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Frogs Need Elephants - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Frogs Need Elephants
Elephant footprints provide breeding puddles and habitat connectivity for frogs, an example of the subtle and unexpected ways that species can interact.

This makes me wonder how much damage has been done to North America, which has lost almost all of its megafauna to humans. Horses, bison, wolves, grizzlies, etc. are confined to small areas. The mastodons and ground sloths are long gone. (They were so delicious.) We've seen that reintroducing even one keystone species like wolves can have tremendous effects. Occasionally, humans manage to replace a missing piece. How is a lawnmower like a bison? It cuts the grass so birds can forage for seeds and bugs, although regrettably it provides no other benefits such as fertilizer, meat, or buffalo robes. Ghost trees still make fruit and thorns for mammoths and ground sloths. It's the shifting baseline problem; we have a hard time seeing what isn't there.

Learn to look for the missing pieces.  And observe what's there while we still have it.

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2 comments or Leave a comment
From: rhodielady_47 Date: June 6th, 2019 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Horseshoe crabs are another such "odd" link in the ecosystem.
They spawn in large numbers just when migrating shore birds arrive desperate for easy food before they finish their migrations.
This became apparent only when the numbers of horseshoe crabs dropped to the point that the birds who depended upon their eggs also dropped.

Another "odd" ecosystem link that affects my flower garden is that moles keep bad company in the form of voles (underground mice) that share their tunnels. Moles make it possible for voles to easily find and eat up tulip and lily bulbs, so I'm stuck growing only daffodils and other poisonous bulbs.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 6th, 2019 10:20 pm (UTC) (Link)


Other solutions for bulbs:

Sometimes if you interplant tulips with daffodils or alliums, it deters pests.

Other people plant vulnerable bulbs inside a buried metal cage, or in pots.

A barrier of brick, rock, or gravel may also work.
2 comments or Leave a comment