|By Maryann Whitman
of Roadside Spraying
Marilyn Logue, president of the Columbus (OH)
tells us that residents of Ohio are writing letters
to the Ohio
Department of Transportation requesting that ODOT consider
using brush cutters along state routes to control
brush growth for highway safety. ODOT has been using
a herbicide containing triethylamine to control brush
growth. The herbicide has been ranked by Environmental
Defense as one of the most hazardous compounds
(worst 10%) to ecosystems and human health.
a Small World
In our concern about, and battle with,
invasive species we tend to think in terms
of our own back yards, local natural areas,
and possibly our local ecoregions. It’s
jarring to think that every other country on the
planet, at some level, is experiencing
the profound negative effects of invasive
species. Lake Victoria in central Africa,
the second largest fresh water lake on
the planet, is being choked by purple hyacinth,
just as are canals in Florida.
In 2004 the
Global Invasive Species Information Network
(GISIN) was formed so that standardized information
about invasive species could be shared
worldwide. GISIN will be coordinated with
Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)
which also has portals in countries all over
the world. With species fact sheets, images,
maps, and identification tools, GISIN can help
in modeling and forecasting the spread of invasives
by answering basic questions about those species’ names,
home ranges, biology, pathways, and management. “For
GISIN to germinate and bear fruit we need broad collaboration
through strong partnerships with many other global,
regional, and national organizations. We cannot limit
our partnerships to invasive species organizations.
Since all invasives are native somewhere, it is essential
to compile basic species information from where a
species naturally occurs so that we can
find methods (biological, chemical, and
mechanical) to control it where it is invasive.” So
says Annie Simpson of the U.S. Geological
Survey, and chair of GISIN’s interim
steering committee. (from (July) 2004. BioScience
Somewhere between a prairie and a formal planting
lies the fertile potential of native plants
in an ornamental design, the domain of the
Ecoscaper – which is a brilliant synthesis
in language of the two concepts, landscaper
and ecologist. Getting the name right is the
first step in defining and shaping an understanding
of what you want to accomplish.
Lonnie Morris – Greater
DuPage (IL) Chapter,
a participant in the Ecoscaper Program.
An Old Word in a New Context
the history dependence of physical systems.
If you push on something, it will yield:
when you release, does it spring back completely?
If it doesn’t, it is exhibiting hysteresis,
in some broad sense. Applied to ecological
restoration, the concept of hysteresis suggests
that reversing a disturbance process will not
necessarily reinstate an intact
ecosystem. This idea, given the inkling
that we have of the complexity of functioning
ecosystems, seems self evident, but it’s
nice to have another word to account for
Maryann is Editor of the Wild Ones Journal, and comes to the position with an extensive background in environmental matters of all kinds.
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