Zoologist demonstrates diversity of home gardens

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A zoologist has demonstrated the diverse eco-systems that exist in everyday gardens through a painstaking examination of her own property.

Dr Jennifer Owen, an Oxford-educated ecology lecturer and zoology museum curator, has over the last few decades taken detailed notes of the wildlife, insect life and plant life that has existed in her back garden in Leicester - the results of which are published in a new book out this month, the Daily Mail reported.

It was noted that with 3,563 species per hectare, Dr Owen's garden was found to be far more ecologically diverse than even the "lushest rainforest", with many plants that are considered to be "quintessentially English" also shown to have exotic roots.

Indeed, in a period spanning more than 30 years, Dr Owen counted 474 different plant species and 2,673 species of flora and fauna in her garden as well as 80 types of spider, 375 kinds of moth and more than 442 sorts of beetle, the newspaper said.

Dr Owen's property was described as relatively "unremarkable", ­consisting of 741 sq m of lawn, rockery, compost heap and herbaceous and mixed borders, hemmed in by a greenhouse and garage. It was noted that she had used butterfly traps and UV lamps, among other tools, to attract insects, and had also made a note of every self-seeded plant and weed that had sprouted up.

Posted by David Webb   - 22 November 2010
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Zoologist demonstrates diversity of home gardens

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