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Dead Salmon are Good for Plants

This article discusses the positive impacts that salmon carcasses have on the natural environment around them. This natural experiment took place over the course of 20 years! Students from the University of Washington threw dead salmon from a stream onto one side of the bank. Their original experiment involved studying what was eating these fish in the stream, and they naturally threw the dead fish to one side of the stream to avoid double counting them when analyzing results. Soon, this developed in to a kind of surprise experiment already started before they knew what they were doing. As this "accidental" experiment developed, it used the riverbank without fish carcasses as a sort of controlled variable, to compare their results to the other side, which had all the dead fish. 

After two decades, the students at the university took cores from live trees that were about 40 years old. It was found that the trees on the side were growing up to 20% faster during this period of the experiment, compared to the tree's growth before the experiment even occurred. The nutrients from all the dead fish helps boost plant and tree growth. This is a great example regarding the circle of life, and how dead wildlife gives back to its environment. This experiment also highlights the importance of scientists taking time and being patient and conducting their experiments over a suitable amount of time, without rushing it. This experiment would not be as effective over a smaller timeline of maybe 5 years. It would not show how well the trees respond to the carcasses. Even a longer time like 50 years, would show even more extensive results of the plant life, but hey, you got to stop somewhere.

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Dead Salmon are Good for Plants - by Blake Cherpin - 11-26-2018, 05:58 AM
RE: Dead Salmon are Good for Plants - by Jaidan_a - 12-01-2018, 09:56 AM

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