Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thistle and Broom

"Whenever a disturbance such as a road violates an established ecosystem, aggressive and invasive weeds like thistle and broom take over bare ground and spread quickly, establishing temporary primacy. The plants compete for sunlight in order to capture the maximum available energy while trying to cover the raw earth as quickly as possible. In such a system, energy is wasted, diversity is minimal, and the plants are generally of lower quality and usefulness. Their life cycles are short, being mostly annuals; while their output is prodigious, their use of resources is not very efficient."

Paul Hawken, The Ecology of Commerce

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