Discussion in 'Conservation, Fishery Politics and Management.' started by Fishmyster, Dec 4, 2018.
Maybe it's not just in my head.
Wow. That is a long read but well worth the time.! Lots to think about there for sure Ken.
Thanks for sharing
Lots of talk about researching salmon collapse but it all seems to be focused from the top down in ecology or harvest rates. All the efforts of reduce salmon harvests, culling seals, remove vessels from critical habitat and reduce noise of freighter traffic to save orca is just senseless local political responses to a global collapse in ecology. It still blows my mind how everyone keeps turning a bling eye to water quality trends and effects to bottom level ecology while crying for science based decisions!!!
We share one thing in common. We are deeply concerned with our beloved salmon.
Here are some links that 5 minutes of searching can do further your research.
I had a quick read through some of it but it's up to you to sort it out. I just thought I would paste the links before I shut down my computer for supper.
I have already been through all of those sites a couple years back. They did confirm to me that the biggest die off of ecology in the mid 1990's was not acknowledged. Cabin study and Streamkeeper efforts all begin in the mid 1990's and their results did not raise alarms because the newly depressed invertebrate abundances were considered the norm as they had no past samples to compare with. If they sampled from 1980-2000 there would be better documentation of the ecological crash that has happened and the severity of it all. Also by looking at some of the sample results in one of the links many Okanagan streams rate as poor for invertebrate assemblages some are fair and only a few rate as good for nowadays standards.
I keep trying to upload files of invertebrate sampling done 1973-1992 Thompson river and sampling done on east coast VI streams but the files are to large. Anyway the abundance and diversity is ten times what all the post 1995 Cabin studies indicate in similarly located streams. Too bad there no complete long term monitoring done an any stream.
Adam K. Raymond
Flying insects, an annoying but necessary part of life, are disappearing, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One. For the study, researchers evaluated 27 years of insect collection data from German nature preserves and found the biomass of flying insects had fallen by a seasonal average of 76 percent, the Washington Post reports.
“This is very alarming!” ecologist Caspar Hallmann, who was a part of the research team, told the Post.
As detestable as flying insects are, they’re also a vital part of the ecosystem, providing food for animals and playing a vital role in agriculture. As for why the insects are disappearing, researchers appeared stumped. Climate change, they said, seems an unlikely culprit since the increase in temperatures should have helped, not harmed, the insect population.
2012 survey by the Zoological Society of London concluded that insect populations around the planet are in decline. In 2014, a study in Science showed a 45 percent global decline in insect life.
But you don’t have to be a scientist to observe this phenomenon. Just get in a car and start driving. As Hallmann told the Post, going for a drive and then checking the windshield for bug guts is “probably one of the best illustrative ways to realize we are dealing with a decline in flying insects.”
Washington State doing things to help.https://kgmi.com/news/007700-salmon-recovery-projects-soon-underway-in-skagit-county/
Its interesting for sure, I wonder what the set back for development should be from a stream or river the allow amble insect habitat? My guess Is the housing industry would not want to know the answer.
I heard they are going to fertilize one of the sockeye lakes on the island, perhaps that would be an area to study.
Alkalinity sure would help. Most coastal streams have too soft of water to buffer the acid rain we had for thirty years. Truck loads of limestone deposited in stream headwaters would do far more than even hatcheries. It would help replenish the calcium and magnesium that has been stripped away. Raising alkalinity will provide enough calcium for insects too form a exoskeleton and protect the stream from acidic inputs that kill off ecology.
Clayquot sound streams have almost 0 invertebrates even though they drain pristine hills. Those streams have less than 12ppm alkalinity average which is well below the US or Canadian guideline threshold to be safe for ecology of 20ppm. I did a formal invertebrate sample in Victoria with a Streamkeeper group. There were 5000 macro invertebrates per m2. I was the only person interested in pH or alkalinity pH 7.8 alkalinity 144ppm. Even the instructor was surprised at the abundance. Many were of high pollution tolerance so the water quality rating was only fair. So water that falls off roof tops down driveways into a slender green belt creek had far more life than pristine locations because the under laying geology has increases alkalinity protected the stream from dissolving heavy metals during high acidic inputs from the sky. Bow river in Alberta is still famous for high insect abundance and diversity with it's high alkalinity of 80-140ppm depending where the stream is sampled.
I really cant understand why DFO MOE and all the other private science providers wont acknowledge this and invest at least some efforts into bottom up ecology??? It's like it's just too complicated for them??
A flock of house martins feed on insects on the Pevensey Levels in East Sussex. Photograph: Ed Brown Wildlife/Alamy
One of the classic moments in the Simpsons comes when the venal TV anchorman Kent Brockman sees on his screen an ant crawling across a lens and assumes at once that this is not a negligible terrestrial arthropod but a giant alien descending from space that will become one of “our new insect overlords”, a species to which he instantly and publicly pledges allegiance. The joke hinges on the idea that in real life ants are inconsequential compared with human beings. The world, we feel, could get on perfectly well without them, and still better without mosquitoes or any number of other creepy crawlies.
This confidence is quite as mistaken as Kent Brockman’s grovellings. Insects form the greatest part of animal life on Earth, and almost every other kind of animal depends on them – directly or indirectly. They pollinate plants and nourish animals, especially birds. In turn, everything that relies on these plants or animals depends on the insects. And the whole intricate web of interdependent exploitation is collapsing, and has been for decades. We ourselves are part of this web, in the long run quite as much dependent as exploitative.
On the island of Puerto Rico, a rainforest preserved for centuries from human intervention shows a terrifying drop in the abundance and variety of insects. Forty years ago, there were 60 times as many insects on the forest floor as can be trapped today. The bird and lizard species that feed on insects have also been hit, if not to the same extent, falling by between a third and a half over the same period.
The same trend is apparent in German nature reserves, where the number of insects appears to have dropped by about 75%; and these are results from places deliberately preserved, so far as possible, from human intervention. The collapse of insect life is obvious to anyone who looks in Britain – butterflies, bees and even the millions of chironomid midges that used to form plumes like smoke around the trees along the shores of reservoirs are all now mostly a memory. Car windscreens and headlights are no longer thickly speckled after any long journey.
The causes of this global decline seem to vary with latitude. But they are all, in one way or another, the product of human activity. In the temperate regions insect populations are more adaptable to fluctuations in temperature, but insects must contend with the mass use of pesticides across the bleak monocultures of industrial agriculture, as well as the generalised pollution of the air and water. In the rainforest, where the pattern of losses across species and over time shows that there must be some single vast factor acting on the whole ecosystem, it appears that the main driver is simply the climate catastrophe. The consequences of this collapse lend still more urgency to political efforts to slow and eventually halt climate change; but even as individuals we can follow Candide’s advice and cultivate our gardens so insects can thrive there.
Bradford Lister, a biologist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, has been studying rainforest insects in Puerto Rico since the 1970s. If Puerto Rico is the island of enchantment - "la isla del encanto" - then its rainforest is "the enchanted forest on the enchanted isle," he said. Birds and coqui frogs trill beneath a 50-foot-tall emerald canopy. The forest, named El Yunque, is well-protected. Spanish King Alfonso XII claimed the jungle as a 19th-century royal preserve. Decades later, Theodore Roosevelt made it a national reserve, and El Yunque remains the only tropical rainforest in the National Forest system.
"We went down in '76, '77 expressly to measure the resources: the insects and the insectivores in the rainforest, the birds, the frogs, the lizards," Mr Lister said.
He came back nearly 40 years later, with his colleague Andrés García, an ecologist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. What the scientists did not see on their return troubled them. "Boy, it was immediately obvious when we went into that forest," Mr Lister said. Fewer birds flitted overhead. The butterflies, once abundant, had all but vanished.
Mr García and Mr Lister once again measured the forest's insects and other invertebrates, a group called arthropods that includes spiders and centipedes. The researchers trapped arthropods on the ground in plates covered in a sticky glue and raised several more plates about three feet into the canopy. The researchers also swept nets over the brush hundreds of times, collecting the critters that crawled through the vegetation.
Each technique revealed the biomass (the dry weight of all the captured invertebrates) had significantly decreased from 1976 to the present day. The sweep sample biomass decreased to a fourth or an eighth of what it had been. Between January 1977 and January 2013, the catch rate in the sticky ground traps fell 60-fold.
"Everything is dropping," Mr Lister said. The most common invertebrates in the rainforest - the moths, the butterflies, the grasshoppers, the spiders and others - are all far less abundant.
"Holy crap," Mr Wagner said of the 60-fold loss.
Louisiana State University entomologist Timothy Schowalter, who is not an author of the recent report, has studied this forest since the 1990s. The new research is consistent with his data, as well as the European biomass studies. "It takes these long-term sites, with consistent sampling across a long period of time, to document these trends," he said. "I find their data pretty compelling."
