Flora of Australia
The flora of Australia comprises a vast assemblage of plant species estimated to over 20,000 vascular and 14,000 non-vascular plants, 250,000 species of fungi and over 3,000 lichens. The flora has strong affinities with the flora of Gondwana, below the family level has a endemic angiosperm flora whose diversity was shaped by the effects of continental drift and climate change since the Cretaceous. Prominent features of the Australian flora are adaptations to aridity and fire which include scleromorphy and serotiny; these adaptations are common in species from the large and well-known families Proteaceae and Fabaceae. The arrival of humans around 50,000 years ago and settlement by Europeans from 1788, has had a significant impact on the flora; the use of fire-stick farming by Aboriginal people led to significant changes in the distribution of plant species over time, the large-scale modification or destruction of vegetation for agriculture and urban development since 1788 has altered the composition of most terrestrial ecosystems, leading to the extinction of 61 plant species and endangering over 1000 more.
Austrial major commonwealth foundations Australia was part of the southern supercontinent Gondwana, which included South America, Africa and Antarctica. Most of the modern Australian flora had their origin in Gondwana during the Cretaceous when Australia was covered in subtropical rainforest. Australian ferns and gymnosperm bear strong resemblance to their Gondwanan ancestors, prominent members of the early Gondwanan angiosperm flora such as the Nothofagus and Proteaceae were present in Australia. Gondwana began to break up 140 million years ago; as Australia drifted and global climate change had a significant and lasting effect: a circumpolar oceanic current developed, atmospheric circulation increased as Australia moved away from Antarctica, precipitation fell, there was a slow warming of the continent and arid conditions started to develop. These conditions of geographic isolation and aridity led to the development of a more complex flora. From 25-10 MYA pollen records suggest the rapid radiation of species like Eucalyptus, Allocasuarina and the pea-flowered legumes, the development of open forest.
Collision with the Eurasian Plate led to additional South-east Asian and cosmopolitan elements entering the flora like the Lepidium and Chenopodioideae. The development of aridity and the old and nutrient poor soils of the continent led to some unique adaptations in the Australian flora and evolutionary radiation of genera – like Acacia and Eucalyptus – that adapted to those conditions. Hard leaves with a thick outer layer, a condition known as scleromorphy, C4 and CAM carbon fixation which reduce water loss during photosynthesis are two common adaptations in Australian arid-adapted dicot and monocot species respectively. Rising aridity increased the frequency of fires in Australia. Fire is thought to have played a role in the development and distribution of fire-adapted species from the Late Pleistocene. An increase in charcoal in sediment around 38,000 years ago coincides with dates for the inhabitation of Australia by the Indigenous Australians and suggests that man-made fires, from practices like fire-stick farming, have played an important role in the establishment and maintenance of sclerophyll forest on the east coast of Australia.
Adaptations to fire include lignotubers and epicormic buds in Eucalyptus and Banksia species that allow fast regeneration following fire. Some genera exhibit serotiny, the release of seed only in response to heat and/or smoke. Xanthorrhoea grass trees and some species of orchids only flower after fire. In biogeography and zoogeography, Australia alone is sometimes considered a realm, while some authors unite the area with other regions to form the Australasian realm. In phytogeography, the area is considered a floristic kingdom, with the following endemic families, according to Takhtajan: Platyzomataceae, Austrobaileyaceae, Gyrostemonaceae, Davidsoniaceae, Eremosynaceae, Emblingiaceae, Tremandraceae, Brunoniaceae, Doryanthaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae, it is the center of origin of Eupomatiaceae, Epacridaceae, Stackhousiaceae and Goodeniaceae. Other families with high occurrences are Poaceae, Asteraceae, Euphorbiaceae, Rutaceae and Proteaceae. Australia's terrestrial flora can be collected into characteristic vegetation groups.
The most important determinant is rainfall, followed by temperature which affects water availability. Several schemes of varying complexity have been created, the most recent scheme developed by the Natural Heritage Trust divides Australia's terrestrial flora into 30 Major Vegetation Groups, 67 Major Vegetation Subgroups. According to the scheme the most common vegetation types are those that are adapted to arid conditions where the area has not been reduced by human activities such as land clearing for agriculture; the dominant vegetation type in Australia is the hummock grasslands that occur extensively in arid Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. It accounts for 23% of the native vegetation, the predominant species of which are from the genus Triodia. Zygochloa occurs in inland sandy areas like the Simpson Desert. A furt
Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden is a botanical garden located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard in St. Louis, Missouri, it is known informally as Shaw's Garden for founder and philanthropist Henry Shaw. Its herbarium, with more than 6.6 million specimens, is the second largest in North America, behind only that of the New York Botanical Garden. Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and a National Historic Landmark, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education of international repute, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis, with 79 acres of horticultural display, it includes a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden named Seiwa-en. It is adjacent to another of Shaw's legacies. In 1983, the Botanical Garden was added as the fourth subdistrict of the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District. For part of 2006, the Missouri Botanical Garden featured "Glass in the Garden", with glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly placed throughout the garden.
