Hey folks, it’s Kevin Matteson. Welcome to our fifth podcast for issues about diversity. This is the final one. So if you’ve been listening thanks for joining us through this this is our trial as you know
of trying this new format for complementing courses and dragonflies. So thanks for giving it a try and we will keep exploring things like this.
So as always, we recommend you have read the papers before you listen to this. So the Redford article on mainstream bio diversity.
The is the first one we talked about. And if you want to jump ahead, that’s we get into that one around 15 minutes. At about 31 minutes we get into the mace at all article which is on biodiversity and ecosystem services. And then we
discuss the Cooper and Kaiser Bunbury article
At about 47 minutes into the discussion. So
that’s really it. We do mention that we’re going to be streaming a
with Thomas Lovejoy. And that is not happening now that we’ve been dealing with Corona virus and everything’s been changing. So if you hear that we that is not happening, we could not stream that.
But we’re finding other ways to connect with people.
So anyway, thanks again for listening and enjoy the podcast.
Okay, welcome, folks again to another podcast. This one’s on discussion, five on biodiversity conservation.
I’m Kevin Matteson, and I’m here, digitally connected with
Ramana Callan who, Rama, you want to share a little bit about yourself where you’re at and who you are? Yeah. I’m Rama and I’m a visiting assistant professor here at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. And most recently before coming here, I worked on the giant panda reintroduction program in Sichuan, China. Got it. And I do think we need to figure out a way to get some of the videos that you shared a couple years ago of the pandas and the
habituation type stuff you were doing with them because they were absolutely adorable.
That was definitely a highlight of my career to help raise baby pandas. You can’t really can’t really compete with that. Yeah, it’s it’s kind
cliche almost as much.
It’s very cool, though. All right, and Jeannie Miller Martin is joining us as well. So hey, Jeannie. Hi guys. So
I’m in Georgia, and I’m currently a professor of biology with coastal pines college here on the George coast. And prior to this, I spent my time chasing sea turtles in rehab and research with the Georgia sea turtle center, also here on the Georgia coast, not China.
I think awesome. So yeah, so Okay, sea turtle, biology and panda biology. That’s like, you know, definitely high on many people’s lists, I would think is awesome things to study. And Jeannie, you’re also GFP grad. I am. So I did my ease in Baja, Guyana, and Hawaii.
Cool. And that’s this is for anyone listening. Yes, you can get your masters with Dragon phi and go on to get your PhD. And we have quite a few people that are asking for a dragon flight PhD, which we have no plans for currently
on our plate, but not, not that one occurred. But you know, it’s definitely possible to take these ideas in this passion and go in other directions. So
cool. All right. Well, thanks for joining again, both view and so we’re going to start talking about these three articles that are required readings for this discussion as we’ve been doing. Um, but Rama you had this idea of sort of starting by talking about how any examples we’ve had in our lives of mainstreaming
biodiversity, because that is the focus of well, not only the title of one of the articles that we’ll talk about in a second, but also kind of the overall theme of of these articles.
Maybe Rama, you want to start it off? Yeah. So mainstreaming biodiversity, just quickly to define it is integrating biodiversity conservation into the decision making process at all levels of government and within the private sector. So it’s intended to complement protected areas conservation, because there’s so many important biodiversity elements in rural lands and in private lands, that
if we’re really going to be serious about protecting biodiversity, we can’t just depend on these protected areas. So
I wanted to give an example from my earlier career where I had the
opportunity to work for this small nonprofit in Hudson Valley called HUD Sonia. And what has Sonia did was contract with
townships and create these really fine scale maps of where unique ecosystems were like bends and calcareous wet Meadows as well as an important habitat for threatened and rare species like a blandings. Turtle. And then they would share these maps with the city councils and planning boards in these townships and do a little training workshops with them to help them make better decisions to protect our diversity.
And you would think that this would be pretty common practice. But I’m my I remember learning in graduate school that some of the most important decisions about conservation are made at these really fine scales, but that
the people making those decisions are often volunteers, or they’re just community members. They don’t have training and conservation and they don’t even have the data they need.
To make better decisions, so I think they were feeling this really neat niche, but I don’t think it’s being filled in most places in rural and urban areas. So I think
one of the really neat things we’ve seen in the past few decades is that cities are really mainstreaming sustainability into their planning, but there’s not as much effort in these rural and urban areas because the infrastructure is just very different. And it’s hard to make big pushes for biodiversity there.
Right, yeah, the, I just had to look up blandings Turtle, which I’ve, I’ve heard about
is really cute turtle. It’s got this like yellow throat. It looks like at least in the image I’m seeing
and it says it’s a semi aquatic turtle. So anyway, I guess.
April around a lot. So Ah,
So they’re Yeah. Going going on the road and in the water.
Yeah, no, I think HUD Sonia, so it’s like, and we’ll get into this with the article, I think it talks about how like publications and conservation biologists who just study species and just study conservation. Like, they often aren’t even really aware of some of these efforts of these nonprofits in these volunteer groups, and they don’t make it into the published literature as a result.
