Updated: Dec 19, 2021
An ecosystem is all of the plants, insects, and wildlife that interact with all of the physical non-living things (soil, water, air, sunlight) that together create the environment that humans are totally dependent on
Gardening may be a fun and relaxing way to get in touch with nature, but did you know that they are the pillars of our ecosystem?
The most beautiful thing to look upon is not the individual “specimens” of plants scattered through a garden, but the birds, butterflies, bees, insects, frogs and toads, and other wildlife who make their home in gardens that we create. These gardens are beautiful because they are full of life, and the plants are only a vehicle to that end.
Many wildlife species survive in urban areas, but their presence and persistence depend on how specific their food and shelter needs are, how they respond to disturbances and the quality and quantity of other green spaces in the landscape. For larger animals, such as birds and mammals, a home garden could become a stepping stone across an otherwise hostile urban landscape. For smaller animals, such as insects, it could be the center of their home range.
In urban areas, where space is often limited, gardening with pollinators in mind is a simple way to encourage biodiversity in the backyard. And, depending on the surrounding landscape, habitat for pollinators will also be habitat for other animals.
Whether you live in an urban apartment or a rural homestead, your outdoor area is more than just a private space. Ecologically, a garden is another jigsaw piece in the landscape.
Flowers produce sugar (nectar) and protein (pollen), the main diet for many adult insects and birds. Unlike other insect groups, native bee larvae develop almost exclusively on pollen collected by their parents, so flowers are essential to grow native bee populations. Small plants and shrubs provide good shelter for insects and very small birds, while larger trees will attract visits from more mobile birds and mammals. Like any ecosystem, gardens involve an intricate web of life, from the soil microbes underground to the birds in the trees. For example, pollinators generally prefer open grassy areas to dark forested areas. In urban environments, grassed areas are often mown regularly for human recreational and safety needs. This affects the availability of flowers for pollinators and also affects the persistence of these plant species.
Through burning fossil fuels, humans are rapidly driving up levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which in turn is raising global temperatures. But not all the CO2 released from burning coal, oil and gas stays in the air. Currently, about 25% of the carbon emissions produced by human activity are absorbed by plants. So its really high time to plant more trees as they indeed are human's best friend