Tag Archives: ecosystem

‘Existential Threats to Our Survival’: Check Out 19 Australia’s Collapsed Ecosystems | Instant News

By Dana M Bergstrom, Euan Ritchie, Lesley Hughes and Michael Depledge

In 1992, 1,700 scientists be warned that man and nature are “on colliding paths”. Seventeen years later, scientists explain planetary boundaries where humans and other lives can have “safe spaces to operate”. These are environmental thresholds, such as the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and changes in land use.

Crossing such boundaries is considered a risk that will cause such a large change in the environment as to create problems existential threat to mankind.

It is this grim reality that is our main research paper, published Thursday, face.

In what is perhaps the most comprehensive evaluation of the state of the environment in Australia, we show major and iconic ecosystems are collapsing across the continent and into Antarctica. This system sustains life, and evidence of its death shows that we are transcending planetary boundaries.

We found 19 Australian ecosystems met our criteria to be classified as “collapsed”. This includes arid interiors, savanna and mangrove Northern Australia, that is Great Barrier Reef, Shark Bay, South Australia kelp and alpine ash forest, tundra on Macquarie Island, and moss in Antarctica.

We define collapse as a state in which an ecosystem has changed substantially and negatively from its original state – such as loss of species or habitat, or reduced vegetation or coral cover – and is unlikely to recover.

Good and Bad News

person An ecosystem consists of living and non-living components, and their interactions. They work like super-complex machines: when some components are removed or stop working, the knock-on consequences can lead to system failure.

Our studies are based on measured data and observations, not modeling or predictions for the future. Happily, not all of the ecosystems we studied collapsed across the entire range. We still have, for example, some intact coral reefs on the Great Barrier Reef, especially in the deeper waters. And northern Australia has some of the most intact and least modified expanses of savanna forest on Earth.

However, collapses are still occurring, including in critical areas for growing food. This includes Murray-Darling Valley, which covers about 14% of mainland Australia. Rivers and other freshwater systems support more than 30% of the Australian diet production.

The effects of floods, fires, heat waves and storms don’t stop at the farm gate; they are felt the same in agricultural areas and natural ecosystems. We must not forget how the cities ran out drinking water during the recent drought.

Drinking water is also at risk when ecosystems collapse in our catchments. In Victoria, for example, giant relegation Mountain Ash Forest greatly reduced the amount of water flowing through the Thompson catchment, threatening the drinking water of nearly five million people in Melbourne.

This is terrible Wake up call – not only warning. Frankly speaking, current changes across continents, and their potential results, pose existential threats to our survival, and to other lives we share the environment with.

In investigating collapse patterns, we found that most ecosystems are experiencing multiple simultaneous stresses from global climate change and human regional impacts (such as land clearing). Stress occurs frequently additives and extreme.

Take for example the last 11 years in Western Australia.

In the summer of 2010 and 2011, a heat wave covering more than 300,000 square kilometers destroying marine and terrestrial ecosystems. The extreme heat destroys forests and forests, seaweed forests, seagrass meadows and coral reefs. This catastrophe was followed by two cyclones.

A record ocean heat wave in late 2019 dealt a further blow. And another ocean heat wave is predicted This April.

These 19 ecosystems are collapsing: read about each

What should be done about it?

person Our brain trust consists of 38 experts from 21 universities, CSIRO, and the federal Department of Water and Agricultural Environment. In addition to measuring and reporting more doom and gloom, we ask the question: what can be done?

We designed a simple but easy to setup scheme called 3A:

  • Awareness of what is important
  • Anticipate what will happen
  • Actions to stop stress or deal with impact.

In our paper, we identify positive actions to help protect or restore ecosystems. A lot has happened. In some cases, ecosystems may be better left to recover on their own, such as corals after a cyclone.

In other cases, active human intervention will be required – for example, placing artificial nesting boxes for Carnaby’s black cockatoos in areas where old trees have grown. deleted.

Actions that are “ready for the future” are also important. This includes restoring cultural burning practices, which has various values ​​and benefits to the Aboriginal community and can help minimize the risk and strength of forest fires.

It may also include replanting riverside along the Murray River with more suitable species warmer conditions.

Some actions may be small and localized, but have substantial positive benefits.

For example, billions of migratory Bogong moths, the main summer food for endangered mountain dwarf possums, have not arrived in typical numbers in Australia’s mountainous regions in recent years. This was made worse by 2019-20 Fire. Brilliant, Victoria Zoo anticipating this pressure and developing food additives – Bogong bicycle.

Other actions that are more challenging, global or large-scale must be dealt with the root cause of environmental threats, as human population growth and per capita consumption environmental resources.

