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Welcome Spring with WILDLANDANCE

Happy 2024 Biodiversity Day to the Globe we share!

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Celebrating Global Biodiversity
in 2024

 Keystone Species and Resilience

Since early studies of purple starfish in the 1960s to the reintroduction of wolves to historic habitat, keystone species have captured the imagination of many looking to restore biodiversity after periods of decline.  Ecosystem collapse describes the end result of cascading effects from not just the absence of a key member of the interacting whole, but also the dynamic shifts in population, food webs, health and resilience for every cohort—plant, animal, fungi, microorganism, habitat feature, and more—who rely upon a system in balance.  Biodiversity and habitat features, as well as life stage, reproductive fitness, predator-prey and mutualistic relationships, disease and resilience . . all are important considerations in the sphere of endless interaction and cycling continuum of presence and absence in a given set of biophysical and geographical and community aspects.  Change is also a long-term and immediate feature of any system, with rates and scales influencing many outcomes.

Here's one idea for engaging with & celebrating biodiversity dynamics:

Ecologists join observers from many traditions in describing several kinds of “keystone” effects, with many species—also humans—recognized in the natural world and cultural contexts of such belonging.  Imagine joining a circle formed of your community, taking turns to share observations and knowledge about interactions, then creating a sphere of relationship to everything mentioned, remembering to consider what each member needs and can adapt to over time.  

  • What "keystone" beings did you/your group mention?

  • What kinds of effects occur in the system, and when do certain occurrences go beyond the balance embracing the whole?  

  • What has changed about your impression of biodiversity?  

Beaver are sometimes called "ecosystem engineers," and are often considered a highly specialized keystone species

Research on biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics continues to expand, embracing concepts of ecological interaction, states & transitions, habitat resilience and the potential for restoration.  

Please share your examples and ideas!  Thank you for including ALL beings, every generation & culture in this globally important conversation.

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