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throughwort (Ageratina adenophora) taking over habitat, crowding out all other plants.

How (and Why) to Do Habitat Restoration

By Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.

In “How (and Why) to Do Habitat Restoration” I describe what I have learned from several years of intensive work removing invasive plants from the East Bay Regional Parks, including the application of mathematics (e.g. estimating the time to eradicate plants that appear “infinite”), physics (e.g. the conservation of energy, which excludes the existence of perpetual motion machines and ensures that plants repeatedly cut must eventually die), and botany. All of these plants are very good at what they do, and can only be eradicated by the use of volunteers, and hence the use of the most energy-efficient techniques (cutting with a pruning saw, which can remove a plant in seconds), which conserve the volunteers’ valuable time and energy. I also warn them about possible dangers, such as ticks, snakes, and poison oak.

Habitat loss is the greatest threat to wildlife. Invasive non-native plants are one of the biggest causes of habitat loss. Removing them (habitat restoration) is urgently required in all of our parks, and is very educational. It should be required for all K-12 and college students.

Read in full here.

Featured Image: The photo shows thoroughwort (Ageratina adenophora) taking over habitat, crowding out all other plants. (c) Mike Vandeman

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