The richness of the species mix in the vegetation of an area responds to prevailing conditions. Our time is not known to be conducive to exciting increases. Conditions comprise many factors of soil, temperature, rainfall, slopes, wind, pollinators, browsers, grazers and other users. Influences past and present, even factors persisting from the ancient history of a piece of land, bring about the unique combination of occupants and natural diversity level in every local ecology... and continue to change it all over time, as long as anything in it is still alive.
For whatever is alive becomes something different fast or slowly, both at the species level and in the overall ecological system, let alone in the individual specimen. Fairly tough conditions such as those prevailing in the land where the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is situated don’t prevent rich diversity in the natural veld around the planted Garden. Too many plants and animals have adapted to master the art of living here... with help from each other.
One might expect more succulents in the veld here than in a natural fynbos area like around Kirstenbosch or the Harold Porter. The annuals, bulbs and other soft herbs living under renosterbos and scrub hold much treasure. Similar to the non-grass diversity contained in grassland or the next biome.
Biodiversity is also a marvel on your farm, plot or garden, however small. Even among your potted plants that have to be weeded from time to time or protected from insects, sometimes birds. Diversity means what it says: In every ecology the local range of species forms a particular, collective brand or interactive mix as a veld type. Unique in plant, animal and micro-organism coexistence of the moment, complex hierarchies form, chains and multidimensional matrices of interdependence bring a new uniqueness, forever becoming something new overall.
Every bit of vegetation is not necessarily thriving in natural terms, due to interference and all kinds of difficulties. Still, something living, indigenous or not, is always striving to maximise its position, gaining a foothold everywhere...
As it shouldn’t be expected to experience London while touring New York, every bit of veld, healthy or depressing, holds the attention of the interested person. And makes nature lovers of globetrotters and nomads endowed with high curiosity. Or change agents that hack at invaders to recover what has been lost lost.
For the change agent, however beneficial, is just a new invader, irrespective of intentions and values, incapable of turning back nature's clock. The future of nature is no rerun of past glory. And nature is not in the hands of one self-appointed reformer species like humanity, itself forming part of nature and facing challenges of its own looming on its horizon.