Kerry's forest ideas out of step with sound ecosystem management

Psalm 110 ScienceCop at
Mon Aug 9 13:36:27 EST 2004

On 9 Aug 2004 09:31:20 -0700, wxdano9 at (Dano) wrote:

>Psalm 110 <ScienceCop at> wrote in message news:<i53eh0lq4i22hq96cbjdaojl03do1hcb12 at>...
>> On 8 Aug 2004 22:02:19 -0700, wxdano9 at (Dano) wrote:
>> >hcf32 at (O18-C-O16) wrote in message news:<5d02cf45.0408071325.1329df5 at>...
>I think we are sort of on the same page, P, although I'm not sure
>which chapter, even though I am lectured chapter and verse below.
>> [N] is not "tightly bound". Nitrogen as ammonia, ammonium, or urea is
>> water soluble and considered a "mobile nutrient" easily lost to water
>> runoff.
>Nitrogen as ammonia is not tightly bound. This thread is talking about
>available nitrogen for a short time (not a normal condition). What
>about the normal state of N before it is volatilized and converted to
>ammonia? How accessible is atmospheric N? If it is not tightly bound,
>why do plants need mychorrizal symbiosis? Also, don't microscopic
>decomposers limit N via their metabolism (implying that N is limited)?

Ammonia, ammonium and urea are metabolic waste products. Urea give
URINE its name. These waste products are the liquid source of Nitrogen
to the feeding roothairs of plants. Decomposers, working in their own
self-interest, excrete waste products that they are unequipped to use,
or are in excess beyond their needs. This water-soluble N is very soon
lost, in hours, days or weeks, rather than months or years. The only
conservation of N is where it becomes bound into living tissues and
preserved by active death-avoiding lifeforms. Conversion of
environmental N to living-tissue N keeps it from escaping.

Soil bacteria have two classes of N reversion to atmospheric N.
Ultimately all N that is not bound in living tissue is rapidly lost
and requires replacements.

About 100 varieties bacteria are known with one or more of the three
Nitrogenase genes which can fix atmospheric N into living tissue.
Besides these, a portion  of atmospheric N is dissolved in rainwater
by natural processes, and significant but small amounts are fixed by
lightning flashes. This is the total N budget for the ecosphere.

Hot fires volitalize, means evaporate into unusable gasous form, N in
tissues. It does not "release N" as nutrient. Unburned tissues can be,
and are, decomposed by assorted living and inorganic forces,
liberating N, but it can never be as much N as was previously present
in the system before the fire.

The most compelling evidence is the tropical rainforests. Nobody has
ever brought into the system Nitrogen fertilizers, not in millions and
millions of years. Each year torrents of rain wash off water-soluble
N, with as much as 10 feet of rain falling in the wettest rainforests.
The rivers run opaque brown carrying away fertilizers by billions of
tons each year. These forests have never run out of fertilizer, and
tropical rainforests rarely burn by theire own accord.

Mycorrhizial symbiosis serves many functions, primarily a phospate
pump. No true fungal family member has ever been found to possess
Nitrogenase genes. They are exclusively bacterial.

Actinomycetes are filmentous bacteria, erroniously named as mycellium.
Some of these have Nitrogenase genes. They are not particularly
indiscriminately mycorrhizal, however. Frankia species do form
mycorrizal symbiosis with about 25 species of woody trees and shrubs,
but this should not be generalized about all mycorrhizia without
evidence that nitrogenase is present. Microbiology has several hundred
years of work for several million workers before we have a fairly who
view of what ois going on in the unseen world. Don't spread unproved
rumors, or make claims which have not been confirmed.

>> L:iebig's law states: The most limiting factor is dominent. Given an
>> abundance of nitrogen (which is toxic to most life in excess) then
>> some other factor will be the limiting factor. In climax forests with
>> tall canopy, sunlight is the most limiting factor. Light barely
>> reaches the forest floor, and because of the many obstacles, it is in
>> beams or shafts of light that move continually so that no spot is
>> illuminated for very long each day. No amount of nitrogen can
>> compensate for the light starvation.
>No, but fR and PfR adaptation can compensate. How does, say, redwood
>sorrel grow in low light conditions on the forest floor? 

