The Truth About Land Reclamation

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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#61  Postby The_Piper » Mar 13, 2016 5:34 pm

Land reclamation is probably rarely good for an ecosystem, but the severity of destructiveness probably depends on a range of factors, like how much of the habitat being filled in is in abundance surrounding that spot. If it's somewhere like Boston Harbor, where certain organisms and communities are already massively strained and need attention and conservation just to keep them around, then obviously it's going to hurt a lot more than in a place where the ecosystem is in relative good health.
My property here where my lawn is, is land fill. Otherwise it would be a muddy, rocky landscape like the undeveloped part of my property. But I'm surrounded by acres upon acres of similar landscape, so if I wanted to widen my driveway/lawn with more gravel it wouldn't be very devastating. If I wanted to fill in the Orono Bog with gravel to build condominiums, that would be a lot more destructive where there is a lot more development already in place, and not a lot of places like it left right there.
Just guessing of course, I didn't even know what the term land relamation meant a few days ago. It sounds like a positive thing. I'm going to continue calling it land fill. :lol:
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#62  Postby igorfrankensteen » Mar 13, 2016 8:31 pm

Actually, it's probably just as misleading to talk about "reclamation" as being "destructive," as it is to talk about is as being "reclamation."

It is CHANGE. Whether the change is or is not ALWAYS seen as positive, depends not on any simple facts, but on point of view.

Have any of you taken any serious courses in Ecology science? Not enough, if any, I would say, based on what's been said so far.

The thing is, that ecological systems are constantly in flux, and even more to the point, they are never "good" or "bad" or even "indifferent." They simply are what they are, and when it comes to this planet NONE OF THEM ARE ENTIRELY ISOLATED FROM ALL THE REST.

There is no more such a thing as existing within an ecosystem without changing it, than it is possible to measure a quantum state without affecting it.

So again, if you want to make a judgement call about something being called "land reclamation," you really have to do a minimum of two things: observe the ENTIRELY of the ecosystem in question, including both the stuff that makes you say "oooh, cool!" AND the bits that make you say "ugh! Yucky-poo-poo!" , and come to a realistic understanding of how everything is as it is: AND, you have to decide to accept both the pluses AND the invariable minuses which will result from whatever change is effected.


Oh, and by the way, trying to turn dessert land into arable land, is also a form of "land reclamation" which is popular in some areas today.

As an illustration of the politics and propaganda involved with this subject, you might also consider that it is essentially the case that SOME people are making even today, that what the invading Europeans did to the North and South American continents, was a large act of Land Reclamation: converting it from hunter-gatherer "uselessness," into profitable and highly productive farm and industry supporting land.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#63  Postby The_Piper » Mar 13, 2016 10:24 pm

I haven't taken any college courses on ecosystems. I made that crystal clear in my post. Why, have you? What courses and when? I'm out in nature on a virtually daily basis observing and appreciating. I'm not completely ignorant either.
I don't understand why it matters what adjectives I use. It doesn't. Biodiversity is something that is being reduced en masse by human activity, and has been since even before the dawn of agriculture . What Europeans did to this land (and many others), can only be viewed as "good" by humans and the other organisms who benefit from the mass clearing of ancient forests, that will never recover to their original state. (Woodchucks benefited by having more usable land to graze. :lol: ) Think of rainforests today, when they are cut they are gone forever. They don't grow back to the way they were. It's certainly not "good" for an ecosystem as a whole, it negatively affects a lot of organisms in the food chain.
Wetlands are important habitats for biodiversity, and filling them in for human use doesn't make the world a better place for anything but humans and a few other things. Arguably, that is.
We have over 7 billion people on the planet and have to make this work somehow, so I see the benefit to doing some shaping of the land, but we need to be smart about it. My guess is that not harming or destroying most of the remaining fragile ecosystems is a good thing for the long term survival of our species.
Filling in and paving over a swamp is fucking destructive to ecosystem, I don't care who y'are.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#64  Postby tuco » Mar 13, 2016 10:50 pm

