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Topic: a new way to look at wolves, interesting video< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2014, 12:11 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Sounds true to me. Something I never thought of.
video link
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2014, 12:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Neat summary video.  I'd prefer to see a bit more of the actual data though, but that's just me.

One thing the narrator could do to make the whole thing a bit more convincing is to stop talking about the "deer" again and again while showing videos of elk.  The first time he did that (and then again at least another half-dozen times later) just kinda gave the impression he was ignorant of the difference, which didn't do much to strengthen his point.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2014, 12:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

February 19
http://forums.backpacker.com/cgi-bin....1169613


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2014, 1:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

When I was a kid on my family's large Wyoming ranch some 50-odd years ago, I recall hearing my dad and his ranch foreman often talking about four "trophic layers." That's not what they called them of course, but they were:
  • Coyotes
  • Sheep
  • Grass and
  • Soil
Each was a community of life, and each affected the other. More coyotes led to less sheep, which led to more grass, which led to more stable top soil. But too much grass seemed a waste of pasture. So coyotes were killed. Then we had fewer coyotes, which led to more sheep, which led to less grass.

But if all that went too far, then too little grass indicated overgrazing, which led to erosion of topsoil and weeds next springtime. Those ranchers knew that but played a risky "management" game to maximize profits without losing topsoil.

It would be a couple more decades before the term "trophic cascades" was applied to this relationship. And I'm sure my dad wouldn't know what that term means even now. But he and other ranchers have known there was a connection for quite some time.

Their solution was to sell sheep. The solution never involved allowing more coyotes to maintain a better balance. National parks don't have the liberty to sell a surplus of elk. And the states control the hunting when elk migrate outside the park in wintertime. But since the states want to maximize hunting profits, their solution is like that of the ranchers I grew up listening to. They don't want wolves preying on elk any more than those ranchers wanted coyotes preying on lambs.

There was an immense overpopulation of elk in Yellowstone before wolves were allowed to return. The lack of hunting and inability to sell wildlife allowed this problem to perpetuate itself for long years. The only viable way for national parks to control the problem was to bring back the wolves.

So now wolves inhibit the destructive behavior of massive elk herds, overbrowsing has been curtailed, and the resurgence of vegetation provides for a greater plethora of wildlife and for more stable stream banks. Some ranchers surely get an inkling that this is not exactly "new."

(By the way, we had this same video in an earlier thread on Trophic Cascades.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 22 2014, 8:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Very interesting video even though its a repeat post...
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2014, 1:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I must have missed it the first time, sorry.  It sounds like it may be a bit exaggerated.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2014, 4:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(oldnolder @ Feb. 22 2014, 11:02 pm)
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I must have missed it the first time, sorry.  It sounds like it may be a bit exaggerated.

Exaggerated in what way? Both sides of the debate in Yellowstone agree that trophic cascades is well documented there.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2014, 11:23 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GoBlueHiker @ Feb. 22 2014, 12:31 pm)
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One thing the narrator could do to make the whole thing a bit more convincing is to stop talking about the "deer" again and again while showing videos of elk.  The first time he did that (and then again at least another half-dozen times later) just kinda gave the impression he was ignorant of the difference, which didn't do much to strengthen his point.

It's his use of British English and it was from his TED talk in Scotland. I'm sure he's well aware of the difference.

Now if he was a hunter telling a story of bagging an elk, he would probably say he strapped the deer to his bonnet, threw his gun in the boot and took off.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2014, 1:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(TravisNWood @ Feb. 23 2014, 4:36 am)
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(oldnolder @ Feb. 22 2014, 11:02 pm)
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I must have missed it the first time, sorry.  It sounds like it may be a bit exaggerated.

Exaggerated in what way? Both sides of the debate in Yellowstone agree that trophic cascades is well documented there.

I am not doubting trophic cascades but maybe trees quadrupling in size. I guess if it was a seedling to begin with but a 10 year old tree to start. I know the effect grazing animals can have on everything around them. It was a may be.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2014, 2:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(oldnolder @ Feb. 23 2014, 11:38 am)
QUOTE

(TravisNWood @ Feb. 23 2014, 4:36 am)
QUOTE

(oldnolder @ Feb. 22 2014, 11:02 pm)
QUOTE
I must have missed it the first time, sorry.  It sounds like it may be a bit exaggerated.

