How Can Natives and Exotics Possibly Coexist?

Natives vs. exotics. We’ve heard that before haven’t we Bert?  Well, here’s an interesting little nugget published recently in the journal Ecology Letters.  Exotics and natives are different, and their differences allow them to coexist.  In this study exotics were superior to natives in terms of growth, but were fed upon more by herbivores.  Interesting.   Of course there are lots of different types of exotics and natives, but the plants that these researchers looked at had been living together for about 200 years.  I think that’s something that the invasive extremists and apologists consistently forget – until relatively recently the average person didn’t spend that much time thinking about native or exotic, and yet the world never turned into a desert and neither the natives nor the exotics disappeared.  I’m not saying we shouldn’t think about native vs. exotic differences at all, just that sometimes we concentrate on this distinction too much. Plants tend to be able to fend for themselves.

2 thoughts on “How Can Natives and Exotics Possibly Coexist?”

  1. Here in the West, many of the native plant extinctions have already happened. The California native grasslands have been, for the most part replaced by non natives. Sure some natives grasses have survived but we don’t really know how many went extinct. This analysis only looks at the survivors.

  2. I read this a while back. Very interesting and yes if there exists some checks and balances, there will no be as big a problem. California’s problem is just too many humans doing their own thing. Wildfires have actually in some cases promoted the further increases of non-native ruderals from the Mediterranean which have taken over the grasslands. Overgrazing also was another problem.

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