The study authors also trapped anole lizards, which eat arthropods, in the rainforest. They compared these numbers with counts from the 1970s. Anole biomass dropped by more than 30 per cent. Some anole species have altogether disappeared from the interior forest.
An anole lizard in the El Yunque rainforest, Puerto Rico, USA (Rex Features)
Insect-eating frogs and birds plummeted, too. Another research team used mist nets to capture birds in 1990 and again in 2005. Captures fell by about 50 per cent. Mr Garcia and Mr Lister analysed the data with an eye on the insectivores. The ruddy quail dove, which eats fruits and seeds, had no population change. A brilliant green bird called the Puerto Rican tody, which eats bugs almost exclusively, diminished by 90 per cent.
The food web appears to have been obliterated from the bottom. It is credible that the authors link the cascade to arthropod loss, Mr Schowalter said, because "you have all these different taxa showing the same trends - the insectivorous birds, frogs and lizards - but you don't see those among seed-feeding birds."
Mr Lister and Mr Garcia attribute this crash to climate. In the same 40-year period as the arthropod crash, the average high temperature in the rainforest increased by 4 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures in the tropics stick to a narrow band. The invertebrates that live there, likewise, are adapted to these temperatures and fare poorly outside them; bugs cannot regulate their internal heat.
A recent analysis of climate change and insects, published in August in the journal Science, predicts a decrease in tropical insect populations, according to an author of that study, Scott Merrill, who studies crop pests at the University of Vermont. In temperate regions farther from the equator, where insects can survive a wider range of temperatures, agricultural pests will devour more food as their metabolism increases, Mr Merrill and his co-authors warned. But after a certain thermal threshold, insects will no longer lay eggs, he said, and their internal chemistry breaks down.
The authors of a 2017 study of vanished flying insects in Germany suggested other possible culprits, including pesticides and habitat loss. Arthropods around the globe also have to contend with pathogens and invasive species.
"It's bewildering and I'm scared to death that it's actually death by a thousand cuts," Mr Wagner said. "One of the scariest parts about it is we don't have an obvious smoking gun here." A particular danger to these arthropods, in his view, was not temperature but droughts and lack of rainfall.
Mr Lister pointed out that, since 1969, pesticide use has fallen more than 80 per cent in Puerto Rico. He does not know what else could be to blame. The study authors used a recent analytic method, invented by a professor of economics at Fordham University, to assess the role of heat. "It allows you to place a likelihood on variable X causing variable Y," Mr Lister said. "So we did that and then five out of our six populations we got the strongest possible support for heat causing those decreases in abundance of frogs and insects."
The authors sorted out the effects of weather like hurricanes and still saw a consistent trend, Mr Schowalter said, which makes a convincing case for climate.
"If anything, I think their results and caveats are understated. The gravity of their findings and ramifications for other animals, especially vertebrates, is hyper-alarming," Mr Wagner said. But he is not convinced that climate change is the global driver of insect loss. "The decline of insects in northern Europe precedes that of climate change there," he said. "Likewise, in New England, some tangible declines began in the 1950s."
No matter the cause, all of the scientists agreed that more people should pay attention to the bugpocalypse.
"It's a very scary thing," Mr Merrill said, that comes on the heels of a "gloomy, gloomy" UN report that estimated the world has little more than a decade left to wrangle climate change under control. But "we can all step up," he said, by using more fuel-efficient cars and turning off unused electronics. The Portland, Oregon-based Xerces Society, a non-profit environmental group that promotes insect conservation, recommends planting a garden with native plants that flower throughout the year.
Half of wildlife could disappear from Amazon, Madagascar and Galapagos
"Unfortunately, we have deaf ears in Washington," Mr Schowalter said. But those ears will listen at some point, he said, because our food supply will be in jeopardy.
Thirty-five per cent of the world's plant crops require pollination by bees, wasps and other animals. Arthropods are also more than just pollinators. They are the planet's custodians, toiling away in unnoticed or avoided corners. They chew up rotting wood and eat carrion. "And none of us want to have more carcasses around," Mr Schowalter said. Wild insects provide $57 billion (£50 billion) worth of six-legged labour in the United States each year, according to a 2006 estimate.
The loss of insects and arthropods could further rend the rainforest's food web, Mr Lister warned, causing plant species to go extinct without pollinators. "If the tropical forests go it will be yet another catastrophic failure of the whole Earth system," he said, "that will feed back on human beings in an almost unimaginable way."
The Washington Post
Insects Puerto Rico Rainforest
Same thing going on in South America!!! Hmmmm???
New Study Reveals 'Hyper-Alarming' Decline of Rainforest Insect Populations
BY Shaunacy Ferro
October 17, 2018
Climate change is decimating yet another vital part of the world's ecosystem, according to a startling new paper. Rainforest insects are dying off at alarming rates, according to a new study spotted by the The Washington Post. In turn, the animals that feed off those insects are decreasing, too.
In the study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a pair of scientists from the Rensselaer Polytechnic University in New York and the National Autonomous University of Mexico studied populations of rainforest arthropods (an invertebrate classification that includes insects and spiders) in the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. They compared the number of insects lead author Bradford Lister found on trips in 1976 and 1977 with the number he and co-author Andres Garcia found on trips they took between 2011 and 2013.
Lister and Garcia used nets and sticky traps to collect insects on the ground and several feet above the ground in the forest canopy. They dried these captured bugs and measured the mass of their haul against the mass of insects found in the 1970s, finding that the modern net sweeps captured only an eighth to a fourth of the insects captured in the '70s. The mass of insects captured by sticky traps on the ground declined by 30 to 60 times what they were a few decades ago. They also tracked populations of lizards, frogs, and birds that live off those rainforest insects, finding that those populations had declined significantly, too, at levels not seen in other rainforest animals that don't rely on insects for food.
Tropical insects are particularly vulnerable to climatic changes, since they can't regulate their body temperature. During the time of the study, average maximum temperatures in El Yunque rose by almost 4°F (2°C). The warming climate is "the major driver" of this decline in arthropod populations, the study authors write, triggering a collapse of the forest food chain.
The paper has other scientists worried. "This is one of the most disturbing articles I have ever read," University of Connecticut entomologist David Wagner, who wasn't involved in the research, told The Washington Post, calling the results "hyper-alarming." Other studies of insect populations have found similarly dire results, including significant declines in butterflies, moths, bees, and other species. One recent study found that Germany's flying insect populations had decreased by as much as 75 percent in the last three decades. Scientists don't always attribute those population losses directly to warmer temperatures (habitat loss, pesticide use, droughts, and other factors might play a role), but it’s clear that insect populations are facing grave threats from the modern world.
Not all insect species will be equally affected by climate change, though. While we may see a sharp drop in the populations of tropical insects, scientists project that the number of insects in other regions will rise—leading to a sharp increase in crop-eating pests in some parts of the world and broadening mosquitos' geographical range.
Here is another good one!
Sure not a lot of comments about this! Is there anyone out there that cares about insects or the supporting ecology for juvenile salmon? What ever happened to researching salmon productivity from the bottom up?
We all do, and certainly California has proved its important for smolt growth. We know that building dike's around our rivers has caused a lot of problems.
A 'Floating Fillet': Rice Farmers Grow Bugs To Replenish California's Salmon
Dykes and dams are not what has tainted the water and killed off ecology in all the B.C streams that used to have healthy populations of invertebrates. Streams with pristine watersheds have gone dead! This has been going on for decades. What is it going to take for our salmon scientists to realize this and research ways to treat the water so invertebrates diversity comes back? Riparian restoration, and hatcheries haven't proven to rebuild wild stocks. When is it time to use a probiotic approach in rebuilding wild salmon stocks? As it is nobody will even acknowledge there is a freshwater quality problem.
Interesting how DFO now has a plan to tour the high seas for insight of salmon stock exploitation and productivity when there has been a total freshwater crisis going on for decades right under their noses. Instead they are going to jump in a boat and drive away from this issue which could be treatable if researched!!!
What do you want people to comment on? Seems there is research being done and the reductions are a worldwide process. We cant do anything about the rain composition, global warming, world wide pesticide use. All those things provide a framework for total productivity, which within we can increase the actual production by things we can actually influence, like habitat improvement, reduced netting, reduced sewage discharge. Improved water flows, fish farms etc. The whole water composition thing is just a bit too Don Quixoteish.
Lack of integrity and communication amongst the bureaucracies. DFO, MOE, Environmental Protection, and environment Canada do not communicate with each other. They are like the multi headed dragon all going off in their own direction and none can figure out work together. Environment Canada and EP departments have all the proof of toxic water samples but DFO and MOE do not use these resources.
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