Ecologists cmert even one large predator landscape changes drastically

Landscape with a predator (right) and without (left)

December 14, 2011.Environmentalists have proved that the death of even one large predator makes landscape has changed beyond recognition. Plague in the buffalo — the cause of forest fires, and after the death of jaguar dry vines for miles around. This is not a superstition of some Indian tribe, and the findings of environmental scientists, published in the journal Science.

Professor James Estes of the University of California at Santa Cruz and 22 other researchers argue: the death of a large animal often spoils the landscape so that the changes can be seen from space.

The point in the food chain. Environmentalists have long benefited from this concept, but now a critical mass of examples of how a problem with one link in that chain leads to disaster at the other end.

Microbes in West Africa kill buffalo grass in the savannah is no one there — and when it dries out, fires ravaged millions of acres. Jaguars in Venezuela extinct, breed small herbivores on which they feed, and vegetation rain forests exterminated at the root.

There are less obvious relationship. The shooting of lions and leopards in Africa south of the Sahara allowed to multiply olive baboons. From lack of food they crept close to human settlements to feed crops and beg for food. Here and an outbreak of intestinal parasites, which passed from monkeys to humans and back again. This, of course, affected the state of land, cultivated people.

When U.S. Yellowstone National Park in the 1940s brought the rats, the soil has lost its former fertility. Rats plundered nest of sea birds — the main suppliers of fertilizer, thus forcing them out of the park.

But most of all got the very ground where the top of the food chain for a long time remained vacant due to the disappearance of large predators. For example, the cost extinct wolves Room Scottish island, famous for its forests — and after only 250-500 years (estimates differ) there is not a single tree, writes geo.ru

Source: finalnews.ru

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