We must immediately reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, eliminating or suppressing such invasive species wild cat and buffel grass, and stopped spreading land clearing and other forms of habitat destruction.

Our Life Depends on It

The collapse of the various ecosystems we have documented in Australia is a sign for environment globally.

The simplicity of 3A is to show people can do something positive, either at the local land-care group level, or at the level of government departments and conservation agencies.

Our life and our life children, as well as us the economy, society and culture, depend on it.

We could not delay any further.

Dana M Bergstrom is the principal research scientist at Wollongong University. Euan Ritchie is a professor in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Center for Integrative Ecology, School of Life & Environmental Sciences at Deakin University. Lesley Hughes is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. Michael Depledge is a professor and chair, Environment and Human Health, at the University of Exeter.

Disclosure statement: Dana Bergstrom works for the Australian Antarctic Division and is a Visiting Fellow at the University of Wollongong. His research includes fieldwork on Macquarie Island and in Antarctica supported by the Australian Antarctic Division.

Euan Ritchie receives funding from the Australian Research Council, The Australia and Pacific Science Foundation, Australian Geographic, Parks Victoria, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, and Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC. Euan Ritchie is the Director (Media Working Group) of the Ecological Society of Australia, and a member of the Australian Mammal Society.

Lesley Hughes receives funding from the Australian Research Council. He is a Board Member on the Australian Climate Council, member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and Director of WWF-Australia.

Michael Depledge does not work for, consult, own stock or receive funds from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and does not disclose relevant affiliations outside of their academic appointment.

Reposted with permission from The Conversation.

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Michigan Trout Unlimited webinar series scheduled on invasive New Zealand mud snails | Local News | Instant News

TRAVEL CITY – A small, invasive species discovered years ago in several local rivers will be the focus of a series of free monthly webinars hosted by the non-profit Michigan Trout Unlimited.

A group of environmental experts is scheduled to dissect the impact and plan to tackle the New Zealand mud snail, a tiny mollusk that could ultimately have a major impact on the connected river ecosystems of the Great Lakes. Snails are known to reproduce rapidly to overcrowded levels and eventually dominate macro-invertebrates and other insects in the food chain, experts say.

Researchers are looking for answers about their effects on local ecosystems.

New Zealand mud snails were first discovered in North America in 1987 in the West, and finally in Lake Michigan in 2012; Inland water specialists in recent years identified creatures in the AuSable, Boardman, Manistee, Pere Marquette and Pine rivers in Lower Michigan.

“It’s one of the most widespread globally invasive species that occurs worldwide,” said Jeremy Geist, Great Lakes stream restoration manager at Trout Unlimited. “These are often found in cold water trout streams.”

The Michigan Trout Unlimited webinar series will start February 24 and include monthly sessions through June.

Steve Largent, Boardman River’s program coordinator for the Grand Traverse Conservation District, said he intends to participate in every session. His goal was to learn all he could about invasive species, he said.

“They’re on the Boardman and they’re in trouble. How many problems we really don’t know, “said Largent.

The first speaker in the series is Samantha Tank, an aquatic invasive species specialist for the Great Lakes Commission. He is currently leading the invasive phragmite collaborative for the organization, and says previous research on New Zealand mud snails is part of his master’s degree work.

Tank said his research was focused on studying the dynamics of a snail invasion of Michigan’s cold waterways. The affected river is often used by anglers, he said.

Part of his research involved surveying fishermen to tabulate what they generally know about invasive snails and what they are willing to do about it, he said, “looking at the relationship between awareness and action.”

Tank said he was also developing a detection technique for New Zealand’s mud nails that worked 95 percent or more of the time.

He said it too could easily be taught to citizen scientists to further expand the opportunities for data collection.

“I’ll give you some tips on that,” Tank said.

Lucas Nathan, fisheries biologist and aquatic invasive species program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, is scheduled to speak as part of a series of events in April.

He plans to share an overview of the state’s strategy with the webinar attendees.

“With New Zealand’s mud snails, we don’t have a silver bullet in terms of eradication,” he said.

The most likely way for the invasive slugs – which can live for extended periods out of water – to enter inland river systems is through anglers who tie the creatures to boats, waders or other equipment and unknowingly pass them on, Nathan said.

“Preventing the spread is a very big component,” he said.

Techniques for killing slugs with equipment include the use of chemicals, cleaning with hot water or letting the equipment dry completely in the sun, Nathan said.

Other scheduled speakers in the webinar series include experts from the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Earth Science Laboratories, Inc., plus another as yet undetermined.

