was Monarchs: Eucalyptus.. now is exotics

MexicoDoug at aol.com MexicoDoug at aol.com
Mon Jan 28 01:45:57 EST 2002

Interestingly enough, the introduced pine was a gift from Austrailia also, as 
I understand.  _Casurina_  It is somewhat a skin irritant as well as the bane 
of humanity with its co-conspirator, the other tree that was introduced, the 
paper tree, _Melaluca_, I think was also from Australia.

Actually,there were plenty of places for people to live in the Everglades 
before the idea of draining it really took off.  In the Hammocks.  What more 
of a beautiful style of life, than in a hammock, a higher land more matured 
sawgrass/mangrove habitat turned into hardwoods.  Islands everywhere in the 
river of grass.  Of course the mosquitos were unbearable as ever.  The 
escaped Indians and slaves didn't seem to mind their life in gator heaven.  
It was the only place they could hide and their decendants still do after a 

In the Everglades proper, it has not been so long as 'centuries.'  More like 
less than a 'century.'  Unless you count the periferal (non-Everglades east 
coastal part) where the coontie (_Cycad.._) was first harvested and a few 
orange groves were put up before Julia Tuttle's famous orange blossom 
delivery in 1894-5. 

The Mediterranian climate of California and all the settlement probably makle 
it less likely to present the magnitude of a problem as in the 'Glades, but 
(please tell me what they are called) rivers in portions of north-central 
California are loaded with some lilac colored weeping willow like ornamental 
from China that is as bad to the last remaining wild riparian places there 
and pestulant as the casurinas, though on a different scale.  I doubt they 
will even be able to put a dent in the relatively smnaller Calif problem.  
And that stupid ornamental was spread from do-gooder gardeners and 

I have no opinion on the Eucalyptus except go native if there is any shot at 
a native option.  Of course, the "Golden Hills" of grass in california are 
all imported European grasses and CA lost the battle in about 1820 to keep 
anything close to native flora.

Doug Dawn
Monterrey, Mexico

En un mensaje con fecha 01/27/2002 9:11:47 AM Central Standard Time, 
MWalker at gensym.com escribe:

<< I find this discussion on Monarchs and the fight over introducing more
 Eucalyptus pretty interesting - especially in light of the ongoing problems
 that exist in south Florida (where there has been a several centuries raping
 of habitat through the introduction of exotic flora and fauna).
 Here's my thought:  we are probably arguing with passion two completely
 separate issues here.  Part of us wants to see more Monarchs at any cost -
 perhaps even to the extent of putting them where they didn't occur before.
 Another part of us understands that nothing remains the same when we start
 moving things around that had previously taken eons to stabilize.  Take the
 eucalyptus problem in California.  Nasty things only when you realize that
 they don't belong here.  While the stands never look natural here, I have
 seen them provide shelter for Monarchs where the Monarchs would otherwise
 not have been (not much Monterey Pine south of Santa Barbara).
 Florida is another interesting case.  There are thousands of acres of
 introduced pine and other nasty exotics that thrive and have virtually taken
 over parts of the Everglades.  In fact, they were planted for just that
 purpose - to suck up the swamp water and provide more dry land for
 development (didn't they name a county after the guy who came up with THAT
 idea?).  Of course, there was virtually no place for people to live before
 that, so it's all relative.  The drying of south Florida provided habitat
 for humans who further planted orchards and gardens - all which encouraged
 and sustained a wide variety of creatures that would be reported for
 generations by newly introduced "naturalists".  Now virtually all of that
 dry land is being consumed by development, so fewer of the bugs that have
 been enjoyed there over the past 150 years are now disappearing.  Meanwhile,
 the swampland seems to be continuing to dry up.  Foresters and other
 wildlife officials are making an attempt to destroy much of the remaining
 exotics - at least on parkland (as you travel you'll see stands of the dead
 pine and, ironically, possibly mistake them for legitimate habitat loss).
 Still, without the patchy dry land that exists along roadsides we probably
 would never enjoy bugs like the great Euphyes skippers - which readily come
 to exotic roadside nectar sources amongst the sea of swampgrass and palmetto
 Much of the above is anecdotal - perhaps someone who is better at archiving
 historical data can provide us with links to the real story.
 Mark Walker.
 Oceanside, CA


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