|Florida Green Roof, Extensive, Rooftop Permaculture|
Ever thought about helping save the planet’s wildlife from extinction? Installing a windowsill box, green roof or living wall can help. Many species are dependent on the amount of greenery growing up above the ground for survival.
Species like the green Florida anole, Anolis carolinensis are being pushed towards extinction by newcomer (aka ‘Invasive’) lizard species to Florida, such as the Cuban anole, Anolis sagrei.
Not surprisingly, the Florida green anole likes taller greenery and vegetation.
However, the Cuban anole prefers lower, bushy plants and tree trunk areas for habitat.
With the replacement of trees, vines and forests with tall buildings, monorails and cell towers, the amount of vertical green our urban core possesses has diminished to the point where Florida anoles no longer can escape the slower, heavier and hungry predators.
|Green Roof Biodiversity Anolis carolinesis’s throat fan|
Yet by adding what we call ‘Volumetric Green’ or vertical green to your urban core yard, you can provide the Florida green anole with a place to escape predators, and create refuge and habitat.
The photo sequence here starts with a recently constructed lightweight pea and tomato extensive food living roof and shows the Florida anole resting on the palmetto frond siding attracting flies (and female anoles) with his ‘dew lap’ or ‘throat fan’.
Adhering to the well known permaculture maxim that “native plant material attracts good native insects” we sided the structure with saw palmetto, Serenoa repens, fronds. Native plants, dead, alive, sprouting, composted, fresh or dried are star attractants for beneficial pollinators and insects.
|Green Roofs support integrated pest management|
|Saw palmetto, Green Roofs and Florida Anole – Vertical Green|
The fly, soon lands, the anole grabs and chews the fly and nature has just provided integrated pest management as a result of a green roof and vertical plant installation.
We have seen over and over how the addition of a small amount of vertical green or a tiny green roof can help increase the population of the green anoles, a species otherwise doomed to extinction in the asphalt and concrete jungle.
Sometimes we create awesome horizontal design for our native plant and food gardens. I often see most beautiful garden layouts adorning backyards, side yards and front yards, great flat visual oases.
Yet these magnificently flat curtilages have no empathy for the Florida anole and other wildlife who really need vertical habitat in addition to the broad expanses of horizontal green. Invasive predators will track down and devour those native critters hiding among the ground level wildflowers, wishing for the safety of vertical green.
Here in the Florida wild I often see ferns, shrubs, wildflowers and other plants growing up trees and across rocks. Vertical green exists throughout nature.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take much volumetric or vertical green to provide all the communal, foraging and refuge habitat many native wildlife species require. A windowsill planting box, balcony container gardens, the unintentional gutter sprouts or a green roof and living wall all can add multiple dimensions of life to any native plant and wildlife garden.
More anoles means less flies. Vertical green equals integrated pest management and exponentially more.
For a great website on the anole, a very interesting species see the Discover Life website - and for a great video of a green anole who loves riding wind turbines – click here.
© 2012, Kevin Songer. All rights reserved. This article is the property of Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens. If you are reading this at another site, please report that to us