An acre of redwood sorrel would fit in one wheelbarrow. It has
negligable biomass, which confirms what I said, not disputes it.
Sunlight limits biomass formation under climax canopy forest condition
regardless of abundance of all other requirements of life.

>> Forest fires actually incinerate and volitalize nitrogen. 
>Be careful. Incineration is only in catastrophic fire. Volatilization
>makes N available for short periods.

Incineration occures in any fire which gives off visible light. You
are speaking from ignorance and have no citations or proof, because
there are none. Incineration in the laboratory is the method to obtain
gasous N, which is then measured to determine how much N used to be
bound up in tissue. Come back after you have studied chemistry lab
procedures to measure N.

> A burned
>> forest has less nitrogen total quantity, but plenty of light. That
>> light alone is the cause of the initial flush of growth, 
>You should contact all the fire ecologists you know then. They would
>be interested in this new knowledge.

Anyone who does not know that is NOT a competent or fully trained

>> Combustion is oxidization. Slow oxidization is rust, corrosion or
>> decay, fast oxidization is fire, very fast oxidization is explosion.
>> They are all the same process at different rates of speed. A bit of
>> fire is not a bad thing, except when its you or yours getting burned.
>> Fires have a culling and disease suppressive effect beyond whatever
>> they may enable for fire-opportunistic adapted lifeforms. They are not
>> such a good thing that they need encouragement -- in a human dominated
>> ecology many of fire's overal functionality in forests can be replaced
>> by human management.
>Now you are starting to sound like a logger. How on earth did forests
>survive for hundreds of millions of years before we got here? If
>management is the key, how do you account for the other threads here
>that argue what needs to be done to fix the past management practices
>that got us into this current situation?

Since everyting (EVERYTHING) in your reply was wrong or irrelevent to
the discussion, why should you think you are qualified to make your
parting shot?

Humans dominate the earth. They have duties to the ecology.
participation in nature includes some reaping of harvest. Every living
organism dies eventually, and even every species of life goes extinct.
During our time we harvest, we kill, we plant and we preserve. Among
those activities we ARE FIRE in the sense that we devestate forests as
completely as fires do, or selectively burn patches of it, literally
and figuratively.

Number ONE: Humans no longer require vast  amounts of lumber. Carbon
fibers stronger than steel born in furnaces that would melt glass are
impervious to fire, rust, insects, molds, mildew. Five times stronger
than steel, with one qyarter the weight, carbon fibers are used in
racecar pistons, stealth aircraft and whitwater kayaks. Carbon
composite materials will last hundreds of years longer than any
previous building material and will never be depleted.

Geopolymers are artificial stone which is synthetic zeolite. It can be
manufactured in artistically beautiful colors and grain textures, and
is impervious to most chemicals, acids and bases. it can last for
thousands of years yet can be moulded into forms as easily as
fiberglass or concrete. It uses a small fraction of the energy of
conrete and produces a tiny fraction of the pollution of making

Sorrel Cement was invented more than 150 years ago, is used for
factory floors and decking on boats approved by the Coast Guard. It is
made of the byproduct water of obtaining salt from solar seawater
evaporation ponds. It is environmentally friendly and can be mass
produced cheaply. For these reasons and many more, wood is
functionally obsolete as a building material. Entire cities can be
built with unprecedented strength and comforts withou requiring a
single stick of lumber.

Lumber is a luxury item, not a necessity in the 21st century. Holding
onto 20th century obsolete concepts of building materials is damaging
to the life-support systems of the planet. Forests play a role in
continental humidification and water conservation. That role can be
enhanced through an ecology corps getting their education (which you
visibly lack) in the woods, selectively thinning and cutting fire
trails and firebreaks to limit wildfires from catastrophic explosive
expansions. This is not "logging". The recreational value of forests
would be enhanced while the lifeform diversity multiplied by selective
opening some meadows, and making habitat with the culled trees.

Removal of trees for lumber is not the only reason to be involved as
ecological agents in the forests. It is wrong for you to make
assumptions of my intent just as EVERYTHING you posted was also wrong.

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