Which Plants?

“A small percentage of plant genera support the majority of Lepidoptera” across the U.S. This new study on keystone species shows that “a small percentage of the plant lineages within a region support larval development in the vast majority of resident Lepidoptera.”

“The top 5 genera were Quercus (‘Oaks’), Salix (‘Willows’), Prunus (‘Cherries, Plums, Peaches, etc.), Pinus (‘Pines’), and Populus (‘Poplars, Aspens, and Cottonwoods’).”

“Recent studies measuring how various plant assemblages impact wildlife populations view plants in novel ecosystems in terms of a native-nonnative (i.e., ‘exotic’, or ‘introduced’) dichotomy. Our analyses suggest that this approach is functionally simplistic: native plants, even within biomes, are not all equivalent in terms of their contributions of energy to food webs. Without recognizing the outsized effect of keystone plants on the energy flow through food webs, plant selection for landscape projects that is based only on commercial availability, aesthetic criteria, or dual use such as lumber or fruit production, will be unable to support the richness and diversity of species necessary for robust ecosystem function, even if selections are confined to native flora.”


Overriding the Supreme Court, the Congressional way.

1 Response to “Which Plants?”

  1. 1 Susan November 25, 2020 at 11:26 am

    HAPPY THANKSGIVING Matthew. Thank you for the beauty you send our way every day!

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