Category Archives: Ecology

Our Biomass Crisis: The Avian Edition

Long before the Cool Kidz were saying it, I’ve been warning that we have a biomass crisis: When is the last time, in those habitats, you have seen enough fish (and minnow-sized fish don’t count) to justify this strategy? What … Continue reading

Posted in Aves, Ecology, Environment | 2 Comments

Biodiversity, Biomass, And Defaunation

Oh shit. For years, I’ve been trying to hammer the point that we have depopulated our oceans: When is the last time, in those habitats, you have seen enough fish (and minnow-sized fish don’t count) to justify this strategy? What … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Environment

The Oceans Might Not Be Suffering A Mass Extinction But The Carnage Is Awful

Before I get to the oceans, I’ll describe something that Boston builds every year on the Boston Common: a fishweir. A fishweir is a fence used to catch fish. Believe it or not, it used to work: During the excavation … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Environment, Fish, Food

Clear-Cut Fishing

A few years ago, in a post about a reconstructed fish weir–a fence used to trap fish–I noted that, historically, this was a good strategy: Every year, a fishweir is reconstructed on the Boston Common (more information is available here). … Continue reading

Posted in Ecology, Fish, Food | 1 Comment

The Need to Characterize ‘Near’ Missing Diversity: A Comment on the Subway Microbiome Paper

I’m a few weeks late to the subway microbiome paper which, in internet time is decades, but I’ve noticed two things are missing in the commentary. Before I get to those issues, one of the advantages of being behind the … Continue reading

Posted in E. coli, Ecology, Microbiome | 3 Comments

Passenger Pigeons: Speculation on Humans and Ecological Release

There’s a review of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon’s Flight to Extinction that’s worth reading. I’ll probably end up getting a copy of the book at some point, but, according to the review, the book doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in Aves, Ecology | 4 Comments

Reconsidering the Easter Island Collapse (and the Irony of Jared Diamond’s Interpretation of It)

Barbara King recently asked “Why Does Jared Diamond Make Anthropologists So Mad?” It’s not my place to speak for anthropologists (I’m not Mike the Mad Anthropologist), but I do know what has made me very skeptical of Diamond’s claims: his … Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Easter Island, Ecology, Environment | 3 Comments