Evan Abramson: Designing Biodiversity in the Anthropocene: Landscapes and Corridors to Support Wild Pollinators
Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that a new geological epoch has been declared. The Anthropocene is defined by rising carbon emissions and sea levels, the mass extinction of species, and the transformation of land by development. One million species are threatened with extinction globally, including over half of the native bee species in North America.
Biodiversity should be seen as a key ally in dealing with climate change, however, not as a victim of it. Animal and plant species diversity means ecological resiliency: crucial in an era of unpredictable climate and more frequent, intense, and longer weather extremes.
Farms, wildlands, sub/urban greenways and rural communities provide immense opportunities for expanding regional biodiversity through the implementation of native pollination systems corridors. What happens at the pollination scale has repercussions all the way through the food web to the largest predators and humans. Yet most efforts to restore pollinator habitat to date have increased the numbers of a few common species, not the range of wild pollinators needed for ecosystem resiliency. “Seeing lots of bees” does not necessarily mean that a landscape is pollinator-friendly.
Since 2019, Landscape Interactions has worked across the Northeast to design, plan and implement functionally diverse native pollinator habitat by targeting the species at risk in each project location. By publishing scalable, replicable models of habitat design and restoration online for free, the building blocks for a regional network of resilience are already being created.
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