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在最不可能出现的地方蓬勃发展的5个生态系统

5 Ecosystems Thriving in the Least Likely Places

《科学秀》
When you imagine an ecosystem,
当你想象一个生态系统时
you might picture an old-growth forest, or maybe a coral reef.
脑海中浮现的可能是一片原始森林或一座珊瑚礁
But an ecosystem can be any place
但生态系统其实是一个生活其间的生物
where living things interact with each other and their environment.
相互影响并能影响它们的生存环境的地方
It can be very small, like a single tide pool,
它既可以像一个潮汐池那么小
or very large, like an entire grassland.
也可以像整个草原那么大
It can also be very odd.
它也可能会有些古怪
Around the world, living things have managed to build truly extraordinary ecosystems
生物已经在世界上各个人们难以想象的地方
in some of the last places you would think to look.
成功建立了非同寻常的生态系统
Here are five unusual ecosystems
以下是五个独特的生态系统
that just go to show how innovative and adaptable life really is!
它们展现出了生命非凡的创造力和适应性
Along the West Coast of the U.S.,
在美国西海岸
trees called coast redwoods grow taller than any other tree in the world;
海岸红杉比世界上其他任何树木长得都高
sometimes reaching up to 37 stories high.
有时甚至达37层楼高
People have admired these trees for a long time,
人们已经欣赏这些树木很久了
but we’ve only recently started to pay attention to
但我们直到最近才开始关注
what’s actually happening way up at the tops of them.
树顶上的实际情况
In fact, it took til the late 1990s
实际上 直到20世纪90年代后期
before people began exploring these redwood canopies
人们才开始探索这些红杉树冠
because, well, scooting up a tree that’s nearly as tall as a skyscraper
因为爬上一棵高得像摩天大楼般的树
isn’t your typical field work.
并不属于一贯的那种考察工作
But when people finally got up there,
但当人们最终到达树冠层时
they found way more than they expected.
他们的发现超乎预料
In fact, redwood trees were so large,
实际上 红杉是如此之大
and extended so far from the ground,
延伸到离地面如此之远
that their canopies had become ecosystems of their own.
以至于其树冠已成为一个独立的生态系统
Scientists essentially found a forest growing on top of a forest,
科学家们实质上是发现了一片长在森林之上的森林
completely hidden from sight on the ground.
从地面上难以窥见其一丝一毫
Up in the canopy, single trees split into multiple trunks.
在树冠处 单棵树分成多个枝干
In one study, researchers counted 137 trunks
在一项研究中 研究人员从一棵树上
growing out of a single tree.
数出了137个枝干
These aren’t, like, little scrawny things, either.
这些都并非小事
The trunks of these trees can be a meter wide,
这些树干可能有一米宽
so you probably couldn’t tell them apart from trees on the forest floor,
因此很难将它们区别于地面上的树木
except that they’re 50 meters or more up in the air.
只是它们长在50米高空或更高罢了
These weren’t just redwoods, either.
不只是红杉
Trees of all different species, like Sitka spruce and Douglas fir,
锡特卡云杉和道格拉斯冷杉等各种树木
grew off of the redwoods’ branches.
也生长在红杉树枝上
Researchers even found a California bay laurel tree
研究人员甚至发现了一棵加州湾月桂
with its roots some 98 meters above ground!
其树根离地面约有98米
And these trees can grow here
这些树木可以生长于此
because there is actually soil to grow in!
是因为这里有土壤供它们生长
Canopy branches grow really wide, sometimes two meters across,
冠层树枝非常宽阔 有时甚至横跨两米
and they can get covered in ferns.
蕨类植物覆盖其上
Over time, these so-called fern mats trap
久而久之 这些所谓的蕨类植物垫会捕获
dead branches, and broken trunks, and other debris,
枯死的树枝 断掉的树干和其他碎屑
building up a layer of soil and organic material,
形成一层土壤和有机物
a lot like what’s on the forest floor.
就像在森林的地面上一样
And, like the forest floor, that soil is full of critters, like snails, and earthworms,
与之类似 土壤里还充斥着蜗牛 蚯蚓一类的生物
and even moisture-loving salamanders.
甚至还有喜湿的蝾螈
What are you doing all the way up there, little buddies?!
你们在那上面做什么啊小家伙们?!
So, these treetops are a happenin’ place.
因此 这些树顶是些不寻常的地方
And now that scientists actually know what’s going on up there,
科学家现在已经知道了那上面是怎么回事
they can work on protecting these systems
他们才能努力去保护这些系统
and all of the diversity that they support.
及其所支持的生物多样性
For instance, they now know that it’s not enough
例如 他们现在知道
to protect young redwood forests,
只保护新生的红杉林是不够的
since they don’t have
因为它们没有
