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Thread: S. purpurea in california?

  1. #33

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    Yeah peter wrote in his book I think it was the Heliamphora got stolen

  2. #34

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    I would like to visit the bog in California. I would be interesting to see so many different species of carnivores living in the same place. I agree with what seedjar has written. Nature always has a way of keeping things in check, even if it takes a long time. A human can't even count to a million, let alone comprehend what that amount of time has done to the earth.

    I've seen pictures of massive clumps of S. purpurea that were introduced in European bogs. If they are choking out native species, then their own future in the bog is doomed. Forty years isn't a very long time. http://www.bestcarnivorousplants.com/CP_Photos/Sarracenia_purpurea_purpurea_Switzerland_Copyright_K_Pasek_02.jpg

  3. #35
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    I would like to add a little fuel for thought on the 'invasive species' issue by virtue of quoting from a text. In the book 'Evolution' by Carl Zimmer, a popular and easily read overview, pgs. 178-179 are entitled 'Alien Invasion'. If you can find this in a library, or you have it, you might want to give it a read.

    I won't quote the many examples of the extent of human introduced 'invaders', but would like to point out two concluding statements made by the author:

    1) "At the rate at which biological invasions are taking place today, scientists suspect they are becoming one of the most important threats to biodiversity worldwide, ranking close to habitat destruction in their deadliness." pg. 181

    2) "Biological invasions may do more than help create a mass extinction; they may leave nature altered long after we're gone". pg. 181

    I'm only offering this for additional information, from one source only, for those interested in this topic. I'm not taking any stand, or making any value based declarations here. If someone has read this and wants to offer comments (Seedjar maybe?), I'd be interested in reading them. I'm not an expert--I'm just one little piece in the one little link of a big chain...
    My chicken legs taste like chicken--only less meaty.

  4. #36
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    JBL, while I don't think I've read that book in particular, I do know about the types of studies that back up those quotes of yours, and I agree with them. But you must ask, "Why is biodiversity important?" The answer is, it is important to us humans because humans cannot survive comfortably without it. Another aspect of the answer relates to your second quote there; loss of biodiversity is bad because it has become part of the common human ethic to try to minimize our impact on nature. Ultimately, I think this altruistic attitude towards the natural order of our environment is also motivated purely by survival; a while ago, people started to recognize that if all the plants were dead, or giant swarms of mosquitos began plauging the land, it would be a bad thing, and since those kinds of things tend to happen in ecologies lacking in diversity, we want to preserve what biodiversity we have.
    Now, I'm going to make a broad generalization here, so any experts, please bear with me. There are some characteristics that are common among ecosystems that are in decline (losing biodiversity) and those in advancement (gaining biodiversity.) Many of these characteristics have to do with the kinds of survival strategies work best for living things in that ecosystem. Stable and advancing ecosystems tend to have a lot of species doing a lot of different things, so parasitic behavior is discouraged, because parasites are usually specialized to exploit one species or group of species. Additionally, because things are developing and not dying off particularly fast, parasitized species are adapting to their parasites continually. Thus, disease and pests (parasites) are usually at equilibrium with other members of the ecosystem.
    In a system in decline, certain species die off faster than others by nature of their varying degrees of fitness and distribution - endangered orchids die off faster than dandelions. Thus, there are certain species which quickly come to dominate the population of a system in decline. These species become easy targets for parasites, and often fall to extinction, taking with them any dependant species. This makes room for new "most fit" species which is most populous, and becomes the new target of parasites.
    Thus, for carnivores/herbivores like us humans, and the primary producers like plants that we depend upon for food, environments in decline are not pleasant places to be. I won't go into a detailed explanation of all the other aspects of a decline that are bad for things that share our general life strategy.
    It's not that preserving biodiversity isn't a good idea, it's just a little self-serving to always make it out as the "right" thing to do, like it's what nature wants, because in nature, pestilence and even mass extinction happens. I think a healthier attitude is to minimize human impacts on biodiversity and other aspects of ecology, and otherwise try to let nature take it's course.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  5. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ May 30 2005,7:14)]It's not that preserving biodiversity isn't a good idea, it's just a little self-serving to always make it out as the "right" thing to do, like it's what nature wants, because in nature, pestilence and even mass extinction happens. I think a healthier attitude is to minimize human impacts on biodiversity and other aspects of ecology, and otherwise try to let nature take it's course.
    ~Joe
    Hi Seedjar,
    While I do agree with your opinions about the relative nature of our interest in preserving biodiversity (i.e., self preservation), there are other reasons (e.g., spiritual for many, humanistic moralistic for others). Yes, it could also be argued that this is 'self preservation' of another sort.

    I'm sorry that I'm only quoting part of what you say. I can't really add to the first part because I agree. But to say that it is self-serving to advocate preserving biodiversity as if it's the 'right' thing to do, and then to say that it is a 'healthier attitude...to minimize human impacts on biodiversity...and otherwise try to let nature take its course" seem to be two different ways to say the same thing--hands off (as much as we can) of Mother Nature. Now, if I do something, I generally do it for a reason--the one that I hope and think is the right one--that is a human thing to do. Don't both actions produce the same results? That is, 'doing it because you think it's 'right', or simply doing it without assigning any moral or 'self-serving' rational. Why bother to minimize human impacts on biodiversity at all, if it is not the right thing to do, not only as a means of self preservation, but also as a means of expressing our spiritual or moralistic nature, or maybe just because we as a species like a whole lot of different things (like variations of Sarracenia). Is that wrong? No, nature does not know or want anything in particular, and yes, mass extinctions do occur, but should we consciously engage in behaviors to hasten such events? I know that you would not advocate that, but people most often are inclined to do things because it is 'the right thing'--whatever that may be. Of course, we're not always right (depending on who's observing the action), now are we?

