Can we use species’ natural constitution to help them survive future climate change? | Biodiversity Revolution.

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12 thoughts on “”

  1. Well, it’s complicated…but

    My position is post-modern. I consider our current predicament, by and large, to be systemic in nature. What I hope to achieve is isolate specific information relevant to a particular sub-region while maintaining context in a broader regional and global setting. Along the lines of considering the sub-region (Woori Yallock sub-catchment) a spaceship which remains open to broader drivers like climate and atmosphere.
    It seems to be an ontological challenge as much as anything.
    One aspect of this is to give consideration to regional biodiversity. The question(s) is, and I’ll understand if you consider this beyond scope, What would you’re section headings be, and how would you ‘tag’ such a report?

  2. Wow, you’re right, it is complicated. It’s a bit of a ‘piece of string’ question – coming from a mathematical optimisation background, I’d say you need to restrict your question domain before I’ll be able to answer it.

    That is, how broad is your research stretching, in terms of time and scope? Are you looking at the region as a semi-contained biosphere with a local ecosystem which then fits within larger biospheres, or did you have something else in mind?

    Are you collecting field data, and if so, are you doing soil/water/plant/animal, or a subset of these? Is the data plot-based, aligned on a transect, within certain well-defined ecological boundaries, or none of the above?

    Are there any hypotheses you’re trying to test, or are you hoping that a conclusion will appear from the welter of research data?

    And finally, are you looking at producing a published report, a blog post or posts, an academic paper or papers, or something else?

    Sorry for the verbosity, but I want to make sure I understand you correctly.

  3. Are you looking at the region as a semi-contained biosphere with a local ecosystem which then fits within larger biospheres, or did you have something else in mind?
    Yes, I am ‘looking at the region as a semi-contained biosphere with a local ecosystem which then fits within larger biospheres’.
    In order to clarify, I should say that primarily I am trying to disambiguate the local from the global. By way of example, best practice in the management of riparian land may eminate from Oxford, Yale or USQ, somewhere out in the ether (global context).
    The recommendation might be that a buffer of 50 metres from the stream bed is required. By superimposing the recommendations upon the existing, i.e. measured, reality. From there, to identify conflicts which operate as barriers to best practice. Not unreasonably I am expecting property conflicts to form the majority. I make the assumption that best practice reflects bare minimum to secure ‘ecosystem services’ (for want of a better frame) necessary for our survival.
    Further, given that these services are, in the long-run, central to the good governance of the defined region I afford them (because I can) a status of pre-eminent domain. In so doing, based on a unitary, and optimsed, land management paradigm, at current market rates, I should be able to reasonably estimate the capital cost of the provision of these services.
    That is, how broad is your research stretching, in terms of time and scope?
    The scope is broad, more, as I said, a process of disambiguating and consolidating existing sources and resources. It is further my intention to identify gaps in existing monitoring and data sources and resources and estimate costs associated with procurement of the data sources/streams. Each aspect; hydrology, biodiversity, land use, demographics,… represent unique layers which, in consolidation, should identify land suitable for secondary pursuits; agriculture, forestry, urban development and infrastructure.
    Time…phht; I’m unemployed and, it would seem, unemployable.
    Are you collecting field data, and if so, are you doing soil/water/plant/animal, or a subset of these?
    All of the above, more. The intention is to collate, consolidate and structure existing information in an accessible and replicable form here, albeit using an alternate Content Management System (CMS); ideally one with an integrated GIS platform. In the long-run I am working toward augmenting existing field data and data services through personal effort.
    Is the data plot-based, aligned on a transect, within certain well-defined ecological boundaries, or none of the above?
    All. Point data from climatic and hydrologic observations, transect (existing and new sources) for species distribution, raster and vector images from remote sensors,…
    Are there any hypotheses you’re trying to test, or are you hoping that a conclusion will appear from the welter of research data?
    Neither, I am trying to abstract data/information about a defined ecoregion from modern geo-political, institutional and economic concepts and structures in order to identify and better understand barriers to an eco-optimised management paradigm. It strikes me that it is not for want of solutions to ‘wicked’ problems that we flounder, rather that our understanding of the systemic nature and root causes of these problems is limited.
    For example, cost is often presented as a barrier to action; if we concede our reliance on ecosystem services and acknowledge the cost of those services as being that of the secured preservation and restoration of the eco-infrastructure necessary to provide those services. Then we must equally concede the price, indexed for future generations, will have to be paid.
    And finally, are you looking at producing a published report, a blog post or posts, an academic paper or papers, or something else?
    I guess it’s mostly about the development of an open information/open source, broadly accessible, eco-optimal monitoring and management platform consisting of both a dashboard and backend, populated with a regionally defined dataset extensible to three or four tiers of consolidation and suitable for deployment as a distributed nodal application, informed by a series of conceptual guides in essay form.
    Laughs out Loud!
    Verbosity Alison, let me tell you about verbose.
    Laughs again.

  4. We’re getting a very nested comment thread here…Anyway, a few further comments.

    1) You may be surprised about property conflicts. That is, it’s possible to have sustainable agriculture, for example by having vegetation corridors for animal migration plus all the usual things that go with sustainable ag. Some people here have had some success in collaborating with farmers on issues like leaving areas of ‘wild’ veg. on their land.

    2) You might do better to consider your ecosystem as a single system with parameters varying along gradients, rather than a set of discrete layers comprised of water, soil, veg., etc. That is if I understand what you’re doing correctly.

