Ann Novek( Luure)--With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors

Britain’s indigenous oaks, like this example, harbour 284 insect species. Horse chestnut, introduced from the Balkans, hosts four.

The differences can be stark and remarkable: native trees tend to harbour far more wildlife than exotic species. Indigenous oak species, for example – according to the table extracted from scientific papers by the Offwell Woodland and Wildlife Trust – harbour 284 insect species in the UK. Birch supports 266. But horse chestnut, introduced from the Balkans, hosts only four.

Scots pine is associated with 91 species, larch, from elsewhere in Europe (or Japan), just 17. Sycamore, which comes from southern Europe, carries 15 species; the London plane tree, which is a hybrid between two exotic species, supports just one.

The highly invasive rhodedendron species (Rhododendronponticum), which, introduced from southern Europe or the near east, has colonised many of our woods, gives life to a grand total of zero insect species…

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Categories: LIFE

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