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recovering desert land in australia  RSS feed

 
steward
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(deleted cuz it was removed from youtube)

 
paul wheaton
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So I had a guy email me and point out that these videos are no longer working. 

I can't even remember which ones these are. 

Anybody else remember?

 
paul wheaton
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I wonder if this is it:  http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/rightasrain/default.htm

 
paul wheaton
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And part 2:  http://www.abc.net.au/austory/specials/rightasraintwo/default.htm
 
                                  
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I don't recall, either.  BTW, if you feel so inclined, there are a lot of utilities out there for downloading YouTube videos, which would prevent this kind of thing.
bruce
 
paul wheaton
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Well, I suppose if I downloaded it, and it turned out it was on youtube illegally, and I put it up here, then it seems I would be in the wrong. 

In this case, it is something that is put together for a tv show.  So I suppose it is copyrighted.  So, viewing it on their site is probably the right thing to do.




 
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Maybe the people who hung it in you tube would be only too pleased if someone was really interested in it and would let you use it if you got in contact with them, maybe they would want to get money off you thuugh you never know you can only try to get in touch with them. and find out. rose macaskie 
 
rose macaskie
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I want to talk about desertification or what looks like desertification and i think is land made barren with over use. Lack of nutrients not lack of rainfall.
  Jesus charcos book, "El Bosque Mediterráñeo in el Norte de Africa. Biodiversidad y lucha contra desertification"  about woods in Morocco and Argelia, which on the whole are like the woods of Spain, Here we don't have cedars or woods of pistacias only bushes of them or argan espinosa for example, has a similar pair of photos, only the photo of trees looking healthier is of trees in a bit of wood they have fenced, to keep live stock out and so the trees have recovered.

    I have a fotos of the juniperus thurifera in a place where the soil has been completely ruined, and the trees have got raquitic. and anther foto of a very near by spot were healthy  trees are found and the only difference between the different places is the quality of the soils, the rain fall is the same in both places. They are to be found a a kilometre, less, from each other.

      These trees in optimum conditions are like those decorative trees in parks that are conical in shape and have such a full screen of leaves and you can't see their trunks or branches. In poor soils they look like those Japaneses fotos of twisted pines on a rocky crag.

      If plants are grazed so repeatedly they cant recover from being eaten then places lose their plant cover the loss of plants means that the soil ends up with no nitrogen in it, at least no nitrogen in a form the plants can assimilate, which comes from decaying animals or plants, or dead ones or ones that have passed through an animals digestive tracts. No plants, no nitrogen, barren soils.
        On the other hand no plants and the wind, and on a slope the rain too take away the top soil you get down to rock.
    In the photo i am posting you see some very poor trees on an eroded slope, all the land in this bit of the sabinar of Tamajon Guadalajara has lost its soil.
      The overgrazing of the land, could not ruin soils in a wood if the wood was one in which the tops of the trees met, the trees would produce enough of their own vegetable matter to produce soils and junipers produce many tons of what the Arabs used to call, in the case of junipers, juma, the "j" in Spanish is pronounced h. These last two bit of information come from Juan Oria de la Rueda book on trees guia de arboles y arbustos in Castilla y Leon.
      Here the custom is to thin out traditional woods, i imagine as a way of exploiting the wood without creating  too great a fire risk and as the production of wood is less in open woods this lack of productivity is compensated by combining the growth of trees with pasture lands. All the beams in peoples houses were of juniper. New juniper beams can still be bought, i believe, if you are rich enough, though this is illegal.
  If people see a barren slope and imagine it lacks of rain instead of attributing its state to lack of nutrients, they will take longer to restore the vegetation or to prevent this happening in other places. rose macaskie
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rose macaskie
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  Here  i am going to post a photo of the trees round the corner of the road from the previouse photo. Of jumiperus thurifera in a wheat feild where i suppose the land is fertilised if not with chemical fertilisers at least by passing the sheep through it or taking them to sleep or rest there so as to fertilise it. I have never seen this feild being watered, i have never seen a feild watering system within about thirty miles or more of this feild.
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pollinator
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It looks like there's a big difference in the soils in those two pictures.  The trees in the first picture appear to be growing on a rock slope with little if any soil, while the second picture has rock in the background, but the trees are growing in a pasture that appears to have good soil, possibly from being washed in by water (a long, long time ago, I'm sure).  We have a lot of juniper here, too, and see similar differences depending on where they are growing.  The same species in one area may be a small shrub, while in another area it makes a large tree.  The early settlers around here built their houses out of juniper, too -- you still can, if you can get enough juniper logs large enough for the purpose.  Why would it be illegal?  They are trying to encourage people to cut or at least thin their juniper trees here, as the belief is that the juniper trees are sucking up ground-water (and trees can lower the ground-water level -- that's been proved in Australia where all the trees were cut out for pasture, and salt water has come up and ruined the soil).

