Cyanide Millipede Essay

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Cyanide Millipede: (Haraphe haydeniana) Bruce Rash DESCRIPTION: Keystone Species UW Robert T. Paine coined the term in 1969 after research on a predator starfish species. Starfish predator removal caused Ecosystem collapse Not without detractors; Mills, Soule, Doak 1993, simplistic, applied to liberally Criteria refined and now a mainstay of ecological and conservation biology literature WHAT THEY DO Cyanide Millipedes are decomposers, living and eating in the liter layer of the forest. There can be hundreds of thousands of arthropods in a square meter of old growth liter layer, and this species of millipede, while not the most abundant arthropod, is by far the most important. LIFE CYCLE Egg Mass by the thousands of eggs. Instar, juvenile stage. Adults live as long as 5-8 years. Known to mate in groups of thousands to millions (Dr. Rowland Shelley's monograph "A Synopsis of the North American Centipedes”) EFFECTS ON OLD GROWTH Andy Moldenke, in his paper Denizens of the Soil, gives the example of the critical role arthopods, and in particular millipedes, play in soil enrichment quoting researcher Joe Anderson, who sterilized soils, killing the bacteria, fungi, arthropods, worms, etc. Then he added back to the soil all of the bacteria and fungi that normally lived in that soil, along with a small tree. The only thing missing were all the little arthropods. The tree didn’t grow. He added a single millipede and the nutrient content of the soil increased NINEFOLD! MANAGEMENT Yi and Moldenke evaluated the effect of four different forest management techniques, unthinned control and three thinning intensities (light, light with gaps, and heavy thin), on arthropod abundance, diversity, and community structure as an indicator of ecological processes affecting other forest fauna. Arthropod abundance and diversity was higher in heavy and light/gap

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