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科学美国人60秒: 橘子皮的神奇作用

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A Fruitful Experiment in Land Conservation

橘子皮的神奇作用

In the fight to conserve tropical rainforests, here's a tool you don't often hear about: orange peels. Specifically, 12,000 tons of them, dumped on the land. "You don't usually associate waste disposal with biodiversity benefits, something that's good for the environment."

在热带雨林保卫战中,有一样不太常见的工具:橘子皮。具体来讲,是在热带雨林倾倒12000吨橘子皮。“人们通常不会觉得废物处理会有益于生物多样性,有益于环境。”

\Tim Treuer is an ecologist at Princeton University, and he’s talking about a unique conservation story. It started in the early 1990s, when an orange juice producer called Del Oro set up shop near the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica, a region that contains several national parks and a wildlife refuge.

蒂姆·特罗伊尔是普林斯顿大学的一位生态学家,他为我们讲述了一个关于生态保护的特殊故事。这个故事始于上世纪90年代初,当时一个名叫德尔奥罗的橙汁生产商在哥斯达黎加的瓜纳卡斯特自然保护区附近开设了一家商店。瓜纳卡斯特自然保护区包括几个国家公园和一个野生动物保护区。

Del Oro needed somewhere to dump their orange peels, and the company also owned forested land abutting the parkland that it had no intention of cultivating. So a deal was struck: if Del Oro donated its forested land, it could dump orange peel waste on degraded pastureland within the conservation area.

当时德尔奥罗需要找一个能够用来倾倒橘子皮的地方。恰好该公司拥有一片林地,这片林地临近保护区,而且他们无意对其进行开垦培育。因此他们达成了一项协议:如果德尔奥罗捐赠了那片林地,那该公司就可以将橘子皮倾倒在保护区内退化的牧场上。

A thousand dump trucks' worth of orange peels were scattered on the land in 1998. "And within about six months the orange peels had been converted from orange peels into this thick black loamy soil."

1998年,能装满一千辆卡车的橘子皮被倾倒在了那片土地上。“经历了不到6个月的时间,那些橘子皮就转变成了一片厚厚的黑色沃土。”

The result of that influx of nutrient-rich organic material? "I couldn't even find the site the first time I saw it." He couldn't find it because, over 16 years, the orange-peel waste had sent the land on a journey to become vine-choked jungle. Jungle with three times the diversity of tree species of the adjacent control plot, richer soil and a much denser canopy. In other words, the experiment was a success. The results appear in the journal Restoration Ecology.

是那些营养丰富的有机物质流入的结果?“第一次到那片土地的时候,我都找不到那块地方了。”他之所以找不到,是因为16年过后,那些被倾倒的橘子皮已经将那片土地变成了长满葡萄树的丛林。而这片丛林的树种多样性是相邻管控区的三倍,其土壤也更肥沃,树冠也更密集。换句话说,这次实验非常成功。该研究结果发表在《恢复生态学》杂志上。

Treuer says perhaps this lesson could be applied elsewhere. "It's a shame where we live in a world with nutrient-limited degraded ecosystems and also nutrient-rich waste streams. We'd like to see those things come together a little bit. That's not license for any agricultural company to just start dumping their waste products on protected areas, but it does mean that land managers, restorationists, people involved with industrial-scale agricultural operations should start thinking about ways to do thoughtful experimentation to see if in their particular system they can have similar win-win-win results."

特罗伊尔表示,或许这一经验可以被用到其他地方。“我们生存在一个营养受限生态系统退化的环境中,同时却有那么多营养丰富的废弃物在不断流失,这让人感到羞耻。我们希望能够对此加以整合利用。不过,这并不是一项允许任何一家农业公司开始向保护区倾倒垃圾的许可。虽然它的确意味着土地管理者、维护者和那些从事大规模农业再生产的人们应该开始考虑,去想办法进行一些周密的试验,以期在他们独特的生态系统中也能达到类似的三赢的效果。”

That's actually "win-win-win"—a win for the company, a win for the protected area, and because the jungle packs away CO2, a win for the planet, too.

而这实际上就是“三赢”——公司之赢为其一,保护区之赢为其二,由于丛林吸掉了二氧化碳,所以地球生态之赢为其三。

A Fruitful Experiment in Land Conservation

In the fight to conserve tropical rainforests, here's a tool you don't often hear about: orange peels. Specifically, 12,000 tons of them, dumped on the land. "You don't usually associate waste disposal with biodiversity benefits, something that's good for the environment."

\Tim Treuer is an ecologist at Princeton University, and he’s talking about a unique conservation story. It started in the early 1990s, when an orange juice producer called Del Oro set up shop near the Guanacaste Conservation Area in Costa Rica, a region that contains several national parks and a wildlife refuge.

Del Oro needed somewhere to dump their orange peels, and the company also owned forested land abutting the parkland that it had no intention of cultivating. So a deal was struck: if Del Oro donated its forested land, it could dump orange peel waste on degraded pastureland within the conservation area.

A thousand dump trucks' worth of orange peels were scattered on the land in 1998. "And within about six months the orange peels had been converted from orange peels into this thick black loamy soil."

The result of that influx of nutrient-rich organic material? "I couldn't even find the site the first time I saw it." He couldn't find it because, over 16 years, the orange-peel waste had sent the land on a journey to become vine-choked jungle. Jungle with three times the diversity of tree species of the adjacent control plot, richer soil and a much denser canopy. In other words, the experiment was a success. The results appear in the journal Restoration Ecology.

Treuer says perhaps this lesson could be applied elsewhere. "It's a shame where we live in a world with nutrient-limited degraded ecosystems and also nutrient-rich waste streams. We'd like to see those things come together a little bit. That's not license for any agricultural company to just start dumping their waste products on protected areas, but it does mean that land managers, restorationists, people involved with industrial-scale agricultural operations should start thinking about ways to do thoughtful experimentation to see if in their particular system they can have similar win-win-win results."

That's actually "win-win-win"—a win for the company, a win for the protected area, and because the jungle packs away CO2, a win for the planet, too.


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