these complex canopies that these old-growth forests have.
原始红杉林所拥有的那种复杂树冠
But dwindling numbers of redwoods
但红杉数量的减少
have isolated some of these canopy ecosystems,
使其中一些树冠生态系统陷入孤立状态
so scientists have begun looking at ways to speed up canopy growth in younger trees
因此科学家们开始寻找加快幼树树冠生长的方法
to help keep this incredible ecosystem alive.
以帮助维持这个不可思议的生态系统
There are lots of incredible ocean ecosystems,
海洋中也有许多令人难以置信的生态系统
but the ocean floor is home to one especially unique one: whale carcasses.
而洋底有着其中十分独特的一处:鲸鱼尸体
You might think of whales washing up to the shore when they die,
你可能以为鲸鱼死后会冲到岸上来
but most of the time, dead whales actually sink,
但大多数时候 死鲸其实会下沉
dropping all the way to the bottom of the ocean floor.
一路坠落到海底
These are called whale falls,
它们被称为鲸落
and these dead bodies become incredible hotspots for underwater life.
深海生物则在这些尸体上不可思议地繁盛起来
We’ve actually found very few of these in nature
事实上 我们在自然界中找到的鲸落很少
because the ocean is so massive and so deep
因为海洋是如此之大 如此之深
that it’s pretty hard to look for things on the bottom.
我们很难在洋底进行搜寻工作
Like, in 2013, scientists discovered a whale fall
比如2013年时 科学家们在大西洋海底
more than 4000 meters deep in the Atlantic ocean.
超过4000米深的地方发现了一个鲸落
And that was only the seventh natural whale fall
而这只是他们曾详细研究过的
they’d ever studied in detail.
第七处天然鲸落
So other times, scientists have intentionally dropped carcasses into the ocean
因此 科学家们有时故意将尸体扔进海洋
in order to better understand the ecosystems that develop around them.
以更好地了解环绕鲸落发育的生态系统
And what’s amazing about whale falls is that
鲸落的惊人之处在于
they create an ecosystem in a place where,
它们在几乎无法生存的地方
otherwise, not much can survive.
建立起了生态系统
There aren’t many nutrients at the bottom of the ocean floor,
洋底的营养物质很少
but when a whale dies,
但是当鲸鱼死亡时
literal tons of food arrive all at once.
洋底瞬间迎来了好几吨食物
And that attracts a huge diversity of creatures!
这吸引了各种各样的生物
Scientists have spotted animals like deep-sea octopuses,
科学家已经发现了深海章鱼
crabs, snails, limpets, and even bone-eating worms.
蟹 蜗牛 帽贝 甚至是食骨蠕虫等动物
They’ve even seen animals that they have
他们甚至发现了
never recorded anywhere else.
在其他地方从未有过记录的动物
On one whale carcass, the majority of
研究人员在一处鲸尸上
the 41 species researchers identified
鉴定出的41个物种中的大多数
were totally new to scientists.
对科学家来说都是全新的
These are exciting places to study marine life
这些地方是海洋生物研究者的向往之处
because we actually don’t know a lot about what goes on undersea.
因为我们对海底的情况实在知之甚少
I mean, only about ten percent of
我的意思是 到目前为止
the ocean has even been mapped so far.
我们只绘制出了约10%的海洋地图
So whale falls are kind of like a microcosm of life in the deep sea,
因此 鲸落就像是深海生命的缩影
and they give scientists a rare chance
它们为科学家提供了难得的机会
to discover and learn about the species that thrive there.
去发现和了解在这里繁衍昌盛的物种
Apart from whale carcasses, there’s also another place in the deep sea
除了鲸鱼的尸体 深海中还有一个地方
that hosts a totally different kind of ecosystem;
拥有一套完全不同的生态系统
one of the most chemically and physically
它是地球上化学性质和物理性质
extreme ecosystems on Earth.
最极端的生态系统之一
These are fissures in the ocean crust called hydrothermal vents,
它就是称为深海热液喷口的洋壳裂缝
where blistering-hot water full of minerals bubbles out of Earth’s crust.
充满矿物质的热水在那里从地壳中喷出
And as unfriendly a place as it seems,
尽管这个地方看起来不太友好
lots of life has evolved to survive here.
但许多生命已进化到能够在此生存下去
Since there’s no sunlight that deep in the ocean,
由于阳光不能深入海底
photosynthesis is a no-go.
光合作用无法进行
Luckily, these vents release a slurry of chemical compounds
但幸运的是 这些喷口会释放出
including sulfide, hydrogen, and methane,
含有硫化物 氢气和甲烷的化合物浆液
which these organisms can use in a process called chemosynthesis.
那些生物可以利用其进行化学合成
Basically, instead of using energy from the sun
基本上 喷口处的这些生物并不
to convert carbon from the environment into organic compounds,
利用太阳能将外界的碳转化为有机化合物
organisms at these vents create organic compounds using energy from chemical reactions.
它们使用的是从化学反应中产生的能量

