Weeds benificial to native fauna ?

It Has been my observation that certain weeds namely Oxeye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) Wild carrot (Daucus carota) and Calla lilly (Zantedschia aethiopica) are eagerly sought out and extensively utilised as nectar / pollen sources by both native and introduced invertebrates
Where these weeds follow streams (Adequate light) into native bush (Usually secondary growth as mature native bush tends to meet in the middle above streams) the percentage of native species far exceeds introduced species. Where these weeds are found in the midst of Dairy farms or other highly modified environments the reverse applies. I believe this gives the native species a much needed energy boost at a time when they most need it (Spring / Summer breeding). Also the large numbers / species of nectar / pollen feeders inevitably attracts a large number / species of predators again both native and introduced. My theory is that these particular weeds (And no doubt many others) are beneficial to fauna even if detrimental to flora.
Your comments please
Maurice.

Posted by epitree epitree, December 23, 2013 10:09

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As a non botanist I would agree. Because we have impoverished our ecosystems by extinguishing species and isolating differing environments from each other (eg keeping mountain forests while destroying adjacent lowland forests that species may have seasonally migrated between) there needs to be something done to aid survival. Whether we should deliberately introduce plants to redress the balance is something that needs to be carefully considered, but there are some instances (see /observations/967670). Given that there are no pristine NZ ecosystems left anyway (ok, just an assertion on my part ;-) there is not an argument for retaining unmodified ecosystems, I suppose it comes down to what species might be displaced.

Posted by tony_wills almost 7 years ago (Flag)

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