Rare Florida cactus becomes first US species lost to sea rise

Discussion in 'Environment & Conservation' started by Durandal, Jul 10, 2024.

  1. Durandal

    Durandal Well-Known Member Donor

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    Rare Florida cactus becomes first US species lost to sea rise
    AFP
    Tue, July 9, 2024 at 10:25 AM CDT

    A rare species of tree cactus has gone extinct in Florida, in what is believed to be the first species lost to sea level rise in the United States, researchers said Tuesday.

    The Key Largo tree cactus (Pilosocereus millspaughii) was restricted to a single small population in the Florida Keys, an archipelago off the southern tip of the state, first discovered in 1992 and monitored intermittently since then.

    But salt water intrusion caused by rising seas, soil erosion from storms and high tides, and herbivory by mammals placed significant pressure on the last population.

    ... https://news.yahoo.com/rare-florida-cactus-becomes-first-152503433.html

    While ideologues live in denial, climate change continues to wreak havoc. With sea levels rising, I'm glad I don't live in a place like Florida. It's not going to be pretty.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2024
  2. kazenatsu

    kazenatsu Well-Known Member Donor

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    The article does seem to exaggerate and sensationalize a little bit, leaving out some important context.

    "The Key Largo tree cactus (Pilosocereus millspaughii) still grows on a few scattered islands in the Caribbean, including northern Cuba and parts of the Bahamas. In the United States, it was restricted to a single population in the Florida Keys, first discovered in 1992 and monitored intermittently since."

    And I hate to say it, but if it was only discovered in 1992, it might not even be truly "native" to that area. It could have been blown there by a tropical storm. This is the case for a few other plant species that in rare cases turn up on the Gulf Coast.

    I could be wrong, but when you think about the biome of the Florida Keys, it's not the typical sort of place where one would expect a cactus to grow.

    Apparently in 1992 they found stand of about 150 of them, which was later reduced to only 6 that did not seem to be doing well in 2021.
    It was found in an isolated mangrove forest, which we all know grows an the edge of seawater.

    Not only that, but Pilosocereus millspaughii may be more like a subspecies together in the same group with Pilosocereus robinii, another endangered species that grows in the Florida Keys.

    The numbers of Pilosocereus robinii have also been in decline. They think it might have to do with tropical storms that is increasing the salt content in the soil.
    Rising tides also make it more difficult for animals to find fresh water, so that makes it more likely that the animals will bite into the cactus looking for a supply of fresh water.

    more detail in this article: https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/science/first-local-extinction-in-the-u-s-due-to-sea-level-rise/
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2024
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  3. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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    Sorry, but post #2 puts this in the "Never mind" category.
     
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  4. Sunsettommy

    Sunsettommy Well-Known Member

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    Gee nature killed a million species in the last 500 million years, when are you going to understand that this apparently not so rare species is in a state of war with each other and with Nature in general?


    You seem ignorant of the fact that sea level in Florida was at least meter higher than now a few hundred years ago........
     
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  5. Durandal

    Durandal Well-Known Member Donor

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    This denialism and embrace of falsehoods is why things will have to get much worse before humanity collectively acknowledges the problem and deals with it, if ever we do.
     
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  6. Sunsettommy

    Sunsettommy Well-Known Member

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    Now all you have is empty replies here is some science you never saw because you are too busy calling people denialists......

    The Holocene Sea Level Highstand

    LINK
     
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  7. Bullseye

    Bullseye Well-Known Member

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    Rising tides, soil erosion and herbivory mammals are not "Rising seas" its nature running its course as it has for millions of years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2024
  8. AFM

    AFM Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Milloy provides some perspective. The tree cactus is not extinct.


     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2024
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  9. Jack Hays

    Jack Hays Well-Known Member Donor

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