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Ecosystem management Comparative ecology Ancient Woodlands British Isles 2017 11 30 Stimulated by Ancient woodland and veteran trees: protecting them from development

Subject: Ecosystem management Comparative ecology Ancient Woodlands British Isles 2017 11 30 Stimulated by Ancient woodland and veteran trees: protecting them from development
From: Wayne Tyson
Date: Dec 01 2017 06:59:21
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Rather than contaminate the original and already crowded thread (cited), I
decided to start another one--if the moderator has no objection. The
subject is of great interest to me, but as my personal experience with the
uniqueness of the British Isles is limited to a fuel stop in Prestwick and
a few days in London and environs, I am perhaps incompetent to comment. A
number of issues were raised in the initial thread, so I will try to
confine my contributions(?) to one subject at a time.

In my work in ecosystem restoration, I always started (or wanted to begin)
by characterising the living and non-living elements of the ecosystem. That
is, I wanted to know what was present before the damage was done.

At the very least, I would always try to engage people with higher levels
of competence* in, for example, geology, hydrology, soils, microbiology,
botany, zoology, ecology, etc. to at the very least inventory the site to
be destroyed or a comparable model or reference site to have at least a
non-presumptive idea of what we were working with and what we wanted to
accomplish. Performance could be measured against this baseline data over
time, and trends assessed. "Success" is defined by an improving trend;
failure by a continuously descending one.

I can imagine that in the long, long history of the British Isles that
traces of long lost species might require herbarium studies if not soil
geography and coring for preserved pollen, phytoliths, and other
microscopic and chemical evidence. No doubt little of this will be done
without an effort to fully integrate scientific research, and even then,
perfection is not likely to be achieved. I have been, over several decades
of attempting to pull off such an integration, utterly failed. I have been
forced to rely on guesswork and the species available to me, but even that,
mostly through the advice of my betters and dumb luck, have been able to
achieve self-sufficient, self-reproducing/replacing ecosystems strongly
resembling those which existed before the damage was done.

I suspect, however, that while the ecosystems of the British Isles and
those of the USA are different in detail, that the principles upon which
ecosystems are based may be universal. Context, however, is everything.

With respect to the Ancient Woodlands of the USA, I have been present while
virgin forests were logged for the first time, and witnessed the damage and
the (lack of) recovery (25 years was not enough, and if I can return again
next year, I will be able to see what almost 60 years of non-management has
wrought) in some of the finest unspoiled forest ecosystems on the
continent.

I will be most interested to learn more details about how the ancient
forests are trending, and though I will never see them I am gratified to
know that, with such a long history of abuse, that any remain at all, even
if they are the result of recolonization.

Respectfully submitted,
Wayne

*I didn't care a whit about certifications or registrations--*competence*
is what counted.



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