Reducing biodiversity and resilience of ecosystem ~ destructive. It only matters if we want to get technical or/and do not want to understand each other. Its something like using allele unlike variant form of gene or fixed-action patterns (hello Mr.Samsa) instead of basic drives. If there is a swamp and its paved over, the swamp is destroyed that is how it is. Then we could argue what kind of ecosystem emerge on what is build over the swamp. Hence perhaps objection to negative connotation of "destructive".
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#65  Postby OlivierK » Mar 13, 2016 11:33 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:I dont think you have at all. All you are interested in is having a go at the Netherlands because some idiot says losing 50% of wetlands is destroying the ecosystem and comparing a desert to heavily urbanised area is justified?

Now if that is the best you can come with you are welcome to it and I still know where I would rather live.

I still cant see the Netherlands in the title.

I agree that this isn't what the thread is about. The comparison between the environmental record of the Netherlands and other countries started as a derail when you claimed that lak's US experience would never happen in the Netherlands, and that Australia was trashing its environment, and couldn't back up your claims of Australia's poor record or insinuations of the Netherlands superiority. It's got little to do with wetlands specifically, and more to do with a low tolerance for bullshit generally.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#66  Postby The_Piper » Mar 13, 2016 11:56 pm

tuco wrote:Reducing biodiversity and resilience of ecosystem ~ destructive. It only matters if we want to get technical or/and do not want to understand each other. Its something like using allele unlike variant form of gene or fixed-action patterns (hello Mr.Samsa) instead of basic drives. If there is a swamp and its paved over, the swamp is destroyed that is how it is. Then we could argue what kind of ecosystem emerge on what is build over the swamp. Hence perhaps objection to negative connotation of "destructive".

Yes a new ecosystem would emerge at that spot. Even if the swamp was just graveled over into till and left to grow into a forest, it will be a much less diverse ecosystem.
Areas of virgin habitat, what little remain, still have rich diversity that is no longer found in regenerated forests and waters of formerly cleared land. Those virgin areas are considered of great interest and importance to researchers. Northern Maine is a great place to observe that phenomenon, where much of it is commercial forest that has been harvested and re-harvested over the past four centuries, but not further developed into human habitat.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#67  Postby The_Piper » Mar 14, 2016 12:04 am

igorfrankensteen wrote:
So again, if you want to make a judgement call about something being called "land reclamation," you really have to do a minimum of two things: observe the ENTIRELY of the ecosystem in question, including both the stuff that makes you say "oooh, cool!" AND the bits that make you say "ugh! Yucky-poo-poo!" , and come to a realistic understanding of how everything is as it is: AND, you have to decide to accept both the pluses AND the invariable minuses which will result from whatever change is effected.

Let me quote this in isolation to ask what are the "bits that you think make me say ycuky-poo-poo?" :lol:
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#68  Postby Sendraks » Mar 14, 2016 10:57 am

igorfrankensteen wrote:Oh, and by the way, trying to turn dessert land into arable land, is also a form of "land reclamation" which is popular in some areas today.


Such as land that unsustainable human agricultural practises turned into desert in the first place.

I agree with you that the subject of land reclamation is rarely a one way street in terms of it always goes to the bad, although a land reclaimed for the purposes of agriculture, specifically the mono-cultures so popular in the western world, are rarely a more diverse ecosystem than what was there before. Rarely, but not always. The meadows at the top of hills in the Appalachians in the US are an example of where forest cleared for agriculture (grazing in this case), led to ecosystems with more diversity than what was there before and have provided singular habitats for organisms, that were under threat elsewhere, to thrive in.

So its not always bad.

At the reverse end of the spectrum, in the 70s in the UK vast tracts of farmland were purchased by the Wildfowl Trust (now the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust) and turned back into marshland/wetlands to provide reserves for the UKs many wetland species and also encourage in winter migrant species. The UK is something of a world leader on wetlands preservation thanks to the WWT.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#69  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 14, 2016 11:33 am

OlivierK wrote:
Scot Dutchy wrote:I dont think you have at all. All you are interested in is having a go at the Netherlands because some idiot says losing 50% of wetlands is destroying the ecosystem and comparing a desert to heavily urbanised area is justified?