Which is pretty incredible!
多么不可思议呀!
But it’s not just extreme microbial life living it up at these vents;
但不仅仅是这些极端微生物生存在喷口处
their energy gets transferred up the food chain.
它们的能量会沿着食物链进行转移
Even though temperatures can reach more than 350 degrees Celsius,
即使温度高达350摄氏度以上
yes, that’s more than 3 times the boiling point of water,
对 也就是水的沸点的3倍多
because the pressure is so great that is doesn’t boil,
但由于压强太大 海水并不会沸腾
the structures that form at these vents host creatures
因此 喷口处形成的结构才能够容纳
like giant tubeworms, mussels, clams, crabs, and shrimp.
巨型管状蠕虫 贻贝 蛤 蟹和虾一类的生物
And now scientists are realizing that
现在科学家们意识到
ecosystems at hydrothermal vents may actually have a
热液喷口处的生态系统实际上
really wide influence on the rest of the planet.
可能对全球有非常广泛的影响
These organisms consume the vast majority of the methane from these vents,
这些生物消耗掉了喷口喷出的大部分甲烷
preventing this powerful greenhouse gas from being released into the atmosphere,
从而避免这种强大的温室气体释放到大气中
which would have an enormous effect on the Earth’s climate.
它会对地球气候造成巨大的影响
These vents also release iron,
这些喷口还释放出铁
which helps fuel the growth of phytoplankton,
促进浮游生物的生长
small organisms that play a big role in capturing carbon in the ocean.
这些小型生物在海洋碳捕捉中起着重要作用
Aside from that, these hydrothermal vents might also
除此之外 这些热液喷口还可能
help us understand some of our planet’s earliest life,
帮助我们了解地球上最早的生命
since they’ve existed ever since liquid water
因为自液态水首次在地球上集聚为海洋以来
first accumulated on Earth.
它们就已经存在
In fact, scientists have found traces of organisms from almost 4.3 billion years ago
实际上 科学家们发现了约43亿年前

