Thursday, December 15, 2016

Fire Ecology and Water Systems

Fire and water are two things that completely oppose each other and we never think to connect them within an ecosystem. However, in reality these two things have more in common than we tend to imagine possible. I have challenged myself to look into this relationship through an independent study course. Through this course I have begun to explore the interconnectedness of aquatic systems and the surrounding environment. Many of my sources suggest that this relationship is bound by one crucial thing, soil. Soil acts as a funnel, transporting things from the landscape into streams, lakes and other bodies of water. Soil can work as a filter and clean out impurities before they are able to pollute streams, and they can also work as a form of transportation and channel those harmful entities downhill straight into the steams. Generally, forests and valleys work to support their streams and they work well in harmony together until of course, an event occurs like a wildfire. Fires have a way of destroying and throwing off the balance of an entire ecosystem. This balance is so delicate that sometimes it doesn’t take much to throw it off and create chaos. Some results happen from something that cannot even be detected by humans because the concentrations are so minute that we have no way to measure them, yet they can change an entire form of life. While fires have been used since the beginning of mankind to sustain life, they are an uncontrollable force of nature that claims much in its path.

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