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Old 09-01-2010, 08:44 AM   #1
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Default Charles Darwin's evolution experiment on Ascension Isle

BBC News - Charles Darwin's evolution experiment on Ascension isle

Wilkinson describes the vegetation of "Green Mountain" - as the highest peak is now known - as a "cloud forest". The trees capture sea mist, creating a damp oasis amid the aridity.
However, this is a forest with a difference. It is totally artificial.
Such ecosystems normally develop over million of years through a slow process of co-evolution. By contrast, the Green Mountain cloud forest was cobbled together by the Royal Navy in a matter of decades.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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An experiment done before the "Environmental Impact Statement" was invented. If there is any downside, it is not obvious to me. Migrating birds would find more food on the new & improved island, which could be crucial to their survival. I wonder what impact the greenery has on the local fish population.
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Old 09-01-2010, 07:09 PM   #3
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It certainly would be interesting to know more. This is one of the few cases in which I can see the advantages of bringing in alien plants, to create vegetation where there was none before!
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:32 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amelanchier View Post
It certainly would be interesting to know more. This is one of the few cases in which I can see the advantages of bringing in alien plants, to create vegetation where there was none before!
I guess I tend to agree, but I've lost confidence in man's manipulation of nature's natural pace. The jury is still out on this one. Perhaps the island's remoteness helps make it less dangerous as an introducer of alien species. Or, has damage already been unknowingly done by migrating animals without anyone having made the connection?
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Old 09-02-2010, 05:18 PM   #5
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Since they have bamboo growing on the island, I wonder if it would support a population of pandas?
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ascension, ascension isle, charles, cloud, cloud forest, darwin, environment, evolution, evolution experiment, experiment, forest, green mountain, habitat, habitat preservation, habitat projects, isle, man made, man-made

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