So did you find was was any of that translating from the you knew of into the scholarly literature and not really? Not that I knew?
I think, you know, they had a lot of white papers and documents they were publishing and making available online but they weren’t making into the peer reviewed literature.
Got it? Yeah. So that kind of fits.
So what about Eugenie of you?
seen any examples of mainstreaming? I sure have. And of course, sea turtles is gonna be where my focus around, but Jekyll Island here on the Georgia coast is a semi developed Island and there’s legislation that says only a certain amount of acreage can be developed and the rest has to be protected. So what they did
in the early 2000s was start to put together a conservation plan and they film formulated a whole conservation committee that had people from all of the different aspects of the island. So your real estate agents and your conservation team and then your tourist folks and then golf and swimming pools and anything and everything you can think of that would be found on a tourist recreational type Island. We’re all part of this larger committee. And we really thought through Okay, how can we take this concept of sea turtles that are charismatic in
the biodiversity of Jekyll and the southeast in general, and make that a promotion points. So we actually took that and created
marketing around all of that entirely so that we could take the economic focus of we need heads in the hotel beds and we need people to come visit with conservation focus of how do we keep our beaches pristine and our species together. And getting the hoteliers involved with campaigns for lighting and all that stuff is a really nice way to just integrate everything across the board. And that set us up to become a leader within the region through things like our marine debris plan that came x and then extending out just beyond sea turtle conservation or endangered Wilson’s clovers conservation and or alligator protection to really start to say, Okay, how can we do this in a way that makes the island
Great, keeps the businesses alive and helps protect the biodiversity of the island.
Yeah, I’m glad you said get the lighting which I assume you’re, you know, with with the I think it’s mostly baby sea turtles right that that head towards streetlights and artificial lights sometimes because there used to fall in the moonlight. Yeah, so it’s it’s both predominantly it’s the hatchlings that have the worst effects but they come out of their nests and they go towards the brightest light, which is typically either the moon on the ocean or if there’s no moon or something like that it’s the bioluminescence in the water that they know. The moms though, when they come into NASA, there’s bright lights, they aren’t comfortable because they’re extremely vulnerable out of the water so they just don’t lay their eggs or they’ll dump them in the water then do what we call as a false crawl.
So you need to protect both ends of the spectrum. But so the false crawl means they come up on the beach
But they don’t go far enough because they’re they’re scared of the lights and so they lay it where they can still get wet and therefore destroyed no I’m the real name is a non nesting emergence but I was going to tone down the the nerves. Okay? So what happens is either mom comes out a little bit and then turns around and doesn’t nest at all and you’ll just see a little crawl like partway up the beach and then straight back or she won’t come out of the ocean at all and she’ll just say in the water
yeah, I think I’ve seen the video I think it’s in the planet or two maybe that has all these hatchlings falling into gutters in the street and such and it’s really this I forget where it’s located. But I mean, I’m sure there’s tons of video, this sort of thing. But it does seem like you know, when those things with barriers and light changes to light, so their downward focusing instead of you know,
Eliminating in 360 degrees and so forth are some things that could really help. We found we actually worked with some architectural engineers that they changed it from a bright white light to an amber or red light but they created a custom shape light that can go on a boardwalk that directed it down but still met all the safety protocols and was still aesthetically pleasing enough for all of the design folks that were making the hotel super pretty
nice that was a nice collaborative between all three of them yeah amber amber lighting sounds very you know lovely in my mind.
So my example was I had a few eyes thinking about but I’ll just mention the the million trees initiative in New York City which is now also in many different city
cities across the United States.
So they’re basically just, you know, in New York City, it started this one, I think that’s it’s almost maybe two decades or so,
of having that initiative of planning a million trees, which I, I always liked, I was a little critical of it because I was like, you know, it doesn’t matter how many trees you plant, it’s more about total canopy cover because,
you know, you can plant these tiny little, you know, seedlings, saplings that are just not, you know, eventually they might contribute. Of course, eventually, they might also be,
you know, knocked out by development or a new administration that doesn’t value that. So total canopy cover is a little more valuable in my mind, but I understand the need to relate it to the public in a million sounds like it achieved like an exciting number.
So anyway, that’s and that obviously had biodiversity impacts and ecosystem service impacts by reducing
Temperatures in the city and giving shade and and a number of other things.
Cool. All right. So let’s jump into the papers and if we want to come back to any of these topics we could because they’re they’re, I think good examples but
Rama, do you want to start talking about
this first article? It’s the Redford at all article mainstreaming biodiversity conservation for the 21st century.
