About / Images

If your looking for a definition of biodiversity scroll down the right sidebar on the "Home" page. 

With the planet carrying 7 plus billion, with an expected topping out at 10 billion, is there any room left for the natural environment. I grew up in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, in the 50s. I had a living ocean at my doorstep. I caught my first seahorse at 10, and I loved to fish and spearfish. Many days I  brought home dinner. I dove and caught lobster, flounder, striped bass, blackfish, etc. All manner of life lived in the ocean by my home. By 15 I was collecting fish for the New York Seaquarium. But today the outflow from a sewage treatment plant means that hardly anything lives there anymore. Progress????

The "Nexus" is simply a means of connection, a link, or tie, to information on "Biodiversity." The aim of the blog is to keep a record of how the anthropocene is affecting the natural world. Sometimes even destroying it before it can be discovered and studied. This is my attempt to preserve the means by which the  flora and fauna of the planet deal with, and hopefully survive, the onslaught of man. 

I am using a somewhat different format then my other 2 blogs "Water Spouts" & "The Living Ocean." Here I post only a portion of an article, with a link to the source. In this way I can present more information on the page. Leaving it to you to choose what interests you most, and inspires you to read more.

I need to point out that I configure the blog on a 24" monitor. This has no effect on the content, but might mean that part of the theme may not be visible on smaller monitors. 

I hope you find the blog informative, attractive, and interesting.  And that it inspires you to do all you can to guard all the wondrous life on this planet.

The Pyrenean bear – the smallest of the brown bear family – who number only about 20 individuals.

 The last wild herd of European bison in Europe roam the vast Białowieża forest which straddles the border between Poland and Belarus. Only a quarter of this UNESCO World Heritage site is a protected national park.

Poaching laws in Russia are ineffective due to loopholes, and fail to restrict the killing of endangered species such as the Siberian tigers.

A Baikal seal at the Baikal Ecology Museum. More than half the species in Lake Baikal are not found anywhere else on earth.

A Cantabrian brown bear, an endangered species whose habitat in the Cantabrian mountains is under threat by a proposed ski resort.

A bumblebee in Boroughbridge, northern England. Urgent action is required to protect native bees due to their vital role a pollinators for plants.

A white-tailed eagle take off with a fish. National parks should have programs to reintroduce animals that have become extinct in the UK.

A small spiny seahorse. The 2004 Review of Marine Nature Conservation report to Defra concluded that current protection of UK marine areas was unfit for preserving biodiversity.

Heilongjiang, China --- Red-crowned Cranes in Flight.

Lion-tailed macaque mother and infant. This species is threatened by habitat loss.

Archerfish in a forest of mangroves. The fish spit water to hit insects on trees, in the center of the world's richest marine biodiversity, the Raja Ampat islands, Indonesia. 

School of southern bluefin tuna in a tuna fishery tow cage. We are calling on the Japanese government to support efforts to protect the species from over-fishing.

Trees in forest, Iriomote, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. This important area for biodiversity is threatened by the expansion of a US military base.

In this Sept. 15, 2009 photo, cattle walk near a burning area near Novo Progresso in Brazil's northern state of Paral. The Brazilian Amazon is arguably the world's biggest natural defense against global warming, acting as a "sink," or absorber, of carbon dioxide. But it is also a great contributor to warming. About 75 percent of Brazil's emissions come from rainforest clearing, as vegetation burns and felled trees rot.  

Woodland Caribou Bull Crossing a Mountain Lake in Late Fall During a Light Snowstorm on the Alberta - British Columbia Border, Canada.

Tiny colurful flowers of Lantana Camara that became an invasive plant in Australia. 

Dingos, pair with young, playing, Northern Territory, Australia.

The word biodiversity was coined in 1985 and although people argue over its definition, it essentially refers to the variety in life. Biodiversity can be genetic diversity, diversity within an ecosystem, or within a species. Species diversity is greatest in certain biodiversity 'hotspots', environments flush with life and rife with difference.

The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet, with species numbers constantly changing as new species are discovered. It hosts an estimated 2.5 million insect species, over 3 000 fish, and 1 622 birds, 524 mammals, 517 amphibians, 468 reptiles and a greater variety of plants than anywhere else on Earth. It is the largest and most species-rich tropical rainforest in the world.

