Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Leave Land Alone Following Natural Disasters, Say Researchers

Date:
March 3, 2004
Source:
University Of Alberta
Summary:
Despite responses to wildfires as being disasters that require human care, these natural disturbances are important ecosystem processes that should be left alone-a move that will increase the area's recovery chances, says a University of Alberta researcher.

Despite responses to wildfires as being disasters that require human care, these natural disturbances are important ecosystem processes that should be left alone-a move that will increase the area's recovery chances, says a University of Alberta researcher.

Related Articles


Following a forest fire, there is typically an attempt to recoup economic losses by salvage harvesting large volumes of timber in the affected area, but this philosophy needs to be reexamined, said Dr. Fiona Schmiegelow, who co-authored a paper just published in the prestigious journal Science.

Schmiegelow and Dr. David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University, found that salvage harvest operations after natural disturbances can threaten some organisms when large quantities of biological legacies are removed. "This may result in compounding, cumulative or magnified effects on ecosystem processes and elements of the biota if an intense natural disturbance event is soon followed by an intensive human disturbance," said Schmiegelow, a professor in the Department of Renewable Resources.

The research team argues that large areas need to be exempt from salvage practices to maintain key ecological processes and facilitate recovery following the disturbance, but where these practices are done, strict policies need to be in place.

Catastrophic events can aid ecosystem restoration by recreating some of the structural complexity and landscape diversity lost through previous intense management of natural resources. For example, floods can reshape areas and revitalize human-modified aquatic ecosystems while major wildfires generate significant volumes of dead snags and downed trees that provide important habitat often depleted by certain forestry practices.

Although scientists now recognize the importance of natural disturbances and the biological legacies produced by them, policy makers and natural resources managers are lagging behind, say the authors. "Maintaining large areas where the natural disturbance regime operates unimpaired by human activities is an important component of any biological conservation strategy, and for ecological sustainability," said Schmiegelow.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Alberta. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Alberta. "Leave Land Alone Following Natural Disasters, Say Researchers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040303073808.htm>.
University Of Alberta. (2004, March 3). Leave Land Alone Following Natural Disasters, Say Researchers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040303073808.htm
University Of Alberta. "Leave Land Alone Following Natural Disasters, Say Researchers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/03/040303073808.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Keurig Co-Founder Says Company Has A Waste Problem

Keurig Co-Founder Says Company Has A Waste Problem

Newsy (Mar. 5, 2015) — Keurig co-founder John Sylvan told The Atlantic he doesn&apos;t even own a Keurig because they&apos;re too expensive and produce too much waste. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) — Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Injured Miners Treated After Blast

Raw: Injured Miners Treated After Blast

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) — An explosion ripped through a coal mine before dawn Wednesday in war-torn eastern Ukraine, killing at least one miner, officials said. Graphic video of injured miners being treated in a Donetsk hospital. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Australian Museum Shares Terrifying Goblin Shark With the World

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) — The Australian Museum has taken in its fourth-ever goblin shark, a rare fish with an electricity-sensing snout and &apos;alien-like&apos; jaw. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) takes a look. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins