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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

I really could see the idea of island biogeography when looking at islands and the ocean and how they species could develop that way.  Until I saw this video I do not think I could have made that cross over to continents.  Now I do see it.  If we build something across an open plain it will effect how species roam the area.  I remeber seeing pictures of the Alaskan pipeline raised in certain area and could not until now figure out why.  Now I know it was done, at least partly for, environmental reasons. So animals could still travel under it in order to move about.  If not Alaska would have been cut in half and prevented the animals form moving across the pipeline.  So as nature effected the developement of species with the rising and falling of ocean levels and islands, human effect the developmentof species with roads, farms and cities to name just a few.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 10:03 PM

Just because the world island is in island biogeography doesn't mean it is only to be discussed and looked at on islands. There is great importance of exploring this specific part of geography on land that is not solely surrounded by water.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:27 PM

Like World Regional Geography, Bio-geography is closely related to that of World Regional Geography. Species that live on islands are prone to extinction.  While this so, they is very little competition of survival as there are on mainlands. With the Sunda Shelf in Asia, some species that can be found on one side of the continent can also be found in Australia. While we are separated by sea, rivers, and oceans, animals that can be found in one area of the world, can also be found on another land. Respectively, animals that were exclusive to one country are appearing on other lands where they aren't known to dwell on.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:45 PM

It is fascinating to see how life evolves differently on isolated islands. The unique biomes often lack enough diversity to fill certain roles, so the animals move to fill them. For example, the komodo dragon was able to evolve to its large size because there was not large predator sitting on top of the food chain to prevent its growth. Sadly, the unique nature of island biogeography also makes it much more delicate, and species are much more likely to become extinct.

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Lurking in the Deep

Lurking in the Deep | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Divers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef recently snapped rare pictures of a wobbegong, or carpet shark, swallowing a bamboo shark whole.

 

The diversity of life on this planet and the ecosystems which such creatures live in is something that continually leaves me in awe at the wonders of the natural world.


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Such an incredible sight to see.  The amount of bio-diversity located in the Great Barrier Reef is just astounding.  No wonder people feel this is an asset to keep.  Not only will it bring in toursim and the money that goes along with it, the toursim will help keep the area clean for the government will not want to lose the billions of dollars they earn from tourism.  Ecologically the preservation of this area will benefit not only the natural wildlife there, but it will benefit the people.  Even if it is a bit selfish to keep it preserved for monetary reasons, at least it is still being preserved.

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Gregory S Sankey Jr.'s curator insight, September 1, 2014 10:38 AM

This article reminds me of another video i've seen recently of a grouper fish swallowing a 4-foot black tip shark whole. A fisherman caught that on camera while trying to reel in the shark. Time and time again I'm reminded that not everything in nature is as it seems and that the unexpected should be expected. 

This makes me want to buy some scuba gear and take some diving classes, I ought to conquer my fear of sharks by safely observing them with a research team! 

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:36 PM

Amazing photos, there are so many different kinds of life that exists in the Ocean. As the Great Barrier Reef falls victim to climate change and pollution, the number of species at risk is almost calculable. 

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 1:26 PM

Australia's marine life is amazing, being able to hide by blending in to their environment is a testament to the waters that Australia has. The diverse wildlife of Australia waters is shown to be an adaptive bunch and begs the question: How many more animals are out there that we do not know of?

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Human/Environmental Interactions

The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century.  Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in a the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined.  The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates. 


Via Seth Dixon, Paige McClatchy
Al Picozzi's insight:

This has to be one of the most telling video of an environmental disaster I have even seen.  A whole sea, 26,000 square miles, bigger than the state of West Virginia, is bascially gone due to Soviet mismanagement.  This is an environmental disaster now that the Russians do not have to deal with as it is now located in the independant country of Kazakhstan.  It effects them as well as the new countries that have come to be withthe collapse of the USSR.  Seems Russian dodged this just like Chernobyl.  This is something we need to lean from, on how not to use a natural resource until it literally has dried up.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 17, 2013 8:49 PM

I've read about the disaster of the Aral Sea before when I was taking a class on Eurasian history, but being able to visualize it made it even more striking. It was especially striking when, at the end, the man was talking about the great paradox he sees between people who are being threatened with rising ocean levels and then his people who are threatened by the drying of the Aral. It really does show how humans impact the environment, and demonstrates that areas in which people are manual laborers, working resources, health and environmental conditions tend to be worse. 

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 12:24 PM

The Aral Sea, located in Central Asia is a very important water source for the entire region.  Unfortunately, the Soviet Union designated this water sources as one which would provide water to rice and cotton crops, which are both very water-intensive crops.  This has resulted in desertification of the area due to the cyclical shrinking volume of the lake.  Sands and chemicals are now free to blow around, affecting people's health.  This is one of the best examples on earth of environmental exploitation due to a lack of environmental planning.  When the lake dries up, the inhabitants of the surrounding countries will be in huge trouble.

Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 6, 2014 10:38 PM

The Aral Sea was a source of food for the residents, as it was home to thousands of fish and water was used to irrigate crops.Also acted as a climate regulator. Therefore, its virtual disappearance has caused winters and summers are extreme.Today the drought is considered one of the greatest ecological disasters caused by man. scientists estimated that the Aral sea will disappear before 2020. A plan to expand the cultivation of cotton throughout Central Asia and thus a system of canals for irrigation that significantly decreased the amount of water reaching the Aral Sea. It angers me to see that the human has being causing many natural disasters.