#Canada; #NatureConservativeOfCanada; #backyardBiodiversity
Ottawa, Nov 8 (Canadian-Media): Canadians have been recommended by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to leave a layer or two of leaves on the ground as nature conservation instead of cleaning them up to support backyard biodiversity, media reports said.
Nature Conservancy of Canada. Image credit: Twitter handle
Dan Kraus, NCC’s senior conservation biologist, says leaves can provide important habitat for many species such as such as toads, frogs and many pollinators to hibernate under leaves as leaves provide an insulating blanket to protect from very cold temperatures and temperature fluctuations during the winter.
Another benefit is that the leaves break down into a natural mulch that helps fertilize the soil. But a thick pile of leaves can be bad for grass and other plants by smothering them. A light covering, spread around, can improve garden health, NCC said.
Stephen Hazell, director of policy at conservation charity Nature Canada, agrees.
Leaves can be stashed under shrubs or trees to help prevent the freeze-thaw cycle, the NCC recommended.
“The most energy-efficient solution is to allow nature to do its thing and for the leaves to naturally break down in your yard,” Kraus said.
“Plant stalks and dead branches also provide habitat for many species of insects...Providing winter habitats for our native birds and insects is just as important as providing food and shelter during the spring and summer.”