Four pieces were purchased to remain at the gardens. In 2008 sculptures of the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle were placed throughout the garden. In 2009, the 150th anniversary of the Garden was celebrated, including a floral clock display. After 40 years of service to the Garden, Dr. Peter Raven retired from his presidential post on September 1, 2010. Dr. Peter Wyse Jackson replaced him as President; the Garden is a place for many annual cultural festivals, including the Japanese Festival and the Chinese Culture Days by the St. Louis Chinese Culture Days Committee. During this time, there are showcases of the culture's botanics as well as cultural arts, crafts and food; the Japanese Festival features sumo wrestling, taiko drumming, koma-mawashi top spinning, kimono fashion shows. The Garden is known for its bonsai growing, which can be seen all year round, but is highlighted during the multiple Asian festivals. Major garden features include: Tower Grove House and Herb Garden - Shaw's Victorian country house designed by prominent local architect George I.
Barnett in the Italianate style. Victory of Science Over Ignorance - Marble statue by Carlo Nicoli. Linnean House - Said to be the oldest continually operated greenhouse west of the Mississippi River. Shaw's orangery, in the late 1930s it was converted to house camellias. Gladney Rose Garden - Circular rose garden with arbors. Climatron and Reflecting Pools - the world's first geodesic dome greenhouse designed by architect and engineer Thomas C. Howard of Synergetics, Inc. English Woodland Garden - aconite, bluebells, hosta and others beneath the tree canopy. Seiwa-en Japanese Garden - is a 14-acre chisen kaiyu-shiki with lawns and path set around a 4-acre central lake, it is the largest Japanese Garden in North America. Grigg Nanjing Friendship Chinese Garden - Designed by architect Yong Pan. Blanke Boxwood Garden - walled parterre with a fine boxwood collection. Strassenfest German Garden - flora native to Germany and Central Europe. Ottoman garden with water xeriscape. Douglas Trumbull, director of the 1972 science fiction classic film Silent Running, stated that the geodesic domes on the spaceship Valley Forge were based on the Missouri Botanical Garden's Climatron dome.
Missouri Botanical Garden operates the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield; the Butterfly House includes an 8,000-square-foot indoor butterfly conservatory as well as an outdoor butterfly garden. The EarthWays Center is a group at the Missouri Botanical Garden that provides resources on and educates the public about green practices, renewable energy, energy efficiency, other sustainability matters; the Shaw Nature Reserve was started by the Missouri Botanical Garden in 1925 as a place to store plants away from the pollution of the city. The air in St. Louis cleared up, the reserve has continued to be open to the public for enjoyment and education since; the 2,400-acre reserve is located in Missouri, 35 miles away from the city. The Plant List is an Internet encyclopedia project to compile a comprehensive list of botanical nomenclature, created by the Royal Botanic Gardens and the Missouri Botanical Garden; the Plant List has 1,040,426 scientific plant names of species rank, of which 298,900 are accepted species names.
In addition, the list has 16,167 plant genera. Monsanto has donated $10 million to the Missouri Botanical Garden since the 1970s, which named its 1998 plant science facility the'Monsanto Center'. List of botanical gardens in the United States Peter F. Stevens, a biologist working in the Missouri Botanical Garden Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden, journal St. Louis Chinese Culture Day List of National Historic Landmarks in Missouri N
Fossilworks is a portal which provides query and analysis tools to facilitate access to the Paleobiology Database, a large relational database assembled by hundreds of paleontologists from around the world. Fossilworks is housed at Macquarie University, it includes many analysis and data visualization tools included in the Paleobiology Database. "Fossilworks". Retrieved 2010-04-08
An invasive species is a species, not native to a specific location, that has a tendency to spread to a degree believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy or human health. The criteria for invasive species has been controversial, as divergent perceptions exist among researchers as well as concerns with the subjectivity of the term "invasive". Several alternate usages of the term have been proposed; the term as most used applies to introduced species that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions they invade economically, environmentally, or ecologically. Such invasive species may be either plants or animals and may disrupt by dominating a region, wilderness areas, particular habitats, or wildland–urban interface land from loss of natural controls; this includes non-native invasive plant species labeled as exotic pest plants and invasive exotics growing in native plant communities. It has been used in this sense by government organizations as well as conservation groups such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the California Native Plant Society.
