“They are like tractors.” Wild boars harm the climate as much as cars

In & nbsp; in recent years, environmentalists have taught us to & nbsp; thoughts on & nbsp; the fact that the cattle & nbsp; & mdash; one of the & nbsp; guilty of global warming. Cows eat grass, and & nbsp; it is digested and & nbsp; form of methane & nbsp; & mdash; the most powerful greenhouse gas, from which & nbsp; the temperature is increasing on the planet and & nbsp; meteorological disasters occur.

And & nbsp; after & nbsp; the cows came around the pigs, while & nbsp; & mdash; Savage. New research by scientists shows that wild boars that have bred all over the world, digging in the earth, tolerate global warming.

Equivalent to emissions from 1.1 million cars

Most of the carbon in the terrestrial biosphere is found in the soil. When the ground cover is disturbed, CO2 is released from it & nbsp; & mdash; the same carbon dioxide, the concentration of which in the atmosphere is steadily increasing, bringing civilization closer to climate collapse. The main sources of carbon dioxide from the soil are considered to be agriculture (farmers plow fields) and land degradation (desertification). But & nbsp; there is & nbsp; other reasons & mdash; in & nbsp; in particular, the impact on the & nbsp; ground cover of various animal species. Previously, there were almost no precise estimates of such an impact. A group of scientists from Australia, New Zealand and the United States decided to fill the void.

The researchers looked at the global wild boar population, which originally only lived in & nbsp; Eurasia, and & nbsp; have now spread over & nbsp; all continents except Antarctica … When they forage for food they loosen the topsoil resulting in carbon dioxide emissions.

“ Since the & nbsp; soil contains almost & nbsp; three times more carbon than l & nbsp; atmosphere, even a small part, being released, can accelerate climate change, & nbsp; & mdash; says study lead author Christopher O & # 39; Brian of the University of Queensland. & mdash; & nbsp; They are like & nbsp; tractors that plow the fields turning the soil in & nbsp; in search of food.

To estimate the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere, the scientists used data on the number of these animals and their range. Next, we modeled the density maps of their & nbsp; establishment on the & nbsp; planet and & nbsp; superimposed on & nbsp; factors that play a role in the situation analysis & mdash; the presence of predators, the structure of the vegetation, the amount of precipitation and evaporation. Thus, the area of ​​the soil plowed by wild boars was calculated. That's 123,500 square kilometers per year, and we're talking about areas where this species is alien (or, in scientific terms, invasive). The maximum areas of disturbed coverage are found in & nbsp; Oceania and & nbsp; North America.

Simulations have shown that around 4.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide enter the atmosphere & nbsp; per year because of wild boars. . This is equivalent to the emissions of 1.1 million passenger cars. But the figure, as the researchers note, will be larger in the future. The wild boar population continues to grow, and & nbsp; if they enter areas where the & nbsp; soil contains more carbon, carbon emissions will increase dramatically.

“ More research is needed on the contribution of wild boar to & nbsp; soil damage & nbsp; & nbsp; & mdash; the authors write in & nbsp; their article. And & nbsp; the problem of a rapidly growing population, if confirmed, is proposed to be solved at the expense of trapping and hunting.

“ Soil breathing & # 39; & # 39;

“ Any disturbance of the ground cover results in & nbsp; a rapid increase in carbon dioxide emissions, & nbsp; & mdash; says the chief researcher of the Center for Forest Ecology and Productivity Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Doctor of Biological Sciences Dmitry Zamolodchikov … & mdash; & nbsp; The point is & nbsp; in the & nbsp; layer of soil, CO2 is constantly formed during respiration of plant roots and & nbsp; soil organisms, including animals, fungi, bacteria. The gas gradually infiltrates through the layers of the soil and & nbsp; enters the atmosphere & nbsp; & mdash; this process is called & quot; soil respiration & quot ;. If you loosen its & nbsp; upper layers, they will stop creating barriers to gas leakage and & nbsp; there will be a strong release. Then the emission starts to decrease, because some of the gas has already been released. In addition, since the wild boar has already removed the roots, rhizomes and invertebrates from the & nbsp; soil, the mass of respiratory organisms in & nbsp; it decreases, and & nbsp; therefore, respiration rates may become even lower than in & nbsp; soil intact. Within hours or days, CO2 emissions reach their previous values. & # 39; & # 39;

Dmitry Zamolodchikov refers to & nbsp; his own research carried out in the & nbsp; Belogorye Reserve (Belgorod Region). They also devoted themselves to the burrowing activity of wild boars. The results showed that carbon dioxide emissions from & nbsp; plots that were plowed a week ago represent approximately & nbsp; 80% of & nbsp; emissions of & nbsp; undisturbed soil areas.

the activity of wild boars is temporary, & nbsp; & mdash; concludes the environmentalist, & nbsp; & mdash; and & nbsp; long-term effects on & nbsp; soil carbon stocks are not & nbsp; easily apparent. However, and & nbsp; the authors of the international study note that their & nbsp; Total estimates of additional emissions are extremely uncertain. They range from & nbsp; significant to & nbsp; absolutely negligible values. Therefore, they & nbsp; urge to actively conduct scientific research on this subject, and & nbsp; not to start & nbsp; of measures for & nbsp; immediately regulate the number of wild boars. & Quot ;.

Источник aif.ru

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