Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Study: Deforestation Depletes Fish Stocks

timothy posted about a month and a half ago | from the stuff-runs-downhill dept.

Earth 69

Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes Adding to the well-known fish-killing effects deforestation has in increasing turbidity and temperature in streams, a study published in Nature Communications, (abstract, PDF access), demonstrates deforestation causes a depletion of nutrients in associated lake aquatic ecosystems and, as a consequence, impacted fish stocks. Lead author Andrew Tanentzap is quoted as saying, 'We found fish that had almost 70% of their biomass made from carbon that came from trees and leaves instead of aquatic food chain sources.' This has troubling implications, as 'It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans ...' Additionally, this may have significance in regard to anadromous species, such as salmon, which help power ocean ecosystems. The BBC offers more approachable coverage.

cancel ×

69 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

climate change (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47237913)

And all the climate change believers will diss this article because the carbon from C02 is bad... mmmm kay!

Re:climate change (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238253)

Chemistry isn't your strong suit, is it....

Well, yeah, you use up the herrings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47237915)

What else?

this has nothing to do with salmon (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47237939)

salmon eat in the oceans and go die in freshwater streams where their nitrogen and other nutrients supplies the trees.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238089)

salmon eat in the oceans and go die in freshwater streams where their nitrogen and other nutrients supplies the trees.

Have you ever been outside?

With a few exceptions (eg, the mangrove forests which are ecologically important) MOST trees live outside the river or stream. Water has this tendency to flow downhill, so stuff in the dirt (bits of trees, bits of critters, critter poop, rocks, etc) flows down into the water. For a typical pelagic salmon, most of it's biomass is accumulated in the ocean, then the salmon moves into freshwater to spawn and die. When it dies, the decomposition takes place entirely in the water or perhaps the adjacent land where they flop out of the water or get grabbed and dragged by an enterprising bear (but rarely into the trees). This decomposition is important for the riparian (water based) ecosystem. For the uphill trees and brush, not so much.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (5, Insightful)

Grow Old Timber (1071718) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238137)

"get grabbed and dragged by an enterprising bear (but rarely into the trees)". YES it happens all the time...The Bears Racoons and what ever leave a lot of the fish on land where it's ate. But it's not just fish that benefit. All insects that are part of a decaying forest feed the wildlife. and why a tree farm is almost devoid of animals. Just go to one and listen... its quiet. Now go to a real forest and you hear all kinds of life. Trees are not just for humans to exploit. They are there to save our planet from us. No tree hugging, just grow old timber. B4 it's too late.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (3, Interesting)

ThaumaTechnician (2701261) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239773)

In addition, the rotting half-eaten salmon carcasses are often the only source of nitrogen for the vegetation.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239883)

WE have a 10,000 acre tree farm around here and it is full of animals. In fact 90% of Michigan is a Tree farm as it was stripped of trees 200-300 years ago and was replanted, and then harvested, and replanted. huge swaths of the state are perfectly planted rows of pine trees and there is gobs of animals and bugs in them. So many that Freaking bears are now a common sight, and I saw wild coyotes for the first time in my life.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (2)

Grow Old Timber (1071718) | about a month and a half ago | (#47242423)

This is true if you count the freshly replanted areas that support deer and elk for a few years. But what rotting wood waste is left to decay naturally? Not much compared to a forest. And how many OLD trees are you growing? I know, it's been explained it is not financially feasible... Tell me how much are those oldest trees worth nowadays IF they would have been spared? $thousands each.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a month and a half ago | (#47244517)

OLD trees? none. Michigan was literally stripped back in the 1600-1800's of all trees, I think up near Lake superior there is a park that has one of the trees that are older than 300 years old left standing. Idiot teenagers carve their names into it's bark.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238687)

Bears also excrete the used salmon back out.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (3, Funny)

NonUniqueNickname (1459477) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239057)

Do they? Right there in the woods?

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (1)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a month and a half ago | (#47242959)

I am so glad someone got the joke. Congrats on the fake internet points.