The European Union defines "Invasive Alien Species" as those that are, outside their natural distribution area, secondly, threaten biological diversity. The term is used by land managers, researchers, horticulturalists and the public for noxious weeds; the kudzu vine, Andean pampas grass, yellow starthistle are examples. An alternate usage broadens the term to include indigenous or "native" species along with non-native species, that have colonized natural areas. Deer are an example, considered to be overpopulating their native zones and adjacent suburban gardens, by some in the Northeastern and Pacific Coast regions of the United States. Sometimes the term is used to describe a non-native or introduced species that has become widespread. However, not every introduced. A nonadverse example is the common goldfish, found throughout the United States, but achieves high densities. Notable examples of invasive species include European rabbits, grey squirrels, domestic cats and ferrets. Dispersal and subsequent proliferation of species is not an anthropogenic phenomenon.
There are many mechanisms by which species from all Kingdoms have been able to travel across continents in short periods of time such as via floating rafts, or on wind currents. Charles Darwin, a British naturalist, performed many experiments to better understand long distance seed dispersal, was able to germinate seeds from insect frass, faeces of waterfowl, dirt clods on the feet of birds, all of which may have traveled significant distances under their own power, or be blown off course by thousands of miles. Invasion of long-established ecosystems by organisms from distant bio-regions is a natural phenomenon, accelerated via hominid-assisted migration although this has not been adequately directly measured; the definition of "native" is controversial in that there is no way to determine nativity. For example, the ancestors of Equus ferus evolved in North America and radiated to Eurasia before becoming locally extinct. Upon returning to North America in 1493 during their hominid-assisted migration, it is debatable as to whether they were native or exotic to the continent of their evolutionary ancestors.
Scientists include species and ecosystem factors among the mechanisms that, when combined, establish invasiveness in a newly introduced species. While all species compete to survive, invasive species appear to have specific traits or specific combinations of traits that allow them to outcompete native species. In some cases, the competition is about rates of reproduction. In other cases, species interact with each other more directly. Researchers disagree about the usefulness of traits as invasiveness markers. One study found that of a list of invasive and noninvasive species, 86% of the invasive species could be identified from the traits alone. Another study found invasive species tended to have only a small subset of the presumed traits and that many similar traits were found in noninvasive species, requiring other explanations. Common invasive species traits include the following: Fast growth Rapid reproduction High dispersal ability Phenotype plasticity Tolerance of a wide range of environmental conditions Ability to live off of a wide range of food types Association with humans Prior successful invasionsTypically, an introduced species must survive at low population densities before it becomes invasive in a new location.
At low population densities, it can be difficult for the introduced species to reproduce and maintain itself in a new location, so a species might reach a location multiple times before it becomes established. Repeated patterns of human movement, such as ships sailing to and from ports or cars driving up and down highways offer repeated opportunities for establishment. An introduced species might become invasive if it can outcompete native species for resources such as nutrients, physical space, water, or food. If these species evolved under great competition or predation the new environment may host fewer able competitors, allowing the invader to proliferate quickly. Ecosystems which are being used to their fullest capacity by native species can be modeled as zero-sum systems in which any gain for the invader is a loss for the native. However, su
Center for Biological Diversity
The Center for Biological Diversity, based in Tucson, Arizona, is a nonprofit membership organization with 1.1 million members and online activists, known for its work protecting endangered species through legal action, scientific petitions, creative media and grassroots activism. It was founded in 1989 by Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke and Robin Silver; the Center has offices and staff in New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Minnesota, Vermont and Washington, D. C. Given a small grant by the Fund for Wild Nature, the organization started in 1989 as a small group by the name of Greater Gila Biodiversity Project, with the objective to protect endangered species and critical habitat in the southwest; the organization grew and became the Center for Biological Diversity. Kieran Suckling, Peter Galvin, Todd Schulke founded the organization in response to what they perceived as a failure on the part of the United States Forest Service to protect imperiled species from logging and mining; as surveyors in New Mexico, the three men discovered "a rare Mexican spotted owl nest in an old-growth tree", but their discovery was overshadowed by Forest Service plans to lease the land to timber companies.