Now if that is the best you can come with you are welcome to it and I still know where I would rather live.

I still cant see the Netherlands in the title.

I agree that this isn't what the thread is about. The comparison between the environmental record of the Netherlands and other countries started as a derail when you claimed that lak's US experience would never happen in the Netherlands, and that Australia was trashing its environment, and couldn't back up your claims of Australia's poor record or insinuations of the Netherlands superiority. It's got little to do with wetlands specifically, and more to do with a low tolerance for bullshit generally.


The index used makes useless comparisons. I never insinuated that the Netherlands is superior. It is just certain people here just try to turn things here using lousy data. Land use here is strictly controlled as we dont have that much. Saying the Netherlands as lost 50% of its wetlands is neither here or there. Land use has to be balanced and if wetlands have to be removed because of other claims on the land then so be it.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#70  Postby Sendraks » Mar 14, 2016 11:42 am

Scot Dutchy wrote: I never insinuated that the Netherlands is superior.

O rly?

Scot Dutchy wrote:Dont apply what happens in Australia or the Americas as what happens everywhere. South America is one hell of a mess.What lak says about Florida just would not happen here.

Loos like an insinuation that the Netherlands is superior to me.

Scot Dutchy wrote:It is just certain people here just try to turn things here using lousy data.

Is the data lousy? You've haven't provided any evidence that it is, you've just decided to claim that any data you don't like is lousy because......reasons.

Scot Dutchy wrote:Saying the Netherlands as lost 50% of its wetlands is neither here or there.

Why?
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#71  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 14, 2016 11:55 am

FFs off we go again.

I explained it to you but you never read do you. You go on about the Great British wetlands when the country cant even keep its feet dry. Maybe turning to much of that claimed land as been turned into wetland? Because there is no overall planning regarding land use that is why Britain's coast lines are a mess.

Yorkshire is disappearing up to three times as fast as last year

Great management:

Our Disappearing Coastline

First get your own house in order before shouting bollocks.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#72  Postby Sendraks » Mar 14, 2016 12:26 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote: Maybe turning to much of that claimed land as been turned into wetland?


Nope. It is also widely recognised that wetlands are a good means of flood control (see 171,00 articles on google scholar).



The Holderness coastline has been one of the fastest disappearing coastlines in Europe for centuries and it isn't a manmade problem. It is not a new problem. Furthermore, if you understood anything about the coastal erosion of Holderness, you'd also know that much of the eroded material winds up on the Lincolnshire and Anglian coastlines.

This is GSCE level knowledge.

Scot Dutchy wrote:First get your own house in order before shouting bollocks.


You should follow your own advice. Indeed, if you did, you wouldn't have started posting the shit you did in this thread.
Next time, take your advice and stop making stupid observations like:

Scot Dutchy wrote:Dont apply what happens in Australia or the Americas as what happens everywhere. South America is one hell of a mess.What lak says about Florida just would not happen here.


and instead try and participate sensibly in a discussion instead of criticising other nations, when the Netherlands track record on the environment is far from perfect.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#73  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 14, 2016 12:30 pm

Sendraks wrote:The Holderness coastline has been one of the fastest disappearing coastlines in Europe for centuries and it isn't a manmade problem. It is not a new problem. Furthermore, if you understood anything about the coastal erosion of Holderness, you'd also know that much of the eroded material winds up on the Lincolnshire and Anglian coastlines.


Once again cant be bothered to read.

Licensed by the Department of the Environment, eight different companies are currently operating 2,000 to 8,000 ton dredgers on our offshore sand banks. They extract the sand and gravel as a highly profitable commercial enterprise, sucking up all the base sediment and the life forms they support, returning the unprofitable fine choking silt back to the sea. Not only does this exploitation create a marine desert devoid of all sea life in the dredged area, but it also smothers a further vast area of living seabed many miles down tide. It equates to having the topsoil of one’s garden stripped, so killing the complex ecosystem and denying the likelihood of its regeneration for many future years.


