Author Topic: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?  (Read 12221 times)

Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #100 on: February 27, 2017, 12:44:56 pm »
Soil degradation in the UK costs us £1.2billion a year so not sure I agree. Our entire agrarian system is an agro-ecodisaster

Got a reference for that?

And that's not an aggressive request, but an inquisitive one.

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Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #101 on: February 27, 2017, 12:58:22 pm »

Moreover, clearcutting is an enormous problem in the UK. It might not be happening now, but your history of deforestation has impacted soil quality far into the future. Forest land is increasing in the UK, but even within those forests it takes centuries to regain lost soil fertility.

Clearcutting was a feature of British agriculture....in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

You can leave a pitheap and have *climax* vegetation inside 50 years. That's a quote from my Ecology lecturer years ago.

Forest land is increasing in the UK mainly due to monoculture of conifers, these degrade soils rather than improve them, as mixed forest does.

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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #102 on: February 27, 2017, 01:25:27 pm »

Moreover, clearcutting is an enormous problem in the UK. It might not be happening now, but your history of deforestation has impacted soil quality far into the future. Forest land is increasing in the UK, but even within those forests it takes centuries to regain lost soil fertility.

Clearcutting was a feature of British agriculture....in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages.

You can leave a pitheap and have *climax* vegetation inside 50 years. That's a quote from my Ecology lecturer years ago.

Forest land is increasing in the UK mainly due to monoculture of conifers, these degrade soils rather than improve them, as mixed forest does.

That must have been some time back. Short-term ecosystem climax has been found to be mythical. Besides, anyone with common sense and the most casual observational skills would find your lecturer's assertion ridiculous. 

Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #103 on: February 27, 2017, 01:29:44 pm »
I said 'climax vegetation'.

And my 'casual observational skills' certainly observed it....

Try again.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #104 on: February 27, 2017, 01:47:02 pm »
What is climax vegetation? And, if it is what I think it is, how could you observe it in light of ecologist's belief that it may be thousands of years in the making?

About the coniferous forests. The succession of forests often begins as conifer-dominant since they are able to thrive in depleted soils. Because these are short-lived trees, they will gradually give way to hardwoods as the canopy opens and the rotting of the wood itself adds some small nutrients. Then the long process of soil creation begins.

I do not know if this process will hold true in the UK forests you mention, but it is typical in climates favoring deciduous forests, which the UK certainly has.

Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #105 on: February 27, 2017, 02:00:03 pm »
Pioneer species are mostly herbivorous. Woody plants come later once a degree of soil stabilisation has occurred.

The first woody species (in Britain except parts of the Highlands of Scotland) is generally birch. These are relatively short lived. Climax vegetation is usually oak/ash woodland. This might be different in wetter areas where alder is more prevalent.

Conifers are by no means short lived: there are Douglas Firs in Scotland that are over 150 years old. You have your Bristlecone Pines.

You really should stick to meanderings. You are better at that.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2017, 02:11:35 pm by droid »
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #106 on: February 27, 2017, 02:47:56 pm »
I see. So an oak tree can appear on a rubble heap within 50 years? I'm not sure what this proves. My point was that the soils and ecosystems of both of our nations are wrecked.

Certainly there are very old conifers. The pine forests that spring up in the wake of bad forestry, or abandoned farms, are dying within sixty or eighty years. The Douglas Fir, which you mention, is often replanted by loggers in the US after the clearcut of hardwoods, since it is valuable as timber.
Interestingly, many of the previously wooded slopes in my county, having lost all topsoil to the plow, have become permanent prairies, with a few cedar trees and long grasses, little else.

Offline alastairgott

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #107 on: February 27, 2017, 03:52:48 pm »
Interestingly, many of the previously wooded slopes in my county, having lost all topsoil to the plow, have become permanent prairies

You mean lost all topsoil due to being exposed to the weather.
 This is arguably an example of worse forestry management, a good mix of fast growing and slow growing trees will keep all the soil together, coupled with selecting small areas with which to deforest rather than large swathes of land.

Anyway, I've been ignoring this topic for a while, what's soil n forests got to do with BCA and Caving?

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #108 on: February 27, 2017, 04:06:34 pm »
Interestingly, many of the previously wooded slopes in my county, having lost all topsoil to the plow, have become permanent prairies

You mean lost all topsoil due to being exposed to the weather.
 This is arguably an example of worse forestry management, a good mix of fast growing and slow growing trees will keep all the soil together, coupled with selecting small areas with which to deforest rather than large swathes of land.

