Like every year, the last plenary of the British Ecological Annual Meeting was all about the last '12 months in ecology' and this year was given by Helen Roy, ecologist at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. What comes next, is a personal take on her inspiring talk, but you can read a little snippet from her here.
Extreme climate events are becoming the norm these days, with red warnings for extreme heat being emitted for most of Central Europe just a few weeks ago (45.9 °C in Paris!).
One of the issues with such ‘extremes’ is that, while isolated and easily dismissed as 'just an event', they can cause damage to the environment, causing mass mortality of sensitive species. Let's not forget that we are also 'animals' and these extremes can have negative influences for human health, especially when they occur so early in the season as they have had this year. I would like to remark this last part. Time. And you may frown your brows and ask: Why does timing matter? If you bare with me, everything will come, hopefully, a little more clear. And don't worry, you don't have to have a bachelor in Biology to understand this post...
As a marine biologist working on animal-environment interactions,and focused on environmental changes driven by human activities that modify conditions for economic or societal benefit, I was surprised and intrigued to find out about bivalve gardening.
First things first:
What is bivalve gardening?
If you split the words you have your explanation. It refers to the gardening (= growing for personal use) of bivalve species, which are those marine animals with two (=bi) shell halves (=valves). Mussels, oysters, scallops, cockles..all form part of the big bivalve class.
You probably heard it before. Climate change and human pressures (increased pollution, deforestation, harvesting, nutrient inputs, noise etc..) are the major culprits of 'biodiversity loss'.
But after reading a few articles and worrying for a while, it all washes up over our heads as we get on with our daily tasks. I mean, biodiversity loss might happen but it will not directly impact us on our limited time on this planet. Maybe it will our gran children, maybe our great great grand children. But hey, I am single and even the idea of children seem so far away. So I get on with my day, with this idea of biodiversity loss hiding somewhere behind my endless to-do list. Maybe to reappear in my job (I am interested in understanding what will cause it, how to slow it down, and how are organisms really impacted by changes in their environments). Nonetheless, if I, a person who is in the ecology science field, don't spend much of my day worrying, how can we get everyone else to worry and actually do something to slow down all of the pressures that we are putting in the environment?
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