Well managed?
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#74  Postby Sendraks » Mar 14, 2016 1:03 pm

Scot Dutchy wrote:
Sendraks wrote:The Holderness coastline has been one of the fastest disappearing coastlines in Europe for centuries and it isn't a manmade problem. It is not a new problem. Furthermore, if you understood anything about the coastal erosion of Holderness, you'd also know that much of the eroded material winds up on the Lincolnshire and Anglian coastlines.


Once again cant be bothered to read.


I did read. Evidently you did not understand my response. Shall I use smaller words?

Scot Dutchy wrote:[
Licensed by the Department of the Environment, eight different companies are currently operating 2,000 to 8,000 ton dredgers on our offshore sand banks. They extract the sand and gravel as a highly profitable commercial enterprise, sucking up all the base sediment and the life forms they support, returning the unprofitable fine choking silt back to the sea. Not only does this exploitation create a marine desert devoid of all sea life in the dredged area, but it also smothers a further vast area of living seabed many miles down tide. It equates to having the topsoil of one’s garden stripped, so killing the complex ecosystem and denying the likelihood of its regeneration for many future years.


Well managed?


I don't believe it is well managed and that makes marine preserves, like the ones off the coasts of Cornwall and Devon, more important. However, what you've quoted here isn't about the erosion of the Holderness coast, which as I've stated is not a man made problem, as every GCSE student should now.

If your point is that the UK also participates in the destruction of environments, no one is going to argue you with. But then, no one came into this thread rubbishing other nations whilst claiming that "such things wouldn't happen in the UK" - so I'm really not sure where you think you're going with this.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#75  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 14, 2016 1:19 pm

Sendraks wrote:If your point is that the UK also participates in the destruction of environments, no one is going to argue you with. But then, no one came into this thread rubbishing other nations whilst claiming that "such things wouldn't happen in the UK" - so I'm really not sure where you think you're going with this.


Look I have denied that we dont have problems but the way land is treated in many parts of the world would not happen here due to the strict controls on land use. Wetlands are only one type of use that can be made of land but the pressures here are so great that something has to be sacrificed but saying it is just destroying wetlands is not understanding the country. 60% of the country is a former delta where there was a vast amount of wetlands. In order to keep the country dry you need to use land for other uses.
Making simple comparisons is just plain stupid. Imagine if you did that with government expenditure? Madness.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#76  Postby The_Piper » Mar 14, 2016 1:41 pm

Sendraks wrote: The meadows at the top of hills in the Appalachians in the US are an example of where forest cleared for agriculture (grazing in this case), led to ecosystems with more diversity than what was there before and have provided singular habitats for organisms, that were under threat elsewhere, to thrive in.
.

Do you have a link for that?
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#77  Postby Sendraks » Mar 14, 2016 1:47 pm

The_Piper wrote:
Do you have a link explaining that?


I'll have to wait until later. The first I read about these was in Bryson's book "A Walk in the Woods" so I'd have to find the right point in that, then go from there to ensure I was referring to the right nomenclature.

Meadowland is also man made, it was just made so long ago in Europe, that any land we see that's not being used for grassland and is just a "wild meadow" we assume to be an entirely natural phenomenon. When across Europe such land has really only be around for less than a millennia when deforestation really kicked into gear.

However, over the centuries this land has become incredibly valuable habitat for all sorts of species. So getting rid of it at this point (and such land has been in decline in the UK since the 1930s) can bugger up ecosystems in another way.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#78  Postby The_Piper » Mar 14, 2016 2:10 pm

Sendraks wrote:
The_Piper wrote:
Do you have a link explaining that?


I'll have to wait until later. The first I read about these was in Bryson's book "A Walk in the Woods" so I'd have to find the right point in that, then go from there to ensure I was referring to the right nomenclature.