    3) I’d hesitate before building a CMS with GIS – there are already several out there, and guys here are working on an incredibly flexible repository that will be the bee’s knees and the cat’s whiskers. The intention is to hold all sorts of data from all sorts of sources, so that researchers and educators can access it – one of the biggest drags on eco research has been that each academic clutches his research to his chest and won’t let go, so much time is wasted collecting the same data to investigate different things.

    Check out http://aekos.org.au/ – we’re revamping the website at the moment, and SHaRED and S2S aren’t up and running yet, but AEKOS is, although the front end is a bit glumpy.

    4) I get that you’re planning to comb through different potential solutions/management options, and collecting all those together would be quite valuable, but are you also intending to analyse the collected data in any way?

    5) Fully agree about your point that we tend to focus on solutions to discrete problems – this means we just lurch from problem to problem, effectively, rather than addressing the root cause, which is our political/economic/value system. Not sure what we can do about that – if I think of a solution, I’ll certainly let you know. 😉

    6) Sorry to hear that you’re unemployed – I’ve been there at various times during my life, and it’s major suckage. Times are not good. In fact we just got the announcement of the distribution of TERN funding for 2014-2015, and we’re likely to have to get rid of 10-12 people (one of them may be me). FSM only knows what will happen to the environment under an Abbott government – we’re not hoping for much, to be honest.

  5. Nested
    Threads
    Suck

    1) Maybe. But I’ll hold to a pre-emimnate domain assumption for now, a global commons, beyond ‘property’ for now. Without doubt there is room for sustainable ag yet i hold that that it is a marginal rather than prime consideration.
    2) Yeah, and no. Some things, it strikes me, are eminently suited to visualisation as layers; streams, riparian areas, wetlands, forests, established conservation areas, degraded areas,…and, in particular, priority habitats of endangered/threatened species. Others, as you say, quite rightly are more suited to parametric monitoring; soil moisture, water quality, pollutants, sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, temperature, rain,…population, demographic and economic data.
    I suppose I may have inadvertently left you with the impression this was an exercise in mapping, it’s not. I conceive the geophysical mappings a base layer for a far broader information framework. The base layer because, by establishing geophysical boundaries to essential ESS; for one thing it demarks available land and allows for the optimisation of remaining spaces, taking into account demographic and agricultural precepts. Secondly, point data arising from field measurement still requires a geospatial reference.
    3) lol, I have absolutely no intention of trying to build a CMS. I had hoped, because I’m so attached to WP (the whole open source, open access thing), that it would suffice but it’s limitations become apparent over time. I explored buddypress as a collaborative platform, map press as a possible solution,… I have sort of reconciled myself to Joomla, Grass or OSGeo for the geospatial, collaboration, meh Im thinking probably retroshare.
    All steep learning curves but, as I said, if there is one thing I have, it’s time.
    Thanks for the heads up on aekos, ShaRED and S2S; I’ll check them out:) and I certainly take you’re point about replication…phhhh.
    4) My thinking is that I’ll just do literature reviews on a topic by topic basis; analysis and some form of undergraduate level synthesis report (these are not my subjects, I’m a proud business graduate). Frankly, I’m hoping that in most subject areas the work has already been done at the conceptual (global applicability) level and it will just be a case of transposing it on the local circumstance. I’ll start with the geological mapping where all I can do is locate and present existing image files and data sets, the same for soil just existing data sets; and frankly I don’t think there’s been a serious survey done in this area since the gold mining days.
    The hydrology, on the other hand is far more interesting; with broad ramifications, more extensive literature, and easily identifiable gaps.
    Vegetation, apart from a couple of box brownie photos taken from a hot air balloon and publicly available remote imagery there is nothing of a high enough resolution to be meaningful in a practical sense, so I’ll just collate the best I can.
    Heat maps of the ranges of focus species, on the other hand, should be reasonably easy to construct; leadbeaters, helmeted honeyeater, powerful owl, eucalyptus camphora and the emerald star for example.
    5) Funnily enough, I think there’s a workaround, a hack if you will.
    6)Yes, it sucks; but I get the time to, unaccountably, think, study and research which leads, I find and despite it all, a sense of inner peace. The best of times, the worst of times… Cutting research funding now; the &#$@ing *$!@^&*&4# *&%%%, &$%#@! I was looking the other day, federally DoD $26b, the department of sustainability, environment, water, air, arts, culture and heritage (I exaggerate)… $1b. Sorry to hear your jobs in jeopardy, good luck:) FSM…ah for the power to smite.

  6. Sorry about such a lengthy delay in replying, Colin – a bit of a flurry at work for a while. Glad to hear you like AEKOS – it’s not finished yet, but the base work is done. And I think that once SHaRED and S2S are finished and out, you may find them quite useful – I’ll probably write something about them on the blog, so stay tuned.

    I’ll be interested to hear about your hack in #5, when you are free to discuss it. 🙂

  7. Thought you might be, pretty big call, huh! As to discussing it, which should be excellent fun, I’ll get back to you soon, I have a couple of essays to get out of the way first.
    That said, generally I am available, at least to some degree, on any given day. Suffice it to say I am most definitely at liberty to discuss ‘it’. Although, I am not all that familiar with the framework of discussion I’m sure I can learn.
    I guess it starts with defining the frame?
    I probably needn’t labour the point but, for the sake of formality, I figure it needs to be addressed. Equally, a forum for discussion would seem to be a requisite it’s likely I’d be happy with your preference, if you had one; the riders would only be in the nature of transparency, accountability,…yadda, yadda, ya.
    Any thoughts?

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