Restoring vegetation and filling gaps at the base of the food chains that support biological diversity
REBUILDING the Food Chain
The Borderlands Restoration approach is strategic, focusing on gaps in the food chain and selectively planting of native vegetation to provide appropriate food resources for native wildlife species as they adapt to changing conditions. Our goal is not the return of the ecosystem to some ill-defined “pre-Columbian” state, but rather to increase the resiliency of the ecosystem. This involves identifying plant species native to the region that have been lost from portions of their ranges and establishing viable populations of a diverse assemblage of fruit- and nectar-producing plants that will support many animal species.
Our first project, identifying gaps in the food chain, is focused on pollinators, because of the key role they play in increasing fruit production. We are conducting quantitative surveys of the bee and hummingbird species and estimating fruit production. We are also identifying gaps in the seasonal sequence of nectar producing wildflowers and flowering shrubs. Restoring the food chain in this case means re-introducing plant species that flower and fruit at different times of year so that food is available throughout the breeding and migratory seasons.