Yeah, so I really like this term biodiversity mainstreaming? I think it’s, you know, it’s clear what it is once you hear the definition and makes sense anymore. Forget what it means. So I think it’s a pretty effective terminology. And I, you know, I had heard of it but I think it’s really important for us to know how how
It’s used in the United Nations and the Convention on Biological Diversity in these big, inter governmental institutions that are working towards these goals. And this is a really common term that they use.
one of the they make is how important it is to reduce perverse subsidies. So that that always really frustrates me that, you know, we have, we’re subsidizing all the wrong things right now as far as protecting biodiversity, so subsidizing fossil fuel industry, which means that there’s no incentive to move towards a greener economy because gas prices are so low, subsidizing agriculture in a way that benefits these really large farms that over produce monocultures. And even in the fishing industry, they subsidize bigger fleets and bigger nets and so on.
So I don’t know if you guys want to jump in on that. But perverse subsidies are they’re perverse. They’re very perverse.
Yeah, that’s, that is a major problem for sure. I,
I think the term, like you said, perverse is the way to describe it. But it’s easier said than done. How to reverse it out. Yes.
Yeah. Genie, what he did you have any initial thoughts on on those concepts? Or, I mean, I completely agree with perverse subsidies. But it’s hard because, you know, all things in balance is sort of my approach. And
do you do none Do you do some do somewhere in between, but I think that so often you end up with lobbyists or groups that end up with the power that aren’t necessarily thinking through anything than one perspective, and then politicians fall in line, as does our budget.
Yeah, so I mean, I think, obviously, that’s just they didn’t really stress it that much in the article. But that’s, you know, if you take those subsidies from being perverse to being positive, that’s that’s a huge movement. And that’s part of this. And
earlier on in the article, I thought it was a little dry. And I really appreciated that they had these case studies. So
especially the one that focused on Costa Rica, that one really resonated with me that this whole country has just embraced the concept of ecotourism and
implemented payment for environmental services and this forest incentive program, and that clearly, that’s just really benefiting their economy, and it’s, um, I have never been to Costa Rica. I’d love to go do you
Have you guys been there?
I haven’t. Yes. Yep, me too. What’s your impression of this to that? Does that sound like what what you witnessed?
I mean, I was living in the Basque Country working on a turtle project. So it was me a Canadian and a Mexican. Promise it’s not a joke.
But we found that where we were, we didn’t see a lot of the tourism stuff really at all. So I know in bigger places like months of air day and Aussie and all you see that much more up close. And we did see it when we went here, there but every day in the daily life, it the locals that we were living with, they’re just so already so integrated into the ecosystems that I don’t know that they benefited or were harmed for better or anything that was just all part of their their ethos was to do the right thing.
Which made me that
Is what stems the larger picture is that every individual is working that direction.
Right? Yeah. It’s it’s definitely kind of the poster child for ecotourism. And, you know, as a country and its location, obviously right in between North and South America. So it has biodiversity from northern regions biodiversity from southern regions. As far as Central American countries go, its its economic situation is and stability is a bit stronger than many of the other Central American countries. So you know, it’s in place. It’s in a good place right now, I guess, in terms of being able to focus on ecotourism because travelers are willing to go there.
And also, I mean, looking at the list of authors for this article. Richard cowling who is the last author on it
Actually, I might have this wrong. Sorry, Carlos Rodriguez. The second last author is from Conservation International based in San Jose, Costa Rica.
And Richard cowling who is the last author is based in South Africa. So I think that explains, you know, the the focus of the case studies on South Africa and Costa Rica.
And I would just also mention that Thomas Lovejoy is the sixth article as this sixth author on his article. And he is giving a talk at the parallels lecture in Cincinnati in a couple weeks that we’re going to be live streaming. And we actually had this article, an article with him as an author earlier in this semester, as well. So he’s quite the prolific contributor to these issues.
And I have a fun parallel that’s not quite as well known as Costa Rica and not nearly yet as successful but I think
I’ve done a lot of work in the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and Nevis right next door. And we were trying to take Costa Rica as a model for this ecotourism and Savior leatherbacks do turtle walks instead. And I really applaud Costa Rica success, because when we sat down with the head of fisheries, his response was my neighbor told me that we could render leatherbacks for oil to help with heart disease. Maybe we should explore that to help our economy.
And that was in 2008. And it has been 12 years but we now have a fully supported ecotourism program down there training their government officials to do turtle walks and they’ve not completely changed all their policy, but they’ve started to embrace it much, much more. So it’s out there in other places that just aren’t as super popular and well known, but there are good things happening. For sure.
I think it’s so important for these, you know, when you have a template or something that works like one of these case studies, to really make it available and known to the
wider community so that we can make these efforts to mimic mimic the successes of them.
