Yellowstone National Park
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The Cost of the Wild » American Scientist

The Cost of the Wild » American Scientist | Yellowstone National Park | Scoop.it
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The article by Pat Shipman discusses the beauty and the ugly side of returning a national park to its original state. The number of wolves located in the Yellowstone National Park has begun to grow since being reintroduced in the mid 90’s. The wolves have helped to bring balance back to the ecosystem in terms of numbers of other animals and the indirectly the layout of the land and streams. The ugly side of the reintroduction of native animals and the attempt to bring their numbers back to their native strength is the impact that they have on the human population now living in the area. The numbers now affect the ranchers located in the area as well as the tourists that come and visit the lands.

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Return of the Wild

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Re-wilding a large area can be a daunting task as discussed in this periodical but it has many benefits that cannot be ignored. The article gives one such example regarding the Yellowstone National Park’s reintroduction of the gray wolf. The removal of the gray wolf from this area allowed larger prey to run rampant which affected other species. The elk began to eat the trees in the area down to the nubs which removed wood for the beavers to use. This in turn changed the flow of streams and rivers in the area thus changing the landscape. Once the wolves were reintroduced the elk population returned to manageable conditions and the landscape has begun to return to the way that it was before the wolves were removed. Many openly oppose the idea of reintroducing native or closely related dangerous species near a populated area.

 

Reardon, Sara. "Return Of The Wild." New Scientist 221.2958 (2014): 40. Science Reference Center. Web. 6 July 2014.

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Scared to Death

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This article addressed the issue of climate change and its impact on the national parks; more specifically Yellowstone National Park.  The article hypothesized that climate change is to blame when it comes to the spread of a native beetle that kills many of the trees. Some say that the beetle may do some good by killing the trees and removing wood which would otherwise be burned up in a wildfire. This however, is not enough to rest on and scientists are looking for trees throughout the forests that are resistant to the beetles’ damage so that they may “breed” resistant trees.

 

Yong, Ed. "Scared To Death." New Scientist 218.2919 (2013): 36.Science Reference Center. Web. 6 July 2014.

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Wildfires and Yellowstone's Stream Ecosystems

Varley, John D.. "Wildfires and Yellowstone's Stream Ecosystems." BioScience: 707. Print.

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The article touched on how wildfires affect the steam ecosystems in Yellowstone National park. It discusses how the aquatic wildlife is affected by wildfires. One such example is that the fire burns the underbrush; the leaves and organisms living in the brush are then disbursed to the local streams.

 

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When Yellowstone Explodes

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Yellowstone National Park sits atop an active volcano. The famous geysers of the park are the evidence of the existing volcano and the fact that it is still active. This volcano has produced some massive eruptions in the past and many geologists believe that it will happen again. This article discusses what may occur and when the volcano may erupt again.

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Yellowstone Fires: Issues in Landscape Ecology

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The article offers a different perspective on the benefits and distruction of wildfires that occur at Yellowstone National Park. The absence of forests now provide a new habitat for animals that otherwise wouldn’t have had any in the abundant forests. The loss of the canopy’s within the forests burned by the forests also contributes indirectly to erosion of the landscape and nutrient losses. The absence of the leaves reduces the evaporation of the water from the streams and thus increases stream flow and erosion.

 

Knight, Dennis., Dennis H. Knight, and Linda L. Wallace. "The Yellowstone Fires: Issues In Landscape Ecology. (Cover Story)." Bioscience 39.10 (1989): 700. Science Reference Center. Web. 6 July 2014.

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Wolves and the Ecology of Fear: Can Predation Risk Structure Ecosystems?

Beschta, Robert L.. "Wolves And The Ecology Of Fear: Can Predation Risk Structure Ecosystems?." BioScience: 755. Print.

Amanda Wright's insight:

Scientists researched how a food chain is linked in a particular ecosystem. The results that they found point toward a predation risk having a significant effect on the natural ecosystem. They are basing their conclusions on a theory involving predation risk, and optimal foraging. Another claim made by the research team is that the large carnivores that were reintroduced into the Yellowstone National Park area help provide a natural balance to the herbivores, and scavengers. They claim that the reintroduction of the large carnivores will indirectly reduce the numbers of mesocarnivores such as the coyote.

 

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