To: All Msg #150, Jul1493 12:06PM Subject: wild speculation anyone? flooding in Midwest We

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From: Chris Colby To: All Msg #150, Jul-14-93 12:06PM Subject: wild speculation anyone? -- flooding in Midwest Organization: animal -- coelomate -- deuterostome From: colby@bu.bu.edu (Chris Colby) Message-ID: <221ovt$ev3@news.bu.edu> Newsgroups: talk.origins,sci.bio Well, my sister is supposedly helping sandbag the Iowa City water treatment plant today as the waters in the Midwest keep rising and rising. Flooding of this magnitude should make for recognizable perturbances in the ecology of the Midwest. Any net.biologists want to help me speculate about what will happen? Here's what I think the rest of the summer will bring. (The short answer is: insects and bad smells out the bazoo.) A substantial chunck of the low lying regions in the Midwest are under- water right now. The vegetation will die in these regions after being submerged for a few days. As the floodwaters recede, numerous pools of standing water will remain and slowly dry up. These ponds will be stagnant and nutrient rich (from the dead vegetation). Algae and cyanobacteria will teem on the surface under the hot, Midwestern sun. Near the bottom, anaerobic bacteria will grow on the nutrients that filter down from above. Numerous insects (esp. mosquitoes) will develop in these pools. As the water dry ups, new dead vegetation will constantly be exposed to the air as well as fungi and other detritivores. You will have to hold your nose if you are in any of the swampy areas (like Iowa for example 8-) The fungi growing on the dead plants will in turn feed a variety of other insects. In the rivers and lakes, the bottom dwellers will be blessed with a massive influx of nutrients and will prosper, as will the insect- ivorous fish. But, the water will be more murky and less fish that rely on deeper growing plants and algae will be seen. Basically, the pattern will be a large burst in opportunistic species(*) that thrive in swampy conditions at the expense of more "permanent" species. (*) especially those that can respond to a sudden burst of nutrients with a large increase in reproductive rate (i.e. anything that reproduces often or can lay millions of eggs (or seeds or spores). The vast swarms of insects will in turn feed the insect eating birds and bats, both of which should have greater parenting success due to the abundance of nutrients. If the migratory birds also survive in greater numbers in their tropical overwintering sites, an increase in predatory birds could be seen next year. Frogs should also do well thanks to more damp habitat and lots more bugs. Also, expect a lot of spiders (they're insectivores) late in the year. Mammals, including humans, might not fare so well. It is possible that blood borne diseases could spread via mosquito bites. There will likely be at least a brief flash of AIDS hysteria in the news media until it is realised that almost nobody in the Midwest actually has AIDS to give to any mosquitoes. Encephalitis could, however, become a problem. Of course, the insects will mostly be just an annoyance. Buy your stock in OFF and other brands of insect repellant today. Crops will be hard hit also. This will be due to both the reduction in amount of suitable land (i.e. not washed away or waterlogged) and increased damage by insect pests (and perhaps fungi). Next summer there will be a noticable decrease in insects of all kinds. Normal resident insects will be somewhat crowded out by opportunistic species this summer and will leave fewer offspring. The conditions favorable for the opportunistic insects won't (hopefully) be present. And the increase in insectivores will further depress insect numbers next year. (Sell the insecticide stock before next summer ;-) {Special Paul Ehrlich ending} .. then everybody dies. {Special George Bush ending} .. but this will need to be carefully studied before we actually do anything. {Special Bill Clinton ending} .. Hmmm, maybe I'll drop another bomb on Iraq. {Special Darious Lecointe ending} .. how was natural selection smart enough to know to produce more mosquitoes? {Special Ted Holden ending} .. too bad all the bullshit uniformitarian, Sagan worshipping assholes weren't standing on the river bank with cement shoes predicting only a slight rise in water level. Anyone have any other predictions (Andy?, Mickey?, Tim? Stan? Matthew? Chris (Nedin)? Anyone?)? Alternately, am I forgetting something important that makes my predictions bogus? Chris Colby email: colby@bu-bio.bu.edu =================================================================== From: Paul D. Farrar To: All Msg #239, Jul-15-93 05:03AM Subject: Re: wild speculation anyone? -- flooding in Mi Organization: POPS Supercomputer Center From: farrar@pops.navo.navy.mil (Paul D. Farrar) Message-ID: <1993Jul15.130309.18316@cs.tulane.edu> Reply-To: farrar@pops.navo.navy.mil Newsgroups: talk.origins {special Genesis ending} ... and the Lord heard the Godless evilutionist speaking of Ashlock and Vonroeschlaub, and the Lord said, "I will destroy the land of Iowa utterly." And the windows of the heavens, and the springs of the deep were opened, and the rivers rose exceedingly. And the waters covered the state, even to the highest peaks. And all that were in it perished. {special Morris ending} ... and thousands of feet of sediment were deposited over Des Moines. Hydraulic sorting caused different types of rock layers. The fish, which could not climb the mountains, were on the bottom (with bulging eyes, and expressions of terror). The feedlot cattle were able to climb the mountains and so we find their bones in the upper layers.

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