Where have all the wildflowers gone?
Meadow Saffron a rare plant in Northamptonshire.
Wildflowers are becoming extinct at the rate of nearly one hundred per year according to a report from the charity Plantlife.
WHY IS THIS?
There are several reasons.
One of them is increased man-made development:-
All development whether located in rural or urban areas will have some wildflower or habitat interest.
Habitat loss cannot be avoided when land is converted from its natural state into a developed one. All wildflowers require certain habitat features to survive and a diverse population depends upon the natural ecosystems that are found in undeveloped areas. Some species are able to survive in urban settings and these may thrive, but the rest will die.
Habitat Fragmentation is a process whereby large tracts of the natural landscape are gradually subdivided until only patches of original habitat remain. These patches may be too small or far apart to support the survival of their original plant species. Generally, road development is responsible for this type of fragmentation. In the end, fewer plant species is usually the result even if the total amount of habitat is the same as the original amount.
Landscape disturbance problems also include compaction of soil and effects to the water content of the soil, resulting in the loss of species due to changes in habitat type.
Bell Heather is rare in Middlesex.
In addition, development can easily introduce invasive species, which will kill off less hardy, native wildflowers.
The next post in this series will examine farming and the use of herbicides.