Re:this has nothing to do with salmon (3, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238899)

This has actually been studied and when the salmon die they supply a surprising amount of nutrients not only to the streams but to the surrounding forest. As was pointed out by the two other replies to you the dead salmon get eaten by bears, racoons, otters and other critters that then do what a bear does in the surrounding forest. Here's what looks to be a lesson plan on the subject: Fish as Fertilizer: The Impacts of Salmon on Forest Ecosystems [PDF] [buffalo.edu]

No problemo (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47237943)

It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans...

We'll switch to plant protein supplies, thus solving the problem once and for all.

Re:No problemo (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238007)

Most of these plants are indigestible to us, so we will need to replace them. Gonna need to chop down all those trees so we can plant soy and rice... I doubt further reducing biodiversity is going to end well.

Re:No problemo (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238329)

ONCE AND FOR ALL [imgur.com]

Re:No problemo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238591)

Well, there are plenty of digestable proteins in fruits as well as leafy greens. Go eat a big juicy watermelon for breakfast and you've got 15-20g right there.

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20020529/will-eating-more-protein-help-your-body-gain-muscle-faster

Re:No problemo (2)

ramorim (1257654) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238029)

The best way for this is called aquaponics [wikipedia.org] . With this technique we can grow not only fishes but edible vegetables in a very fast rate. The best of aquaculture and hydroponics without their respective pitfalls. And we can do this not only in government/private sector large scale, but also in a small modular way: everyone with at last a 5m x 5m space available at home can implement it by their own.

Re:No problemo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238335)

Oh no we won't! [youtube.com]

Re:No problemo (0)

pyg (10303) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238509)

Beans instead of fish? Have you adequately considered the effect of increased methane emissions from such a change? Also, household air quality!

Re:No problemo (1)

bosef1 (208943) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238587)

Fish, and plankton, and sea greens, and protein from the sea!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SiyPqbyHXIg&t=2m5s [youtube.com]

Sorry, this is apropos of nothing, but it just... popped in there.

Who would have thought? (5, Insightful)

penguinoid (724646) | about a month and a half ago | (#47237967)

Who would have thought that destroying an ecosystem would have more than one bad effect?

Re:Who would have thought? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238031)

Who would have thought some ivory tower propeller heads would come out with some study to try to justify large sums of money for them to do further studies? Who?

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

rochrist (844809) | about a month and a half ago | (#47240943)

I know. Really, we should just ban all research because it's all just a money grabbing scam. Well, except research about where to look for oil next and how to make more interesting cosmetics!

Re:Who would have thought? (4, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238773)

Who would have thought that destroying an ecosystem would have more than one bad effect?

More to the point, this is hardly a recent revelation.

People in my part of the U.S. were fighting deforestation (this is a logging region), based on studies that said it caused turbidity in streams, causing among other things nutrification and drastically reducing oxygen, which in turn killed the local aquatic life (which is a major sporting industry in this part of the U.S.).

And that was when I was, like, 12 years old. Which was a l-o-n-g time ago.

I'm not saying this paper didn't show something valid. But the suggestion made by OP, that this is all some kind of new revelation, is just a few decades late. Likely there was some fine point in the paper that reinforced what we already knew. But AFAIK, OP says nothing new at all.

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238907)

Sure, we knew for a long time that deforestation caused damage to the local aquatic life via several mechanisms. I guess now they claim to have discovered another mechanism, a loss of nutrients (ie, leaves and sticks and fruits and forest insects etc get replaced by erosion-related nutrients). This seems like it would be obvious, although it's not exactly easy to verify.

Re:Who would have thought? (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about a month and a half ago | (#47240577)

Much of south Florida was built by creating canals to get soil to raise the height of lots so that they would not flood. The consequence was tree stumps and roots of woody plants being exposed to water. That lead to water the color of coffee that is rather permanent as 100 years after the dredging the tanic acid still colors the water. I don't know if any studies have been done on the effects of brown water on species or size of fish populations. Some species seem to not mind brown water one bit. So in addition to tree cutting or brush cutting we would also need to forbid any dredging of canals or even ponds to preserve water clarity. That is not likely to happen at all.

Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (1)

ramorim (1257654) | about a month and a half ago | (#47237983)

I think this is a real problem only for fresh water ecosystems, and they did not represent the 6% of marine protein (fish, etc) that human intakes. I think 5% came from ocean, and only 1% came from fresh water ecosystems (lakes, rivers, and so on). If this is correct, the problem still exists but affect only 1% of the marine protein resources available. Of course, destroying an inland ecosystem is terrible for the environment and can be lead to other real problems (hazards or even nightmare situations) in other analysis, but not if we are talking about the marine protein resources available (ie. not directly involved)..

Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | about a month and a half ago | (#47237997)

Are you making up shit?

Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (1)

ramorim (1257654) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238055)

No.

Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238121)

"It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans - and the major and often only source of animal protein for low income families across Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

This comes from the Fine Article - where does your data come from?

While we've only studied boreal regions, these results are likely to bear out globally.

Now, this is where they go a little hyperbolic. Maybe yes, maybe no.... But lets not get all wound up about this until you've done a bit more work. Much of the deforestation in the world is in Africa and South America, both very different ecosystems from the boreal region.

Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (1)

abies (607076) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239415)

"It's estimated that freshwater fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans - and the major and often only source of animal protein for low income families across Bangladesh, Indonesia and the Philippines.

This comes from the Fine Article - where does your data come from?

http://www.thefishsite.com/art... [thefishsite.com]
Total protein consumption per capita is 78g. Total fish consumption is around 5.5g which gives around 7%. This is for both marine and inland. Then, looking at
http://www.greenfacts.org/en/f... [greenfacts.org]
we can get around 41:102 ration between inland:marine, which would mean around 2% of total protein comes from freshwater fish and 5% from marine.

Now it is your turn to provide some sources outside FA proving 6% for freshwater fish. Articles I have quoted above are from 5-10 years ago - maybe, in meantime, freshwater fish consumption increased by 200%...

Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (3, Insightful)

Grow Old Timber (1071718) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238177)

Who can afford ocean fish? Yes 6% is a realistic number for freshwater fish. Not just 1% You see some people (a lot) like to fish and then eat 'em. even catfish! Unfortunately, as the article points out, this is becoming more difficult...eh? Aquaponics does not address the fish in the forest problem except to supply an alternate food source. Who da thought we knew all the implications of maximizing profits in the wood products industry Now that timber has become a Wall Street commodity heaven help us. Nothing else matters but profit.

Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47239427)

Thing is I wouldn't call the nearest river to me a "fresh water" river. It's probably closer to fresh effluent ;).

I've seen people fish from rivers or lakes that are rather dirty. I doubt eating those fishes is such a good idea.

Re:Fresh Water vs. Ocean Water Fish (1)

rochrist (844809) | about a month and a half ago | (#47240967)

Did you read the part where the 6% fish protein was prefaced by the word FRESHWATER. As in ''It's estimated that FRESHWATER fishes make up more than 6% of the world's annual animal protein supplies for humans' ?

DeForest Kelley brand depleted fish sticks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238033)

There's a commercial opportunity here! to gouge the Trekkers! They say they don't use money, but they use money!

and defenestration contributes to (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238071)

fish smell.

I'm going outside right now to plant a tree (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238115)

then lay beside it to slit my throat!

Re:I'm going outside right now to plant a tree (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47239867)

Good on you! Is it a Liberty Tree? 'Cuz blood is its natural manure.

Re:I'm going outside right now to plant a tree (1)

ozduo (2043408) | about a month and a half ago | (#47242205)

No I'll plant a macadamia tree. Nuts with a hard shell sort of sums up the Co2 climate controversy

Good thing we use less paper now (2, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238125)

Less reason to cut down trees. I still know some people at work who print emails before reading them though, what is wrong with these people? I try to be a good example and casually mention how I avoid using paper in various ways when describing my tasks to others as well as in meetings, but it doesn't seem to make an impression...

