Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Biodiversity’ Category

The rat, the mouse, the fox, the rabbit watch the roots.
~ William Blake

Challenged by Lake Superior Spirit to find six new and interesting views of things you have noticed or photographed before, I decided to get to the root of the matter.  Under the root to be more exact.  Since I’m so accustomed to photographing the part of trees that grows above ground, or looking at upturned trees from the outside, I thought I’d crouch under a very large Balsam Fir root and see what a small mammal might see if it was hiding there.

The first thing I noticed was how dark and quiet it was under the root.    

Balsam Firs tend to be shallow rooted and so are easily blown over during high winds. 

After falling to the ground, the roots of large trees remain intact, with some strands dangling to the ground.  Many provide hut-like enclosures that offer shelter for small animals.

Often, new trees start growing in the dirt left clinging to the upturned roots.  Over time, these roots eventually form mounds in the forest which help to speed up the rate of new growth.

Water often gathers under overturned roots.  Though presently frozen, these vernal pools provide places for amphibians to lay eggs or small mammals and birds to get a drink of water during warmer months.  The variety of life found around the roots of these overturned trees contributes greatly to the biodiversity of the forest.

For more information and photos of overturned trees taken from a vantage point out from under the roots see Pits and Mounds.

Receive by email or subscribe in a reader

Read Full Post »

In an effort to increase awareness and encourage positive change, 2010 has been designated the International Year of Biodiversity by the United Nations.

What is biodiversity?
Basically, it’s the variety of life on earth: plant and animal species and the ecosystems that sustain them.

How does this variety affect our daily lives?
From the foods we eat to climate change, biodiversity affects us all.

Why should we be concerned?
Loss of biodiversity on the planet is happening at a rapid rate.
For example…
– Forests are being changed into croplands with devastating effects to climate.
– Species of plants and animals are being harvested at unsustainable rates.
– Changes to the timing of flowering and migration routes are affecting relationships between species within ecosystems.
– Introduced invasive species (plants, animals and micro-organisms) are threatening native species by competing for food and habitat.
– Pollution is creating dead zones in the ocean which can no longer sustain life.

What can be done at the local level?
Doing something about biodiversity can be as simple as encouraging the growth of native trees in your yard as opposed to growing exotic species that require extra maintenance to ensure their survival.  It’s always amazed me how people move from the city to the country wanting to be close to nature, and then work so hard to tame the wild spaces in order to make them look ‘civilized.’

In the year ahead, I’ll be writing more on the subject of biodiversity, but for now it’s enough to simply introduce the subject.

We cannot win this battle to save species and environments without forging an emotional bond between ourselves and nature as well – for we will not fight to save what we do not love.
~ Stephen Jay Gould

For more information about 2010 as the International Year of Biodiversity, see the Convention on Biological Diversity.

 Receive by email or subscribe in a reader

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: