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Fall in tiny animals a 'disaster'
BBC ^

Posted on 07/13/2008 9:53:36 AM PDT by LibWhacker

Experts on invertebrates have expressed "profound shock" over a government report showing a decline in zooplankton of more than 70% since the 1960s.

The tiny animals are an important food for fish, mammals and crustaceans.

Figures contained in the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) document, Marine Programme Plan, suggested a fall in abundance.

Charity Buglife said it could be a "biodiversity disaster of enormous proportions".

They said it could have implications for creatures all the way up the food chain, from sand eels to the seabirds, such as puffin, which feed on the fish.

Defra described the Marine Programme Plan as one of the department's high impact programmes, reporting directly to the Defra board and used to guide policy.

Buglife director Matt Shardlow has written to Rodney Anderson, director of marine and fisheries at Defra, praising the level of information in the document but also expressing the organisation's serious concerns.

In his letter, seen by the BBC Scotland news website, Mr Shardlow said: "The disappearance of butterflies, moth, bees, riverflies and other small animals is an environmental tragedy.

"But, despite this experience, we were profoundly shocked to read that zooplankton abundance has declined by about 73% since 1960 and about 50% since 1990.

"This is a biodiversity disaster of enormous proportions."

A graph shown in the report charts a steady decline in zooplankton from 1990 to 2006.

Buglife Scottish officer, Craig Macadam, said climate change could be a factor.

He said: "Zooplankton is the basis of many food chains in the marine environment.

"Without them it is going to cause problems further up the chain."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: climatechange; coastalenvironment; disaster; environment; fall; marinebiology; tiny; zooplankton

Sea water with mixed zooplankton and needle eye (20X)

Thought this article was rather amusing if the photo above is a recent one. According to Buglife, that drop of water should have more than three times as many zooplankton in it.

1 posted on 07/13/2008 9:53:37 AM PDT by LibWhacker
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To: LibWhacker

It’s Bush’s fault


2 posted on 07/13/2008 9:56:18 AM PDT by Conspiracy Guy (I voted Republican because no Conservatives were running.)
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To: LibWhacker
OMG! OMG! It's the end of the world!
3 posted on 07/13/2008 9:56:23 AM PDT by Ancient Drive
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To: LibWhacker

Oh.... I thought this was going to be about cats not always landing on their feet::’)


4 posted on 07/13/2008 10:05:44 AM PDT by CindyDawg
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To: Ancient Drive
Don't laugh too fast, this could be a pretty serious matter if true.

However, I went from "hmm i wonder" to "this is likely BS" when the mention of global warming got tossed in there.

5 posted on 07/13/2008 10:07:15 AM PDT by FunkyZero
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To: Conspiracy Guy
Exactly!

Since 1990 ... That Bush !!!

6 posted on 07/13/2008 10:08:01 AM PDT by knarf (I say things that are true ... I have no proof ... but they're true.)
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To: LibWhacker

Is it biomass decline, biodiversity decline in specific phyla, what? Dang, guess I gotta go track down the original report.

The seawater drop in the pic is obviously not a random sample. :-)


7 posted on 07/13/2008 10:09:41 AM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: Gondring

Then how come Tuna fish are getting bigger???


8 posted on 07/13/2008 10:14:40 AM PDT by Coffee200am
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To: LibWhacker
Figures ... suggested a fall in abundance.

Charity Buglife said it could be a "biodiversity disaster of enormous proportions".

Buglife Scottish officer, Craig Macadam, said climate change could be a factor.

Yep, settled science. All deniers will be rounded up and prosecuted for crimes against humanity. Time to start planing a UN conference in some extravagant Bali resort.

Oh Yeah, sacrifices will be required... Taxes North, quality of human life South.

9 posted on 07/13/2008 10:17:29 AM PDT by Lamchops
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To: Coffee200am

Maybe there following Bill Blazejowski’s idea of raising the Tuna already full of Mayo. LOL


10 posted on 07/13/2008 10:20:35 AM PDT by JimC214
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To: LibWhacker

This has got to be satire - “Charity Buglife” and “Craig Macadam” - this is the stuff of jokes!


11 posted on 07/13/2008 10:25:49 AM PDT by Ken522
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To: LibWhacker

Oh well. I guess we better kill the whales. They’re the ones eating the plankton up anyway...


12 posted on 07/13/2008 10:36:37 AM PDT by GulfBreeze (Vote for John McCain along with Tom DeLay, John Cornyn and the majority of conservatives.)
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To: LibWhacker

That’s an amazing photo.


13 posted on 07/13/2008 10:38:19 AM PDT by mysterio
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To: LibWhacker

I wonder how much the protection of Whales has to do with the decline in zooplankton? I would love to see a comparitive graph of all whale population to the zooplankton.