Anyway, I've been ignoring this topic for a while, what's soil n forests got to do with BCA and Caving?

Yes, logging then plowing steep slopes led to rapid erosion due to exposure. The logging itself would probably have been enough, the farming was only an accelerant, and an effort to salvage some profits from doomed hillsides.

What has it got to do with caving? We are rather far off topic, but I've been trying to connect our history of poor land use to what has become, on a much smaller scale, our history of poor cave use. It will take some reading of previous posts to understand how we got here.

Offline Topimo

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #109 on: February 27, 2017, 06:29:08 pm »
What has it got to do with caving? We are rather far off topic, but I've been trying to connect our history of poor land use to what has become, on a much smaller scale, our history of poor cave use. It will take some reading of previous posts to understand how we got here.

Why are you doing that?

If you so desperately want to get het up about it, how about forums such as these:

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?board=34.0
http://thegreenlivingforum.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=12

I'm sure they'd appreciate your expertise and conversational guidance.

Positive: I wonder what kind of advertising revenue the viewing of this entertaining thread generates for the forum's upkeep?
Negative: Does Kenilworth consider the environmental impact of his personal internet usage, even beyond the hot air?

"Several recent studies and articles have shown that a simple Google search can result in 1-10 grams of CO2 emissions.
Most computers create 40-80 grams of greenhouse gas emissions per hour through their electricity use... [think about servers too!]
Sources say that the internet accounts for 3 percent of US electricity consumption and 2 percent of global CO2 emissions."

Hastily sourced: http://www.treehugger.com/gadgets/what-is-the-environmental-impact-of-the-internet.html

How does problematic internet usage affect the BCA, cavers, caving, and caves? Well it's given me something to do for 5 minutes after uni!

Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #110 on: February 27, 2017, 09:08:00 pm »
I see. So an oak tree can appear on a rubble heap within 50 years? I'm not sure what this proves. My point was that the soils and ecosystems of both of our nations are wrecked.


My point was that your understanding of ecological development of flora is very flawed.

Forgive my pedantry but this was a major interest of mine for many years. And not just from casual reading.

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Offline owd git

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #111 on: February 27, 2017, 09:28:45 pm »
I Imply nothing, I state what I wish to be understood, not infered!
You requested citation of an example of your selfishness.
 
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #112 on: February 27, 2017, 11:23:09 pm »
My point was that your understanding of ecological development of flora is very flawed.

In what way?

I Imply nothing, I state what I wish to be understood, not infered!
You requested citation of an example of your selfishness.
 
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OK.
As much criticism as my ramblings (meanderings, trolling, hot air, airy-fairy nonsense, etc.) have received, you may have forgotten that you yourself have been chided on this forum for the unintelligible nature of some of your posts. I requested citation of my selfishness. That request stands. I fail to see that the quote you cited has any connection to selfishness.

Quote
Why are you doing that?

If you so desperately want to get het up about it, how about forums such as these:

http://www.forestryforum.com/board/index.php
http://www.accidentalsmallholder.net/forum/index.php?board=34.0
http://thegreenlivingforum.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=12

Topimo, what have those got to do with caving? As for my own destruction of the so-called environment, I'm over forty hours sick in bed, so I reckon that the absence of car usage, or food preparation, and my greatly reduced electricity drain, have made up for these latest posts anyway.  ::)


Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #113 on: February 28, 2017, 05:21:33 am »
My point was that your understanding of ecological development of flora is very flawed.

In what way?


Conifers are not, in my experience, pioneer species as you stated.

They will be the climax flora in areas too cold to facilitate the growth of deciduous trees.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #114 on: February 28, 2017, 02:10:50 pm »
Well, most conifer forests in my area are growing on tired old farmland, and are dying. It is not too cold here to support deciduous trees, which make up probably 98% of local forests. The only reason I can imagine for these pine forests is their ability to thrive on poor soil (some nearby pines were planted post-logging, and I imagine they may have been the source of seed for these volunteer forests).

I have spent many hours in one of these dying conifer forests, as it is an area of intense karst and the scene of a state-sponsored hydro/speleo-inventory. Many trees are down now, and I expect that at least some of the hardwood saplings present will grow and thrive. As I've said, conifers are relatively uncommon here, and that this forest will eventually revert to hardwoods is absolute. This is true too of the planted pine forests.

It has been a long time since I read it, but didn't Thoreau, writing after his own observations, state that, in New England, succession after the cutting of a hardwood forest was back to hardwood via pine? Interestingly, much of that essay was dedicated to refuting the idea that trees could spring up from nothing, or from seeds that had been in the ground, dormant, for centuries.

