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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New University of Toronto study indicates a decline in pollination occurring



"A recent University of Toronto study provides the first long-term evidence of a downward trend in pollination, while also pointing to climate change as a possible contributor.
"Bee numbers may have declined at our research site, but we suspect that a climate-driven mismatch between the times when flowers open and when bees emerge from hibernation is a more important factor," says James Thomson, a scientist with U of T's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.


"Thomson's 17-year examination of the wild lily in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado is one of the longest-term studies of pollination ever done. It reveals a progressive decline in pollination over the years, with particularly noteworthy pollination deficits early in the season. The study will be published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences."

Source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100905231237.htm 

One serious implication of this scientific study is that fruit production from plants
may decrease, which has obvious implications for humans and our dietary needs. You can read a study about this finding at:

 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1690653/pdf/10885521.pdf

Some scientists have attributed this decline in pollination to "global warming."
 In the study I provide a link to above, the author of the study suggests that this phenomenon is not due to global warming but rather it is a consequence of human activity, that being "human modification of landscapes."which is viewed as
causing a  disruption in the "loose mutualistic relationships between plants and their pollinators, causing declines in plant reproduction." In this above-mentioned-study the author states:

"The pollinator crisis scenario warns that habitat
destruction is reducing the abundance of pollinators,
causing a decline in the rate plants are pollinated in
fragmented sites that will in turn lead to lower fruit or
seed production."

This researcher makes the following alarming conclusion about his findings:

"Given that the majority of the world’s
ca. 250 000 flowering plants are primarily animal pollinated
(e.g.4 95% of tree species in a tropical rainforest
survey (Bawa et al. 1985), ca. 70% of canopy tree
species in North America (Regal 1982)) many species
could be affected even if only a small fraction of these
plant-animal interactions prove vulnerable to disruption.
The decline of pollination in commercial crops (Allen-
Wardell et al. 1998; Buchmann & Nabhan 1996) is likely
to receive attention because of the substantial economic
risks involved. Unless a comparable research report is
made, however, we may remain oblivious to declines in
pollination and reproduction of wild plants that place
biodiversity and other natural resources at risk."

To read more about this subject (including a discussion of some possible solutions to this problem, please visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pollinator_decline 

Some potential solutions to this problem are discussed at the following websites:

http://courses.cit.cornell.edu/icb344/abstracts/HoneyBee.htm


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095500.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090928095500.htm

Source of image:http://www.nature.com/

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.