Yellowstone wolves

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Yellowstone wolves

Postby Asparagus on January 29th, 2018, 12:12 pm 

Wolves transform their environment instead of the other way around. How often does it work that way?


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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby Braininvat on January 29th, 2018, 1:46 pm 

It's never an either/or in ecology. Species are part of larger synergetic systems that go in and out of equilibrium, with species transforming and being transformed by their environment. In this case, it seems to go dramatically in one direction, because an older equilibrium had shifted due to the hunting and eradication of wolves, a top predator species. And so the reintroducing of them made more noticeable changes than if they had been there all along.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby zetreque on January 29th, 2018, 1:58 pm 

Here are some resources I once used in my studies.

The Big Bad Wolf or
Symbol of the American Wilderness?
Gray Wolf Reintroduction in Idaho
http://www.gallaudet.edu/Documents/Offi ... -Study.pdf

Humans Strengthen Bottom-Up Effects and Weaken Trophic Cascades in a Terrestrial Food Web
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/articl ... ne.0064311

Mexican wolves, elk, and aspen in Arizona: Is there a trophic cascade?
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 271000335X

Trophic cascades in Yellowstone: The first 15 years after wolf reintroduction
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 0711004046

Trophic cascades from wolves to grizzly bears in
Yellowstone
http://www.cof.orst.edu/leopold/papers/ ... 3_JANE.pdf

Trophic cascades linking wolves (Canis lupus),
coyotes (Canis latrans), and small mammals
http://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.1139/z11-115

Wolves and the Ecology of Fear:
Can Predation Risk Structure
Ecosystems?
https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/art ... 755/238242
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby zetreque on January 29th, 2018, 4:18 pm 

If only other predators (humans) had the same effect on increasing diversity and populations rather than destroying it. Maybe someday when they wise up.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby Asparagus on January 29th, 2018, 4:32 pm 

zetreque » January 29th, 2018, 4:18 pm wrote:If only other predators (humans) had the same effect on increasing diversity and populations rather than destroying it. Maybe someday when they wise up.

If you notice, it is humans who caused the transformation the video describes. Humans re-introduced the wolves.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby Asparagus on January 29th, 2018, 4:36 pm 

Braininvat » January 29th, 2018, 1:46 pm wrote:It's never an either/or in ecology. Species are part of larger synergetic systems that go in and out of equilibrium, with species transforming and being transformed by their environment. In this case, it seems to go dramatically in one direction, because an older equilibrium had shifted due to the hunting and eradication of wolves, a top predator species. And so the reintroducing of them made more noticeable changes than if they had been there all along.


Right. So it's just as accurate to speak of environments being transformed by living creatures as it is to say creatures adapt. It's actually both.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby zetreque on January 29th, 2018, 4:38 pm 

Asparagus » Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:32 pm wrote:
zetreque » January 29th, 2018, 4:18 pm wrote:If only other predators (humans) had the same effect on increasing diversity and populations rather than destroying it. Maybe someday when they wise up.

If you notice, it is humans who caused the transformation the video describes. Humans re-introduced the wolves.


Yes I understood that but that is just ONE action out of how many actions do humans do? Look over time and space.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby Asparagus on January 29th, 2018, 4:56 pm 

zetreque wrote:Yes I understood that but that is just ONE action out of how many actions do humans do? Look over time and space.

Are you giving humans a unique place among living things? Aren't we basically just like the wolves? Transforming our environment according to our nature?
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby zetreque on January 29th, 2018, 5:06 pm 

Refer back to my original statement. Unlike this example of wolves, overall humans (predators) are destroying not improving the overall environmental health.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby Asparagus on January 29th, 2018, 5:33 pm 

zetreque » January 29th, 2018, 5:06 pm wrote:Refer back to my original statement. Unlike this example of wolves, overall humans (predators) are destroying not improving the overall environmental health.

The deer wouldn't say the wolves improved anything. There is a bias at work in opposing destruction with improving. When you speak of environmental health, you should specify for whom.

