If you happened to see the comment on my post last Monday, it was quite insightful. A regular commenter noted that most pollinators are not natives (think honeybees for example), and asked why natives were better.
My answer was that I was relying on the many books of Doug Tallamy (otherwise known as Douglas W. Tallamy, PhD, entomologist) and that the statistic I remembered best from Bringing Nature Home, the book that really made him famous (so to speak) was that oaks fed 462 species while magnolias only fed 30.
Since then, Tallamy has authored a few more books and his most recent is one specifically on oaks called The Nature of Oaks.
So what’s the takeaway on all this?
As with anything, I think that much of this is still evolving. Because weather patterns are in flux–I will leave it to you to decide how much of this we have caused–can natives still help the situation? If plants are blooming earlier, will this help the creatures that rely on them?
I don’t think that any of this is settled right now. So as gardeners, I think we owe it to ourselves–and perhaps to the creatures that use our habitat, if we are providing for that–to try to grow pesticide free, diverse choices for the wildlife.
Right now, perhaps that’s the best we can do.