Posts Tagged ‘herbivores’

Make you Fink on Friday

Mother Nature’s ingenuity knows no bounds.

And man is constantly uspetting the balance.

Carnivores help trees thrive without thorns, study says

Thorns are among the defences available to plants to stop them being eaten by herbivores

The presence of carnivores helps plants without thorny defences thrive, a study of life on the savannah reveals.

Researchers found that species without thorns thrived in areas favoured by carnivores because plant-eating animals deemed it too risky to graze at these sites.

The team added that declining carnivore numbers was likely to have an impact on the links that connect carnivores, herbivores, plants and people.

“Our observations indicate that carnivores, like leopards and wild dogs, shape where herbivores eat,” explained co-author Adam Ford from the University of British Columbia, Canada.

“Plant defences, such as thorns, shape what herbivores eat.”

“Plants have two pathways to success. You either protect yourself from herbivores by growing large thorns, or thrive in areas that are risky to your predators; plant eaters.”

He added that the delicate ecological equilibrium between the animal and plant kingdoms was likely to be disrupted in some regions.

Dr Ford observed: “As human activities continue to reduce populations of predators, herbivores like impala become willing to feed in areas that used to be risky, consuming more preferred vegetation and – ironically – allowing less-preferred thorny plant species to take over.”

A study published earlier this year suggested that three-quarters of the planet’s large carnivores were experiencing declines in their populations.

It added that the majority now only occupied less than half of their historic range, and this contraction could have a wide-reaching and long-lasting impact on ecosystems.

Source: BBCNews Read and see more.

Opinion:

So, with the vast reduction in the number of carnivores does that mean that defenceless plants will take a hammering and the world lose other carbon dioxide consumming areas other than rainforests?

Make you Fink on Friday

‘Humans killed off Australia’s giant beasts’

Scientists have linked a dramatic decrease in spores found in herbivore dung to the arrival of humans in Australia 41,000 years ago

 

Humans hunted Australia’s giant vertebrates to extinction about 40,000 years ago, the latest research published in Science has concluded.

The cause of the widespread extinction has provoked much debate, with climate change being one theory.

However, scientists studied dung samples from 130,000 and 41,000 years ago, when humans arrived, and concluded hunting and fire were the cause.

The extinction in turn caused major ecological changes to the landscape.

The scientists looked at pollen and charcoal from Lynch’s Crater, a sediment-filled volcanic crater in Queensland that was surrounded by tropical rainforest until European settlement.

They found Sporormiella spores, which grow in herbivore dung, virtually disappeared around 41,000 years ago, a time when no known climate transformation was taking place.

At the same time, the incidence of fire increased, as shown by a steep rise in charcoal fragments.

It appears that humans, who arrived in Australia around this time, hunted the megafauna to extinction, the scientists said.

The megafauna included three-metre tall giant kangaroos and marsupial lions, as well as giant birds and reptiles.

Source: BBC News Read more

Opinion:

Man never learns. We are doing it again; or have we ever stopped?

Of all the pestilences on this planet, man is the worst. No other species kills, maims or deforms itself. Man has killed more humans than any natural disaster or disease in nature.

Animals don’t do this.

Man is a lower life form than the animals.

Man may have technology, man may have intelligence and rational thought (LOL there’s a laugh for you) but man remains the stupidest life form on Earth.

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