CES210 Chapter 12 Notes
CES210 Chapter 12 Notes CES 210
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emma Eiden on Friday October 14, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CES 210 at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee taught by Mai Phillips in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Conservation and Environmental Science in GN Natural Science at University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
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Date Created: 10/14/16
CES210: Conservation and Environmental Science Chapter 12: Biodiversity: Preserving Landscapes Case Study: Protecting Forests to Prevent Climate Change - Indonesia is an excellent example of the benefits of forest protection. Deforestation, land-use change, and the drying, decomposition, and burning of peatlands cause about 80% of the country’s current greenhouse gas emission. This means that Indonesia can make deeper cuts in CO2 emissions and do it more quickly than most other countries - The partnership between Norway and Indonesia is the largest example so far of a new, UN- sponsored program called REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation), which aims to slow climate change by paying developing countries to stop cutting down their forests. One of the few positive steps agreed on at the 2010 UN climate conference in Cancun, REDD could result in a major transfer of money from rich countries to poor. It’s estimated that it will take about $300 billion per year to fun this program. - Like other donor nations, Norway is also concerned about how permanent the protections will be. What happens if they pay to protect a forest but a future administration decides to log it? WORLD FORESTS Boreal and topical forests are most abundant - Forests are wildly distributed, but the largest remaining areas are in the humid equatorial regions and the cold boreal forests of high latitudes. Five countries – Russia, Brazil, Canada, the United States, and China – together have more than half of the world’s forests. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defined forest as any area where trees cover more than 10% of the land. This definition includes a variety of forest types, ranging from open savannas, where trees cover less than 20% of the ground, to closed-canopy forests, in which tree crowns overlap to over most of the ground - North America and Eurasia have vast areas of relatively unaltered boreal forest. Although many of these forests are harvested regularly, both continents have a net increase in forest area and biomass because of replanting and natural regeneration - Among the forests of greatest ecological importance are the primeval forests that are home to much of the world’s biodiversity, ecological services, and indigenous human cultures. - The FAO defines primary forests as those “composed primarily of native species in which there are no clearly visible indications of human activity and ecological processes are not significantly disturbed” - This doesn’t mean that all trees in a primary forest need to be enormous or thousands of years old Forests provide many valuable products - Wood plays a part in more activities of the modern economy than foes any other commodity. There is hardly any industry that does not use wood or wood products somewhere in its manufacturing and marketing processes. International trade in wood and wood products amounts to more than $100 billion each year. Developed countries produce less than half of all industrial wood but account for about 80% of its consumption. Less-developed countries, mainly in the tropics, produce more than half of all industrial wood but use only 20%. - Paper pulp, the fastest-growing type of forest product, accounts for nearly 1/5 of all wood consumption - Global demand for paper is increasing rapidly, however, as other countries develop. The United States, Russia, and Canada are the largest producers of both paper pulp and wood (lumber and panels). Much industrial logging in Europe and North America occurs on managed plantations, rather than in untouched old-growth forest. However, paper production is increasingly blamed for deforestation in Southeast Asia, West African, and other regions. - Fuelwood accounts for nearly half of global wood use. Roughly 1/3 the world’s population depends on firewood or charcoal as their principal source of heating and cooking fuel - In temperate regions, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, more land is being replanted or allowed to regenerate naturally than is being permanently deforested. Much of this reforestation, however, is in large plantations of single-species, single-use, intensive cropping called monoculture forestry. Tropical forests are especially threatened - Tropical forests are among the richest and most diverse terrestrial systems. This is especially true of the moist forests (rainforests) of the Amazon and Congo River basins and Southeast Asia. Although they now occupy less than 10% of the earth’s land surface, these ecosystems are thought to contain more than 2/3 of all higher plant biomass and at least ½ of all the plant, animal, and microbial species in the world. Causes for deforestation… - There are many causes for deforestation. In Africa forest clearing by subsistence farmers is responsible for about 2/3 of the forest destruction, but large-scale commercial logging also takes a toll. In Latin America the largest single cause of deforestation is expansion of soy farming and cattle ranching. Loggers start the process by cutting roads into the forest to harvest valuable hardwoods, such as mahogany or cocobolo. This allows subsistence farmers to move into the forest, but they are bought out – or driven out – after a few years by wealthy ranchers Lowering Your Forest Impact… Reuse and recycle paper. Make double-sided copies. Save office paper, and use the back for scratch paper Use email. Store information in digital form, rather than making hard copies of everything If you build, conserve wood. Use wafer board, particle board, laminated beams, or other composites, rather than plywood and timbers made from old-growth trees Buy products made from “good wood” or other certified sustainable harvested wood Don’t buy products made from topical hardwoods, such as ebony, mahogany, rosewood, or teak, unless the manufacturer can guarantee that the hardwoods were harvested from agroforestry plantations or sustainable-harvest programs Ecosystem Management In the 1990s the U.S. Forest Service began to shift its policies from a timber production focus to ecosystem management, which attempts to integrate sustainable ecological, economic, and social goals in a unified, systems approach. Some of the principles of this philosophy include: - Managing