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Life In The "Novel Ecosystem"

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Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46942434
/

It stands to reason that an ecosystem that has been altered by non-native and invasive species should be restored to its original condition.  Not so fast, some scientists suggest. 

The "novel ecosystems" created by alien plants still provide habitat for some key species.  Like the birds that find nesting places on the Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon. 

Early white settlers planted non-native grasses and grazed livestock, then abandoned some of the sites.  And some birds are just fine with the landscape that resulted. 

Patricia Kennedy is the director of the Eastern Oregon Agriculture & Natural Resource Program and a researcher of local conditions.  She joins us to explain the niche occupied by the novel ecosystems.  

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.
April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.
John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of "the split" when JPR grew from a single program stream to three separate streams. We coaxed him out of retirement and he's now a co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.