That’s a great example.
one of the criticisms I had of this article was table one where they list all these different programs that practice biodiversity mainstreaming, and they didn’t really explain them very well or talk about them again. And I think it’s kind of proving the author’s point that the conservation community isn’t familiar enough with these efforts. But I just I wasn’t familiar with a lot of them and I didn’t know what they were
I think that could have been done better. Yeah, it’s a weird. It’s interesting. It’s just a table that lists a bunch of things like biodiversity offsets in general.
and then yeah, yeah, the equator principles. There’s one listed that says just the equator principles on this link. Let me look this up and read about it. And I kind of got a sense for it, which is basically it’s like 10 guidelines. It doesn’t really seem to be restricted to quatre equatorial countries. It’s just called the equator principles, but it’s these 10 sort of things of like, check into this, check into that, you know, work with local stakeholders, kind of best practices in community engagement in general, perhaps, and thinking broadly about health of ecosystems, not just economics and bottom line type things. At least that’s what I got.
Yeah. Another mild criticism I had was that the author seems to have a bit of a, or I guess the author is having a bit of a chip on their shoulder about conservation science, not recognizing what they’re doing. And
I mean, they explain that kind of like, what we were discussing previously, that
these projects are that you can’t really test hypotheses with them because they’re really messy and context dependent and
implemented in different ways. You don’t have controls or you know, replication so
it almost seems like it’s their responsibility to get this out there not conservation science, responsibility to recognize it, but
I was wondering, I think this this paper is a really nice combo.
To a paper read read and conservation science and community by kariba. And
focused on defining conservation science as integrating human needs into decisions we make about conservation. And this mainstreaming biodiversity is like the flip side of that coin where we’re implementing diversity needs into all the decisions we make for humans. So they’re they’re very complimentary, and very related. I almost wonder if it’s kind of this issue with conservation science is promoted by these smaller NGOs. I mean, they’re not small, but compared to the World Bank, they’re small, so like, Nature Conservancy and rogue Wildlife Fund and Wildlife Conservation Society, and then this mainstreaming stuff is more with the World Bank and it’s very big, inter government institution.
And you guys have any ideas about that?
Yeah, I definitely noted that same quote that you did about, like scientists, conservation science is like not necessarily being able to address these kind of,
like sprawl, in my mind sort of sprawling and messy projects. But I actually think so many of our students in this program probably,
like connect more with these types of projects where the goal is like not to test the clean, elegant, eloquent hypothesis, you know, it’s really about actually getting it done. And like Genie, your example of working with all the different organizations to work on sea turtles and all the different issues like from tourists, lodges and hotels and lighting, and this and that. I mean, those are the things you just you’re not worried about getting a publication and maybe
Shouldn’t have to you know?
So I felt okay with that when the article when they put that in there I kind of did think it is a limitation in my mind of scientific method of the scientific method that it’s got this whole focus on clean hypotheses and controlling for various things, but like the reality of human human issues is like, it’s so complex, it’s so
yeah, those are some thoughts I had were that you Gee, I am similar to where you are. Kevin, I think that there’s that component of, you know, everything that we do in dragon fly comes back to what is the question? What is the question? What is the question and, and this sort of project is the question we want to drive data for a paper or is the question that we want to create a change somewhere, and it seems like they’re trying to take projects that are driving towards creating change and then being a little bit upset.
That they’re not getting the papers out of it.
You’re driving to different questions here. So the other part is, for my experience, maybe it’s because of where I’ve been all of the big money that’s out there isn’t where these projects are on the ground. It’s typically having big sales or this or that or adopting animals, that sort of stuff. So I just think that it’s two different perspectives. And when I was reading it, this is a great,
more like foundational academic perspective of what actually happens.
In the big picture, like this is great. This is all wonderful and stuff, but like you said him and it’s messy, and you can as easily put that into a paper or a quantifiable return on investment, if you will.
Yeah, I think clearly, both are needed. Like I’m thinking about, there’s this pollinator initiative.
That started up in New York City. And it’s, you need the science like we’ve been getting requests for, like, what, what, for species lists that we’ve been trying to publish for, like years and years
for that group, so we’ve given out unpublished unpublished data but but the bottom line is a lot of these nonprofit groups and this is on a smaller like city level. You know, they’re, they’re trying to conserve pollinators, but they actually don’t without the science. They don’t know. They don’t know what species are there. They don’t know what their requirements are. They’re just kind of thinking about it generally, like yeah, we need pollinators. So and they’re going to do some of the restoration adding meadows and this and that but
so anyway, they really do need to go hand in hand. And I think this is a good alternative framework just to remember
about all these things going on.
Maybe we switch gears unless Rama you have
Anything else on this one? Just that I mean, there are journals on environmental policy. So it seems like there are other venues for them to get this information out there at any scale, you know, even the scale you were talking about
Yeah, that’s and they’re just in my you know, graduate
didn’t read any of this
bit of a foreign language to me, but I would like to pick up more on it but, um, okay, so let’s jump over to mace
at all article, biodiversity and ecosystem services, a multi layered relationship.