Remember the cyanobacteria who long ago grew and grew until they destroyed their lovely atmosphere with their own toxic waste. We call that toxic waste oxygen. It's not toxic to us. So when you speak about where humans came from, you have to refer back to those cyanobacteria. Not their genetic make-up, but rather the impact they had on the earth's atmosphere. Cool, huh?
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby zetreque on January 29th, 2018, 5:38 pm 

I find it hard to believe my comment turned into such a big debate. Please look up current extinction rates, historic extinctions and take a look at all the studies showing loss of species due to human activities. Unless you think utter nonsense of things like mountain top coal removal or anthropogenic noise (among thousands of other human activities) is beneficial to wildlife and diversity which supports the ecosystems that support human existence. To go with that thought process, next we will be going back on science showing that mercury is toxic to life.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby Asparagus on January 29th, 2018, 5:50 pm 

zetreque » January 29th, 2018, 5:38 pm wrote:I find it hard to believe my comment turned into such a big debate. Please look up current extinction rates, historic extinctions and take a look at all the studies showing loss of species due to human activities. Unless you think utter nonsense of things like mountain top coal removal or anthropogenic noise (among thousands of other human activities) is beneficial to wildlife and diversity which supports the ecosystems that support human existence. To go with that thought process, next we will be going back on science showing that mercury is toxic to life.

I'm just asking you to notice your bias. There may be some creature that has yet to appear whose existence will be a direct result of the destructive activities of humans. Destruction goes hand in hand with creation, grasshopper.

BTW, the message of your avatar is that the USA is under attack. Flying the flag up side down communicates either fort or ship under attack. It's an appeal to any allies in the area to come quickly to help destroy the attacker.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby wolfhnd on January 29th, 2018, 5:52 pm 

Natural population control tends to be a boom and bust situation more than most people would like to think. Human intervention tries to establish a somewhat unnatural balance which pleases our esthetic sensibilities.

Even in wild conditions some animals have few predators. Dominate species have always altered ecosystems reducing diversity.

https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinion ... m-Q90pMFSA

When people think of extinction by natural disasters asteroids and the dinosaurs tend to be envisioned. However the most recent complete destruction of habitat was brought on by the last glacial period. Not much survives under a mile of ice. How rapidly the areas that were under ice recovered is testimony to the resilience of nature. Places such as Yellowstone have only been habitable by wildlife for short time on a geological scale. Making them outliers in terms of measuring the environmental health of the planet.

The greatest threat to diversify of wildlife remains human population growth and agriculture. Followed by natural disasters such as droughts and a end to the interglacial period.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby zetreque on January 29th, 2018, 5:55 pm 

Asparagus » Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:50 pm wrote:
zetreque » January 29th, 2018, 5:38 pm wrote:I find it hard to believe my comment turned into such a big debate. Please look up current extinction rates, historic extinctions and take a look at all the studies showing loss of species due to human activities. Unless you think utter nonsense of things like mountain top coal removal or anthropogenic noise (among thousands of other human activities) is beneficial to wildlife and diversity which supports the ecosystems that support human existence. To go with that thought process, next we will be going back on science showing that mercury is toxic to life.

I'm just asking you to notice your bias. There may be some creature that has yet to appear whose existence will be a direct result of the destructive activities of humans. Destruction goes hand in hand with creation, grasshopper.

BTW, the message of your avatar is that the USA is under attack. Flying the flag up side down communicates either fort or ship under attack. It's an appeal to any allies in the area to come quickly to help destroy the attacker.


I have no bias. It was a statement. You are reading too much into it and putting words in my mouth. It's obvious that some creatures benefit at the cost of others. That is not what I said unless you look over a millions of years timescale. And yes I know exactly what my avatar is.
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Re: Yellowstone wolves

Postby Asparagus on January 29th, 2018, 6:07 pm 

wolfhnd wrote:
Followed by natural disasters such as droughts and a end to the interglacial period.

Speaking of the impact of one species on the environment, are you familiar with David Archer's computer models for predicting the end of the interglacial?
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