We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth.
A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Endangered Butterfly shifts Habitat
\The take home
is that an insect species can decide as a species to alter its
preferences. This looks like the group
mind at work again and the posited ability to directly adjust almost instantly
to a new biome choice and to obviously make appropriate adjustments. I personally have gone from having a
tentative conjecture several years ago to having my nose rubbed in it here.
line is that evolution is a considered choice handed down to the next
generation. Who would have suspected
that life operates directly by intelligent design without a bye your leave oh
Supreme Being. Now I do know where those
prenatal camel calluses come from.
This is also
wonderful news in terms of prospective species extinction. They merely need a chance to figure it out
and to be resetabloshed.
butterfly defies climate change with new diet and habitat
A butterfly species whose population
collapsed because of climate change and habitat loss has defied predictions of
extinction to rapidly move to cooler climes and change its food plant.
Apr 11, 2014
The quino checkerspot (Euphydryas editha
quino), found in Mexico and California, has shifted to higher altitudes and
surprisingly chosen a completely different species of plant on which to lay its
eggs, according to research presented at the Butterfly Conservation's seventh
international symposium in Southampton.
Its rapid adaption offers hope that other
insects and species may be able to adapt unexpectedly quickly to climate change.
"Every butterfly biologist who knew
anything about the quino in the mid-1990s thought it would be extinct by now,
including me," said Prof Camille Parmesan of the Marine Sciences Institute
at Plymouth University.
The Quino was once abundant in southern
California but the expansion of Los Angeles and San Diego saw it reduced to
just two small colonies. Other populations in Mexico began declining sharply as
global warming made conditions too hot and dry for its caterpillars' food
plant, a species of plantain.
Six years ago, Parmesan suggested that the
endangered quino could be a prime candidate for "assisted
colonisation" – to be moved by humans to cooler, unspoilt habitat north of
Los Angeles. Instead, to the amazement of scientists, the butterfly did not
need human help and reappeared on higher ground to the east, where its
caterpillars are feeding on a flowering plant it has never eaten before.
Several other butterfly species have been
changing habitat or diet to cope with a changing climate but the quino
checkerspot is the first butterfly known to science to change both so rapidly.
Many environmentalists fear that climate
change is happening too quickly for species to adapt but, according to
Parmesan, this surprising example shows that some apparently doomed species may
be more resilient than we imagine.
However, she warned that this case showed
that nature reserves, and linking together unspoilt habitat, was more important
than ever to enable species to survive a changing climate. Without undeveloped
land to the east of Los Angeles and San Diego, the quino checkerspot would have
had nowhere to go and would have become extinct.
"We have to give these species the
space to adapt," said Parmesan. "In the early days of climate change
people worried that nature reserves would be no longer useful because the
species they protected would move out. Now we know that new species move in,
and so they are more important than ever."
More than a quarter of Britain's 59 species
are moving north, with butterflies such as the comma moving around 10km each
year. With climate change, another UK species, the brown argus, has started to
feed on wild geranium plants as a caterpillar, enabling it to spread rapidly
through the Midlands and into northern England.
But the international symposium also heard
strong scientific evidence that climate change will create more losers than
winners because unspoilt habitat is so fragmented, preventing many butterflies,
moths and other insects from moving to more suitable places. Tom Oliver of the
Centre for Hydrology and Ecology told the symposium that scientific modelling
predicted a number of UK butterfly extinctions by the middle of this century.