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Ecosystem Resiliency

With the increase of the human population around the world, the demand for space and resources is at its highest. Whether for future housing, for energy, for resources, or for any other development, ecosystems are being threatened and impacted by humans. Impacts of humans can be direct or indirect, sudden or gradual. No matter the impact, we need to protect the environment and help increase the resiliency of the natural world.

The pink target is Allenholm Farms on the Champlain Islands, the green target is Centennial Woods in Burlington, and the yellow target is the Audubon Society of Vermont in Huntington.

The pink target is Allenholm Farms on the Champlain Islands, the green target is Centennial Woods in Burlington, and the yellow target is the Audubon Society of Vermont in Huntington.

Today, there are three locations in Vermont specifically being targetted for development. These sites are vital not only for their immediate community, but for their larger ecosystems and Vermont as a whole. These three locations are Allenholm Farms on the Champlain Islands, the Audubon Society of Vermont in Huntington, and Centennial Woods in Burlington.

Each of these locations offers biodiversity and ecosystem services that work together towards Vermont’s resiliency and unique environment. Through each of these diverse habitats exist a plethora of unique species and systems which create educational and research opportunities that are irreplaceable and not found elsewhere. As Sarah McKearnan discusses in her  pamphlet Resilience: A Report on the Health of Vermont’s Environment, biological diversity and ecosystem services directly work with resilience. For example, McKearnan discusses how “diversity of tree species is one key attribute that helps them recover from disturbances” (16). Linkages, a form of conserved forest connecting different habitats, also increases the biological diversity, “Linkages are critical because they facilitate wildlife migration, especially for some of our biggest mammals with large home ranges, such as moose, bears, and bobcats” (19). Increased diversity and success of ecosystem services of these species increases the resilience of ecosystems from threats, such as these sites in Vermont from climate change, invasive species, and other disturbances. In effects of this increased resiliency, it increases the potential for biological diversity and the success of the functions of ecosystem services.