Life In The "Novel Ecosystem"

May 15, 2018

It stands to reason that an ecosystem that has been altered by non-native and invasive species should be restored to its original condition.  Not so fast, some scientists suggest. 

The "novel ecosystems" created by alien plants still provide habitat for some key species.  Like the birds that find nesting places on the Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon. 

Early white settlers planted non-native grasses and grazed livestock, then abandoned some of the sites.  And some birds are just fine with the landscape that resulted. 

Patricia Kennedy is the director of the Eastern Oregon Agriculture & Natural Resource Program and a researcher of local conditions. 

She joins us to explain the niche occupied by the novel ecosystems.