Suckling and Schulke went to the media to register their outrage with success: the old-growth tree was allowed to stand, this success led to the founding of the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center focused on issues specific to the Southwestern United States, but today its mission encompasses far-reaching problems such as global threats to biological diversity and climate change. One of the Center's biggest recent victories was in 2011, when it reached a historic legal settlement with the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service compelling the agency to make progress on protecting 757 imperiled but neglected animals and plants; the Center employs a group of paid and pro bono attorneys to use litigation to effect change, claims a 93 percent success rate for their lawsuits. On 13 June 2007, the Center spoke out against a Bush administration proposal to reduce the protected area for spotted owls in the United States Pacific Northwest. According to Noah Greenwald, the group's representative in the Northwest, the proposed habitat cut is "typical of an administration, looking to reduce protections for endangered species at every turn."
Greenwald said that the rollback is part of a series of "sweetheart deals," in which the administration settles an environmental lawsuit out of court and, "at the industry's wishes, reduces the critical habitat." According to the Center, the move conforms to a broad trend that includes at least 25 earlier Bush administration decisions on habitat protections for endangered species. In those cases, the protected areas were reduced an average of 36 percent. On 16 December 2008, the Center announced intent to sue the United States government for introducing "regulations... that would eviscerate our nation’s most successful wildlife law by exempting thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gases, from review under the Endangered Species Act." The lawsuit, critical of U. S. Interior Department Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and President George W. Bush, was filed in the Northern District of California by the Center and Defenders of Wildlife. According to the Center, "The lawsuit argues that the regulations violate the Endangered Species Act and did not go through the required public review process.
The regulations, first proposed on August 11th, were rushed by the Bush administration through an abbreviated process in which more than 300,000 comments from the public were reviewed in 2-3 weeks, environmental impacts were analyzed in a short and cursory environmental assessment, rather than a fuller environmental impact statement." Every year since 2007, the Center for Biological Diversity has given an award "to those who have done the most to destroy wild places and biological diversity". Environmental journalism List of environment topics Wildlife conservation Wildlife management Center for Biological Diversity website
ARKive was a global initiative with the mission of "promoting the conservation of the world's threatened species, through the power of wildlife imagery", which it did by locating and gathering films and audio recordings of the world's species into a centralised digital archive. Its priority was the completion of audio-visual profiles for the c. 17,000 species on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The project was an initiative of a UK-registered educational charity, based in Bristol; the technical platform was created by Hewlett-Packard, as part of the HP Labs' Digital Media Systems research programme. ARKive had the backing of leading conservation organisations, including BirdLife International, Conservation International, International Union for Conservation of Nature, the United Nations' World Conservation Monitoring Centre, the World Wide Fund for Nature, as well as leading academic and research institutions, such as the Natural History Museum, it was a member of the Institutional Council of the Encyclopedia of Life.
Two ARKive layers for Google Earth, featuring endangered species and species in the Gulf of Mexico were produced by Google Earth Outreach. The first of these was launched in April 2008 by Sir David Attenborough; the website closed on 15 February 2019. The project formally was launched on 20 May 2003 by its patron, the UK-based natural history presenter, Sir David Attenborough, a long-standing colleague and friend of its chief instigator, the late Christopher Parsons, a former Head of the BBC Natural History Unit. Parsons never lived to see the fruition of the project, succumbing to cancer in November 2002 at the age of 70. Parsons identified a need to provide a centralised safe haven for wildlife films and photographs after discovering that many such records are held in scattered, non-indexed, collections with little or no public access, sometimes in conditions that could lead to loss or damage, he believed the records could be a powerful force in building environmental awareness by bringing scientific names to life.
He saw their preservation as an important educational resource and conservation tool, not least because extinction rates and habitat destruction could mean that images and sounds might be the only legacy of some species’ existence. His vision of a permanent, refuge for audio-visual wildlife material won immediate support from many of the world’s major broadcasters, including the BBC, international state broadcasting corporations and National Geographic magazine; the initial feasibility study for creating ARKive was carried out in the late 1980s by conservationist John Burton, but at the time the costs of the technology needed were too far too high, so it was over a decade after the technology had caught up with Christopher Parson's vision, that the project was able to get off the ground. After capital development funds of £2m were secured from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 1997 and New Opportunities Fund in 2000, work on building ARKive began as part of the UK's Millennium celebrations, using advanced computerised storage and retrieval technology devised for the project by Hewlett-Packard, with an initial capacity of up to 74 terabytes of data, using redundant hardware and multiple copies of media stored at multiple sites.
