A Global Dung Shortage?

A study by a team of scientists, Dr. Joe Roman at the University of Vermont and Christopher Doughty an ecologist at the University of Oxford, was recently published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  These scientists  claims that, since the last Ice Age, there has been a massive decline in the capacity of animals to recycle nutrients in the ecosystem through their droppings.

They postulate that the demise of wooly mammoths and other large mammals including whales has resulted in a decline in the movement of key nutrients like phosphorus around the environment thus leaving our planet's soil infertile - with dire consequences for ecosystem health, fisheries and agriculture.

They suggest that restoration of animal populations, such as herds of bison, would help abate the dung crisis and reestablish these nutrient distribution pathways.

I don’t know what these guys were smokin’, but I believe they overlooked several key factors. 

  1. The global daily dung droppings of over 270 million dairy cows would certainly go a long way to compensate for the lack of prehistoric mammoths and whales.  And don’t forget chicken shit, pig poop and beef cow pasture plops - they also adds to the daily dose of dung.   If that’s not enough, consider the mammoth volume of bull shit emanating from our politicos in Washington D.C. and the wannabe’s on the campaign trail. 
  2. Yes, phosphorus is an essential mineral and one whose availability to plants is enhanced by passing through a herbivore.  However, most of the phosphorus used in agriculture is now mined and mechanically spread where needed. 
  3. I am curious why it took 12000 years for these effects to become evident.
  4. I wonder who paid for this research.
Wooly Mammoths

You can read more about this astounding discovery at:   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3290213/Earth-midst-DUNG-SHORTAGE-Loss-giant-animal-droppings-leaving-planet-s-soil-infertile.html#ixzz3rCVqemk2