Registration for the webinar series can be done by sending an email to [email protected].

The series is planned in partnership with the New Zealand Great Lakes Mud Snail Collaboration, which more can be learned from visiting www.nzmscollaborative.org on line.


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New Zealand Could Soon Protect One of the World’s Most Diverse Marine Areas | Instant News

In 2015, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key announced his commitment to protect the waters surrounding the Kermadec Archipelago by creating one of the largest fully protected marine areas in the world. Located in the South Pacific, about 1,000 km (621 miles) northeast of New Zealand’s North Island, these islands are teeming with life, from migrating turtles and sharks to migrating dolphins and whales. For thousands of years, these oceans were still pristine, but in the future could face threats from human activity, including resource exploitation and climate change. Currently, the law that could counter such threats and resolve this major victory – the Kermadec / Rangitāhua Marine Reserve Bill – is awaiting debate in Parliament.

Remote and largely uninhabited, the Kermadec Islands are renowned for their distinct geological and geographical features, and a mix of tropical and subtropical waters. The region includes the world’s longest submerged volcanic chain, the second-deepest trough of the ocean – which sits at the bottom 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) below the surface – and a network of deep sea corals and hydrothermal vents that support a fascinating array of marine life. In fact, these rich waters are home to 431 fish species, 6 million seabirds, three endangered turtle species, and more than 250 species of coral and aquatic invertebrates. Most of these waters are almost unexplored, and future research will likely reveal new endangered marine species.

This unique ecosystem also serves as a stopping point for dozens of migratory species, including the Oceania humpback whale – a subspecies scientifically known as Megaptera novaeangliae australis. Whales travel between their feeding grounds in Antarctica and the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, where they breed. Humpback whales return to the same mating site each year and communicate using songs that are unique to their breeding location. Scientists recently discovered that migratory humpbacks exchange this unique “song” while socializing at a Kermadec “stop.” This never-before-seen behavior may have driven the transmission of the song east across the South Pacific, and facilitated what scientists call cultural convergence between whales.

Currently, only 0.4% of New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) is protected. The proposed large-scale marine protected area (MPA) would expand the current Kermadec Islands Marine Reserve, extending the boundary from 12 nautical miles around each island to the 200 nautical mile limit of New Zealand’s EEZ surrounding the Kermadec Archipelago. Although the exact size of MPAs has not been finalized by Parliament, the current proposal covers 620,000 square kilometers (240,000 square miles) more than twice the land area of ​​New Zealand.

The creation of a large-scale MPA around the Kermadec Archipelago will not only protect marine life, but also respect the cultural and spiritual significance of the island for the two northern iwi (Maori tribe) —Ngāti Kuri and Te Aupōuri. Ngāti Kuri has historical and territorial rights, known as “mama whenua,” over these islands, and has been one of the main supporters of the vast CTF. Under the current proposal, the two tribes will have ongoing representation in the discussion of conservation management strategies.

The Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy project is committed to working with local stakeholders, including iwi (Maori) communities, scientists, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community leaders, and government officials, to improve the protection of Kermadec waters. Over the past 10 years, Pew has helped sponsor numerous expeditions, organized the first Kermadec science symposium, and supported exhibition on the Kermadec Islands by a group of prominent South Pacific artists. Pew continues to help facilitate the amplification of the voices of Indigenous people who advocate for stronger marine protection.

As the Kermadec / Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary bill awaits discussion in Parliament, new parliamentary elections in October 2020 could provide a new focus on expanded maritime protection and opportunities for progress towards expert recommended the goal of protecting 30% of the world’s oceans by 2030.With this enactment, the federal government, together with iwi and New Zealanders, can protect 15% of the country’s exclusive economic zone, preserve marine life, improve the health of the oceans, and recognize the many ways that these waters link ancestral cultures and the health and well-being of future generations.

The new sanctuary will join a number of Pacific MPAs, including MPAs Coral Marine National Park, Open Source Libraries National Ocean Monument, Palau National Marine Sanctuary, Pitcairn Islands Marine Reserve, Pacific Isles Marine National Monument and Rapa Nui Marine Protected Area.

The Pew Bertarelli Marine Heritage Project will continue to work with Ngāti Kuri, scientists and local NGOs to strengthen public support and support government efforts to establish large-scale fully protected MPAs in the Kermadec region. This designation will be a significant step towards meeting the global goal of protecting at least 30% of the oceans through fully protected MPAs by 2030 with the hope of ensuring healthy and sustainable oceans for future generations.

Ashleigh Cirilla is a senior manager at the Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy Project.


