environmental enhancement again

Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca
Tue Jan 15 15:42:55 EST 2002

Just a couple of observations:
Ian Sheldon observed: "I am not sure one can inflict "horrendous damage" on
species that rely on disturbance and that are being ousted by natural
selection. It is natural selection after all."
Yes succession is natural. Where this is a concern is when it is not
accompanied by the natural or historically prevalent disturbance regime.
This is a reality in many parts of the planet. Close to home it is a serious
issue because we have been suppressing forest fires for almost 100 years.
This has resulted in both unnatural tree encroachment into formerly
unforested habitats and also unnatural tree ingrowth and canopy closure -
even tho the process itself is quite natural. This of course has profound
effects on the organisms that cannot live under forest canopies. In parts of
western North America eg. Arizona there are ecological restoration efforts
underway to deal with this situation. A clear case of horrendous damage has
been well documented in Europe. The issue is the butterflies that depend on
early seral habitats and which then have become endangered because the
previous 'disturbing'/habitat maintaining practices ceased or the habitat
became protected. This has created a number of endangered species that need
not have gone that way. In my view, creating endangered species through
changes in land use practices and allowing natural succession to continue
unchecked is indeed horrendous damage. 

Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management
845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
Phone 250-365-8610
Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at gems3.gov.bc.ca       


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