In a world full of disappearing species, is it possible that the ingenuity of humans could organize a system that allowed introduction of new species into a biome? While attempts at this have been disastrous in the past, can our current understanding foster a new system?
The natural balance of ecosystems is a interdependent web of life. The evolution of biomes around the globe have come under increasing amounts of pressure from an increasing amount of human disturbance. The word disturbance is rather innocuous, as the rapid rate of destruction frightening holistic in nature. Our solution has been to “preserve”, or rather, time capsule ecosystems. Ecosystems are often cut off from the rest of the world by human boundaries. The idea of preservation must be inclusive of evolution, which requires the introduction of new species at varying rates and degrees.
The quick solution I developed is meant to be the starting point of a conversation regarding these principles. I do not contend that I have “the” answer.
The quick answer I created looks like this:
Let s represent species richness.
Let b represent biome pressure.
Let n represent naturalized species factor.
Let c represent competitor factor.
Let e represent sustainable evolution score.
For each variable, as species would receive a rating based on the understanding of the area. This is only untrue of “s”, species richness, which would come from quantitative research into species saturation.
Biome Pressure Rating Scale:
- Virgin territory – environment with no impacts of modern human industrial contamination or close proximity to such.
- Limited territory or biome – such micro climates as islands, valleys and oases.
- End of succession cycle – biome is in late transition, i.e. from swamp to field.
- Human disturbed – areas of reforestation, recent conservation, or are adjacent to human activity.
- Human colonized – areas in which humans have direct contact, such as lakes with camps, cities, golf courses and parks.
Naturalized Species Factor:
- Fully naturalized potential – should not provide a substantial risk to resource allotment, has existing predators and beneficial returns for existing species.
- Competitor potential – competes directly for a niche wherein it has the potential to outcompete native species.
- Ecologically devastating – creates trophic catastrophe for a biome.
- Base eroder – contaminates water/soil of environment with pathogens or toxins.
- Geographically devastating – reimagining of physical geography, i.e. beaver, trees.
- Encompasser – all of the above, anthropocene hominids.
- Competes for light, water, nutrients, in a non-invasive manner.
- Competes for shelter, nesting and hibernation sites.
- Competes for a larger resource share than a native species extant or extinct in comparative niche in the biome.
- Aggression greater than comparative extant or extinct species in comparative niche in the biome.
- Combination of above.
The result is the Sustainable Evolution Score. This number comparative to the initial species richness gives a comparative number to gauge species when deciding from a list of potentials. The overall goal is to boost species richness, thus a higher score should indicate a greater likelihood of overall success.