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为什么贫瘠的地方更加多样化

Why Poor Places Are More Diverse

在寒冷的阿拉斯加一个足球场大小的森林大约有40种不同种类的植物
A soccer-field sized patch of forest in frigid Alaska has about 40 different species of plants,
与之相比的是在温和的英格兰有70种而在亚马孙热带雨林有300种
compared with about 70 in temperate England and 300 in the Amazonian rain forest.

这些生物多样性差异也适用于整个国家 英格兰有1500种植物品类
These biodiversity differences hold true for entire countries, too: England has 1500 plant species,
然而处于热带的圭亚那的数量是其六倍
while tropical Guyana has six times that any
热带雨林丰富的多样性只与地球上另一种类型的生态系统类似
The super-diversity of tropical rainforests is only equalled in one other type of ecosystem
那就是生长在澳大利亚西部和非洲南部易燃矮小的灌木丛
on Earth: scrubby fire-prone shrublands that grow in western Australia and southern Africa.
这些灌木地看起来不像热带雨林那么巨大 但是在特定区域.
These shrublands may not look as majestic as tropical rainforests, but in a given area,
它们是同样拥有巨大数量物种的家园
they’re home to similarly stupendous numbers of species.
这未必表示雨林和灌木丛是适宜植物生存之处
Which doesn’t necessarily mean that the rainforests and shrublands are easy places
事实上这两种生态系统将它们巨大的生物多样性部分地归功于
for plants to live. In fact, both ecosystems owe their enormous diversity, in part, to
它们的土壤的氮元素含量极低 特别是磷元素尤其之少这一事实
the fact that their soils have critically low supplies of nitrogen and especially phosphorus,
这些元素都是植物生长的必需品 处于植物世界生物种类前列的热点地区
nutrients plants need in order to grow. The plant world’s leading biodiversity hotspots
都事实上一贫如洗
are, quite literally, dirt poor.
逻辑上说 更肥沃的土壤可以培育更多品种 但是本质上
Logically, it seems like richer soils should support more species. But in nature, as in
在人类社会 拥有大量的资源未必意味着每个人
human society, ‘plenty of resources’ doesn’t necessarily translate into ‘everyone gets
都有许多
plenty’.
全世界草地、森林、湿地 我们一直能找到更多或更大的
In meadows, forests, and wetlands around the world, we consistently find more or bigger
植物却在最富饶的土地中发现极少的品种 传播速度最快的品种
plants but fewer species where soil nutrients are highest. The fastest-spreading species
吸收了大部分其他的养分 这使得他们一直茁壮成长
soak up most of the extra nutrients, which lets them keep growing super fast, which lets
并让它们的根部吸收很多水分 同时它们的叶子吸收很多阳光
their roots suck up so much water, and their leaves snatch up so much sunlight, that other,
然而那些传播速度慢一些的品种实际上比之获得的资源更少些 所以在肥沃的土壤
slower species actually get LESS of those resources than otherwise. So in rich soils,
传播速度慢的品种凋谢然而长得快的获得了大大的胜利
slower species die out while the fast-growers win big.
另外 贫瘠的土地给不了生长迅猛的植物充分的养分
On the other hand, poor soils don’t provide enough nutrient capital for fast-growing plants
来打下大规模的基础 还夺取了所有资源 所以处于贫瘠土壤的生存者
to build their massive infrastructures and take all the resources. So poor soils inhibit
是贪婪的并且允许任何人来扎根 这样的例子也出现在人类社会
the greedy and allow everyone else to scrabble by. We see this pattern in human society also
在贫穷国家常常有更多的大多数小规模的公司
– there’s a far greater number of businesses – mostly small – in poor countries, while
然而更少的大公司在发达国家占主导地位
fewer bigger companies dominate in rich countries.
但是一贫如洗的土壤并非是唯一促使高生物多样性的因素 例如
But crummy soil isn’t the only thing that helps super high diversity blossom; for example,
沙滩、山顶和其他长期出现恶劣天气或者发生灾难性事件的地方
beaches, mountaintops, and other places frequently ravaged by harsh weather or catastrophic events
拥有贫瘠的土地和稀少的植物品种 其他高生物多样性的主要先决条件
have poor soils AND few plant species. The other major prerequisite for hyperdiversity
就是时间
is time.
在大多数地区 冰川经常破坏生态系统并且破碎拥有
On most of the planet, glaciers regularly bulldoze away ecosystems and grind up mineral-rich
丰富矿物质的岩石 打造一个新的适宜生长的土壤而不是促进生物多样性的地方 然而我们拥有高生物多样性
rock, creating new soil perfect for growth but not diversity. However, our high-diversity
的热带雨林和灌木丛花了数百万年还是没看到冰原
rainforests and shrublands have spent millions of years beyond the reach of the ice sheets,
留下它们的生存者充足的时间
leaving their residents plenty of undisturbed time to evolve a wide variety of ingenious
来制定精巧度过营养缺乏问题的策略 这个策略使得
strategies for surviving nutrient poverty – strategies that have allowed for the development
生于潮湿又贫瘠的土地中巨大多样的雨林和生于干燥贫瘠土地中繁茂多样化的灌木丛的生长
of tall, diverse, rainforests in wet poor soils and scrubby, diverse, shrublands in
人文景观似乎遵寻类似的模式
dry poor soils. The human landscape also seems to follow a similar pattern, with the highest
拥有最强的文化和语言的多样性以及在气候稳定地区拥有最大数量的企业
cultural and linguistic diversity as well as the greatest number of businesses in climatically
人类是寿命最长然而经济资源却稀缺
stable places where humans have been the longest and where economic resources are scarce.
所以在某些方面 地球上最贫穷的国家事实上也是最富裕的
So in some ways, the poorest places on earth are actually (also) the richest.
这一集的MinuteEarth是由澳大利亚西部学院所创立的Kwongan基金会赞助
This episode of MinuteEarth is supported by the The Kwongan Foundation at the University
其促进了澳大利亚惊人的生物多样性的保护
of Western Australia, which promotes the conservation of Australia’s amazing biodiversity. To learn
想要了解更多关于Kwongan生态系统高生物多样性的生态情况
more about the ecology of the hyperdiverse Kwongan ecosystem, check out Plant Life on
请访问澳大利亚西南部的沙原或者关注Kwongan基金会网站
the Sandplains in Southwest Australia, or visit the Kwongan Foundation online. Thanks
谢谢Kwongan基金会和Kwongan拍摄本次纪录片
so much to the Kwongan Foundation – and the Kwongan – for making this MinuteEarth video
提供支持
possible.

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