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NREM 612 Context: Historical and Ecological. “Quiz”

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Presentation on theme: "NREM 612 Context: Historical and Ecological. “Quiz”"— Presentation transcript:

1 NREM 612 Context: Historical and Ecological

2 “Quiz”

3 Historical Context

4 3. Model of land use transitions (& degradation) over time (Foley et al. 2005) Different parts of world in different stages Not all areas move linearly thru transitions Some stay in stage one for long period or move rapidly bet. stages I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation

5 A. 21,000 BC: bow & arrow replace spear, central Asian hunters  Europe, Siberia, & N America (Montgomery 2007) 1. Hunter-gatherers small degr. footprint due to low pop density, low growth rates, mobility Q: How did HGs degrade ecosystems? caused fires hunted larger species to extinction etc. 5 Hunting scene from 4 th millennium BC (Hillel 2006) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation

6 2. 8,500 BC ~ HG global pop. of 4 million (Tillman et al. 2002) a. Overharvesting of large-bodied spp. is an ancient & persistent signature (Western 2001) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation

7 B. ~ 7,500 BC: Ag. develops in Mesopotamia, China, Mesoamerica (Montgomery 2007) a. Shorter birth interval, 4 yrs (previously mother shifting camp can only carry 1 baby, inter > 4 years) b. Plants & animals higher densities in ag vs wild ecos. (Diamond 2002) c. Specialization 1. Ag settlements supported ↑ pop growth. Why?

8 C. 6,000 BC: Cattle first domesticated in Greece/Balkans (quickly spread to Middle East, Europe, India) 1. Animal husbandry ↑ food prod., ↑ land conversion, ↑ manure for fertilization D. Repeating story: HG societies conquered by Ag. societies (Diamond 2002) 1. ↑ population & land conversion  ↑ degradation 8 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation

9 3. Model of land use transitions (& degradation) over time (Foley et al. 2005) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation Alteration of the landscape through clearing

10 Ancient & modern centers of agriculture. Trends? Ag arose where valuable domesticable crops were native, other areas proved more productive when domesticates introduced (Diamond 2002). Exception? 10 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation

11 E. Europe: Deforestation, Erosion a. 900 BC-250 AD: Greek, Roman writers comment on deforestation i. Plato wrote of erosion of mtns. of Attica, ruin of farms, villages b AD: St. Francis of Assisi witnessed deforestation & voiced concern for nature i. Patron Saint of animals & environment

12 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation F AD - Industrial Revolution: Global pop. 800 million 1. Western societies transform from Ag. to Industrial i. Demographic shift: migration to cites

13 3. Model of land use transitions (& degradation) over time (Foley et al. 2005) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation Urbanization and small farms increasing

14 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation 2. AG society: Pop. lived among fields that sustained them i. Nutrients returned to soil 3. Urbanizing society: i. Nutrients drawn from field to cities ii. Wastes leave via streams to coasts/sea, not returned to soil

15 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation 15 “The improvements to be made in cultivation & in the augmentations that earth is capable of receiving in the article of productiveness, cannot, as yet, be reduced to any limits of calculation. Myriads of centuries of still increasing population may pass away, & the earth be yet found sufficient for the support of its inhabitants.” William Godwin in Political Justice, Potential for unlimited food production

16 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation widespread use of steam power fueled by coal i. engines, ships, trains  Transportation Revolution ii. ↑ in atmospheric CO 2 concentrations

17 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation “I believe, then, that the cod fishery, herring fishery, pilchard (sardine) fishery, mackerel fishery, and probably all great sea fisheries, are inexhaustible; that is to say, that nothing we do seriously affects the number of the fish. And any attempt to regulate these fisheries seems consequently, from the nature of the case, to be useless.” T. Huxley in Inexhaustible fisheries & ocean resources 17

18 Model of land use transitions (& degradation) over time (Foley et al. 2005) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation Exhausted natural ecosystems

19 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation 19 G. New attitude emerges : Poets Wordsworth, Blake, Emerson expressed interest in env. a. Saw “industrial man” as corrupter of nature : U.S. estab. Yellowstone as world’s 1 st National Park a. New concept, way to protect env. for future gen.

20 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation J. Muir & T. Roosevelt a. Muir ( i. co-founds Sierra Club ii. Advocate for wilderness & Yosemite & Sequoia NPs b. TR ( ): “Conservation President” i : estab. 5 NPs, 4 National Monuments, protected part of Grand Canyon AD End of Ind. Rev., Global pop. = 1.8 billion

21 Model of land use transitions (& degradation) over time (Foley et al. 2005) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation Protected areas created Agriculture intensified

22 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation H Haber & Bosch? 1. Synthesized NH 4 from N 2 + H 2 a. Haber: invented process; 1918 Nobel Prize b. Bosh: upscaled it; 1931 Nobel 2. Facilitates ag intensification a. humanity no longer relies only on natural sources of N b. Coastal eutrophication starts to  exponentially 22

23 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation I. U.S. 1930s: Dust Bowl/Dirty 30s 1. Dust storms  formation of SCS in 1933, S&W Cons. Districts a. Black Sunday 4/14/

