How Environmental Plantings Are Done & Used For In Natural Areas - Use Of Fascines, Brush Layers & Live Stakes
Civilization affords comfort, safety, convenience and, often, prosperity to its inhabitants. Its demands usually take a toll on the very natural world from which it draws essential resources. From the clear-cutting of forests to the improper disposal of hazardous waste, the earth suffers without proper stewardship. The good news is that much of the damage is reversible. A perfect example of this positive change is the strategic and widespread employment of environmental plantings. Re-introducing flora in vulnerable areas can both strengthen the ecology and beautify the location at once. Creating sustainable environments serves humanity as well as the ecosystem.
Clearing the Air
There is much concern these days about the excess of carbon in the atmosphere. The "greenhouse effect" is thought to be a primary actor in the ravages of climate change. With the industrial infrastructure--not to mention countless cars and trucks--releasing carbon emissions at an alarming rate, it is at least comforting to know that trees can capture up to 20 percent of this discharge. Planting trees will thus increase the sequestered volume. Both deciduous and evergreen trees are effective carbon eaters, among them Norway maples, white mulberries, and American elms. Rubber plants and bamboo trees do likewise. Of course, selecting vegetation suitable to local conditions is essential.
Maintaining Solid Ground
The erosion of topsoil is an ongoing concern to naturalists, scientists, policy makers, and farmers. While there are several things humans can refrain from to improve the situation, plantings can actively slow--even prevent--the movement of soil by water and wind. This is achieved utilizing deep root systems that adhere to ground and hold it in place. Low growing shrubs or grasses--Canada wildrye or little bluestem, e.g.--effectively minimize erosion on sloped land and embankments. Australia's Boolcoomatta Reserve is revitalizing unhealthy, compacted and encrusted soil through the replanting of similar vegetation.
Birds, Bees and Assorted Critters
When native plants disappear from a biome, the wildlife often follows suit. The plants not only convey food and nutrients to the animals, but they also serve as a protective cover against the elements and predators. The loss of grasslands, shrubbery, and trees from the landscape poses an existential threat to the biodiversity and ecological balance of the area. Environmental plantings create field borders and buffers, i.e., strips of land that protect the ecosystems to which they are adjacent.
Conservation buffers block the entry of pollutants that can kill fish and other fauna. While hosting nests and dens for birds and myriad animals, these plantings also diminish noise and odors. Wildlife can move quickly within their boundaries; can reproduce at healthy and sustainable rates; and--not so pleasant, though necessary--can occupy food chains for other species.