Thoughts catching, stories weaving. . .

Archive for the ‘Restoration’ Category

Habits of Successful Ecologist

Seven habits for successful restoration ecologist were described by editor of Ecological Restoration journal (2016). The editor, Steven N. Handel, turned out to be a very nice person. He emailed me a full PDF version of the “The Seven Habits of highly successful people who want to do ecological restoration”  right after I described him how intrigued I was by the title. The full version lays out the mentioned habits in a succinct way. At the end the readers were called out to contribute their own entries. I noticed lack of focus on ecological theories so I took up a challenge.

Here’s is my entry:

“Use Feory in the Thield”

 The science of restoration ecology seeks ways to advance the understanding of how to restore native ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed. You run the experiments and report the facts but the truth is there is an ecological theory for that. Do not shy away from models and functions that form the foundation of many ecological theories though. Trap them and then hunt them with your hard-won evidence. This way you leave a visible trail that can be appreciated in many other fields of ecological science. Not to mention that the ecological theory assist you with forming a conceptual framework and an exciting question. If you manage to express your findings using mathematical formulas you would make your findings reproducible and translatable to many other scientific disciplines way beyond the field of the restoration ecology. Advance the knowledge; speak Math-ish (mathematical language)!

The contributions hand-picked by Steven were published recently here.


Alcoa and Recalcitrantness

luminium is the third most abundant chemical element in the Earth’s crust (after oxygen and silicon) and somehow only Australia was blessed with huge areas with its condensed form = bauxites. I will not mention how much money they make but I want to show my big respect for what Alcoa Mining Company does for the environment. It seems to be the most green form of mining activities I have ever experienced. Luckily, bauxites are relocated in a patchy way across Jarrah forest, south of Perth. Therefore the excavating procedure is limited to ridges and flasks. Valleys stay untouched.

They remove vegetation, topsoil and overburden first. Then the big machines dig out the level of 1-4m red rock and transport it over to the refinery. Once they exhausted the site earthwork contractors start bringing overburden and topsoil back to where it was that is 1-4 m lower of course. And Marrinup nursery brings life back to this place. The recalcitrant plants that is the one who abandoned seed production are propagated in the sterile conditions of tissue culture facilities. They are grown in very luxurious conditions – away from parasites, in sealed jars filled with sugar and microelements. They even do not bother to send out roots in there. It is a big dose of  ecological knowledge we gain thanks to Alcoa.