Becoming part of the landscape?
Intégrante de notre environnement?

Many of our commonly seen plants are not native to North America, including Dandelions, Plantains, and Crabgrass. After so many years, are these species still to be considered exotic invasives? When does an exotic species become part of the landscape?

 Plusieurs des plantes qui nous sont devenues familières, comme le pissenlit, le plantain et la digitaire ne sont pas natives de l’Amérique du nord.  Après tellement d’années, doit-on encore les considérer comme des plantes exotiques agressives?  Quand une espèce exotique devient-elle partie intégrante de notre environnement?

dandelions

Let us know what you think!
On aimerait bien savoir ce que tu en penses!

   
Charline Nantes
29 juin, 2004
Si je me réfère a ce que je viens de lire, il semblerai que la plus part des hommes sont pour l'enfermement des annimaux en voix de disparition dans des parcs zoologiques sous pretexte de les préserver des nombreux dangers qui les guettes dans ce qu'il reste de leur habitat naturel. Mais toutes ces personnes ne semblent s'interresser qu'a l'ensemble de l'espèce sans penser un seul instant a chaque individu qui devra, si on les écoute, passer sa vie derrière des barreaux. Tout être nait pour vivre libre et je pense qu'il vaut mieux prendre le risque de voire disparaitre une epèce plutôt que d'avoir des animaux qui n'auront que 10 mètres carrés pour se déplacer tout au long de leurs vies.
A cause de l'omniprésence de l'homme, je pense que la meilleur solution pour sauver des éspèces en voie de disparition est le réserve naturelle où les animaux ont tout de même une relative liberté puisqu'ils peuvent courrir pendant plusieurs kilomètres avant de rencontrer un grillage.
Il faut absolument que l'homme se rende compte que tous les êtres ont droit a la liberté sur cette terre qui ne lui est pas réservée. Il faut aussi qu'il aprenne a respecter l'annimal, que ce soit une fourmis ou un éléphant et a privilégier la nature au dépent de l'économie avant qu'il ne soit trop tard.

Marilyn Powell
Cambridge-Narrows,
NB, May 7, 2004
We have spent a great deal of time helping to educate the public in regard to the invasion of one dreaded introduced plant, Purple Loosestrife. We encourage people to understand it is not just a beautiful blossom and that you DO NOT take it home and plant it in your garden without suffering severe consequences.. And, of course, there are many more which do damage to wetlands (Purple Loosestrife's favourite, where it chokes out much needed habitat) and other valuable property, such as hayfields, which are often invaded by bedstraw for instance. We must remember there are many invasive non-native species of animals, as well, such as Gypsy Moth which is a serious problem here. People did not understand my
personal battle against the introduction of red deer, for instance, in New Brunswick, but it is the OPINION of many, myself included, that they pose a serious threat to wildlife by way of the introduction/spreading of disease, etc. We only have to look at Mad Cow Disease and
CWD (Chronic Wasting Disease which has now become a very serious problem out west) to see what we were talking about and to recognize our fears could easily be well founded. So yes, I love the dandelion as well, and it is a welcome plant on our lawn. (And the dandelion has been with us for some time - I confess to not knowing the exact history of this plant). But we must remember there is a battle raging (for space) and we have to look at the plants which are more dangerous and damaging to our environment.

Linda Macdonald 
April 30, 2004
Dandelions have been a welcome part of my landscape. I've seen people gathering 
new shoots to eat. We have a photo of a hill in bloom which we passed by in Cape Breton.

Emma 
Fredericton
April 28, 2004
It would seem that those species are definitely here to stay much to the dismay of those who frantically try to fend them off every year. In my opinion the plants are still invasive but are so common that they could hardly be deemed 'exotic' anymore. 
 

Brenda Kelley
Bathurst, NB
April 28, 2004

I think years ago, the world considered itself to be separate countries and continents, each living under a glass dome and unconnected biologically with the other areas of the world, and classified so that one area could declare it had this but not that for plants and species of birds, etc... However, over the years we have gained in our understanding that the planet is under one big dome and is in fact "one biosphere". All species migrate, far more than we realize. Seeds for example can travel hundreds of miles and further. Imagine how far spores travel?
Who is to say that hundreds of years ago these plants were not actually located in our country or Province and have now migrated home. As far as labelling them as invasive species, I think we have to be very careful who and what we designate in this category and why. We must accept that migration is normal, and changes with the planets life cycles, however, it is increasing, and for some, it is upsetting the balance of eco systems, causing change, better for some worse for others, but, for whatever the reason, it is now happening on a more frequent level.
What we must be cautious of is that each continent or country does not suddenly declare something that is newly migrated to their area as not only invasive but a danger and a threat and begin to attempt to irradiate them by pesticides and other harmful control measures. An exotic species becomes part of the landscape when it has naturally occurred there either by seed disbursement or natural migration. It becomes invasive when one type of plant or species is forcibly introduced, intentionally , in large enough numbers, into an area or eco system for the explicit purpose of someone else's design, need or benefit. This would of course not include reintroduction of species in an area for the purpose of conservation and protection from extinction. When its numbers or habits, are identified as being a threat to the survival of another valued or vulnerable species a harvest may help with controlling the numbers.

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