2/09/2009

Doug Tallamy Presentation Follow Up

If you were unable to join us yesterday at the Penn State Brandywine campus to listen to a presentation given by Dr. Doug Tallamy, Professor & Chair of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, you missed a very informative discussion. This is only my second time to hear his talk, but I can tell you that I learned something new each time, and the afternoon was well spent.
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Since most of us have read his book, "Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens," we are aware of the importance of providing balanced diversity within our gardens. Diversity is life, and the loss of such diversity is really a key indicator that the human systems are failing. Instead of the sterile turf grass lawns that are so common in America, we want to increase the amount of native plant material on our property which not only provides food and shelter for wildlife, but also water sources from within the plants themselves! Dr. Tallamy reminded us that caterpillars don't come down off the plants to visit a nearby pond, but instead receive their water from the leaves that they are eating.
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By increasing the diversity of plants, we increase the number of insects in our gardens, which in turn increases the bird populations and other critters that feed upon these insects. If your hobby is bird watching, then you may already know that 96% of birds rear their young on insects!
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Since not every native plant is created equal, Dr. Tallamy suggested that we visit the following website and download the Host Plant list which will help us determine the native plant species that we may choose to grow on our properties and increase the diversity all at the same time. Quite simply, some plants will attract more insects and caterpillars, thus providing more food sources for wildlife.
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http://copland.udel.edu/~dtallamy/host/index.html
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Thank you to all who attended this presentation and we hope that you found it to be an educational experience. Please do not hesitate to share any additional points that you found interesting by using the comments field below!a

Thank you also to Penn State Brandywine and Chester Ridley Crum for helping us arrange and organize such a wonderful event!

3 comments:

Elizabeth Haegele said...

If anyone missed Dr. Tallamy's lecture, please join us at the Scott Arboretum on February 12 to hear him speak!
http://www.scottarboretum.org/calendar/2009-02.html#Gardenlife

HRN Host said...

Thank you for the reminder about the Feb 12th lecture!!

Maureen said...

Another chance to hear Dr. Tallamy
THE TENTH ANNUAL CHANTICLEER LECTURE
PRESENTED BY
THE RADNOR MEMORIAL LIBRARY
BY DOUG TALLAMY
Sunday, March 22
3:00-4:30pm
Winsor Room
Radnor Memorial Library
114 W. Wayne Avenue, Wayne,PA 19087
610-687-1124 www.radnorlibrary.org
Reception to follow.
Admission is free.
Seating is limited.
More info: www.chanticleergarden.org/