Anyway, I haven't been outside since Friday night, and am absolutely stir-crazy. I'm half-motivated to ride out and film one of these conifer forests I've been talking about, to share as a matter of interest (not debate), if you're interested. I'm far from a naturalist, ecologist, or any sort of -ist, and share Mr. Thoreau's weakness for sometimes assuming answers too quickly and presenting them with too much false authority. As in his case, I think this is a matter of passion. Impatiently, we want to understand. 
« Last Edit: February 28, 2017, 02:35:59 pm by Kenilworth »

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #115 on: February 28, 2017, 02:50:26 pm »
     

    HOW DOES BCA PROBLEMS IMPACT CAVERS, CAVING AND CAVES
    :wall: :wall: :wall:off bloody topic again if you ask me  :confused: :confused:

Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #116 on: February 28, 2017, 02:57:24 pm »
There there Mike, everything will be ok. I think we got about all of the on-topic input that could be expected, so let it drift.

Online mr conners

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #117 on: February 28, 2017, 05:36:22 pm »
How patronising.
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Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #118 on: February 28, 2017, 06:55:52 pm »
I'd be interested in your film, Kenilworth.

 ;D
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #119 on: March 01, 2017, 12:34:25 am »
I'd be interested in your film, Kenilworth.

 ;D

Here you are:
http://ukcaving.com/board/index.php?topic=21635.msg275370;topicseen#msg275370

I wonder how many years post-film we'll keep saying film?

Offline Ian Adams

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #120 on: March 28, 2017, 12:01:17 am »
Conifers are native to cold environments. They were introduced into warmer countries as they grow much faster than hardwoods and are/were commercially viable.

The contra is the expense to the native hardwoods.

This is a 1950's/1960's philosophy that (in the UK at least) is now considered flawed.

I don't think there is a parallel to caving .....

Ian
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Offline corax

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #121 on: March 28, 2017, 08:37:16 am »
Assuming that the BCA have problems,  (I don't care one way or the other about any internal strife) so long as they can continue to manage effectively their PLI policy then that is all that matters. The rest of us will just go caving.

Online droid

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #122 on: March 28, 2017, 08:41:39 am »
I don't think there is a parallel to caving .....

Ian


Anywhere there is modern human interaction with the 'natural' environment, it is degraded from that 'natural' state. That's the parallel.

As the devilish Mullan pointed out that's more important in a low-energy environment like a dry cave.

However, in an above-ground biota, the damage 'heals'. And despite Kenilworths' dissing of my old Ecology lecturer, that will continue, so the parallel with caves is highly tenuous in a human time-scale.
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Offline Kenilworth

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #123 on: March 28, 2017, 02:57:12 pm »
I don't think there is a parallel to caving .....

Ian
Anywhere there is modern human interaction with the 'natural' environment, it is degraded from that 'natural' state. That's the parallel.

That's a loose parallel, but not mine.
My point is that we have not used our enormous power in harmony with and respect for the natural resources that created it. We are arrogantly and ignorantly cutting ourselves off at the root. The danger of that oblivious attitude does not have a direct parallel in caving, as our health as humans does not much depend on caves. The fact that our ways of using the land have been a huge success, materially, immediately, superficially, have blinded us to the fact that they have been tragically hurtful to communities, that is, places, including all of their people, plants, animals, water and soil.

So we have not learned restraint, respect or responsibility from the societies we live in. How can we be expected to show them once passing into a cave entrance?

Droid's observation that the earth heals, and relatively rapidly, is clearly factual. This is why I'm not drawing a parallel between land and caves, but between our behavior in both. Arguments like Droid's, that the earth will heal, have been used to permit all sorts of abuses (of course it cannot heal if our abuses continue to accelerate). If cavers carry the carelessness of such philosophies underground, consciously or not, they will do much harm.

This is part of a line of questions to understand what might happen to caves without BCA. Would the decrease in caver numbers (if there would be one) and an increased difficulty in getting some access (if there would be one) create a net positive or negative, conservation-wise. My guess, based on what I've read here, is that it wouldn't make much difference.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2017, 03:16:07 pm by Kenilworth »

Offline cavemanmike

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Re: How do BCAs problems impact cavers, caving, and caves?
« Reply #124 on: March 28, 2017, 07:54:30 pm »
According to the book sapiens brief history of human life humans won't be on the planet in a thousand years time, so the planet will have all the time in the world to repair itself from human destruction  :o

 

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