that lived at hydrothermal vents in the ancient seafloor.
生活在原始海洋中热液喷口处的生物的痕迹
So by studying the inhabitants of modern vents,
因此 通过研究现代喷口处的生物群落
we might gain insight into the Earth’s earliest microbial communities.
可能有助于我们了解地球上最早的微生物群落
Now, you might not think of a giant hunk of ice
在寒冷水域中漂浮的巨大冰块
floating through frigid waters as a great place to live,
在您看来似乎不是一个宜居的所在
but for many creatures, an iceberg is a floating oasis.
但对于许多生物而言 它却是一个漂浮的绿洲
As icebergs float through water, even really icy water,
当冰山漂浮在水中 甚至是非常寒冷的水中时
they are always melting, at least a little bit,
它们一直在融化 就算只是一点点
creating a pool of freshwater that surrounds the iceberg.
从而形成一个环绕冰山的淡水池
And as they melt, they release the dust and minerals
当冰山融化时 会释放出其中
that were frozen up in the iceberg,
冻结的灰尘和矿物质
which are a good source of iron.
它们是铁的良好来源
The iron in that meltwater helps fuel photosynthesis,
这些冰川融水中的铁有助于促进光合作用
which stimulates the growth of phytoplankton around the icebergs,
从而促进冰山周围浮游生物的生长
including some species of phytoplankton that normally live in freshwater.
包括那些通常生活在淡水中的浮游生物
And even though icebergs are relatively small,
尽管冰山相对较小
they can have a pretty wide-reaching effect on the region around them.
它们也会对周围地区造成相当广泛的影响
That’s because it can take over a year for a big iceberg to completely melt,
因为一座大型冰山需要一年时间才能完全融化
so it can cover a lot of ground in that time
所以它在那段时间内会覆盖很大面积
and spread its minerals far and wide.
并将其矿物质广泛散布
In a study of giant icebergs between 2003 and 2013,
在2003年至2013年对巨型冰山的一项研究中
researchers found a significant boost in chlorophyll production
研究人员发现 在冰山周围500公里
in the 500 kilometers surrounding the iceberg,
有时甚至是1000公里以内
and sometimes as much as a thousand kilometers away.
叶绿素的产量显著增加
These phytoplankton communities attract all sorts of other organisms
这些浮游植物群落吸引了周围区域的
to the area around the iceberg, including fish, krill, jellyfish, and seabirds.
其他各种生物 如鱼类 磷虾 水母和海鸟
Not only do they form the basis of this floating ecosystem,
它们不仅构成了这个漂浮的生态系统的基础
but phytoplankton also absorb carbon in the ocean.
而且还能吸收海洋中的碳
So understanding how icebergs are connected with these organisms
因此 研究冰山与这些生物间的联系方式
can help us understand and predict
有助于我们了解和预测
the ways that climate change will affect our oceans,
当更多冰山碎裂并进入宽阔的海域以后
as more icebergs break off and enter the open sea.
气候变化将会如何影响我们的海洋
Although there are many extreme environments in nature,
尽管自然界中有许多极端环境
not all ecosystems have natural origins.
但并非所有生态系统都源于大自然
And one of the most unusual ecosystems on Earth
地球上最不同寻常的生态系统之一
is the result of a human-caused catastrophe back in 1986.
是由1986年的一场人为灾难造成的
That year, an explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant
那年 切尔诺贝利核电站发生爆炸

