Invariably Resilient Life

Mother Nature’s prototypes


Human-scale thinking relative to durability and resilience does not necessarily track with environmental reality. The most invariably resilient life are some of Mother Nature’s many prototypes.

Humans and our science are caught up in intellectual inertia. Here’s a quick, but fundamental example: Today many wetland experts are operating within a belief system that is focused on a mistake. They believe that nature’s food web is initiated by plant life, specifically, by phytoplankton. In fact, in freshwater, this presumption is almost always wrong.

resilient-life around a floating island rendering with trees and plants on top and bushy roots and fish below, dragonfiles in the air

Animal life or plant life: Which comes first? What limits either one? Surface area and circulation limit microbes. Sunlight and circulation limit plant life.

Drill a hole 14,000 feet deep, under a thousand feet of water, and you may find biofilm generating microbes digesting methane. You won’t find plant life. You won’t find phytoplankton.

Which form of life is invariably most resilient?

When designing for freshwater health, it is absolutely fundamental to factor in optimization of nature’s food web. This is not overly complicated, but is absolutely fundamental to water quality. When water is circulated, it gains oxygenation. And today, given nanobubbler capability, oxygenation is dramatically more achievable, even in the phosphorus releasing benthic zones associated with nutrient impaired eutrophic water.

artist's rendering of biohaven floating island, sitting atop a floating island matrix are solar panel arrays, beneath is a nanobubbler infusing oxygen to depths of the lake
NanoHaven Floating Island represents dramatic oxygenation, even in the lower, phosphorus releasing, benthic layers of water

So if you are charged with stewardship of water, know that standard “fixes” are typically biased by inertia. And these fixes are usually wrong. It’s as simple as that.

Nature as model is what stewardship must track. How does nature fix water?

I’ve often stated that nature is the premier inventor. We call it “evolution.” She has developed countless more prototypes than we can imagine. Only the successful ones endure! Track nature. Understand it, at least peripherally. Then mimic it. This is how water will be fixed.