24 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation J.1945 Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) 1. Becomes agency of UN 1946 a. HQ in Rome 2. Purpose: food security for all (consults, provides funding, collects data) a. focuses on dvping countries, combats degr. 24

25 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation K.1950s-Present: Green Revolution: global pop. 2.4 billion 1. ↑ in ag production due to what main factors? 2. Green Rev driven by a. fertilization b. irrigation c. hybridization / genetic modification d. mechanization... fossil fuel energy, env. cost

26 Model of land use transitions (& degradation) over time (Foley et al. 2005) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation Green revolution maxed out agriculture Natural ecosystems bottomed out

27 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation L. 1960s/70s: Environ. Movement & Cons. Biol Rachel Carson, Silent Spring a. publicizes effects of chemicals on birds & fish 2. Mar. 21, 1970? 3. Gaia hypothesis (Lovelock 1979) earth as ecosystem; role of ocean, atmo, organic proccesses controlling clim; global biochemical homoeostasis a. 1 st Earth Day 27

28 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation 28 a.Establishes principles for optimum use of world's land resources, for improvement of their productivity, & for conservation for future generations b.Calls for commitment of gov’t, internat. orgs, & land users to manage for long-term c.Calls for land-use policies which create incentives for participation in soil conservation M. 1982: World Soils Charter (U.N.)

29 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation N. 1992: UNCED Rio 1. Earth Summit: U.N. Conf. on Environment & Development 2. Addressed 3 issues: a. Climate change b. Biological diversity c. Desertification 29

30 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation 30 II.Current “Human-Dominated Ecosystems” Concept : management should be done with ecological principles for the sustainable use of natural resources

31 II. Current “Human-dominated Ecosystem” Concept A. “The ecosystem approach is fundamental in managing Earth’s resources because it addresses the interactions that link biotic systems, of which humans are an integral part, with the physical systems on which they depend” Chapin et al Sustainable use of resources in an era of increasing population and consumption and large, rapid global environmental change 2.Ecological context provides a holistic view of managed systems, interacting biotic and abiotic components in a single integrated system From Chapin et al. 2002

32 B. Ecosystems 1.Are at steady state when outputs balance inputs over time, accept variation as a normal aspect, but the system shows no trend over time. 2.Long term, directional changes in the environment and climate caused by humans results in directional changes in ecosystem properties and loss of steady state 3.“Sustainable” use of resources generally defined as usage < renewal 4.Understanding how a system works before a disturbance is fundamental to predicting and controlling degradation From Chapin et al II. Current “Human-dominated Ecosystem” Concept

33 From Vitousek 1994 C. Impact of Human Activities “Overall, any clear dichotomy between between pristine ecosystems and human-altered areas that may have existed in the past has vanished, and ecological research should account for this reality” Vitousek 1994, MacAurthur Award Lecture II. Current “Human-dominated Ecosystem” Concept

34 From Chapin et al State factors set the boundaries of ecosystem development a)Climate most strongly influences ecosystem characteristics – biomes b)Parent material determines the starting point for soil development and properties, incl fertility 2.Interactive factors both control and are controlled by ecosystem characteristics a)Acquisition of resources depletes their abundance b)Human activities increasingly have an enormous impact on all ecosystem properties 3. Impact of human activities even affects state factors D. Ecosystem Development II. Current “Human-dominated Ecosystem” Concept

35 From Vitousek et al Transformation of land for food, fiber, and goods production is the most direct and substantial alteration of ecosystems 2.Land use change drives species extinction and loss of biodiversity 3.Most major ecosystem controls (climate, soil, water, disturbance regime, functional groups of organisms) are being altered on a global scale by humans 4.Humans cause directional change, novel conditions, and positive feedbacks that impact the stability and resilience required to maintain ecosystems From Chapin et al E. Alteration of Ecosystems II. Current “Human-dominated Ecosystem” Concept

36 36 Focus of Special Issue of Science in 1997 What did you think of the Vitousek et al paper? II. Current “Human-dominated Ecosystem” Concept

37 B. Characteristics of human dominated (HDEs) compared to natural ecosystems (NEs) Fill in this table w/ a partner based on Vitousek paper & your knowledge HDEsNEs resource extraction chemical use imports of non-solar energy food webs habitat/landscape soils hydrology disturbance regimes (fire, flooding, buffalo migration, etc.) 37

38 HDEsNEs resource extractionhighlow-none chemical useheavylow-none imports of non-solar energy highlow-none food webssimplecomplex habitat/landscapehomogeneousheterogeneous soilsdisturbed/ homogeneous undisturbed/ heterogeneous hydrologymodified/ regulated unmodified/ unregulated disturbance regimes (fire, flooding, buffalo migration, etc.) reduced-absentactive 38

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41 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation 41 (NASA) 2000s: Advances in Remote Sensing & GIS, RE & EBM 1. RS & GIS improve monitoring of various scales

42 I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation 2. Explosive growth of Rest. Ecol. & EBM in 2000s a. Economic growth based on exploitation ↓; growth based on restoration ↑ (Cunningham 2002) b. Restoration = spirit & business of 21 st cent.? c. Fed. & state agencies, NGOs shift from sectoral, single-species mgmt. to ecosystem-based mgmt 42

43 3. Model of land use transitions (& degradation) over time (Foley et al. 2005) I. Historical Context of Human Induced Degradation

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