Kathleen
 
rose macaskie
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  The second photo is of a wheat field in spring, not of pastures, wheat looks like grass in sprign it is grass anyway.
the importance of these places is that they show how overgrazing can cause desertificacion and even kill trees i can't post the pitures of th espainish writer jesus charco here because they are from his book but they prove the same thing i can post another foto of the trees in the next dorof eild to this to show how they to where it is not fertilised are half srtarved looking.
    It is fertilisers that leave salts in the earth and every year the salts from the fertilisers increase though there are places with salt mines that hav esalty soils, how have your soils got salty from the fertilisers?

I always heard when people talked of israel as israel was trying to stop the desert, That deserts like burns are cured from the edges and just south of spain is Morocco, whose southern part is desert, the sahara. If spain were covered with trees it would help to stop the advance of the Sahara.
      trees bring rain and make ocutries more humid.
lots of plant cover and the leaves that fall from them shade the ground and stop moisture escaping from it lots of organic matter in the soil and this comes from trees bushes and ground cover allow th esoil to retain and store more water. ovrgrazing slopes like these is bad for the aeaerth and however many factory farms their are i would like to see a good covering of earth it might give some local a chance to earn a bit of money from the land there.
        Behaving in a way that will increase or certainely wont help stop the desertificacion in neighboring countries is not christian, as we are taught to understand the word as children
        This tree the juniperus thurifera, sabina albar, is especially usefull, it bares high altitudes in countries with high solar radiation with mounths of snow and cold or drying winds and it bares the heat an dryness of Spain and Marrocco in the por soils of the tops of mountains. Also it is easy to seed if you have sheep and goats eating its fruit the seeds are dropped in their defacatiosn and whole hillsides get seeded at once though it is very slow growing, so coudl be used against desertificacion in lots of parts . It would be great inafghanistan. In that part of the world they have their own juniper that is similar, the Indica.
  The desertificacion does not matter to the spainish  they are a rich country with plenty of factory farms but it may matter to Africa and as Africa is a poor country were the great part of the population get their income from the land, factory farms would be a social disaster for them. Factory farms are a disaster there are things the cheap meat they sell does not pay for, the other farmers out of work because the factory farms produce so much meat and it is so cheap the other fathers, farmers, can't compete and in factory  farms, there is a well paid worker the head of the farm and then cheap labour.
        Another expense which is not covered by the meat of factory farms is the treatment of the manure the animals produce or of the waterways that get polluted by it.an danother the treatment of people in the villages for the illnesses caused by the gases released by the manure wich on a normalpplentiful an so easier to dry or treat and for the land to absorb.  another expense is the homes peope have to buy because they are forced to leave their old ones no one can live in because the smell from factory farms is so bad and no one willl buy their old homes. look up -"polish factory farm causes a stink BBC"-
  Any way the desert is not so marvelouse that we want more of it .
Would not your trees just die if it were too salty.
  there is a man who grows a plant that will grow in salt water and is eaten as a vegetable in mexico and in the arabian peninsular and he waters it wiht sea water and the land does not accumulate salt maybe the salt goes in to the vegetable and wee eat it . I shall try to find articles on him.
    Trees not only pull up water from deeper parts of the soil they also, in wet weather carry water down into the soil, this is called reverse flow. Instruments put  on the roots show that the flow is, if the surface earth is wetter than deeper levels, downwardfrom the root platedown the tap roots , instead of upward , which is to say from the roots that run just under the surface to and down  the tap roots. There are usually more surface roots than tap roots, look upn in google, "hydraulic lift in neotropical savana"_
    I am tired and will not read this through hope its alright.agri rose macaskie
 
