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Sustaining Terrestrial Biodiversity: The Ecosystem Approach

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Presentation on theme: "Sustaining Terrestrial Biodiversity: The Ecosystem Approach"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sustaining Terrestrial Biodiversity: The Ecosystem Approach
Chapter 10

2 Core Case Study: Reintroducing Gray Wolves to Yellowstone
Around 1800 1850–1900: decline due to human activity U.S. Endangered Species Act: 1973 1995–1996: relocation of gray wolves to Yellowstone Park 2008: Gray wolf no longer protected

3 Natural Capital Restoration: the Gray Wolf

4 Science Focus: Effects of Reintroducing the Gray Wolf to Yellowstone National Park
Gray wolves prey on elk and push them to a higher elevation Regrowth of aspen, cottonwoods, and willows Increased population of riparian songbirds Reduced the number of coyotes Fewer attacks on cattle Wolf pups susceptible to parvovirus carried by dogs 4

We have depleted and degraded some of the earth’s biodiversity and these threats are expected to increase.

6 10-1 What Are the Major Threats to Forest Ecosystems? (1)
Concept 10-1A Forest ecosystems provide ecological services far greater in value than the value of raw materials obtained from forests. Concept 10-1B Unsustainable cutting and burning of forests, along with diseases and insects, are the chief threats to forest ecosystems.

7 10-1 What Are the Major Threats to Forest Ecosystems? (2)
Concept 10-1C Tropical deforestation is a potentially catastrophic problem because of the vital ecological services at risk, the high rate of tropical deforestation, and its growing contribution to global warming.

8 Forests Vary in Their Make-Up, Age, and Origins
Old-growth or primary forest 36% of world’s forests Second-growth forest 60% of world’s forests Tree plantation, tree farm or commercial forest 4% of world’s forests May supply most of the industrial wood in the future

9 Natural Capital: An Old-Growth Forest and an Old-Growth Tropical Forest

10 Rotation Cycle of Cutting and Regrowth of a Monoculture Tree Plantation
Fig 10-3

11 Natural Capital: Major Ecological and Economic Services Provided by Forests
Fig 10-4

12 Science Focus: Putting a Price Tag on Nature’s Ecological Services
Forests valued for ecological services Nutrient cycling Climate regulation Erosion control Waste treatment Recreation Raw materials $4.7 Trillion per year

13 Estimated Annual Global Economic Values of Ecological Services Provided by Forests
Fig 10a

14 Natural Capital Degradation: Building Roads into Previously Inaccessible Forests
Fig 10-5

15 Unsustainable Logging is a Major Threat to Forest Ecosystems (1)
Increased erosion Sediment runoff into waterways Habitat fragmentation Loss of biodiversity

16 Unsustainable Logging is a Major Threat to Forest Ecosystems (2)
Invasion by Nonnative pests Disease Wildlife species Major tree harvesting methods: Selective cutting Clear-cutting Strip cutting

17 Major Tree Harvesting Methods
Fig 10-6

18 (a) Selective cutting (c) Strip cutting Clear stream (b) Clear-cutting Muddy stream Uncut Cut 1 year ago Dirt road Cut 3–10 years ago Clear stream Figure 10.6 Major tree harvesting methods. Question: If you were cutting trees in a forest you owned, which method would you choose and why? Stepped Art Fig. 10-6a, p. 219

19 Clear-Cut Logging in Washington State, U.S.

20 TRADE-OFFS Clear-Cutting Forests Advantages Disadvantages
Higher timber yields Reduces biodiversity Destroys and fragments wildlife habitats Maximum profits in shortest time Figure 10.8 Advantages and disadvantages of clear-cutting forests. Question: Which single advantage and which single disadvantage do you think are the most important? Why? Can reforest with fast-growing trees Increases water pollution, flooding, and erosion on steep slopes Good for tree species needing full or moderate sunlight Eliminates most recreational value Fig. 10-8, p. 220

21 Controversy over Logging in U.S. National Forests
There has been an ongoing debate over whether U.S. national forests should be primarily for: Timber. Ecological services. Recreation. Mix of these uses.

