Archive for the ‘Plant Communities’ Category

Carving out a piece of the pie

I started looking into research on wetland loss around the world and quickly discovered that a large portion of what’s been published is about the Gulf Coast, specifically Louisiana. I could write for days about the situation all around me, but I know that wetlands in many locations are in trouble, so I kept digging […]

A disappearing act

I spent the last few days at a conference in New Orleans about the changing Gulf Coast that brought together researchers, engineers, long-time residents, and a wide variety of other people. The point was to share information and viewpoints about what is happening along the coast over the short- and long-term. Sea-level rise and climate […]

A sustainable rose would smell as sweet

Over the past few weeks, I’ve learned that there are a number of environmental and social concerns around the farming of cut-flowers- there are questions about pesticide and water use, about the impacts on families and communities, about poaching and introduced pests. But there are also quite a few organizations working to improve the conditions […]

Natural born flowers

In my last post I talked about some of the environmental concerns surrounding the cut flower industry, namely pesticides, water use, and the movement of parasites and diseases. While there are many other facets to growing flowers for bouquets, I want to highlight two other issues, both of which I think we can influence: wildflower […]

The smell of pesticides in the morning

I had been a little worried that I wasn’t going to be able to find much research concerning the cut-lower industry, or that, if I did, it would all be about developing new varieties of popular flowers. In fact, I was surprised at the extent of the literature- researchers have been paying attention to multiple […]

Hoping to say it with flowers

When I started thinking about a blog topic for this month, I looked back through the posts from the last few months and noticed that my last four topics have centered on animals. Probably a good idea to show plants a bit more appreciation, and it is February after all- pictures of flowers are pretty […]

A wild-managed yard of one’s own

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been looking at research on how we manage our yards and how those decisions impact the ecosystems around us. Certainly when we mow or fertilize or add ornamental species to our lawns we are altering the space, but there are other ways that we interact with our yards and […]

Where the grass is greener

Some of the more recent research into lawn science has focused on the people-yard relationship and how different management practices influence the lawns we see. Starting with the first of those, why do we put so much effort into lawns? Some researchers have suggested that our yards are a statement about how we want to […]

Monocultures in miniature?

In my last post I mentioned that I was pretty impressed with the amount of land currently devoted to our lawns- after looking through some research into lawn management and diversity starting in the late 1960s, I realized that this area had almost doubled in about 35 years. In 1969 almost 68,000 square kilometers of […]

A nation of farmers?

Last week I came across a reference to the sheer number of acres currently used by our lawns and was pretty impressed at the full extent of the area we water, trim, and curate (around 128,000 square kilometers, which means it uses several times the space used by farmers to grow corn, according to Cristina […]