“Notice the small things. The rewards are inversely proportional.” — Liz Vassey
In nature, Vassey’s words are particularly true. Whole eco-systems can be compromised by disruption to even the smallest part.
In 1800 Johann Gottlieb Fichte noted that “you could not remove a single grain of sand from its place without thereby … changing something throughout all parts of the immeasurable whole”.
Edward Lorenz later described this phenomenon as the butterfly effect.
Diminishing numbers of bees and butterflies have caused widespread concern, and gardeners around the world consciously grow plant species to feed and support these creatures.
But, while gardeners may not like them, snails and other less glamorous creatures are necessary too — consuming rotting vegetation and providing food for other species like birds, lizards and mammals.
Starfish are regarded as a “keystone species” in marine ecosystems — but are sensitive to both marine pollution and water temperatures.
The loss of any part of nature’s elegant and beautiful system is a tragedy in itself, but the consequences reach far beyond any single extinction, threatening the whole Earth.
It seems that humans have the power (at least for now) to protect the life-forms that remain (including our own), and reverse some of the damage done. But we’d better be quick.
Posted to Lens Artist’s Photo Challenge | nature