across whole landscapes, watersheds, or regions over ecological time scales - Considering human needs and promoting sustainable economic development and communities - Maintaining biological diversity and essential ecosystem processes GRASSLANDS - After forests, grasslands are among the biomes most heavily used by humans. Prairies, savannas, steppes, open woodlands, and other grassland occupy about 27% of the world’s land surface. Grazing can be sustainable or damaging - By carefully monitoring the numbers of animals and the condition of the range, rancher and pastoralists (people who live by herding animals) can adjust to variations in rainfall, seasonal plant conditions, and the nutritional quality of forage to keep livestock healthy and avoid overusing any particular area Overgrazing threatens many U.S. rangelands - As is the case in many countries, the health of most public grazing lands in the United States is not good. Political and economic pressures encourage managers to increase grazing allotments beyond the carrying capacity of the range. Lack of enforcement of existing regulations and limited funds for range improvement have resulted in overgrazing, damage to vegetation and soil including loss of native forage species and erosion. The Natural Resources Defense Council claims that only 30% of public rangelands are in fair condition, and 55% are poor or very poor Ranchers are experimenting with new methods - Short-duration, rotational grazing – confining animals to small area for a short time (often only a day or town) before shifting them to a new location – stimulates the effects of wild herds - Many plant communities in the U.S. desert Southwest, for example, apparently evolved in the absence of large, hoofed animals and can’t withstand intensive grazing - Ranchers can produce three times as much meat with wild native species in the same, area, because these animals browse on a wider variety of plant materials - In the United States, ranchers find that elk, American bison, and a variety of African species take less care and supplemental feeding than cattle or sheep and result in a better financial return because their lean meat can bring a better market price than beef or mutton PARKS AND PRESERVES Many countries have set aside parks and preserves for ecological, cultural, or recreational purposes Different levels of protection are found in nature preserves Native people can play important roles in nature protection - Although most forests and grasslands serve utilitarian purposes, many nations have set aside some natural areas for ecological, cultural, or recreational purposes Many countries have created nature preserves - Different levels of disturbance are allowed in protected areas. The IUCN divides areas in five categories, depending on the intended level of allowed human use. - Some biomes are well represented in nature preserves, while other are relatively under protected. Not surprisingly, there’s an inverse relationship between the percentage converted to human use (and where people live) and the percentage protected. Not all preserves are preserved - In many of the most famous parks, traffic congestion and crowds of people stress park resources and detract from the experience of unspoiled nature. Some parks, such as Yosemite and Zion National Parks, have banned private automobiles from the most congested areas. Visitors must park in remote lots and ride to popular sites in clean, quiet buses that run on electricity or natural gas - In recent years in the U.S. National Park System has begun to emphasize nature protection and environmental education over entertainment. This new agenda is being adopted by other countries as well. The IUCN has developed a world conservation strategy for protecting natural resources that includes the following three objectives: (1) to maintain essential ecological processes and life-support systems (such as soil regeneration and protection, nutrient recycling, and water purification) on which human survival and development depend; (2) to preserve genetic diversity essential for breeding programs to improve cultivated plants and domestic animals; and (3) to ensure that any utilization of wild species and ecosystems is sustainable Marine ecosystems need greater protection - Coral reefs are among the most threatened marine ecosystems in the world. Remote sensing surveys show that living coral covers only about 285,000 km2 (110,00mi2), or an area about the size of Nevada. This is less than half of previous estimates, and 90% of all reefs face threats from rising sea temperatures, destructive fishing methods, coral mining, sediment runoff, and other human disturbance - What can be done to reverse this trend? Conservation and economic development can work together - Residents of some developing countries are beginning to realize that their biological resources may be their most valuable assets, and that preserving those resources is vital for sustainable development. Ecotourism (tourism that is ecologically and socially sustainable) can be more beneficial in many places over the long term than extractive industries such as logging and mining Native people can play important roles in nature protection - In many important biomes, indigenous people have been present for thousands of years and have legitimate right to pursue traditional ways of life. Furthermore, many of the approximately 5,000 indigenous or native peoples that remain today possess ecological knowledge about their ancestral homelands that can be valuable in ecosystem management - Other countries recognize that finding ways to integrate local human needs with the needs of nature is essential for successful conservation. In 1986 UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organizational) initiated its Man and Biosphere (MAB) program, which encourages the designation of biosphere reserves, protected areas divided into zones with different purposes Species survival can depend on preserve size and shape - One proposed solution has been to create corridors of natural habitat that can connect to smaller habitat areas. Corridors could effectively create a large preserve from several small ones. Corridors could also allow populations to maintain genetic diversity or expand into new breeding territory - One of the reasons large preserves are considered setter than small preserves is that they have more core habitat – areas deep in the interior of a habitat area that have been conditions for specialized species than do edges. Edge effect is a term generally used to describe habitat edges. - Landscape ecology is a science that examines the relationships between these spatial patterns and ecological processes, such as species moment or survival
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