Media was digitised to the highest available quality without compression and encoded to open standards. A prototype site was online as early as April 1999. There were several design iterations before the formal launch. By the launch date, the project team had researched, copied and authenticated image and fact files of 1,000 animals and fungi, many of them critically endangered. More multi-media profiles are added every month, starting with British flora and fauna and with species included on the Red List – that is, species that are believed to be closest to extinction, according to research by the World Conservation Union. By January 2006, the database had grown to 2,000 species, 15,000 still images and more than 50 hours of video. By 2010, over 5,500 donors had contributed photos of more than 12,000 species. In February 2019, Wildscreen announced that they "...have had to make the hard decision to close the Arkive website on 15 February 2019", due to funding issues. On that date the website was replaced with a short statement, concluding: The complete Arkive collection of over 100,000 images and videos is now being stored securely offline for future generations.
The site was Sunday Times website of the year for 2005. It was a 2010 Webby Award honoree for its outstanding calibre of work, in the'Education' category, a 2010 Association of Educational Publishers'Distinguished Achievement Award' winner, in the category for websites for 9-12 year olds. Catalogue of Life Encyclopedia of Life List of online encyclopedias Nature documentary Official ARKive site Technical specifications from Hewlett-Packard Memorandum of Understanding with Encyclopedia of Life
Non-governmental organizations, nongovernmental organizations, or nongovernment organizations referred to as NGOs, are non-profit and sometimes international organizations independent of governments and international governmental organizations that are active in humanitarian, health care, public policy, human rights and other areas to effect changes according to their objectives. They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other associations that provide services and premises only to members. Sometimes the term is used as a synonym of "civil society organization" to refer to any association founded by citizens, but this is not how the term is used in the media or everyday language, as recorded by major dictionaries; the explanation of the term by NGO.org is ambivalent. It first says an NGO is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group, organized on a local, national or international level, but goes on to restrict the meaning in the sense used by most English speakers and the media: Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.
NGOs are funded by donations, but some avoid formal funding altogether and are run by volunteers. NGOs are diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, take different forms in different parts of the world; some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for religious, or other interests. Since the end of World War II, NGOs have had an increasing role in international development in the fields of humanitarian assistance and poverty alleviation; the number of NGOs worldwide is estimated to be 10 million. Russia had about 277,000 NGOs in 2008. India is estimated to have had around 2 million NGOs in 2009, just over one NGO per 600 Indians, many times the number of primary schools and primary health centres in India. China is estimated to have 440,000 registered NGOs. About 1.5 million domestic and foreign NGOs operated in the United States in 2017. The term'NGO' is not always used consistently.
In some countries the term NGO is applied to an organization that in another country would be called an NPO, vice versa. Political parties and trade unions are considered NGOs only in some countries. There are many different classifications of NGO in use; the most common focus is on "orientation" and "level of operation". An NGO's orientation refers to the type of activities; these activities might include human rights, improving health, or development work. An NGO's level of operation indicates the scale at which an organization works, such as local, national, or international; the term "non-governmental organization" was first coined in 1945, when the United Nations was created. The UN, itself an intergovernmental organization, made it possible for certain approved specialized international non-state agencies — i.e. non-governmental organizations — to be awarded observer status at its assemblies and some of its meetings. The term became used more widely. Today, according to the UN, any kind of private organization, independent from government control can be termed an "NGO", provided it is not-for-profit, non-prevention, but not an opposition political party.
One characteristic these diverse organizations share is that their non-profit status means they are not hindered by short-term financial objectives. Accordingly, they are able to devote themselves to issues which occur across longer time horizons, such as climate change, malaria prevention, or a global ban on landmines. Public surveys reveal that NGOs enjoy a high degree of public trust, which can make them a useful - but not always sufficient - proxy for the concerns of society and stakeholders. NGO/GRO types can be understood by their level of how they operate. Charitable orientation involves a top-down effort with little participation or input by beneficiaries, it includes NGOs with activities directed toward meeting the needs of the disadvantaged people groups. Service orientation includes NGOs with activities such as the provision of health, family planning or education services in which the programme is designed by the NGO and people are expected to participate in its implementation and in receiving the service.
Participatory orientation is characterized by self-help projects where local people are involved in the implementation of a project by contributing cash, land, labour etc. In the classical community development project, participation begins with the need definition and continues into the planning and implementation stages. Empowering orientation aims to help poor people develop a clearer understanding of the social and economic factors affecting their lives, to strengthen their awareness of their own potential power to control their lives. There is maximum involvement of the beneficiaries with NGOs acting as facilitators. Community-based organizations arise out of people's own initiatives, they can be responsible for raising the consciousness of the urban poor, helping them to understand their rights in accessing needed services, providing such services. City-wide organizations include organizations such as chambers of commerce and industry, coaliti