22 Fire, Insects, and Climate Change Can Threaten Forest Ecosystems (1)
Surface fires Usually burn leaf litter and undergrowth May provide food in the form of vegetation that sprouts after fire Crown fires Extremely hot: burns whole trees Kill wildlife Increase soil erosion

23 Fire, Insects, and Climate Change Can Threaten Forest Ecosystems (2)
Introduction of foreign diseases and insects Accidental Deliberate Global warming Rising temperatures Trees more susceptible to diseases and pests Drier forests: more fires More greenhouse gases

24 Surface and Crown Fires

25 U.S. Forest Invading Nonnative Insect Species and Disease Organisms
Fig 10-10

26 Solutions: Controversy Over Fire Management
In 2003, U.S. Congress passed the Healthy Forest Restoration Act: Allows timber companies to cut medium and large trees in 71% of the national forests. In return, must clear away smaller, more fire-prone trees and underbrush. Some forest scientists believe this could increase severe fires by removing fire resistant trees and leaving highly flammable slash.

27 We Have Cut Down Almost Half of the World’s Forests
Deforestation Tropical forests Especially in Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa Boreal forests Especially in Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia

28 Natural Capital Degradation: Extreme Tropical Deforestation in Thailand

29 Natural Capital Degradation: Harmful Environmental Effects of Deforestation
Fig 10-12

30 Satellite Images of Amazon Deforestation between 1975 and 2001

31 Major Causes of the Destruction and Degradation of Tropical Forests

• Not valuing ecological services • Government policies • Poverty • Population growth NATURAL CAPITAL DEGRADATION Major Causes of the Destruction and Degradation of Tropical Forests Basic Causes • Crop and timber exports Cattle ranching Tree plantations Logging Cash crops Settler farming Fires Roads Secondary Causes • Roads • Cattle ranching • Fires • Logging • Settler farming • Tree plantations • Cash crops Figure 10.15 Major interconnected causes of the destruction and degradation of tropical forests. The importance of specific secondary causes varies in different parts of the world. Question: If we could eliminate the basic causes, which if any of the secondary causes might automatically be eliminated? Stepped Art Fig , p. 225

33 Natural Capital Degradation: Large Areas of Brazil’s Amazon Basin Are Burned

34 Why Should We Care about the Loss of Tropical Forests?
About 2,100 of the 3,000 plants identified by the National Cancer Institute as sources of cancer-fighting chemicals come from tropical forests. Figure 9-8

35 10-2 How Should We Manage and Sustain Forests?
Concept We can sustain forests by emphasizing the economic value of their ecological services, protecting old-growth forests, harvesting trees no faster than they are replenished, and using sustainable substitute resources.

36 Solution: Sustainable Forestry
Fig 10-17

37 We Can Improve the Management of Forest Fires (1)
The Smokey Bear educational campaign Prescribed fires Allow fires on public lands to burn Protect structures in fire-prone areas Thin forests in fire-prone areas

38 We Can Reduce the Demand for Harvested Trees
Improve the efficiency of wood use Make tree-free paper Kenaf Hemp

39 Solutions: Fast-Growing Plant: Kenaf

40 Governments and Individuals Can Act to Reduce Tropical Deforestation
Reduce fuelwood demand Practice small-scale sustainable agriculture and forestry in tropical forest Debt-for-nature swaps Conservation concessions Use gentler logging methods Buy certified lumber and wood products

41 Solutions: Sustaining Tropical Forests
Fig 10-19

42 10-3 How Should We Manage and Sustain Grasslands?
Concept We can sustain the productivity of grasslands by controlling the number and distribution of grazing livestock and restoring degraded grasslands.

43 Some Rangelands Are Overgrazed (1)
Important ecological services of grasslands Soil formation Erosion control Nutrient cycling Storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide in biomass Maintenance of diversity

44 Some Rangelands are Overgrazed (2)
Overgrazing of rangelands Reduces grass cover Leads to erosion of soil by water and wind Soil becomes compacted Enhances invasion of plant species that cattle won’t eat

45 Natural Capital Degradation: Overgrazed and Lightly Grazed Rangeland

46 We Can Manage Rangelands More Sustainably (1)
Rotational grazing Suppress growth of invasive species Herbicides Mechanical removal Controlled burning Controlled short-term trampling

47 We Can Manage Rangelands More Sustainably (2)
Replant barren areas Apply fertilizer Reduce soil erosion

48 Restoration of Grazing Lands
Example of restored area along the San Pedro River in Arizona after 10 years of banning grazing and off-road vehicles. Figure 10-21

49 10-4 How Should We Manage and Sustain Parks and Natural Reserves?
Concept Sustaining biodiversity will require protecting much more of the earth’s remaining undisturbed land area as parks and nature reserves.

