22 May International Day for Biological Diversity
Every single creature on our planet is connected to another one. Or more. It’s a complicated connection net between species, as an ecological interdependence. Nettle supports over 100 species of insects, including butterflies and moths as a food source (see the list here). Sir David Attenborough has called on gardeners to plant a wild flower meadow and cultivate a nettle patch to help butterflies struggling to survive the wet summer in the UK.
Nettle is among the major sources of green plant material consumed in the field by the snails. They all know that nettle is tasty and full of nutrients. The presence of stinging fibers on nettle act as a defense against many grazing animals, creating a comfortable habitat for our beneficial friends, some of whom are pollinators. The community of organisms depending on nettle is very large. Just think of all the predatory insects, spiders, amphibians and birds which take advantage of this feast. Luckily, thanks to our predators, there are no notable pest problems on nettle – neither in the wild nor in cultivated nettle. Everyone does their job in the right way. That’s biodiversity.