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238179)

Good thing we use less paper now

Who's we?

As best I can ascertain, paper usage in the US and Europe has reduced over the last few years, but globally it's still increasing.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238187)

I still know some people at work who print emails before reading them though, what is wrong with these people?

Those people are preparing a paper trail to get you fired. Good news too, because unemployment applications have gone paperless, you'll like that.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238325)

Ah, the good old 'pat yourself on the back, while blaming others for the problem'. Let's face it, there's too many of us. We are eating this planet barren like a swarm of locusts. Bill was right, we're a virus with shoes.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (1)

Nyder (754090) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238389)

Less reason to cut down trees. I still know some people at work who print emails before reading them though, what is wrong with these people? I try to be a good example and casually mention how I avoid using paper in various ways when describing my tasks to others as well as in meetings, but it doesn't seem to make an impression...

More reason to use Hemp as a paper source. Annually renewable.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238951)

More reason to use Hemp as a paper source. Annually renewable

I thought it has 4 growing seasons?

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238931)

Fortunately most of the non-recycled cellulose comes from managed forests which are systematically planted and harvested for paper. Rivers cause problems large machines used to harvest the wood. Fields, settlements and wood burning on the other hand might impact more on the forests near rivers and lakes.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47239053)

Your printer paper usage does not contribute to deforestation, because the paper comes from tree farms (regularly replanted).

Your co-workers probably print emails to reduce eyestrain while reading them. Some people suffer from this more than others.

If you are interested in encouraging noble causes, there are better ones to champion than this.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (1)

munch117 (214551) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239797)

Less reason to cut down trees.

More to the point, less reason to plant trees. When there's no money in felling trees, trees get felled or burned anyway to make room for agriculture.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (1)

DarkOx (621550) | about a month and a half ago | (#47240857)

Fortuitously forest grows pretty darn fast; if you are not picky about what specie of tree you get. Much more of the USA is forested than say 100 years ago, and lots of that is just from nature reclaiming land not deliberate planting by humans.

As people stopped cutting wood as a primary fuel source for heating and cooking and as agriculture has consolidated and moved toward more efficient land use lots has grown back.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47239869)

Less paper, more reason to deforest.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239897)

Probably that work has crap monitors. It was very common here at the office until we replaced everyone's monitor with a 2K resolution 24" monitor. The email printing stopped overnight.

If your employer was not a bunch of cheap fools and bought quality IT equipment for people to use, they would not have to resort to printing hings they cant read well on a screen.

Re:Good thing we use less paper now (1)

volmtech (769154) | about a month and a half ago | (#47240865)

I'm sure your are intimately involved with paper at least once a day. My town has a mill that produces this product. Tens of thousands of acres of pine forest are harvested on a forty year cycle. It's called tree farming. My land was harvested in 1970 and now it's ready to produce another crop. You can't imagine the riot of growth that occurs when light gets to the soil that's been churned up by the logging equipment. Deer and other animals have a feast. Climax pine forest has no browse, the tall trees block all the light. This Florida where it's flat. Logging in mountainous areas requires strip logging to prevent runoff.

How? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238207)

TFS says, 'We found fish that had almost 70% of their biomass made from carbon that came from trees and leaves instead of aquatic food chain sources.' I haven't read the article itself, and probably wouldn't get too much out of it because I never studied the right parts of chemistry, etc. to understand all of the details, but if somebody knows how they were able to determine this and can put it in layman's terms, I'd appreciate it. I'm not disputing their results, but I would like to learn how they got there.

