Saturday, May 23, 2009

Native Plants Interview: Doug Tallamy on Science Friday

Doug Tallamy was on Science Friday this week. He's author of one of the best books we've read lately: Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants.

"Native plants in our landscapes are disappearing because of the way we landscape, and they're the base of the food web, so everything that depends on them is disappearing as well...The way we've got to [save the biodiversity of the country] is to turn the spaces that we humans have taken for our own use, and turn them into spaces we can share with other species."

Tallamy has done an impressive study of which native plants support the most insects, which in turn support the most birds and other wildlife. "Oak trees in the East are number one," he says. "They can support 534 species of caterpillars...Birders know if you're going to look at migrating birds, the best place to do that is to stare into the canopy of oak trees...because that's where the food is."

We'll give you a full review of the book soon. In the meantime, listen to the interview here.

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