“One of the interesting questions urban ecology wrestles with is urban food production and the impact it has on cities and human health,” says blogger Ryan Taylor. “A well-known ecological principle that pertains to diversity is that the more species diversity you have in a system, the healthier that system is. It’s also more resilient.” Taylor is a student at Colorado State University.
Invasive species can cause problems on farms, as well as in the cities. Emerald ash borer, native to Asia, has few natural predators in the United States. As popular trees, they once lined cities in the US. But, with diversification, as the ash borer infected and killed trees, streets were left bare. “It’s definitely a tragedy – but one that we can definitely learn from,” says Taylor. “Whether it’s through diversification within cropping systems or the exclusion and management of invasive species, urban ecology provides us with the tools to do better in the future.”
As these ash trees die or get removed, they can be replaced with food producing varieties of different fruit trees: cherry and apple, pear and mulberry. These will help urban pollinators in return. Public lands can be turned into community gardens. Food can be grown on green roofs.
“Urban food production might not feed the entire world, but it reduces the total miles driven bringing food to the city,” says Taylor. “It also helps to reduce food insecurity, and makes better use of the water we have transported and cleaned. Urban food provides verdant landscapes which soothes the mind surrounded by a jungle of concrete and steel. Food production impacts the city on many levels. Urban ecology influences how these resource decisions are made and how those decisions impact not only us, but also the plants and animals that inhabit those vibrant communities.”
To read the entire blog, visit: https://sustainable-secure-food-blog.com/2019/11/07/what-is-urban-ecology-and-why-is-it-important
This blog is sponsored and written by members of the American Society of Agronomy and Crop Science Society of America. Our members are researchers and trained, certified professionals in the areas of growing our world’s food supply, while protecting our environment. They work at universities, government research facilities, and private businesses across the United States and the world.
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