Re:How? (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238477)

That bit intrigued me too, I know carbon comes in different isotopes and that CO2 from FF burning has an isotopic signature. The age of the carbon is what makes FF burning identifiable, I'm not sure why carbon from trees should be any different to carbon from seaweed.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238621)

Yea, seems to be a lot of comments on CO2 being tossed around lately that can't be verified. On Cosmos a couple weeks ago Neil DeGas Tyson claimed they can tell the difference between volcanic CO2 and human made CO2. I thought it was pure BS, and couldn't find anything explaining it. I supposed an isotope or somthing could tell, but what I found instead was that we are measuring CO2 levels near active volcanoes and the measurements are probably wrong because of that.

Funny how a lie made me look something up and found additional lies.

Re:How? (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238639)

For those who are wondering how scientists can tell the different, the Wikipedia article has a section on various Reservoir Effects, [wikipedia.org] including how volcanoes can skew the dates if their effect isn't properly adjusted for.

Re:How? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238731)

Thanks. From your link it looks like they are using different isotopes of C in the CO2, C12 or C14, which is what I guessed. However they give examples of many sources for each isotope, volcanoes only giving out the C12. However there appears to be many other sources for the C12, and many for the C14, so while there is a "shred" of truth to Tyson's statment it actually is very misleading because he made it sound like they can measure the source accuratly wihtout any problems. That looks like it is not the case at all.

Re:How? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238947)

There are 2 stable isotopes of carbon 12C and 13C. Carbon 14 has too short a half life to be significant in this case. The lighter 12C carbon atom is preferred by photosynthesis so biomass has less 13C than there is in general on the Earth. Since fossil fuels have a mostly biological origin the CO2 emissions from them have less 13C than purely geologic sources like volcanic emissions. It's not all that difficult to measure those things.

Further scare for my OSHW project (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238279)

I designed a combined cooker and water distiller in hope of helping the 0.8 billion people without drinking water.

In countried like Cambodia and Thailand they use charcoal for cooking made of forests which causes deforestation. he economy is actually good. Fortunately the increased consumption of the device is only oin the 10-19% range.

But anyway. I hope it won't bring dead fish together with drinking water! :)

http://ronja.twibright.com/distillcooker/ [twibright.com]

Re:Further scare for my OSHW project (1)

mrvan (973822) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239625)

Are you serious? You design some sort of wonderful device that can help hundreds of millions of people, that cost 2900,- to design, and you (a) could not find any party such as oxfam interested in sponsoring this and (b) you hope that the public will somehow start donating money to you based on vague promises and some sort of manual with everything interesting XXX'd out.

I have to say, specifying development costs in CHF gives it some air of credibility, I guess NGN would have been a bit too obvious?

If you are legit, just contact some aid companies or just release everything already and then ask for donations

this fP for GNAA (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47238379)

Jesus Up The I read the latest = 36400 FreeBSD FreeBSD went out

More sqwauking (1)

MouseTheLuckyDog (2752443) | about a month and a half ago | (#47238917)

from the chicken littles.

undo mod (0)

Layzej (1976930) | about a month and a half ago | (#47239757)

undomod

No sh1t Sherlock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47241245)

This is one of those instances where you wonder how much they spent to work out something so basic a 2nd grader could give you the answer.
An absolute classic "No sh1t Sherlock"
You remove a whole chunk of an eco system and wonder what the results are going to be ?
"Stupid is as stupid does"

problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47242219)

Too many people want to live too good and eat too much...
The ONLY ONE solution to this problem is to kill off few billion people... Bad for people, good for planet.
Unfortunately our specie cannot reason with brain , we are multiplying like viruses until we kill ourselves along with out planet.
The good news is - planet will recover. We won't survive anyway.

wasn't this already determined decades ago? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47259291)

the effects of deforestation on fish populations in rivers and streams was already studied and the results quoted decades ago in support of new forestry managment plans that would leave trees along waterways when an area was harvested. Property owners were hounded by government officials who made sure any development did not disturb too many trees close to waterways using regulations supported by that research.

Did someone pay to do the study again to see if things somehow changed?

Even big timber companies Like Weyerhauser (who've been doing renewable, reharvesting of the same plots of land repeatedly since the 70's) accepted the studies. Who knows they might have even sponsored them.

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>