14 posted on 07/13/2008 10:38:34 AM PDT by aft_lizard (One animal actually its eats its own brains to conserve energy, we call them liberals.)
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To: GulfBreeze

“Oh well. I guess we better kill the whales. They’re the ones eating the plankton up anyway...”

We have got a WINNER! ! ! ! !

And, the Japanese will be soooo velly happy.

;-)


15 posted on 07/13/2008 10:40:22 AM PDT by GladesGuru (In a society predicated upon freedom, it is essential to examine principles,)
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To: Coffee200am
Then how come Tuna fish are getting bigger???

I don't know that statement is true, in a general sense. They are doing so near Australia recently, but highly fished species have both greater fluctuations in size as well as greater diversity in size in a school at any given time.

In Australia's case, recent weather changes, possibly climate changes, have led to greater upwelling of nutrients, which feeds the lower portions of the food chain. But that doesn't mean these are necessarily worldwide (tuna size or zooplankton abundance trends)...do you have info to the contrary? I think the article dealt with Scottish or UK waters.

(Note also that depth of fishing tends to change the size of tuna you get...maybe ocean cooling is helping? Or maybe the low insolation is meaning less of the phytoplankton production, or... )

Side note...The Scotsman had an error when reporting this story, saying zooplankton were at the bottom of the foodchain. I'm encouraged to see that the BBC corrected that before running the story. :-)

16 posted on 07/13/2008 10:43:00 AM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: Coffee200am
You stole my question ... I read that story yesterday.

Must be coz the news was from Australia and the opposite is happening there. 8-D

17 posted on 07/13/2008 10:44:38 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: LibWhacker

268 words and “climate change” isn’t blamed until word # 236. I find such restraint by the BBC unusual...


18 posted on 07/13/2008 10:45:40 AM PDT by pabianice
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To: FunkyZero

Not only that, but the effects would’ve *already* been noticed by now.


19 posted on 07/13/2008 10:46:30 AM PDT by Marie (Why is it that some people believe everything that happens is the will of G-d - except Israel?)
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To: LibWhacker

What’s the matter?

Don’t these scientists believe in evolution?


20 posted on 07/13/2008 10:47:09 AM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: Ken522
“Charity Buglife” is not a person..."Charity" is capitalized because it's at the start of the sentence.

Read it as:
"The charity 'Buglife' . . ."

And the road-construction term "macadam" is named after a person with the family name, "McAdam" or "MacAdam" (specifically, "John Loudon McAdam," not to be confused with Senator John Loudon)...but "Macadam" is also a name common in Scotland. Note that "tarmac" is from "tar-bound macadam," not an invention of Dr. MacTar. :-)

21 posted on 07/13/2008 10:50:38 AM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: Coffee200am
Then how come Tuna fish are getting bigger???

Tuna are not plankton eaters. They eat big stuff like lobsters, crabs, shrimps, and barnacles. clams, snails, oysters and mussels, and even each other.

not that I agree with one second of man made global warming hysteria.

22 posted on 07/13/2008 10:52:23 AM PDT by wardaddy (Myself and my ancestors take full responsibility for all racial discrimination here since 1607)
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To: LibWhacker

Let’s sue the Sun.


23 posted on 07/13/2008 10:52:43 AM PDT by ConservativeMind
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To: BenLurkin

http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/discoblog/2008/04/18/a-real-live-case-of-darwin-fish/


24 posted on 07/13/2008 10:54:03 AM PDT by Gondring (I'll give up my right to die when hell freezes over my dead body!)
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To: Coffee200am

Oh, my word!!! The tuna fish have eaten everything.


25 posted on 07/13/2008 11:12:53 AM PDT by muawiyah (We need a "Gastank For America" to win back Congress)
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To: LibWhacker

The funny thing is that zooplankton is a great “vitamin supplement” and when grown on fish farms, the effluent “recharges” the sea. Man can actually stimulate the growth of zooplankton relatively easily.


26 posted on 07/13/2008 11:20:13 AM PDT by JmyBryan
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To: LibWhacker

I believe there have been several artciles recently about similar phenomenon off the West Coast. Let’s see if I can capture the jist from memory. The Pacific decadal oscillation (El Nino and La Nina) drive weather and the upwelling of phytoplankton. This is what feeds fish like salmon. When too many rise and the surface water is warm, like algae, they can deplete the water in a local area of oxygen causing dead zones of no life, such as have arisen off the Oregon Coast. Upwelling patterns also drive salmon populations. They have a general rythm in the oscillation so that when Alaska populations are high, lower west coast populations tend to be low and vice versa. What is happening now is unusual. It effected the Klamath runs in past years, now it seems to be effecting the Sacramento runs. (The fishermen would have you believe it is all inland issues because they are agenda driven to change water management, land use practices and dams.) So it is not just Scotland. I think Norway may also be experiencing it and there have been articles on that.


27 posted on 07/13/2008 11:23:05 AM PDT by marsh2
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