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让我们来重新梳理一下食物链吧 – 译学馆
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让我们来重新梳理一下食物链吧

From the top of the food chain down: Rewilding our world - George Monbiot

我们都知道 恐龙曾经一度称霸这个星球
We all know about the dinosaurs that once roamed the planet,
不过在它们灭绝很久之后
but long after they went extinct,
仍然有我们称之为“巨型动物”的大怪物
great beasts we call the megafauna
遍布每一块大陆在美洲
lived on every continent.
跟大象一般大的地獭
In the Americas, ground sloths the size of elephants
能用它们的爪子拉倒大树
pulled down trees with their claws.
像棕熊一样大的剑齿虎
Saber-toothed cats the size of brown bears
能成群结队地狩猎 不过跟巨型短面熊比起来它们都弱爆了
hunted in packs, but they were no match for short-faced bears,
这些熊站起来有十三英尺高(注:
which stood thirteen feet on their hind legs,
约四米)而且它们很容易就能把剑齿虎 从它们的猎物旁边吓走
and are likely to have driven these cats away from their prey.
还有像汽车一样大的犰狳
There were armadillos as big as small cars,
八尺长的海狸(注:约2.5米) 还有翼展为26尺(注:约八米)的大鸟
an eight foot beaver, and a bird with a 26 foot wingspan.
不过几乎世界各地所有的巨型动物
Almost everywhere, the world’s megafauna
都已经绝种了 这通常要归咎于人类的狩猎
were driven to extinction, often by human hunters.
不过在亚洲和非洲还有一些得以幸存
Some species still survive in parts of Africa and Asia.
但在其他地方你只能看到这些巨兽留下的遗迹
In other places, you can still see the legacy of these great beasts.
树木如果被折断的话
Most trees are able to resprout where their
往往会再次发出新芽 从而弥补造成的损失
trunk is broken to withstand the loss of much of their bark
这样可以经受各种灾难的考验
and to survive splitting, twisting and trampling,
也许这是因为树木为了经受大象的摧残而进化出来的功能
partly because they evolved to survive attacks by elephants.
美洲麋鹿跑得很快
The American pronghorn can run so fast
因为它们得逃出美洲猎豹的魔爪
because it evolved to escape the American cheetah.
这些得以存活的动物生活在幽灵创造的生态系统中
The surviving animals live in ghost ecosystems
因为这个生态系统是由已经灭绝的物种开创的如今
adapted to threats from species that no longer exist. Today,
我们有可能使这些幽灵复活
it may be possible to resurrect those ghosts,
用基因材料让它们重归于世比如说
to bring back lost species using genetic material.
有研究已经着眼于
For instance, there’s been research in to
利用猛犸象被冰封的遗体碎片复活它
cloning woolly mammoths from frozen remains.
不过就算最终难以成行
But even if it’s not possible,
我们还是能重现当时世界上的
we can still restore many of the ecosystems
生态系统怎么弄?
the world has lost. How?
利用废弃的农场
By making use of abandoned farms.
目前的食物市场已经全球化
As the market for food is globalized,
贫瘠的土地已经没啥用了
infertile land becomes uncompetitive.
不毛之地的农民们无法和
Farmers in barren places can’t compete
在富饶土地上耕种的农民去竞争
with people growing crops on better land elsewhere.
结果就是 很多地方的农耕退化
As a result, farming has started to retreat from many regions,
森林重现
and trees have started to return.
一项研究表明 美国三分之二
One estimate claims that two-thirds of land in the US
由森林变耕地的土壤
that was once forested but was cleared for farming
现在又重新变回森林了
has become forested again.
另一项研究提出 可能在2030年时
Another estimate suggests that by 2030,
一块有欧洲波兰那么大的农场
an area in Europe the size of Poland
可能将被荒废
will be vaccated by farmers.
所以就算我们不能用DNA去复原
So even if we can’t use DNA to bring back
那些巨型地獭和巨型犰狳
ground sloths and giant armadillos,
我们仍然可以找回熊、狼、
we can restore bears, wolves, pumas lynx,
美洲狮山猫、驼鹿和北美野牛 让它们回到曾经生存过的地方
moose and bison to the places where they used to live.
这些动物会重塑它们的生存环境
Some of these animals can reshape their surroundings,
创造出得以让它们种族繁衍生息的环境
creating conditions that allow other species to thrive.
1995年 当狼群再次出现在 黄石国家公园时
