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Response to former9thward (Reply #2)

Sun Jul 1, 2012, 02:46 PM

6. But a monoculture is a monoculture


...and wherever you swap out diverse forests for single-species stands, you increase risk for catastrophic fire (as well as reducing biodiversity)...

But you're right -- as the Southeast heats up more and more, this same "blowback" will be felt there, as well...

"Because they usually result from unnatural environmental conditions, outbreaks demonstrate how our own management practices may sometimes be to blame. In addition to fire suppression, monocultures tend to aid and abet the irruption of pests. The southern pine beetle, for instance, has benefited from our replacement of longleaf (Pinus palustris) and shortleaf (P. echinata) pine with faster-growing loblolly (P. taeda) stands. As many farmers are finding in their fields, monocultures are more susceptible to catastrophic spread of insects than are mixed stands. In farm and forest alike, traditional modes of management involving monocultures and fire suppression encourage insects to become nuisances. The pests that plague us are all too often of our own making..."


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