There are 6 easy steps you can take to support local ecosystems.
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Because most land in the United States is privately owned, experts say we can't rely on national parks for conservation.
Doug Tallamy, an ecologist and professor at the University of Delaware, explains in his book Nature's Best Hope how conservation can start in your own backyard.
Photo by Doug Tallamy
Just 5 percent of plants support 75 percent of the food web, Tallamy says.
They're the "workhorses of our ecosystems."
Find your area's keystone native species with the Native Plant Finder tool online.
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Artificial light messes with nature, especially insects. Instead:
- Use motion sensors in your lights
- Yellow LED bulbs are least likely to attract insects
Compared to professional farmers, homeowners use up to 10 times the amount of pesticides per acre.
"You don't need it," Tallamy says. "Almost all of that is absolutely unnecessary."
Invasive means both non-native and harmful to the environment — often because they can spread rapidly.
They're often introduced as ornamental plants for gardens and landscaping.
If your yard has invasive plant species, the US Forest Service recommends you remove them and replace them with native plants that support the ecosystem.