And Jeanie, you’re gonna give us some thoughts on this one to get us started. Yeah, so I really enjoyed this article. I like that they broke it down by here are the different definitions of how we can define this but then they really
Just struck right to the heart of here’s why this is all really confusing
when you go through and they they did pick one definition from the Convention on Biological Diversity that tries to incorporate within species in between species and within the ecosystems and all of those things, but really driving to the heart of his biodiversity and ecosystem service in and of itself is part of ecosystem services. Is it a product of ecosystem services? I think when you’re trying to figure that out for whatever your project is or what you’re looking at, like, being able to be comfortable knowing that, okay, this all is going to be different things to different people, was really the big take home that I got.
There were three different approaches that I really appreciated that they put in there. That biodiversity is a regulator of processes.
As a final ecosystem service, or as a good that is developed in there. And that includes our interactions with whatever that might be.
How am I? Yeah, I didn’t fully understand those three examples. I mean, I kind of so we might talk about those. But I just want to say I also really love this article because kind of got it one of my pet peeves, which is
it says like, you know, sometimes biodiversity and ecosystem services are terms that are almost used synonymously in some cases, implying they’re the same effectively the same thing and I’m a big fan of like, Wait, do you mean biodiversity when you say that? Do you mean ecosystem services? Do you mean nature generally, right, because that’s different to me. I very much.
Go ahead. In terms of a lot of people equate species richness and biodiversity together. So then our species
C’s richness and ecosystem services the same.
Yeah. And I love that they they make that point that it’s different. And it is true in my mind, because that’s where I come from of pretty much thinking of biodiversity as species richness like, you know, and they make a good point that it’s not just that it’s variation, it’s genetic and ecosystem level as well.
But I just like, you know, some people might kind of roll their eyes and be like, oh, semantics, who cares? We all know what we mean, we want to conserve green stuff or whatever.
But I actually think this is super important. You got to be precise in what you’re saying and your language. So
I like that they get into that. And the other thing that I really teased out, was it said early on that 60% of ecosystem services are deteriorating or overused.
And that also that I immediately wondered, well
How many do we not even know about yet?
Like, right, Diana immediately came to my mind in terms of carbon offsetting, and all the incredible things that they’re doing and sarama and our Chroma. Here’s a shameless plug for the guy on E.
But what else do we not know? that’s out there? Yeah, yeah. I did want to read that article too, for sure. About how did they determine, you know, what, when they say 60% of ecosystem services, like what where exactly were they measuring? Was that a synthesis paper or what?
rollin got, you want to jump in with something? Well, I think it It might be a little useful to think about redundancy here. Like I get some scale you have no biodiversity, you have no ecosystem services.
But um, you know, a lot of species
probably aren’t providing directly ecosystem services, or, you know, if you have at least a certain number of individual species providing that ecosystem service, you can lose some of them without losing the ecosystem service. So I don’t know if that kind of helps distinguish between the two.
Go ahead, finish finish your thought I was starting to think of something with that. But just your comment about terminology and being really precise. I remember very early in my graduate studies, I was confusing the term ecological role with ecosystem services. So I had written this grant to study flying boxes that disperse seeds and rain forests in Australia. And I called that an ecosystem service and one of the criticisms in my proposals like
You’re totally misusing this term that ecosystem service. That’s an ecological role. So it is it is important to use the right terms.
Wow, they must have been really looking for something to ding you on.
Yeah, good god. I know, I agree that language is so important because if we’re having this discussion within ourselves, and we’re all conservationists and biologists at heart, once we take that out, and we start talking to economists or, you know, educators or any other group, how are we going to be consistent with helping them understand so that we can actually put some value behind these things?
Right. Yeah, that’s, and I think in some people’s so how you communicate it and just sort of throw because I think a lot of people think if you concerned about diversity, you’re going to conserve ecosystem services.
But you know, there are at small scales like examples where that’s not, you’re not going to optimize the ecosystem service if you conserve biodiversity. So an example of that would be like, large scale agriculture with monocultures of crops, where you don’t have much diversity over large swaths of land that out here in the Midwest of corn and soybean and such, but yet that is highly productive in the short term, at least right at producing goods. And the same could be said, if your ultimate goal was let’s just sequester carbon, right? There are certain plants that are that are going to be better than others, and you might just have a relative monoculture of those plants.
So just throwing out that idea, because I think some people just think, yeah, you know, preserve biodiversity yield preserve ecosystem services, and in the short term, that’s not necessarily the case.
That’s a little bit of devil’s advocate there that I’m thrown out. No, I completely agree. And I think that that’s just more reason why we need to be mindful of how we’re defining biodiversity within the role of ecosystem services.
And coming back to their three approaches, then does that make biodiversity good, instead of a regulator of a process?
Yeah, so let’s get into that one. So the first of all, I’m looking to figure one,
which I love for these little happy they have he’s like little happy faces, sad faces for values to people.
In that figure, looks, I mean, everything else looks very professional. So this is published in a good journal. It’s just funny to see little happen.
faces and sad faces there.
But yeah, they they distinguish the ecosystem processes which are like things like nutrient cycling, and then
the service itself, which might be like clean water and I don’t think these all line up at least initially I was looking at this, maybe they do a little bit actually.