    PS--The quotes from the author do not assign any relativistic value to the course of such action (rapid introduction of non-native species). They simply state what is happening, and what may be long term effects. We imply why this may or may not be a good thing, and having a good reason incents people into action--whatever that action may be...
    My chicken legs taste like chicken--only less meaty.

  6. #38
    Let's positive thinking! seedjar's Avatar
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    I guess what I'm trying to advocate for is a more careful assessment of what actually needs conservation. For example, I think we should move endangered plants out of construction zones, because obviously, if we weren't paving over them, they'd have a chance. But there are preservation efforts going on for lots of different things, and I'm not certain that we're responsible for all of the changes that the preservation is trying to prevent.
    Some natually occuring changes might be beneficial, but ecological science seems to have spend all of it's time naming what we shouldn't do and how to undo it, and no time finding what we can and should do, so there seems to be this prevailing attitude that everything must remain exactly how it's been since the biological sciences first documented it, or nature will crumble right out from under us. I think that maybe (MAYBE - nobody seems to have bothered to check) there are forests receding into scrubland somewhere for a good reason, and that change will help nature cope with human involvement. Or, maybe raccoons eating out of trashcans is a good thing. Who knows - my point is that all we're hoping to keep the Earth healthy and alive, but by "preserving" we're often just creating lab samples of things that were on the outs anyways, and not necessarily ensuring a healthy planet in the future. After all, nature is constantly under change, and isn't "preservation" to prevent change? I think that we need to create a new paradigm for assisting declining ecosystems. Instead of filling them back up with species that didn't work to begin with, we need to find ways to encourage the developement of species (or populations in general) that persist and cooexist successfully.
    ~Joe
    o//~ Livin' like a bug ain't easy / My old clothes don't seem to fit me /
    I got little tiny bug feet / I don't really know what bugs eat /
    Don't want no one steppin' on me / Now I'm sympathizin' with fleas /
    Livin' like a bug ain't easy / Livin' like a bug ain't easy... o//~

  7. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (seedjar @ May 30 2005,8:19)]I guess what I'm trying to advocate for is a more careful assessment of what actually needs conservation. For example, I think we should move endangered plants out of construction zones, because obviously, if we weren't paving over them, they'd have a chance. But there are preservation efforts going on for lots of different things, and I'm not certain that we're responsible for all of the changes that the preservation is trying to prevent.
    Some natually occuring changes might be beneficial, but ecological science seems to have spend all of it's time naming what we shouldn't do and how to undo it, and no time finding what we can and should do, so there seems to be this prevailing attitude that everything must remain exactly how it's been since the biological sciences first documented it, or nature will crumble right out from under us. I think that maybe (MAYBE - nobody seems to have bothered to check) there are forests receding into scrubland somewhere for a good reason, and that change will help nature cope with human involvement. Or, maybe raccoons eating out of trashcans is a good thing. Who knows - my point is that all we're hoping to keep the Earth healthy and alive, but by "preserving" we're often just creating lab samples of things that were on the outs anyways, and not necessarily ensuring a healthy planet in the future. After all, nature is constantly under change, and isn't "preservation" to prevent change? I think that we need to create a new paradigm for assisting declining ecosystems. Instead of filling them back up with species that didn't work to begin with, we need to find ways to encourage the developement of species (or populations in general) that persist and cooexist successfully.
    ~Joe
    Very valid and well thought out points IMO. Often, we preserve the endangered because we like it, among other reasons. We shouldn't try to reintroduce something into a habitat that's rapidly changed and won't support it, because that's wasteful . Some naturally occuring changes (e.g., bog to meadow/field to woodland) will result no matter what we do and at what expense. It does make sense to see what we can do, and not just the 'shalt nots', but I think a good rule of thumb when it comes to randomly introducing new species, is to think before we act. This thread started because someone (oh, yeah--it was you, right?) noticed that non-native cps were introduced by an individual or group of individuals. This seems to be vastly different from conservation efforts (unless D. capensis is in danger, and this was being done by scientists as a CP 'zoo' [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile_m_32.gif[/img] )

    My opinions are very much in agreement with yours, Seedjar. I just don't want anyone reading this thread to think that introducing non-natives is acceptable because time and nature will heal all in the end, and all of this is relative because of our human interest. I do not support individuals introducing a species simply because they know they can grow, and they like them.
    My chicken legs taste like chicken--only less meaty.

  8. #40

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    Hey everyone you should all go out and get some Kudzu and plant it in your yard for summer. Then in fall we can have this discussion again. I beleve many people will agree that non-natives are sometimes extremely bad. Oh BTW I would recommend you be prepared fro a tree or two falling or dieing from lack of light.

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