by Carl Salsedo, Ph.D.
Extension Educator, Horticulture
Gardening and agriculture, by its very nature is brutally reductive, simplifying nature's incomprehensible complexity to something manageable. Gardening begins with the simple act of banishing all but a tiny handful of chosen species. Planting these in rows or patterns flatters our sense of order because it makes good sense too. Weeding and harvesting become that much simpler. Nature never plants in rows or patterns but utilizes incomprehensible complex combination of organisms, which we deem biodiversity.
First of all what is biodiversity and why is it important? Biodiversity is a term, especially used by ecologists to describe the diversity of species and the rich interactions that occur between them. It is important because a wide diversity of species including plants, animals, insects, micro flora and micro fauna contribute to a resilient ecosystem where diversity contributes to the health of the environment and the natural world. Chances are, if you have natural areas in your yard such as woodlands and untended places biodiversity will be the greatest in those areas. Lets look at what are the reasons for this and why this is important.