So like pollination is the process. The service is crops and trees, I guess.
I guess production of the fruits in such in maintenance and then the good is the actual like specific thing you get the fruit or the cereal or the timber.
Is that sort of the way you guys were looking at this in terms of differentiating processes, services and goods.
I was when I was looking at the goods
Carrying out your example like the timber and the cereals,
that’s the product after we are involved in the process, but if you look at like drinking water and flood protection, we aren’t necessarily active players there. So I guess for the goods I was in my head sub categorizing by human involved versus non human involved, right, which will get us into the final article which I don’t think we’re ready to transition yet where they talk a lot about humans being a part of this all and analogous habitats and and getting disturbed habitats into the mix and thinking about humans as a major player for these things, but
that’s interesting how your mind was kind of breaking it down. I found some of it a little bit like redundant here like whether it’s a search for instance, a process versus a service to me
You know, I don’t know, I would probably refer to pollination as a service and a process. But that’s just me. And I guess it is sitting on the line here and their example but
Well, yeah, our bird species a good like that one. I did tease out a little bit like How was that? A good?
That was one of the things were a couple pieces of the article that I sort of paused. That was one of them. I was like, Well, how is a bird species? A good, I think is like tourism, right? Like that sort of thing. I mean, it could be I didn’t see anything that talks specifically about tourism, but that would be the logical jump.
I think there okay. Actually, I do have that highlighted here under there’s a section for biodiversity conservation in the I guess this is all kind of a discussion. There’s not really like them. So it says
Biodiversity as a good, which
essentially deals with a range of cultural values, aesthetic, recreational and existence value. So it’s not just that the bird might get birdwatchers, I guess that’d be sort of recreational. It’s also that it might get people who love just having bluebirds in their neck area. And then there’s the existence value, which is like, it doesn’t matter if it’s a slug that’s hideous, we believe it should exist, just because all things should exist. Or if it’s a bluebird, that’s also beautiful. It doesn’t even matter that it’s beautiful because it just has a right to exist. So I think I don’t really get how those are goods in the traditional sense of goods that you think of at the supermarket shelf, but
I think that’s how they were kind of relating it in that way.
I could see that.
There would be wild game birds too. That would be an actual good Oh, yeah.
Doesn’t seem to be what they were pointing out.
Right? And then they talk about should biodiversity be an ecosystem service? So, like, that’s an interesting one because and they acknowledge that the literature really shows biodiversity can increase resilience, long term resilience. So I’ll flip on the devil’s advocate, I threw out earlier about the monoculture crops in the Midwest. And just say like, yeah, that’s working in the short term of like, decades or a century or two, but longer term, we know we need to have diverse
craps for when there’s pest outbreaks and pathogen outbreaks and all sorts of things. But um, so biodiversity generally, is able to sustain things when services when one species declines or drops out in the mix. And
we’ve had the analogy of like the rivets in a airplane
They come and dine and at some point, the plane is going to fall apart. And each of those rivets if it’s viewed as a species, you know,
you might lose a few and still be able to have the service.
So it’s kind of dire, but I never really liked the rivet analogy and more recently I heard the Jenga analogy, which I like better so that like each species you take out is d stabilizing this this tower.
I think for for a lot of us that might be a more immediate analogy than the rivets in an airplane.
I like that a lot better too, because number one, it makes flying scary and Oh
yeah, a Jenga tower falling down. I can live with that.
But it’s also It feels like with Jenga, where you’re located
is up that piece here pulling out also affects the PC gets better. It’s like some of those pieces once they become really weight bearing, then it’s even more dire when you remove them. So
I like that from a different perspective of you don’t necessarily know the value of you will have each piece Yeah. And how it interacts with the other pieces around it. So until your culture like that’s great for carbon offsetting, and, okay, but what does that do to the bog cats that can’t cross the Corn Belt, in terms of their value and their surfaces. So, the interconnectivity of the Jenga analogy is another one I really like.
Definitely, yeah, the only part I can’t explain is like you’re putting the blocks back on the top. So
just wait, I guess we could figure out an explanation for that, but
Yeah, now you got me thinking.
Alright, cool. So I guess, you know, this is a thought provoking article. It’s one of those things like, if you really, were sitting at a local brewery or something, and with a bunch of geeky fellow academics are conservation minded people, you could really think about this for a long time. Like does biodiversity beget ecosystem services or the other way around and terminology and such.
But I think it’s good. It’s good for people to be thinking about this all. And I don’t know if we’ve had any other articles on ecosystem services, in issues about diversity, I feel like it’s probably come up in a number of the our other articles. Just
I know that it come up in our discussions. Sure. courses. Absolutely. We’ve talked about that.
Yeah, we used to have a standalone discussion. Just don’t
ecosystem services. But then we found Yeah, that it people were talking about them so much in the discussions that it kind of was coming out naturally. But I think this article is good for giving a good framework of it.