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In Paris, the fashion ecosystem that had been agitated by shows disappeared by Reuters | Instant News


© Reuters Fewer runway events, Paris fashion week welcomes the digital age


By Sarah White and Michaela Cabrera

PARIS (Reuters) – When Swedish fashion brand Acne Studios last hosted a catwalk program in Paris in January, they purchased tons of vegan-friendly rice bowls from coffee shop and catering service owner Pearlyn Lee for a selectable design and team backstage.

However, such orders have dried up as the pandemic has required most luxury labels to cancel celebrations and discussions.

Even as some of the world’s biggest brand names returned to Paris on Monday, some of them were preparing for physical shows, punches for makeup artists, lighting professionals, catering services and many other companies in the fashion system.

“Basically catering is missing for us. And I’m not sure when it will come back, ”said Lee, who only recently expanded his kitchen area in 2015 through a crowdfunding project.

Starting Monday, 85 brand names will feature women’s clothing throughout Paris Fashion Week. Only 19 people – among them Chanel and LVMH’s Christian Dior and Louis Vuitton – continue to move forward with a socially distant vanguard.

Others have little discussion by visiting, or streaming videos.

Beginner designers can’t pay to work with large locations for small audiences or the danger of last-minute cancellation, says Stephane Vienne, of production and press firm Mephistopheles.

None of Mephistopheles’ 14 clients most regularly hold full events next week. In a typical year, each event will cost a minimum of 30,000 to 40,000 euros.

“We usually do four shows a day, our entire budget comes from these shows,” Vienne told Reuters.


However, he claims that positive returns will be drawn once again in the long run, as brand names seek to reach consumers practically.

Her business is producing fashion films, not standard programs with audiences, inside the 19th century Hotel Le Marois for the Polish label La Metamorphose

This majestic location has also been transformed, updating its system to attract businesses looking to stream events live from its complex spaces, said website supervisor Valerie Taieb.

But even small celebrations have gotten more complex as coronavirus cases in France increase and obstacles to events grow tighter.

“The fashion sector and the event industry have been completely forgotten in this crisis,” said Taieb. His group of about 20 has actually recently returned to part-time work, and is still relying on the state’s partial unemployment assistance.

On the La Metamorphose strive at the Hotel Le Marois, 25-year-old Tiffany Fournier claims some of her work has really dried up too, although she’s still running publicity and marketing campaigns.

“I haven’t done a catwalk since February,” said Fournier.

Some of the major brand names have actually pressed for physical events where perhaps partly to support other providers and companies. Designers also want to maintain connections with buyers and media experts.

“There is energy and joy, there is music, the first models appear on the catwalk, applause at the end,” said Alexandre Mattiussi, developer of the French brand AMI. “It doesn’t exist in digital format.”

AMI is gearing up to hold a program on October 3, with fewer than 150 visitors instead of 600 to 700.

“It will be a very beautiful wedding,” said Mattiussi.


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New Project Will Test Entire Calif City Population for COVID-19 – NBC Boston | Instant News

For the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S., entire cities will be tested, regardless of whether someone is showing symptoms or not.

This test is part of a research project put together by the Marin County community at Bolinas and the University of California, San Francisco. Tents were set up next to the city’s fire brigade, and Monday morning volunteers and researchers will collect samples from all 1,600 residents of the community near Stinson Beach.

Project organizers want to find out how extensive COVID-19 is in the small town of Bolinas and how they can use that information to help other communities.

A flood of new research shows that far more people have asymptomatic corona virus, fueling hopes that it will become far more deadly than initially feared. Bob Redell reports.

“We are testing for both active viral infections, through nucleic acids, PCR tests and for antibodies to detect whether people have been previously exposed to the virus,” project organizer Cyrus Harmon said.

Harmon, a Bolinas resident, works in the pharmaceutical industry. He is one of three people who started the project about a month ago.

UCSF doctor Aenor Sawyer is also an organizer. He said that
the fact that Bolinas is a fairly remote community is beneficial for researchers.

“This is a very unique model in an ecosystem that is quite stable, rural and isolated,” Sawyer said. “And we are also paired with projects that take place in the Mission, to be another community, but in the center of the city.”

The researchers will take a nasal swab and a small amount
blood for both tests. The aim is to get each resident to participate.

“I’ve never heard of anyone who didn’t volunteer to be tested, to be honest with you,” said one resident.

Residents raise more than $ 300,000 to buy testing materials
and set the site. Organizer Jyri Engstrom said they hoped this could function as a
a template for other communities to follow.

“Really, you can see behind me only a group of tents and a group of people who are willing to take samples and bring them to the laboratory,” Engstrom said.


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