gochfeld at eohsi.rutgers.edu
Mon Sep 29 15:27:02 EDT 1997
I agree with John and Anne about the translocation of populations. There
seems to be a sentiment that this should apply as well to plants which
are no less evolved (though some would say they are less sentient) than
animals. Certainly our environment speaks volumes regarding the
translocation of plants from Europe to North America, and many of us
don't think twice before splashing some colorful plants (mostly exotics
or at least horticultural artifacts) into our gardens. Fortunately most
of these have negligible escape potential, but some do.
I have marvelled at the abundance of Buddleia along a mountain roadside
in Szechuan, but Buddleia is clearly an exotic in our butterfly gardens
(and many purists eschew it).
All this is a way of reflecting on our ambivalence (or at least my
ambivalence). Pipevine grows wild in parts of New Jersey. Thus it is a
native plant and there are luxuriant stands 50 mi (80 km) north of us.
I finally succeeded in transplanting some to our garden, where it has
probably never (in the last few hundred years) grown. However, I won't
transplant Pipevine Swallowtail larvae because of a personal desire to
see if it will colonize on its own. Of course, five years from now I
may feel differently.
Anne gave several examples of different kinds of translocations, some of
which (perpetuation of Atala) seem innocuous enough.
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