All right. Well, let’s jump to the last article, required article, which is the poofer and Kaiser, Bunbury or Keizer Bunbury article reconciling conflicting perspectives for biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene.
let’s see, I think, I think what’s neat about this article and kind of all these articles is that they’re they’re trying to get us to think beyond large protected national parks right, like and and pristine habitats. And I know a lot of conservationists are sort of purists at heart and they want
They to them conservation is only, you know, getting back to whatever pre if you’re in the Western Hemisphere pre, you know, European settlement or whatever you want to say time period that you want to get back to that pristine state but this article is like look, it’s hurry happen it’s not happening we’ve got all these weird habitats now.
We got to deal with it make the most of gardens and urban areas and agriculture and just embrace it all and use it to conserve a variety of species.
Yeah, I don’t know as I read this, I just felt like my my mind was kind of like, Oh, that’s interesting point. Interesting point, although,
now I’m not so sure what exactly what
So interesting. Besides that points I just
men made there. What about YouTube? Did you What did you take from? Like Rama? What did you take from this article?
Well, um, I’ve always been a big,
you know, supporter of native plants. And the idea of, I always wanted to have like a native plant nursery when I get older and
maintaining ecosystems, you know, like you said, as they were pre European settlement and really like the past 10 years, it’s become increasingly obvious that, you know, we’re not even going to be in the same Plant Hardiness, so
we’re already on the same Plant Hardiness Zone. So, this idea that we can somehow maintain that ideal,
conditions condition is becoming increasingly unlikely
So I still I still want to have a native plant nursery someday. But, you know, there there probably going to be species that used to grow here that we can’t grow anymore. And they’re going to be species from a little bit farther south that are going to do really well. And I don’t think it makes sense to fight that process. I mean, you can
totally, yeah, that’s that’s a good point. Yeah. We were just actually in this new house that we moved recently. And
I’m looking at the backyard and I’m thinking like, what should we plant here?
And at first, I was thinking natives but the the, the main thing dominating the backyard of this house right now is two massive, beautiful gingko trees, which are not native, of course, but they’re gorgeous. And there’s also a water garden which would be perfect for coins. So then I started thinking like, Hmm, this is kind of
Maybe got some sort of like an Asian Eastern garden vibe going and I’ve been into meditation lately maybe I get like a little Buddhist statue is the fact that I’m like, I know I don’t want to do bamboo because you face it but I’m tempted, tempted.
I don’t think all the species are invasive. So you know, exactly like some sort of cool you know, bulbs or things that are flowers that are that are not they’re known to be garden, you know, only thing in gardens.
But yeah, anyway, but I’m also tempted by the native plant garden idea. So to figure that one out. Jeannie, what did what did you think of this article? I had to read it a couple times, honestly, because it was like, Okay, what exactly are they trying to say? And I guess I’m coming not from the perspective of conserved means, get it the way it was before we intervene.
I’m more of the team spaghetti of how do we make it the best we can so that we all can be here together as much as possible. And when I was at Jekyll, we worked a lot with historians. And if we said conservation to the museum folks, it had a completely different connotation. And they were like, No, no, that’s preservation versus restoration versus conservation. And then when we’re talking to the policymakers, it was completely different. So that really got me to stop and think of Okay, what am I trying to do? And I think that this article touches on that. A great example of Marsh habitat here on the Georgia coast, we have more Superfund sites than anywhere else in the country in terms of by area. But in order to restore the marsh habitat, we would actually have to do more destruction than what we would be fixing so it’s less damaging to not touch it.
And that seems completely
counterintuitive because you want to go clean up the environment.
But the way to clean it up is to do nothing and prevent further issue.
Yeah, that’s that’s injury. Yeah. I think taking that whole Where are we now? And how can we get those This is also all this all apologizes a conservation psychology part of my brain How do I get the people that hate me to come to the table and work with me?
Like Yeah, yeah, no, there’s there’s some points about like embracing invasive or non native species I should say. And analog species that are closely related to extinct native species that can fill the ecological role. And then yeah, like mine reclamation sites and Superfund sites and even like, Fresh Kills landfill in New York City on Staten Island has now been capped. It was one of the largest
landfills in the world at one point, and it’s been Captain turned into a. Like there’s greenways and park land up there. And there’s at least was one dissertation looking at native bee communities on this landfill site.
So it isn’t that sort of embrace it all. Let’s take it all on, you know,
we’re not, we’re not going to get rid of ourselves and we’re not going to change 100% of everything that everybody does. So how can we get together?
And I think that’s maybe what they were trying to get to.
About novel ecosystems, which might be a concept some of our students aren’t as familiar with.
Just this idea that with all this change that’s happening, these species are going to reorganize their community.
around all that, that anthropogenic change. And so there’s already novel ecosystems that exist that have only existed for a few decades, but we don’t really understand them very well.