Exaggerated in what way? Both sides of the debate in Yellowstone agree that trophic cascades is well documented there.

I am not doubting trophic cascades but maybe trees quadrupling in size. I guess if it was a seedling to begin with but a 10 year old tree to start. I know the effect grazing animals can have on everything around them. It was a may be.

The thing to remember is that the narrator did not make the video and the narrator had nothing to do with the research. In the previous thread on this video, I linked four research papers where that research is described. If you want to get down to details, that is the place to start.

I don't recall the exact context about the trees in the narrated video, but I think he is talking about trees that were severely stunted by over-browsing elk. So in that context, a 10-year old tree might not be anything like you envision in an area not overpopulated with elk.

The ten-year old trees you are familiar with don't represent the trees those elk were whittling down year after year into a stunted form. They were not healthy 10-year-old trees to begin with because at no time since germinating were they free of over-browsing elk — until the wolves arrived.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2014, 2:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(oldnolder @ Feb. 23 2014, 10:38 am)
QUOTE

(TravisNWood @ Feb. 23 2014, 4:36 am)
QUOTE

(oldnolder @ Feb. 22 2014, 11:02 pm)
QUOTE
I must have missed it the first time, sorry.  It sounds like it may be a bit exaggerated.

Exaggerated in what way? Both sides of the debate in Yellowstone agree that trophic cascades is well documented there.

I am not doubting trophic cascades but maybe trees quadrupling in size. I guess if it was a seedling to begin with but a 10 year old tree to start. I know the effect grazing animals can have on everything around them. It was a may be.

What the narrator said quintupled was tree height.  No doubt that's a average  tree height. The underlying observation* was before recent wolves trees were very biphasic: some big old trees dating to the last wolf presence and "tiny" new trees of newly sprouted saplings with "nothing in between". The observation then is with the wolves impact on browser's behavior more of those "tiny" trees are getting to continue to grow: raising the average tree height in the process.

A link to a document from a comment accompanying the video:

* http://www.docstoc.com/docs....nforMNs

Further:"This is really exciting, and it's great news for Yellowstone," said William Ripple, a professor in the OSU College of Forestry. "We've seen some recovery of willows and cottonwood, but this is the first time we can document significant aspen growth, a tree species in decline all over the West. We've waited a long time to see this, but now we're optimistic that things may be on the right track."
The study found significant numbers of aspen, especially in streamside "riparian" zones, that have grown from tiny shoots in the past decade to heights of more than seven feet -- a key point in their long-term survival, placing their crowns above the height easily browsed by elk and other animals. Tree growth in some stands has been particularly apparent just in the past 4-5 years."

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070726150904.htm

Ripple and others have a topical website here:

"Trophic Cascades in Terrestrial Ecosystems is a research and educational program with the purpose of investigating the role of predators in structuring ecological communities. This program puts special emphasis on the role of potential keystone species in top-down community regulation, with linkages to biodiversity via trophic cascades.

A graduate degree concentration is available as part of the Trophic Cascades Program. Designed for students interested in topics that intersect forestry and wildlife science, this concentration provides an interdisciplinary approach to attaining sustainability of both forest and wildlife resources. Available within the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, the forestry/wildlife degree concentration involves dynamic interaction with faculty in both the College of Forestry and the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife. For more information, go to Graduate Studies."

http://www.cof.orst.edu/cascades/

There's a link on the left of that page to their published scientific papers.
http://www.cof.orst.edu/cascades/articles.php

ETA: yes, their 2007 paper (page 615, that's not how long the paper is just the page number from the original journal volume)), plotting data to 2004, refer to average stem height for, in this study, willows, increases.
http://www.cof.orst.edu/leopold/papers/Blacktail%20Creek%202007.pdf
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 23 2014, 4:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Enjoyed the video...

RS


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