PostFarm - The New World

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Almost 7, people bagged free season tickets to Nottinghamshire's White Post Farm due to an administration error.

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The attraction offered free year-round entry on its website for around two hours on Sunday evening - but has since retracted the offer, leaving parents and children disappointed. Word quickly spread that when customers visited the 'buy online' section of the site, the option for a free annual pass was available, and more than 6, people took advantage of the 'offer'.


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Some parents have asked for the passes be honoured but Trading Standards has confirmed the farm is not obliged to do this. Mr Moore pointed out that, as a small business, not only could the farm not afford to give out so many passes, it also only has capacity for 2, people and the 6, pass holders could cause a health and safety problem. Under a White Post Farm Facebook post about the incident there was a heated debate amongst parents.

However Helen Dillon wrote: "I cannot believe that people complain about this. They're an independent company whose software made a mistake. People should support independent businesses, not take them to Trading Standards! The free option was only supposed to be available on tills to process complimentary passes for people such as carers and members of the police. White Post Farm rectified the issue as soon as it was made aware and confirmed that the passes were invalid and no money had been transferred around 10pm on Sunday.

The dramatic shift in the land-use and land-cover history of Puerto Rico is equivalent to a large-scale ecological experiment, allowing us to assess the resilience of an ecosystem of almost 1 million ha that was submitted to intense human disturbance for approximately a century and later progressively abandoned. Our results show that the degree of resilience of the Puerto Rican landscape depends on what factor is considered.

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Chronosequence studies indicate that the vegetation structure and the local alpha diversity of several taxa have recovered in less than 50 years and are relatively independent from the pre-abandonment land use. Similarly, rates of soil erosion and C sequestration recover to levels comparable to those of mature forest ecosystems in a few decades through unmanaged forest succession.

In contrast, the local-scale species composition of secondary forests is strongly affected by pre-abandonment land use, and some ecological processes, such as N effluxes, are very sensitive to forest composition. At a regional scale, there seems to be a homogenization of species composition in which exotic species have profound and long-lasting ecological impacts. These species, ranging from trees to earthworms, establish early in succession and are still dominant in the oldest secondary forests.

This suggests that a period of little more than a century of intensive LUCC will continue to influence the ecology of the whole island for much longer periods of time, most likely several centuries. Can the Puerto Rican experience be extrapolated to other Neotropical countries? The biota, climate, soils, and major crops of Puerto Rico are very similar to those of many other areas of the Neotropics.

Furthermore, the patterns of forest recovery following economic changes observed in Puerto Rico are being repeated in other areas. For example, forest cover has increased on marginal agricultural lands as rural populations migrate to urban centers in Argentina Ramadori and Brown and the Dominican Republic Rudel et al.

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The broadscale floristic homogenization and local-scale heterogeneity due to pre-abandonment land use observed in Puerto Rico are consistent with observations in temperate ecosystems of the northeastern United States Foster et al. These observations suggest that the ecological responses to economic changes in Puerto Rico are representative of other tropical areas as well as some temperate systems. Two geographic conditions limit the potential for extrapolation of the Puerto Rican experience to the rest of the Neotropics. First, hurricanes, a rare phenomenon in most continental Neotropical regions, have profound effects on Caribbean ecosystem dynamics, including forest succession and ecosystem fluxes Lodge and McDowell , Zimmerman et al.

Second, the unique socioeconomic history of Puerto Rico has generated a human-dominated landscape characterized by small farms interspersed with forest fragments, which facilitates the availability of seed and tree establishment and creates conditions unfavorable for fire spread. In large areas of the continental Neotropics, land-use patterns are very different. These areas are usually dominated by large properties with extensive cattle ranching managed with fire, which generates degraded soils and very long distances to seed sources e.

Under these conditions, forest recovery is expected to be much slower than in Puerto Rico. The environmental history of Puerto Rico exhibits a turning point, which is captured by the change in the relationship between the curves of human population and forest cover through time figure 2a.

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Before , as in a typical tropical country, there was a negative relationship between human population and forest cover. During the second half of the 20th century, the relationship became positive, as in several developed countries, where economic and urban growth were accompanied by forest expansion. Both forest and urban areas have expanded rapidly during the last 50 years, closely tracking the patterns of economic and demographic change.

At an islandwide scale, urbanization may reinforce forest expansion, because migration into urban areas is the main driver of land abandonment and subsequent forest regeneration. At a local scale, however, particularly in areas adjacent to the most intensively urbanized areas, an opposite pattern emerges: Low-density residential use invades forest. In addition, urban expansions occur over the most productive agricultural areas, a process that greatly reduces the island's capacity to re-adapt to an economy less dependent on external food sources.

The recent environmental history of Puerto Rico is unusual in that socioeconomic changes toward a manufacture-based economy have been strongly influenced by extratropical economies Dietz However, given the current globalization trends, this degree of economic linkage may become more common. Puerto Rico has yielded a unique broadscale experiment from which three main conclusions emerge: 1 Forest structure and the ecological factors depending on it e. Alfredo Grau, Maria Fernanda Barberena-Arias, Gary Toranzos, and four anonymous reviewers provided helpful comments on different stages of the manuscript.

Table 1. Influence of landscape attributes on land-cover changes from agricultural areas to urban areas or secondary forests.

watch Figure 1. Abbreviations: df, dry forest; mf, moist forest; wf, wet forest; S, subtropical; LM, lower montane. Because it did not undergo resampling, its minimum mapping unit is probably about 3 to 5 pixels and less than 0. Figure 2. Figure 3. Land-use patterns in a and b in the Luquillo municipality of northeastern Puerto Rico.


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Figure 4. Three sites with densities greater than 14, stems per hectare were excluded from the regression. Source: Aide et al. Figure 5. Percentage variance from the original dissimilarity matrix explained by each axis is shown in parentheses. Note that the first axis clearly discriminates between forests of different pre-abandonment conditions pastures and coffee.

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Values within symbols are the number of 0. Error bars equal one standard deviation. Arrows in the upper left corner of the figure indicate the relative strength and direction of the correlations of environmental variables with ordination axes. Source: Kruskal and Wish , Zimmerman et al.

Figure 6. Changes in species richness expressed as a percentage of the maximum value analyzed along successional stages.

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Abbreviations: P, pasture; E, early successional 5 to 10 years of abandonment ; M, midsuccessional 25 to 40 years of abandonment ; L, late successional or mature more than 50 years of abandonment. Figure 7. Nitrous oxide N 2 O emissions in nanograms of nitrogen per square centimeter per hour as a function of the basal area of nitrogen-fixing species in forest stands sampled from two chronosequences, Mameyes and Sabana. E, early successional; M, midsuccessional; L, late successional.

Source: Erickson et al. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. Sign In or Create an Account. Sign In. Advanced Search.

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