Right? Yeah, they give that example of forests in the Seychelles, dominated by alien cinnamon,
prevents problematic alien plants from spreading. So it’s an it’s an alien or non native species, but it’s helping prevent other
non native species from spreading while allowing endemic plants to reproduce.
And so, yeah, that’s another one of those just confusing new the new landscape about diversity and stepping out of this, you know, in my mind, this pristine view of like,
like Yellowstone or Yosemite
somewhere that comes to mind of like,
early 1800s or 1700s of john your painting or something, and it’s like this view of American this like, and of course it was changing well before that, right like, mastodons used to live on this continent, but that was 10,000 years ago right and
one of the authors that cited in this article that’s is the Bernie who is at Fordham University when I was there, I’m sure he’s retired now but he was looking at should we introduce African or Asian elephants to the US southwest to fill the ecological role of missing mastodons because 10,000 years seems like a long time to us but that’s actually an evolutionary leads not a long time. And there’s a lot of plants in this area that
that are dependent on
That could be related to and also for the ecological function of elephants of clearing brush and such. So it’s a very controversial idea but I guess in that case the elephant would be an analogue species
that would be in these now novel ecosystems of altered range land in section in the southwest.
That’s kind of amazing to think about like I’d never heard of introducing elephants to the southwest before
Yeah, I mean, there’s no giant slot analog that I can think of even though they were also you know, when you look at like Osage orange you know, monkey monkey brains that people call them in the Midwest that tree Yeah, so never seen this tree until I moved from New York City out to Indiana for college and then Ohio now for work, but
But it’s this weird fruit that is like almost like a ball bowling ball. And my understanding is that either mammoths or giant sloths were the main things that consumed it and now it just sits on streets and kids kick it and throw it
under me What a thumb because they’re just everywhere they don’t seem to be consumed by anything. Well and they’re so heavy and round and you know I thought maybe their water disperse but Osage orange i don’t i don’t think it’s like, you know, it’s not like Sycamore
riparian or anything so yeah.
And and like squirrels can’t really get into it unless it’s like pulverized by car tires, which sometimes it is and then I see little sometimes squirrels and other things packing or nibbling at it. But
I’d say we’re just about out of time, even though I think there’s probably more we could talk about with this article. A lot of thought provoking things. Did you guys have any last words on this one? And
I’m good. I said, I mean, it’s just you could take it so many directions. Yeah.
Yeah, I think in for so many of our AP and GFP students that live in cities, I think thinking about like rooftop gardens and community gardens and greenways and you know, as these novel habitats are, where some of our students that are live on rural areas and they live in this
you know, land that is that is changed via agriculture and how we can use strips of for pollinators and stuff even though the mean, production is for, you know, the crop, right, but so I think there’s a lot there for folks. What about you, Rama?
I just, I guess coming back to this idea of novel ecosystems.
Pretty scary at first to think about, but I mean, you kind of can push against it or embrace it and kind of in the wild wild west of
about all of this right now.
Yeah, yeah. And it’s, it’s, I found it kind of liberating overall because it’s, it’s most of us will not have an opportunity to really work in a super pristine environment anymore. And so it’s good to feel like conservation can take many shapes and forms depending on where you’re at. Yeah. Now Yuri.
Um, all right, well, um, I think we’ll maybe close it at that.
And thank you both. This was a nice conversation
to join on. So if you’re listening, we hope you enjoy this and that you guys have a great discussion from
The fifth discussion wrapping up the course. And I don’t know Rama, any final words for folks? No.
Thanks for listening. Okay, Jeannie anything, any last thing? I mean, there’s really no wrong answer when you’re doing the right thing.
Like it no matter which way you approach it. Yes. Make sure you do the right thing. Make sure you
when you get there, you’ll be alright. Can I plant bamboo in my backyard though I don’t know.
properly managed to news for education on wide reporting.
That’s a tall order.
I think it’s us gonna be used for soccer and a dog.
Cool. All right. Well, thanks again for listening and take care.
Okay, folks, thanks again for listening.
Just a couple quick things I wanted to conclude with. One is that
we did not end up planting bamboo in her backyard too invasive. So we discussed that as happening.
Well, we’ve got some other plants in mind. And the other thing was that Rama came back to me later and said, with the Jenga analogy of biodiversity loss, where you’re taking out pieces and putting them on the top and she in the in this discussion wasn’t sure what that symbolized when you put it back on the top and she contacted me later and said, Oh, you know what, those could be invasive species. So it’s like, you’re taking out the native species and then you’re putting the invasive species on the top which is also leading to more weight on the tower and
more difficulty with the truck.
stability of it in some ways, so it’s an interesting analogy to tie into. Alright, that’s it. Again, if you have ideas for this, please contact me. My email is Madison Casey at Miami. Oh h.edu ma TT s. Casey at Miami beach.edu. And you could also give me a ring at 513-529-0837. And thanks again for listening through. All right, take care folks. Have a great day. By