[Ecodharma]What the planet needs - fewer cars, more bison!

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  • Kokuu
    Treeleaf Priest
    • Nov 2012
    • 6737

    [Ecodharma]What the planet needs - fewer cars, more bison!

    Dear all

    This is an interesting study, showing that a herd of 170 free-roaming bison in Romania can help to store an amount of carbon equivalent to the annual output of 2 million cars!

    While clearly not the answer to climate change, it is an interesting look at how restoring natural ecosystem functioning can be of benefit in a number of ways.

    Free-roaming animals reintroduced in Romania’s Țarcu mountains are stimulating plant growth and securing carbon stored in the soil while grazing


    Here in Kent in the UK we reintroduced several European bison to a local wood but I think we are going to need a few more if this study is to be replicated!

    Gassho
    Kokuu
    -sattoday/lah-
  • Jenny A
    Member
    • Mar 2024
    • 44

    #2
    There is even a scheme to resurrect the Woolly Mammoth and reintroduce them to tundra ecosystems. The idea is that their activity could help keep the permafrost frozen and keep all that carbon in the ground:
    Scientists say creating hybrids of the extinct beasts could fix the Arctic tundra and stop greenhouse gas emissions


    Gassho,
    jenny
    stlah

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    • Tairin
      Member
      • Feb 2016
      • 2716

      #3
      Fascinating. Thank you for sharing both articles.


      Tairin
      Sat today and lah
      泰林 - Tai Rin - Peaceful Woods

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      • Myojin
        Member
        • Feb 2023
        • 229

        #4
        Originally posted by Kokuu
        Dear all

        This is an interesting study, showing that a herd of 170 free-roaming bison in Romania can help to store an amount of carbon equivalent to the annual output of 2 million cars!

        While clearly not the answer to climate change, it is an interesting look at how restoring natural ecosystem functioning can be of benefit in a number of ways.

        Free-roaming animals reintroduced in Romania’s Țarcu mountains are stimulating plant growth and securing carbon stored in the soil while grazing


        Here in Kent in the UK we reintroduced several European bison to a local wood but I think we are going to need a few more if this study is to be replicated!

        Gassho
        Kokuu
        -sattoday/lah-
        I saw this, an interesting piece of research. People focus on the methane emissions associated with cattle (which we can't discount), and frequently ignore the benefits they can present both to carbon storage and to ecosystem function overall.

        I wish it was as simple as just re-wild the hell out of everything, but it shows the potential, although I expect rural Kent would look very different if you had a herd of 170 free roaming bison!
        The biggest rewilding project in Western Europe that I can think of is Oostvaardersplassen (Oostvaardersplassen (staatsbosbeheer.nl)), which is interesting but not without its problems. The issue is having the necessary space to allow wild roaming animals sufficient space.

        Did you ever read the book by Frans Vera: Grazing ecology and Forest History (Grazing Ecology and Forest History: Vera, Franciscus W M: 9780851994420: Amazon.com: Books​), a really interesting read that digs into palynology and a lot of other areas to paint a very different picture of pre-Holocene landscapes that is the basis for a lot of rewilding efforts. I based my undergraduate thesis on the idea ( in a much more limited way of course), but it gives an idea of how livestock and plants interact to regulate ecosystems in a way that out current fenced systems don't really allow for, particularly in the UK.

        Gassho

        Myojin

        -Sattlah

        Comment

        • Kokuu
          Treeleaf Priest
          • Nov 2012
          • 6737

          #5
          There is even a scheme to resurrect the Woolly Mammoth and reintroduce them to tundra ecosystems. The idea is that their activity could help keep the permafrost frozen and keep all that carbon in the ground:
          Thank you, Jenny. That is interesting. The idea of permafrost melting and releasing the stored carbon is really worrying.



          I wish it was as simple as just re-wild the hell out of everything, but it shows the potential, although I expect rural Kent would look very different if you had a herd of 170 free roaming bison! The biggest rewilding project in Western Europe that I can think of is Oostvaardersplassen (Oostvaardersplassen (staatsbosbeheer.nl)), which is interesting but not without its problems. The issue is having the necessary space to allow wild roaming animals sufficient space.

          Did you ever read the book by Frans Vera: Grazing ecology and Forest History (Grazing Ecology and Forest History: Vera, Franciscus W M: 9780851994420: Amazon.com: Books), a really interesting read that digs into palynology and a lot of other areas to paint a very different picture of pre-Holocene landscapes that is the basis for a lot of rewilding efforts. I based my undergraduate thesis on the idea ( in a much more limited way of course), but it gives an idea of how livestock and plants interact to regulate ecosystems in a way that out current fenced systems don't really allow for, particularly in the UK.​
          Yes, just as it is human folly to think that we can alter the face of the planet without there being consequences, equally we cannot think that we can suddenly flick the switch backwards by modifying ecosystems. Rewilding is talked about a lot, and, like you, I think it has merits but, as you say, there is a big issue of how much habitat is needed for animals to naturally graze and wander. My idea of 170 bison in Kent is certainly one of whimsy rather than reality.

          I haven't read that book but it look really interesting. Thank you! I studied some palynology at university and we collected and analysed peat cores from bogs in the New Forest. I remember reading a paper even then (in the late 80s/early 90s) that was very sceptical of the idea of Britain and much of Europe being covered by vast tracts primeval forest. Great that you were able to look at that as part of your undergraduate research!

          Gassho
          Kokuu
          -sattoday/lah-

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