Biodiversity and ecosystems

Wood residues from forest harvesting or disturbance wood from wildfire and insect outbreaks may be viewed as biomass "feedstocks" for bioenergy production, to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Biomass removals of woody debris may have potential impacts on forest biodiversity and ecosystem function. Forest-floor small mammals, such as the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi) that typically disappear after clearcut harvesting, may serve as ecological indicators of significant change in forest structure and function.
Elsevier, General and Comparative Endocrinology, Volume 157, July 2008
All organisms respond to environmental cues that allow them to organize the timing and duration of life history stages that make up their life cycles. Superimposed on this predictable life cycle are unpredictable events that have the potential to be stressful. Environmental and social stresses have deleterious effects on life history stages such as migration, reproductive function and molt in vertebrates. Global climate change, human disturbance and endocrine disruption from pollutants are increasingly likely to pose additional stresses that could have a major impact on organisms.
Soil health is the capacity of soil to function as a vital living system, within ecosystem and land-use boundaries, to sustain plant and animal productivity, maintain or enhance water and air quality, and promote plant and animal health. Anthropogenic reductions in soil health, and of individual components of soil quality, are a pressing ecological concern.

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