A series of islands of biodiversity in a mostly barren sea, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest reef and home to corals, fish, anemones, marine worms, crustaceans, and echinoderms such as starfish and coral, as well as dugongs, turtles and humpback whales.

Although poor in soil and extreme in climate, deserts nevertheless support a diverse range of flora and fauna that fill their particular niches in extraordinary ways. Grooves between the Thorny devil's scales help to channel precious water to its mouth, helping it to survive in the harsh central Australian desert.

About 85 percent of flowering plants are unique to Australia, many of those occurring in the spectacular wildflower region of Western Australia. Despite the low rainfall and barren soils southwest WA hosts around 13 000 wildflower species. Between June and December the area erupts in color - producing more species of flowering plants than anywhere else on Earth.

Although not necessarily diverse in species, many island countries contain a high number of endemic species. In New Zealand 90% of insects and molluscs, 80% of trees and flowering plants, 25% of birds, such as the spectacular and curious Kea, and all 60 reptile species are found nowhere else on Earth.

With over 350 000 species of beetles worldwide and more being discovered daily, the Coleoptera are the most diverse of all animal orders and make up around 25% of all animal species. With tough, flattened bodies and protective wing cases, they have crawled, burrowed, and flown to the heights of genetic diversity.

Soil fungus grows on plant roots and surrounding soil. Along with bacteria it is responsible for the greater amount of soil decomposition, turning tonnes of detritus into nutrient-rich earth. There are around 1.5 million fungus species in the average soil sample. These soil ascomycetes, mainly Aspergillus and Penicillium species, are part of a project on using microbial diversity to suppress soil borne diseases of cotton.

Genetic Diversity - Australian Mammals

Dasyurids, such as quolls, numbats and Tasmanian Devils contain a much greater genetic diversity than the more recently evolved kangaroo family. Many dasyurids are endangered or vulnerable, and some scientists argue that their greater genetic diversity is a reason to conserve them over other endangered species. If we lose the Tassie Devil we lose a greater genetic diversity than if we lose the rock wallaby, for example.

In 200 years Australia has lost 20 species of mammals, 20 species of birds and 68 species of plants. The carnivorous mulgara is one of many marsupials in decline although little is known about its original populations. Once widespread, it appears to have become locally extinct in many areas, through the actions of cattle grazing, the interference of roads and infrastructure and the introduction of ferals species such as foxes and cats.

The dramatic and catastrophic decline in frog populations and diversity in the 1990s was long blamed on habitat loss, until scientists discovered the chytrid fungus, which wiped out one third of frogs in even the most protected environments. Frogs such as this Eastern Dwarf Treefrog play a crucial part in the ecosystem, keeping potentially disease-ridden mossies at bay and providing food for snakes, birds and mammals.

As many as 10% of bird species worldwide may disappear by 2100, according to a 2004 study by Standford University scientists. This will have profound consequences on ecosystems, seed dispersal, decomposition and pollination of plants. The cassowary is one of the only animals capable of spreading the large seeds of northern Queensland rainforest species.

While many animals are in decline others thrive in the world environment wrought by humans. Pigeons, Indian mynas, fleas, rats, mice, cats, dogs, foxes, rabbits, cane toads and grain beetles are among those most comfortable in the new niches carved out of a continent which has changed more rapidly than any other in history.

Biodiversity conservation attempts to protect and restore biodiversity from creating protected forest and wetland areas to controlling invasive species. The Greater bilby has been successfully reintroduced to northern areas of South Australia, indicating that it may once again thrive once competing rabbits and predatory foxes are removed from the area.

One controversial scheme introduced this year will allow developers to trade protection of one environmentally sensitive area with the ability to build on another. Mangroves are perhaps the most threatened by such an action as development on the fragile ecosystems could destroy a balance maintained over millions of years.

From tiny lichen micro-ecosystems to mountains and wetlands and forests, ecosystem diversity sways in a precarious balancing act. Ecosystems are interconnected in the role they play in the cycle of water, carbon and oxygen. Maintaining ecosystem diversity is important for the survival of million of species that have evolved to fill a particular niche in their ecosystem, and maintain the balance that makes Earth the only known habitable planet.

No comments:

Post a Comment