                          
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Rose your English is excellent much better than my Spanish.  My mother always complained about goats and said "Remember the bible about the Cedars of Lebanon?  Those desert areas in the Bible's area were once rich forests." 

Some other author I can't recall said something like "the greatgrandparents had cattle and were well off, the grandparents overgrazed with cattle, the parents could only have goats and were poor, and the children could not even graze goats on the land become so poor they had to move away."

Of course my mother came from US cattle country and believes sheep destroy grasslands.
 
rose macaskie
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Thanks Jenn, for the back up on overgazing, it is so important that lots of pepole should realise that many a piece of land that apparently lacks water is a piece of land that is bare for lack of nutrients that can only come from plants that are no longer there because they were eaten so repeatedly they could not recover.
    Plants  either passed by an animal or fallen where they stand  could help so much to change things and it is so hard to get anyone who will talk about over grazing. Fertilizer could help get these places  on their feet though to much would cause more problems it kills all the helpfull life in the soil.

Here iovergrazing is intentional, the population is frightened of fires and considering that there are people in california that say their houses burn down every ten years, a fear of fires is understandable. her they will do  anything to reduce the fire risk by  reducing the undergrowth that dries in summer.

  I remember seeing a bit of documentary on Sodom and Gomorrah and a place full of brimstone which apparently is a mineral you can burn near the dead sea, by a young Jewish archaeologist who does lots of interesting documentaries, who said Israel had more plants in biblical times, and i thought, Ha! overgrazing, great we can get things better again if thats the problem. 
 
      I am English i am not much good at writing though, never was, better at reading.
  My grandmother had cows on a small farm, she got a maximum out of it by getting optimum yields of grass, the grass was left to recover before the cows ruined it. When the grass in a field had been eaten down as far as seemed advisable to her, the cows were moved to another field. There is not much fire risk in England the grass never used to dry in summer.
 
    I am posting another photo of a place where cars can stop on the bit of road that goes through the part of the juniper wood that is raquitic and there, were cars stop, there is a really healthy tree could it be that the children traveling maybe want to get out of the car to relieve themselves and here were drivers stop, the trees have more nutrients.  I hope the photo does not have too many bites and this site will accept it.  agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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  i want to say to freeholder it is a wheat feild i have lots of photos of it, i can only manage t send a photo at a time that slows me up a bit. here it is.
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rose macaskie
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Even though this vegetation, where the trees are poorest, looks sparse it is much better than nothing, in places where the slopes are not to steep you find a great quantity of detritus is starting to build up.
  I think the reason Spain is not a desert is that when a piece of ground has been completely laid waste shepherds stop taking their sheep there and cistus plants start growing and slowly, recieving the dead petals fruits and leaves and bits of bark and twigs of these bushes the ground recovers.
  I post a photo of a place where you can see how much bits and pieces of bushes and trees in this very poor forest have started to accumulate in some places. agri rose macaskie
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rose macaskie
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  A pretty photo of the poor part of the sabinar of Tamajon, when the cistus is in flower.
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rose macaskie
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Here I send a photo of a a bit of soil that has accumulated on a shelf in the rock face to the left of the wheat field to show how much earth can accumulate in this place if there are no domestic animals to stop it accumulating.
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rose macaskie
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On the other side of the village is this overgrazed bit of hillside, covered, where it is covered, in time and gorse bushes. This ¡s the Guadalajara capital side, the thuriferas on a bar of soil  slope are on the otherside of the village Tamajon in the province of Guadalajara.
 
