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The use of native vegetation in Xeriscaping creates habitat for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion Greg Cronin University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center March 8, 2007 Some Goals of Xeriscaping Water conservation

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The use of native vegetation in Xeriscaping creates habitat for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

Greg Cronin

University of Colorado at Denver and Health Sciences Center

March 8, 2007


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Some Goals of Xeriscaping for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Water conservation

    • Less human consumption means more water for aquatic ecosystems

    • Saves money

  • Beautiful, fun landscaping

  • Wildlife Conservation

    • Providing habitat for native species

    • Preventing the introduction of exotic species


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Native to Balkans for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

A hybrid, but most daylilies originate in Asia. None are native to NA.


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Exotic Species - What are they? for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • They are species that have been transplanted, usually with human’s help, to habitats outside their normal range, regardless of political boundaries.

    • These include plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, protists, and viruses

    • Some are obvious (purple loosestrife, zebra mussels, kudzu), but most probably go undetected (many microbes, and colonists that do not successfully invade)

    • They can have beneficial (biocontrol agents) and/or negative impacts on communities. An introduced species can become a resource for some natives, or an enemy of others

    • Most countries have on the order of 100's to 10,000 exotic species

    • Often reach nuisance abundance

  • Exotic Species is the #2 reason for our current biodiversity crisis, after habitat loss


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Invasion Process for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

Species Elsewhere

In Pathway

e.g. imported for trade

Introduced

Reproducing

Established

Ecological &/or

Economic impacts

Invasive


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How do Exotics Occur? for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Natural

    • plate tectonics. Mixing of marsupial and placental mammals 3 mya

    • migrations

  • Human-aided

    • Accidentals

      • Waterways

      • Hitchhikers (on clothing or shoes)

      • Ballast water - zebra mussels

      • Wooden crates

      • Imported fruits, vegetables, soils

      • Failed quarantines

  • Intentionals

    • Citizens/uncontrolled releases

      • Released pets

      • Ornamental plants

    • Government releases/”controlled releases”

      • Game fishes

      • Food resource (Nile perch)

      • Biocontrol agents


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Risks Posed - Plants for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Availability of known invasives

    • 45% of US restricted plants available over web

  • Misidentifications

    • 40% of Linnean names incorrect

    • Ambiguous common names


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Effects of exotics for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Allowed success of European imperialism

    • Disease

      • Black and brown rats killed 30-40% of Europeans in 1500's

      • HIV

      • Ebola

  • Costly/Economics

    • Costs the USA $137 billion/yr

    • Foot and mouth disease cost Britain $30 billion

    • EO 13112, National Invasive Species Council


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Ecosystem Costs of Exotic Species for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • second most detrimental factor on biodiversity, after habitat loss

    • Species extinctions via predation

      • Brown tree snake wiped out 10 of 13 native birds on Guam, 6 of 12 native lizards, and 2 of 3 native bats

      • Nile perch in Lake Victoria has extirpated half of the endemic cichlid species

      • Pet cats/feral cats

      • Sea lamprey - destroyed 97% of lake trout in 21 years

  • Effects via competition/ecosystem change:

    • Tamarisk/Salt Cedar


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State of understanding of biological invasions for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion(not very good)

  • Paul Ehrlich “ecologists can make some powerful and wide-ranging predictions about invasions...On the other hand, ecologists cannot accurately predict the results of a single invasion or introduction event”.

  • Depends on complex interactions between the species and community, which are difficult enough to understand in isolation


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What percentage of colonists successfully invade? for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Over-representation of organisms that are easy to observe

  • Most unsuccessful colonists go unobserved

  • In biological control cases, overrepresentation of species likely to be successful

  • Probably from 1-40%


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What communities are susceptible to invasion? for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Islands (biologically “unsophisticated” communities)

  • Early successional/Disturbed

  • Climactically matched with exotic’s home habitat (global warming will result in range expansions)

  • Absence of predators (islands)

    • Predators both make it difficult for species to invade AND

    • May make it easier for some species to invade by minimizing competition


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Invasions of Nonnative Species for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Most permanent form of pollution

  • Summary of why species invade successfully

    • most invaders fail to establish

    • major community effects occur most often in low-diversity systems

    • species must have appropriate physiological and morphological adaptations to invade successfully

    • invaders are more likely to become established in disturbed systems

    • even stable systems can be vulnerable to invasion

    • the greater the number of invaders and the number of invasions, the greater the probability of successful invasions

    • species that have a history of prior invasions are likely to invade successfully again


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European Starling for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

English House Sparrow

Eastern Fox Squirrel

Bull Frog

Leafy spurge

Russian knapweed

Diffuse knapweed

Spotted knapweed

Musk thistle

Canada thistle

Field bindweed

Purple loosestrife

Perennial pepperweed

Hoary cress

Yellow toadflax

Dalmatian toadflax

Russian Olive

Salt cedar

Common Invasive Species in Colorado


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Reducing The Impacts for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

Invasion Steps

Options

Effective?

Species Elsewhere

×

Prevention – exclude species of concern

Yes

Introduced

Insure no propagules can escape cultivation

Unlikely

Established

Unlikely – requires surveys and funds on hand

Rapid response - eliminate populations while small

Invasive

Mitigate damage, control spread, eradicate if possible

Eradication usually impossible, control is expensive


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Reducing The Impacts for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

Invasion Steps

Options

Effective?

Species Elsewhere

Prevention – exclude species of concern

Yes

Introduced

×

Insure no propagules can escape cultivation

Unlikely

Established

Unlikely – requires surveys and funds on hand

Rapid response - eliminate populations while small

Invasive

Mitigate damage, control spread, eradicate if possible

Eradication usually impossible, control is expensive


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Reducing The Impacts for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

Invasion Steps

Options

Effective?

Species Elsewhere

Prevention – exclude species of concern

Yes

Introduced

Insure no propagules can escape cultivation

Unlikely

Established

×

Unlikely – requires surveys and funds on hand

Rapid response - eliminate populations while small

Invasive

Mitigate damage, control spread, eradicate if possible

Eradication usually impossible, control is expensive


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Reducing The Impacts for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

Invasion Steps

Options

Effective?

Species Elsewhere

Prevention – exclude species of concern

Yes

Introduced

Insure no propagules can escape cultivation

Unlikely

Established

Unlikely – requires surveys and funds on hand

Rapid response - eliminate populations while small

Invasive

Mitigate damage, control spread, eradicate if possible

Eradication usually impossible, control is expensive


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Native Alternatives for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • Resources

    • Colorado Native Plants Society

      • http://conps.org/conps.html

    • Denver Botanic Gardens

      • http://www.botanicgardens.org/pageinpage/home.cfm

    • Native Plant Master Program (CSU)

      • http://www.coopext.colostate.edu/jeffco/natural/native.htm

      • http://ww14.co.jefferson.co.us/coopext/slideshow.do

    • National Invasive Species Information Center

      • http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/


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By promoting native vegetation, for native wildlife while reducing the risk of invasion

  • We provide habitat for native species

    • Habitat loss is the #1 cause of extinction

  • We reduce the chance of introducing invasive species

    • Exotic species is the #2 cause of extinction

  • Better safe than sorry


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