Edge EffectsteemCreated with Sketch.

in #homesteading2 years ago (edited)

Where two or more habitats meet, more abundant and varied interactions occur. Edge effects is the place where two ecosystems merging into one, and the resulting diversity and abundance of life. In this area of integration, there will not only be species of plants and animals from both two ecosystems, but also the addition of other species not in either ecosystem that adapted specifically to the edge. In permaculture we can utilize edges to create increased production by valuing the marginal.


Nature uses universal patterns to conserve energy, and all edges will follow these patterns. Spirals such as the golden ratio seen in a pinecone. Lobes bubble out of lichen like clumps of clouds. Scattering chaos of seeds catching the wind, creating random intermediate dispersal. The branching out of tree limbs or the many creeks flowing down to a river. The nesting growth of tree rings, building upon each other; and many other patterns are nature’s tools that permaculture will utilize.

There are many types of edges all of which create their own unique biospheres. Edges are everywhere. When a cleared open prairie land meets a forest. A river flows through them both to add another edge. As the river reaches the ocean the interactions of diverse species and plants accumulate, the resources and materials increase exponentially. Edges are energy traps.


Probably the most common edge in horticulture is a hedge. Used as a fence or boundary to keep unwanted herbivores out of the fields. The hedge is comprised of tall growing trees, large shrubs, vines, and berry bushes which all are great habitats for small birds and animals. The shade from the trees will help the soil underneath to be rich and fertile; their roots reaching deep into the earth touching the water table, breaking through compact soil. The microbial soil life thrives in these edges of abundance as does the plants and wildlife.

Another great way to utilize edges is by creating rows of orchards and crop fields with farm animals. Planting fruit trees along the edge of a field, and allowing hogs to live under the fruit trees, fertilizing them and keeping weeds out. Or growing mushrooms under the trees instead of having pigs. The complex interactions that take place along these rows will create a healthier ecosystem.


By taking advantage of the tools nature provides, these systems can be harnessed in a multitude of ways. Creating micro climates and new ecosystems with nature’s eye is taking advantage of what permaculture teaches. Living and walking a path that is connected and synergistic with the world is the goal.


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Interesting post on utilizing the edge effect. Gotta be careful though, edge frequency increasing lowers diversity and can quickly diminish habits.

Yeah, like in the rain-forest where they strip all the land for cattle ranches and such. Good point.

Hi @permaculturedude and welcome to the steem world :)
I like your posts, I am very interested in permaculture myself and since you are new here I just wanted to give you a friendly advice. There is an unwritten rule of courtesy when we use pictures that are not ours to link the source of each one. It is not mandatory but it is more polite and it gives you the chance to get curated and upvoted by communities that check that.
Wish you a very successful steem journey!

Thank you for the advice. I guess I didnt think that people would assume these pictures are mine. When there are so many websites that offer free stock photos that don't require sourcing. I will change my process.

Glad to help!
Steem on :)

It is an easy fix. ;)

Wonderful point of view, I like you photos a lot!

Thanks for making and sharing them and Steem on!


Thank you for the support. The pictures are stock photos from https://pixabay.com/ that are free to use no attribution required.

You're very welcome and thank you for doing it the proper way by giving credit to the artist ;)
That is what I love at Steemit... thing are being done the way they should, speaking generally of course :) Have a wonderful Sunday! :)

Thanks, you too.

wow awesome photographs....

Thank you. They are stock photos from https://pixabay.com/ that are free to use no attribution required.

That’s cool.

We also have a similar concept in processwork... the edge is between primary and secondary processes, the liminal place between reality & dreaming... not quite the same... but still the place where 2 ecosystems meet.


That's very true and deep.

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