Meadowland is also man made, it was just made so long ago in Europe, that any land we see that's not being used for grassland and is just a "wild meadow" we assume to be an entirely natural phenomenon. When across Europe such land has really only be around for less than a millennia when deforestation really kicked into gear.

However, over the centuries this land has become incredibly valuable habitat for all sorts of species. So getting rid of it at this point (and such land has been in decline in the UK since the 1930s) can bugger up ecosystems in another way.

I don't see the meadows in Maine as wild, though a very small percent probably were, depending on the substrate.
I'm interested most in the Appalachian mountaintops claim.I understand that clearing land helped other organisms thrive, woodchucks being one. I just don't understand how it could have increased biodiversity on that spot.
Supposing it did, it would be at the expense of a now much rarer ecosystem, virgin forest. I can't see it increasing biodiversity in a region as a whole to do that in 2016.
I think the great plains are naturally grassland. I'm sure there would be a fuckload more trees there without man, but they were already plains before Europeans settled them. Prairie dogs, buffalo, etc.

Here's the Wiki on Old growth forests - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old-growth_forest
Old-growth forests are often biologically diverse, and home to many rare species, threatened species, and endangered species of plants and animals, such as the northern spotted owl, marbled murrelet and fisher, making them ecologically significant. Levels of biodiversity may be higher or lower in old-growth forests compared to that in second-growth forests, depending on specific circumstances, environmental variables and geographic variables. Logging in old-growth forests is a contentious issue in many parts of the world. Excessive logging reduces biodiversity, affecting not only the old-growth forest itself, but also indigenous species that rely upon old-growth forest habitat.[7][8

Importance

Old-growth forests often contain rich communities of plants and animals within the habitat due to the long period of forest stability. These varied and sometimes rare species may depend on the unique environmental conditions created by these forests.
Old-growth forest serves as a reservoir for species which cannot thrive or easily regenerate in younger forest, and so can be used as a baseline for research.
Plant species that are native to old-growth forests may someday prove to be invaluable towards curing various human ailments, as has been realized in numerous plants in tropical rainforests.[17][18]
Old-growth forests also store large amounts of carbon above and below the ground (either as humus, or in wet soils as peat). They collectively represent a very significant store of carbon. Destruction of these forests releases this carbon as greenhouse gases, and may increase the risk of global climate change.[19]



Ecosystem services

Old-growth forests provide ecosystem services that may be far more important to society than their use as a source of raw materials. These services include breathable air, pure water, carbon storage, regeneration of nutrients, maintenance of soils, pest control by insectivorous bats and insects, micro- and macro-climate control, and the storage of a wide variety of genes.[20]
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#79  Postby Sendraks » Mar 14, 2016 2:23 pm

The_Piper wrote:
I'm interested most in the Appalachian mountaintops claim.I understand that clearing land helped other organisms thrive, woodchucks being one. I just don't understand how it could have increased biodiversity on that spot.


It is a good question. From what I recall from Bryson's book, the hilltops were cleared but the hillsides were still covered with the virgin forest. Under the canopy layer, there was far less diversity at ground level, because of the canopy cover and the resource demands of the trees themselves. So on the hilltops there are these meadows (which have a specific name, I just can't recall it), which have a diversity of wildflowers, wild grasses that in turn support insect and bird species that are not supported by the ancient forests below.

The_Piper wrote:I think the great plains are naturally grassland. I'm sure there would be a fuckload more trees there without man, but they were already plains before Europeans settled them. Prairie dogs, buffalo, etc.


I don't know that much about the US plains to comment other than that they've existed into antiquity and were not the product of human intervention.
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Re: The Truth About Land Reclamation

#80  Postby Scot Dutchy » Mar 14, 2016 2:40 pm

Well the Tudors cut down most of the oak woods in England for their ships. Scotland was cleared for sheep and hunting of everything including people. Then in the '50's the Scottish Forestry Commission went mad and planted pines and spruces everywhere killing off the local wildlife.
Killing off the buffalo did not have influence on the plains and the local inhabitants? When has man not influenced the ecosystem?
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