When wolves were reintroduced to the Yellowstone National Park in 1995,
它们很快地就改变了生态系统
they quickly transformed the ecosystem.
它们降低了鹿过多的种群数量
Where they reduced the numbers of overpopulated deer,
植物又重新长出来了
vegetation began to recover.
有一些树木的高度在六年内增长了五倍
The height of some trees quintupled in just six years.
跟随森林一起回来的 还有唱歌的小鸟
As forests returned, so did songbirds. Beavers,
以树木为食的海狸其数量在河流中成倍增长
which eat trees, multiplied in the rivers,
它们筑起的水坝 也养育了水獭、
and their dams provided homes for otters, muskrats, ducks,
麝鼠、
frogs and fish.
青蛙和鱼野狼杀死了郊狼
The wolves killed coyotes, allowing rabbits
让兔子和老鼠的数量得以增长 因此老鹰、鼬鼠、狐狸
and mice to increase, providing more food for hawks, weasels,
和臭鼬有了更多的食物
foxes and badgers.
秃鹫和乌鸦吃被狼遗弃了的腐肉
Bald eagles and ravens fed on the carrion
秃鹫和乌鸦吃被狼遗弃了的腐肉熊呢
that the wolves abandoned.
可以从重新回来的灌木丛里
So did bears, which also ate the berries
找到更多野莓
on the returning shrubs.
越来越多的穿梭的北美野牛 让森林重现活力
Bison numbers rose as they browsed the revitalized forests.
狼群改变了几乎所有的东西
The wolves changed almost everything.
这只是营养级联方面的一个例子而已
This is an example of a trophic cascade,
食物链顶端的某个改变
a change at the top of the food chain
会一路影响到食物链的最底端
that tumbles all the way to the bottom,
会一路影响到食物链的最底端
affecting every level.
这个关于营养级联的发现
The discovery of widespread trophic cascades
可能是过去半个世纪里
may be one of the most exciting scientific findings
最令人兴奋地科学发现之一了
of the past half century.
这个发现证明了我们的生态系统
They tell us that ecosystems that have lost
其实只丢失了一两种非常不同的大型动物
just one or two species of large animals
其他的大部分行为方式
can behave in radically different ways
其实跟现在的这些都差不多
from those that retain them.
世界各地都有被称为
All over the world,
“重现荒野”的运动 催化了大自然的复苏
new movements are trying to catalyze the restoration of nature
催化了大自然的复苏
in a process called rewilding.
这说明对于我们曾经造成的破坏进行补救
This means undoing some of the damage we’ve caused,
事实上重新唤回了曾被我们赶走的许多物种
reestablishing species which have been driven out,
让他们重回自然舞台
and then stepping back.
这并非是尝试重建一个理想的生态系统
There is no attempt to create an ideal ecosystem,
比如重建荒野、雨林
to produce a heath, a rainforest or a coral reef.
或珊瑚礁“重现荒野”只是把曾经被驱逐的物种
Rewilding is about bringing back the species
带回来的一个动态过程
that drive dynamic processes
剩下的就靠大自然天然去造化了
and then letting nature take its course.
不过重点是“重现荒野”不是一个
But it’s essential that rewilding must never be used
驱逐人类的借口
as an excuse to push people off the land.
它应当得到当地人的默许和支持 它应当得到当地人
It should happen only with the consent and enthusiasm
的默许和支持
of the people who work there.
想象一下 直到18世纪的时候
Imagine standing on a cliff in England,
你还能站在英格兰的海边悬崖
watching sperm whales attacking shoals of herring
看到抹香鲸捕食鲱鱼群的景象
as they did within sight of the shore
看到抹香鲸捕食鲱鱼群的景象
until the 18th century.
通过建立不允许商业捕捞的海洋保护区 通过建立不允许
商业捕捞的海洋保护区
By creating marine reserves in which no commerical fishing takes place,
这景象还能重现
that can happen again.
想象一下 曾经的欧洲草原上
Imagine a European Serengeti
曾经遍布着各种各样的动物河马
full of the animals that used to live there: hippos,
、犀牛、大象、
rhinos, elephants, hyenas and lions.
鬣狗和狮子“重现荒野”带回的
What rewilding reintroduces,
不仅仅是丢失的动物和植物
alongside the missing animals and plants,
还有一种稀有物种叫“希望”
is that rare species called hope.
它告诉了我们生态变迁
It tells us that ecological change
并不一定总是朝着一个方向的
need not always proceed in the same direction.
寂静的春天之后也可能是狂野的夏天
The silent spring could be followed by a wild summer.

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