in 2010 to safeguard the variety of life on earth: biodiversity”
From the web site Messages page:
You are an integral part of nature; your fate is tightly linked with biodiversity, the huge variety of other animals and plants, the places they live and their surrounding environments, all over the world.
You rely on this diversity of life to provide you with the food, fuel, medicine and other essentials you simply cannot live without. Yet this rich diversity is being lost at a greatly accelerated rate because of human activities. This impoverishes us all and weakens the ability of the living systems, on which we depend, to resist growing threats such as climate change.
2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity, and people all over the world are working to safeguard this irreplaceable natural wealth and reduce biodiversity loss. This is vital for current and future human wellbeing. We need to do more. Now is the time to act.
And how to act? Support local, national and international conservation organizations (see sidebar for some suggestions) and GO WILD IN THE GARDEN!!!