Native Plants and Animal Associations, Jim McCormac, 9:50AM-10:40AM
The importance of native plants to animals cannot be overstated. Native animal communities are tightly wedded to indigenous flora, and some of these linkages are intimate indeed. Seemingly disparate plant species become connected through pollinating insects, as is the case with some rare orchids whose specialized pollinators are spawned from entirely unreplated plants. The caterpillars of Ohio’s 2,500 butterfly and moth species would mostly be doomed if not for native plant conservation. Caterpillars in turn become a vital food source for birds. Ants literally do much of the heavy lifting of spring wildlfower seed dispersal. Myriad critters, from owls to insects, have evolved incredible camouflage based on botany. While largescale conservation is key to protecting floral and faunal partnerships, even small backyard ecosystems can flourish if based on native flora. This talk will be a richly illustrated romp through some amazing relationships between plants and animals.
Horticulture / Plants
Parks & Recreation
Health, Safety and Welfare
1) The vital and important associations between native plants and native wildlife; 2)Which native plants support which animals; 3) How gardeners can play a role in conservation.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
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