Healing The Wounds Part 5, Loss of Ecological Processes

Your Ecosystem Garden can be a welcome haven for wildlife, providing much needed refuge from the pressures of habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. You can create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your garden and create an oasis to share your space with wildlife, helping to ensure their survival.

We’ve been talking about healing the wounds to wildlife inflicted by human action on our environment, and we’ll continue that conversation today by talking about the loss of ecosystem services.

Dave Foreman in Rewilding North America: A Vision for Conservation in the 21st Century eloquently describes six “wounds” that the human population is inflicting on ecosystems which are contributing to the decline of species. I have used his list of wounds to create a series of posts about how we can work to heal each area:

The Wound of Loss of Ecosystem Services

Ecological processes are better known as Ecosystem Services, and we are putting at risk many of these crucial services through our constant quest for yet another Walmart, Starbucks, and shopping center. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to human action, as well as the introduction of exotic and invasive species are the number one reasons why our wildlife is in so much trouble.

Healthy ecosystems provide a number or services which are crucial to wildlife, and also to our own health and survival. These include:

Loss of these services is very harmful to wildlife (and also to us). Wildlife that once relied on large ecosystems are being moved into smaller and smaller areas, and soon they will have no place left to go. Healthy ecosystems provide for the survival of these species and also contribute to our own health and well being.

Healing the Wound of Loss of Ecosystem Services

If our actions can be harmful, we can also choose to make much healthier choices in our gardens, which will contribute to wildlife survival, biodiversity, and restoration of ecosystem services. We have to remember that the choices we make in our gardens impact our communities, our regions, and the health of our planet.

Here are some ideas for protecting the ecosystem services to the environment in your area:

There are so many other healthy choices we can make to help wildlife, protect biodiversity, and contribute to healthy ecosystem services. I’d love to hear what you’re doing in your wildlife garden. Please leave a comment to let us know what you are doing to help wildlife in your garden.

Carole Sevilla Brown lives in Philadelphia, PA, and she travels the country speaking about Ecosystem Gardening for Wildlife. Check out her new free online course Ecosystem Gardening Essentials, 15 free lessons delivered to your inbox every week.

© 2012 – 2013, Carole Sevilla Brown. All rights reserved. This article is the property of Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. We have received many requests to reprint our work. Our policy is that you are free to use a short excerpt which must give proper credit to the author, and must include a link back to the original post on our site. Please use the contact form above if you have any questions.

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Comments

  1. says

    My goal, in managing the land that has been entrusted to me for now, is to help heal Gaia – hence the name of my blog.

    We “own” 10 acres – most of it severely overgrazed native pasture. On about 9 of those acres, we are working to restore native prairie vegetation by burns every few years, reseeding local source seed of appropriate native plants, and judicious weeding out of invasive plants, where possible.

    On the final 1 acre which surrounds our home, I garden more intensively, concentrating on native plants but allowing (and occasionally adding in) non-natives that are not invasive and that can survive in our challenging climate without additional water or special care once established.

    The only chemical that we use is glyphosate to occasionally knock back the poison ivy and keep it under control. Over many years and many moves, I have found that natural predators move in and balance my insect populations so that I don’t need to use insecticides.

    Finally, I try hard to share my techniques and experiences with others, both through blogging and through occasional talks/PowerPoint presentations. Working with nature is so much more satisfying and healing than fighting against it, tooth and nail.
    Gaia gardener recently posted..Potting Day

  2. Donna says

    Everyday the effects on wild life’s destruction is becoming noticeable. While I am disappointed with the way we treat nature, I am glad to know that there are procedures on its preservation or restoration are being made. I am grateful for the info especially that providing awareness for me is the primary step.
    Donna recently posted..DTS Home

  3. Jennifer says

    I am a relatively new gardener – only started when I bought my first home 4 years ago. It’s a standard small lot, and, with digging fork and rake, I have been steadily removing lawn from the front yard and replacing with vegetable beds and other plantings, including many native plants. I am also letting my back yard recover from years of chemo – it is now full of wild violet, clover, moss, many as-yet-unidentified “weeds,” which I will encourage or deal with as appropriate, as well as inkberry and wood aster filling in at the fringes. I continue to educate myself as much as I can as an amateur/non-scientist about plants and ecosystems & I am hopeful that my little “no pesticide zone” sign and the example of flowers may encourage others to consider kicking the chemlawn habit.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] History is often our guide when we chose which native trees to plant: native plant advocates often recommend planting trees that were present in a geography before the influence of humans.  Yet this focus on the geographic component of “nativeness” is not always well placed.  In cases where a particular location has been significantly altered by people, the plant community that once existed in that location may not longer be sustainable.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t use native plants, but rather that we sometimes need to think more holistically about WHICH native plant communities to favor in  our disturbed environments. [...]

  2. […] The wound of loss of ecological processes–Ecological processes are better known as Ecosystem Services, and we are putting at risk many of these crucial services through our constant quest for yet another Walmart, Starbucks, and shopping center. Habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation due to human action, as well as the introduction of exotic and invasive species are the number one reasons why our wildlife is in so much trouble. Healthy ecosystems provide a number or services which are crucial to wildlife, and also to our own health and survival. […]

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