across 200 thousand square kilometers in Europe.
释放出大量放射性物质
It was one of the worst environmental disasters in human history,
这是人类历史上最严重的生态灾难之一
and humans have been evacuated from the 4,000 square kilometers around the power plant
人类已经从核电站附近4000平方公里的范围内
for more than 30 years.
撤离有30多年了
This is called the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone,
那里被称为切尔诺贝利禁区
and it is still unsafe for humans to live there.
人类至今仍不能安全居住于此
Still, as deadly as the region is,
尽管这里仍如此致命
some species actually seem to be thriving inside it.
但某些物种似乎正在该地区蓬勃发展
Things haven’t gone exactly back to normal.
一切都还没有完全恢复正常
Even this long after the disaster,
经管距离灾难已过去很久
mutation rates in animals and plants are really high.
但动植物的突变率仍然很高
Research has also shown that radiation exposure has shrunken the brains of some birds
研究还表明 辐射暴露使一些鸟类的大脑萎缩
and caused a rise in tumors, fertility issues, and other abnormalities.
并导致肿瘤 生育问题和其他异常现象增多
Parasites may also be using these weaknesses
寄生虫也可能利用这些弱点
to find new ways to attack their hosts.
来寻找攻击其宿主的新方法
So in general, all the major animal groups studied
因此 总的来说 禁区内的
within the Exclusion Zone have declined,
所有主要研究物种都在减少
including bees, grasshoppers, birds, spiders, and mammals.
包括蜜蜂 蚱蜢 鸟类 蜘蛛和哺乳动物
But in spite of all that, some animals are doing better than you’d think.
尽管如此 有些动物的表现仍比我们以为的要好
Some species of birds seem to have responded to high radiation levels
一些鸟类似乎通过制造更高水平的抗氧化剂
by producing higher levels of antioxidants,
来应对高水平辐射
which help reduce the damage to their DNA.
这有助于减少辐射对其DNA的损害
Weirdly enough, the birds’ ability to adapt
奇怪的是 鸟类的适应能力
seems to be tied to their pigmentation;
似乎与它们的天然颜色有关
flashier-looking birds seem less able to
看上去更闪光的鸟类似乎无法
produce enough antioxidants to protect themselves from the radiation.
制造足够的抗氧化剂来保护自己免受辐射
But it’s not just dull birds and parasites that
但不仅是这些颜色暗淡的鸟和寄生虫
are able to survive under these conditions.
能够在这种情况下生存
Some mammal species are actually more abundant
实际上 某些哺乳动物
inside the exclusion zone than they are outside.
在禁区内的数量比在禁区外更多
Scavengers, like wolves and Eurasian otters,
比如狼和欧亚水獭一类的食腐动物
seem to be diverse and thriving.
就正多样而繁荣地生活着
And as bizarre as that might sound, the explanation is likely pretty simple:
尽管听起来有些奇怪 但解释起来其实很简单
For some organisms, a radioactive ecosystem
对于某些生物而言 比起有人类生存的地方
is better for survival than one that has humans in it,
放射性生态系统反而更易于生存
thanks to the added stress that our presence tends to put on environments.
这是因为我们的存在往往会给环境带来压力
Even though these radioactive or far-flung ecosystems
尽管这些放射性的或遥远的生态系统
might not seem especially homey to us,
对我们来说并不是特别温馨
they go to show that life can make a home out of just about anything.
但它们表明了 生命几乎可以使任何地方成为家
Understanding these ecosystems can help us protect or repair them,
研究这些生态系统有助于我们保护或修复它们
and it can also help us appreciate
还有助于我们欣赏
how incredibly resilient and creative living things can be.
生命具有多么令人难以置信的适应性和创造力
Thank you for watching this episode of SciShow!
感谢您收看本期SciShow!
And if you liked this video,
如果您喜欢本期视频
you might enjoy our episode
您可能也会喜欢另一期
about the tiny ecosystems hiding inside glaciers.
它讲述了隐藏在冰山之中的微小生态系统
Which just goes to show that life will find a way anywhere if you give it a chance.
这表明了 只要有机会 生活可以在任何地方找到活路

If you wanna watch that episode, you can right after this.
如果您想观看该期视频 可以在之后进行

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视频概述

本视频介绍了5个特别的生态系统。

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视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OZ38qzmN2c

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