Weeds or Wild Nature?
Weeds or Wild Nature?
A forum on weeds with keynote speaker David Holmgren, co-founder of
When: ************Wednesday 25th May, 7.00 – 9.30pm
Where: ***********Macquarie University ‘The Forum’ C5C (map attached)
Cost: ***************A gold coin donation
Hear David and other distinguished guests talk on this important topic, followed
by a Q & A style panel. Perspectives on weeds and their place in nature,
biodiversity, animal health, bush regeneration, soil health, and human health
will all be presented by the panel, and other invited guests.
Be part of this live, interactive and stimulating discussion. Bring an open mind,
and contribute to a frank and honest discussion on this often-controversial
subject. What are the issues? What are the commonalities? How can we work
together to ensure the best outcomes for our communities, and our land?
Moderator: Dr Geoffrey Hawker, Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Modern
History, Politics and International Relations in the Faculty of Arts at Macquarie
University in Sydney.
• Mike Barrett - Weeds Society of NSW
• Alfred Bernhard - Bushland Manager, Willoughby City Council
• Dr Karen Bridgeman - Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney
• David Holmgren - co-originator of the Permaculture concept
• Erica Morris - Gardener, botanist and scientist
• Jonathan Sanders - Sydney Weeds Committee
No RSVP needed. Just come along!
Hosted by Permaculture Sydney North
Supported by Macquarie University Department of Modern History, Politics and
"You can fix all the world's problems in a garden. .Most people don't know that" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk
Music can solve all the world's problems. Not many people know that- MA 2005
"Politicians will never solve 'The Problem' because they don't realise that they are the problem" R Parsons 2001
Opinion: The Invasive Ideology
Biologists and conservationists are too eager to demonize non-native species.
In the early 1830s, British botanists began distinguishing between species known to have been introduced to an area by people and those without such a history. By the late 1840s the terms “alien” and “native” had been adopted, and a century later, those labels gained moral force with the rise of environmentalism: natives were natural, innocent, untainted by human association; aliens, like their human enablers, had detrimental “impacts,” not effects. Defense against “biological invasions” became a prominent goal of conservation biologists, who decided by acclamation that ”invasive” alien species were a dire threat to biodiversity.
But judging non-native species by their “lack” of “native” status is unfounded. First, the concept of nativeness lacks reliable ecological content—it simply means that a species under scrutiny has no known history of human-mediated dispersal. And second, not all introductions are so dramatically detrimental as the examples popularized by conservationists and the media.
The devil’s claw, for example, a plant “native” to Mexico and surrounding regions, has had no discernible effects on Australia’s existing flora or fauna, despite being recently condemned as a threat to the continent’s biodiversity—long after its introduction in 1860s.
More importantly, sometimes introduced species that persist over decades or centuries become integral to local plant and animal communities, especially so where we have re-engineered the landscape or hydrology to generate an unprecedented environment. Attempting to extract non-natives from such areas may actually destabilize an ecosystem.
Last edited by Michaelangelica; 06-10-2011 at 04:40 PM.
It may actually destabilize an ecosystem temporarily, but ultimately it will adjust to pre-introduction status or condition. Whether human-mediated dispersal is dramatically detrimental depends on the conditions and consequences, and historically most have been detrimental, although some evidence to the contrary exists.
I think nativeness in this context isn't unfounded. Lack of human-mediated dispersal implies introduction through natural processes, an important distinction.