6 thoughts on “Open Thread for December

  1. > at the top of the food chain, the ecological
    > consequences of their loss would be minimal.

    Whoah, check that assumption, are they still teaching this old idea nowadays?


    See also:

    Linking wolves and plants: Aldo Leopold on trophic cascades

    Click to access WolvesAndPlantsLeopoldTrophicCascades.pdf

    BioScience, 2005 – Univ California Press

    “Leopold …was accurately describing trophic cascades when he so eloquently portrayed the relationship of the wolf to the deer and the deer to the mountain.”


    “I have watched the face of many a newly wolfless mountain, and seen the south-facing slopes wrinkle with a maze of new deer trails…. Such a mountain looks as if someone had given God a new pruning shears, and forbidden Him all other exercise….
    … I now suspect that just as a deer herd lives in mortal fear of its wolves, so does a mountain live in mortal fear of its deer. ” — Aldo Leopold

    Thanks Hank, I wasn’t aware of this area of research, nice to know that others are looking out for accuracy in my pieces. I made some changes in the post, let me know what you think. It seems that consequences of upper trophic level loss – while more serious than I first understood – are still less intense than if species lower down went away, but I could be very wrong, so please correct me if need be. -Kate

  2. Kate, I like having your Quote Collection; any chance your blog could have an Image (links) Collection too?

    Anna, that’s a great idea. I’ll put it next on my list of tasks for this blog. -Kate

  3. Kate I wrote a rather long comment which I lost because I failed to enter my email address. Is it possible to change the interface so that one doesn’t have an entire post lost because of an oversight?

    I think that’s one of those things that would require WordPress.org. One day if I can find a cheap host, I will definitely switch. -Kate

    For those with an interest George Monbiot has written an interesting article on the influence of weather on climate politics, and another on what he makes of the record cold temperatures being enjoyed in Britain this December.



    And to put things into context the illustration that Mr Monbiot makes reference to:



  4. Kate,

    I’m not sure if you are following the comments there anymore, but I left a response to your comment about response times on Steve Easterbrook’s blog.

    Thanks, Nathan. I’ll be sure to check out those papers. -Kate

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