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Browsing by Subject "reproduction"

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  • Frangén, Linnea (2022)
    Climate change is increasingly influencing young people’s reproductive decisions, and more and more people are hesitant to have children due to climate change and climate anxiety. In contrast, the hegemonic reproduction discourse in the West, pronatalism, portrays having children as universally desirable and fulfilling and stigmatises childfreedom. Consequently, childfreedom is inherently situated in resistance to pronatalism and it is examined here as a counter-discourse. This study aims to contribute to research about the interconnection of reproduction and the climate crisis from a critical discourse analytic perspective, as linguistically oriented studies are currently lacking in what is already an under-researched field. This study examines how a childfree subreddit is challenging the hegemonic pronatalist reproductive discourses from the perspective of the climate crisis and environmentalism. The question is answered by examining (1) the main themes in the discourse and (2) the linguistic resources that are utilised. The material is collected from a subreddit r/childfree, a discursive space where pronatalist ideology is contested and consists of 11 threads where the interconnection of reproduction and climate change are discussed. An online environment was chosen because they can enable solidarity, offer respite from hegemonic ideologies and discourses, legitimize and normalize alternative discourses and even formulate strategies of resistance. I conducted a critical discourse analytic study using content analysis as a method. Critical discourse analysis was chosen because it enables one to examine how discourse structures reproduce or challenge relations of power. Content analysis, on the other hand, is a systematic and transparent way to classify text into categories. The results not only showed that the people who post on the subreddit use the climate crisis strategically and deliberately to counter pronatalism, but also that they deploy linguistic resources creatively and playfully in the interests of their own ideologies. The posts demonstrate awareness of pronatalist discourse and behaviour, which are often collectively analysed. Interestingly, both childfree and pronatalist discourses use climate change rhetoric to accommodate to the changing cultural context, and the constant negotiation between the discourses is evident in the data. On the one hand, climate change is used to create a reflective, selfless, and morally superior childfree subject. On the other hand, it is employed to portray all “breeders” not only as irresponsible, selfish, hypocritical, susceptible to external pressure, but also as in denial of climate change. “Breeders’” naivety and denial are contrasted with the seriousness of the climate crisis. Although children are mainly portrayed in a negative light, some posts use child-centred rhetoric to justify why having children is immoral in the age of climate change, thus challenging pronatalism. Regardless of how the topic is framed, the different categories identified in this study all work to deconstruct the parenthood mandate.
  • Lakka, Hanna-Kaisa (2013)
    Lepidurus arcticus (Pallas, 1793) is a keystone species in High Arctic ponds, which are exposed to a wide range of environmental stressors. This thesis provides information on the ecology of this little studied species by paying particular focus on the sensitivity of L. arcticus to acidification and climate change. Respiration, reproduction, olfaction, morphology, salinity and pH tolerance of the species were studied in the laboratory and several environmental parameters were measured in its natural habitats in Arctic ponds. Current global circulation models predict 2–2.4 °C increase in summer temperatures on Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway. The L. arcticus respiration activity was tested at different temperatures (3.5, 10, 16.5, 20, 25 and 30 °C). The results show that L. arcticus is clearly adapted to live in cold water and have a temperature optimum at +10 °C. This species should be considered as stenothermal, because it seems to be able to live only within a narrow temperature range. L. arcticus populations seem to have the capacity to respond to the ongoing climate change on Spitsbergen. Changes can be seen in the species' reproductive capacity and in the individuals' body size when comparing results with previous studies on Spitsbergen and in other Arctic areas. Effective reproduction capacity was a unique feature of the L. arcticus populations on Spitsbergen. L. arcticus females reached sexual maturity at a smaller body size and sexual dimorphism appeared in smaller animals on Spitsbergen than anywhere else in the subarctic or Arctic regions. L. arcticus females were able to carry more eggs (up to 12 eggs per female) than has been observed in previous studies. Another interesting feature of L. arcticus on Spitsbergen was their potential to grow large, up to 39.4 mm in total length. Also cannibalistic behaviour seemed to be common on Spitsbergen L. arcticus populations. The existence of different colour morphs and the population-level differences in morphology of L. arcticus were unknown, but fascinating characteristic of this species. Spitsbergen populations consisted of two major (i.e. monochrome and marbled) and several combined colour morphs. Third interesting finding was a new disease for science which activated when the water temperature rose. I named this disease to Red Carapace Disease (RCD). This High Arctic crustacean lives in ponds between the Arctic Ocean and glaciers, where the marine environment has a strong impact on the terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. The tolerance of L. arcticius to increased water salinity was determined by a LC50 -test. No mortality occurred during the 23 day exposure at low 1–2 ‰ water salinity. A slight increase in water salinity (to 1 ‰) speeded up the L. arcticus shell replacement. The observations from natural populations supported the hypothesis that the size of the animals increases considerably in low 1.5 ‰ salt concentrations. Thus, a small increase in water salinity seems to have a positive impact on the growth of this short-lived species. Acidification has been a big problem for many crustaceans, invertebrates and fishes for several decades. L. arcricus does not make an exception. Strong acid stress in pH 4 caused a high mortality of mature L. arcticus females. The critical lower limit of pH was 6.1 for the survival of this acid sensitive species. Thus, L. arcticus populations are probably in danger of extinction due to acidification of three ponds on Spitsbergen. A slight drop (0.1–1.0) in pH values can wipe out these L. arcticus populations. The survival of L. arcticus was strongly related to: (1) the water pH, (2) total organic carbon (TOC) and pH interaction, (3) the water temperature and (4) the water salinity. Water pH and TOC values should be monitored in these ponds and the input of acidifying substances in ponds should be prevented.