50 National Parks Face Many Environmental Threats
Worldwide: 1100 major national parks Parks in developing countries Greatest biodiversity 1% protected against Illegal animal poaching Illegal logging and mining

51 Natural Capital Degradation: Damage From Off-Road Vehicles

52 Solutions: National Parks
Fig 10-23

53 National Parks in California Click for National Park Atlas

54 Nature Reserves Occupy Only a Small Part of the Earth’s Land
Conservationists’ goal: protect 20% of the earth’s land Cooperation between government and private groups Nature Conservancy Eco-philanthropists Developers and resource extractors opposition

55 Source: Minding the Gap, Scientific America

56 Solutions: A Model Biosphere Reserve
Fig 10-24

57 Solutions: Costa Rica: Parks and Reserves—Megareserves
Fig 10-25

58 Click for MarineMap marine protected areas

59 Public Land in the United States
Private land = 60%, Federal = 28%, State = 9% Wilderness: around 110 million acres (half in Alaska) National Parks: around 85 million acres. Click for Na Parks National Wildlife Refuges: around 100 million acres. Around half in Alaska. Click for US Fish and Wildlife Service National Forests: around 200 million acres. Around 155 million acres are forest, 20 million grasslands. Click for US Forest Service Bureau of Land Management: around 260 million acres million acres subsurface. Click for BLM

60 Southern Los Padres National Forest
Click for Wilderness Society

61 10-5 What is the Ecosystem Approach to Sustaining Biodiversity? (1)
Concept 10-5A We can help sustain biodiversity by identifying severely threatened areas and protecting those with high plant diversity and those where ecosystem services are being impaired. Concept 10-5B Sustaining biodiversity will require a global effort to rehabilitate and restore damaged ecosystems.

62 10-5 What is the Ecosystem Approach to Sustaining Biodiversity? (2)
Concept 10-5C Humans dominate most of the earth’s land, and preserving biodiversity will require sharing as much of it as possible with other species.

63 We Can Use a Four-Point Strategy to Protect Ecosystems
Map global ecosystems; identify species Locate and protect most endangered species Restore degraded ecosystems Development must be biodiversity-friendly Are new laws needed?

64 Endangered Natural Capital: 34 Biodiversity Hotspots
Fig 10-26

65 Endangered Natural Capital: Biodiversity Hotspots in the U.S.
Fig 10-27

Restoration: trying to return to a condition as similar as possible to original state. Rehabilitation: attempting to turn a degraded ecosystem back to being functional. Replacement: replacing a degraded ecosystem with another type of ecosystem. Creating artificial ecosystems: such as artificial wetlands for flood reduction and sewage treatment.

Five basic science-based principles for ecological restoration: Identify cause. Stop abuse by eliminating or sharply reducing factors. Reintroduce species if necessary. Protect area form further degradation. Use adaptive management to monitor efforts, assess successes, and modify strategies.

68 WHAT CAN WE DO? Eight priorities for protecting biodiversity:
Take immediate action to preserve world’s biological hot spots. Keep intact remaining old growth. Complete mapping of world’s biodiversity for inventory and decision making. Determine world’s marine hot spots. Concentrate on protecting and restoring lake and river systems (most threatened ecosystems).

69 WHAT CAN WE DO? Ensure that the full range of the earths ecosystems are included in global conservation strategy. Make conservation profitable. Initiate ecological restoration products to heal some of the damage done and increase share of earth’s land and water allotted to the rest of nature.

70 What Can You Do? Sustaining Terrestrial Biodiversity
Fig 10-29

71 Active Figure: Biodiversity hot spots
Click for animation Click for Conservation International

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