    This gives you an idea of the changes in soil quality in a small place. Obviously the bad soils are not a question of rainfall or lack of it but of erosion and barren lands.  If the abuse of the land stopped there would be a lot more food for the livestock and that healthy food not the disgusting and expensive modern feeds. agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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        I have a photo or two to put in of less desertified bits of land in the region of the photos i have posted above so as to make it clearer that the parts of land that lack soil lack soil because of bad farming technics.
      The first a wood on a slope just beyond the village of Muriel, a village that is the next one on the road from Tamajon in one direction and a beautiful place. The trees are juniperus thuriferas and oxycedruses and encinas, evergreen oaks. There are quite a lot of less well represented but nice trees and bushes there to.
      This place is probably a bit lower down in altitude than Tamajon but not much. agri rose.
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rose macaskie
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  Here i am going to post a photo of  a place covered in oaks pyrenaica and evergreen and cistus bushes in flower this place is a little bit higher up  the  mountain from the absolutely raquitic thuriferas above Almiruete on the road to Palancares.
      On the far slope you can see the terraces that are put in when they plant pines they pretend to use this monoculture because it is the only thing wihich will grow in the place chosen for it here clearly other things can grow. money rules pines are now the wood we are accostumed to using everywhere and sio are the money spinner so we ahave to accept a monoculture with all the dangers it supposes .   
        It annoys me that everyone gets indignant when big areas of pine forest burn in the mediterranean in summer. No one sensible would plants so many acres of pines together, if you drive to the village Matallana, you drive past kilometers and kilometers of pines and there are or were no fire breaks in the woods there. agri rose macaskie.
 
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rose macaskie
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  i have another bit to desertification and how their are bits of land here which look deserted because there are no meadow plants on them but how a bit further on there are meadow plants so the problem can't be of lack of rainfall but of soils that haven't the nutrients for sustaing all but the hardiest of plants.
First a foto of my garden so you can see the weeds and the land that is barren, except for cistus bushes beyond, the barren land i am talking of this situates it better. it is also very close to the last foto i posted. agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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Here is a closer look at the eroded slope beyond my garden, therethe arctostaphylos, urso uvi, bear grapes, a relation of cranberries, growing on the red slope painting it bright green, it is not a lot of small plants but one bush that grows over the land though it does put down roots from its branchs, it can make attractive spluges of green on the red rock the way it follows the contour of the rocks is great  but does not look as pretty as it can in this photo. They use the leaves to cure mastitis in goats, sheep too i suppose, except they don't have sheep they milk in this village. The other bushes are cystus which seeems to make the earth look very green from google earth. this is a over exploited bit of ground the presson of live stock has bared the earth. agri rose macaskie.
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rose macaskie
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  Here i post a close up of the bit of hill that you can see from my garden, that is covered in cistus bushes, so that you can see how bare the earth is at their feet and how the colour of the soil proves there is no top soil.
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rose macaskie
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  ----And here is a photo of more cistus bushes down the road on the left of the foto taken in my messy garden. In this photo there is plenty of grass at the feet of the cistus bushes, proving that grass can grow under cistuses, so if it is not there it is because the earth has been completely depleted of nutrients and that this area is capable of growing grass, there is enough rain for it. I did post these last two fotos on another forum here but they just fit in better here. I believe that when they have completely overgrazed a bit of land and exposed  the bed rock as a result to total erosion of its top soil, as well as desnutrifying it, as a result  of destroying all the vegetable matter that rotting would provide nutrients, they leave it the land alone and this hardy bush takes over and gradually recreates soils. agri rose macaskie.
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