10 page essay on pollution

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The new ecosystem formed and the process of regeneration was observed as the organisms with enough resilience survived and repaired. B) Human-induced environmental stress * people play a role in maintaining or disturbing the dynamic equilibrium of any ecosystem. The impacts of human activity have a global dimension, operating within the context of an interdependent global environment. Global co-operation is needed to address the threats to the worlds biophysical environment. The causes of environmental degradation in todays world include: massive population growth developing world poverty and the crippling burden of debt non-sustainable agricultural practices in many countries environmentally damaging industrialisation and exploitation of natural resources, especially in poor countries struggling for export earnings. Human threats to biodiversity include: species introductions habitat destruction hunting/trade in animal products pollution * The world Conservation Unions analysis of animal extinctions since 1600 found that 39 resulted from species introductions, 36 from habitat destruction and 23 from deliberate extermination.

Most natural sources of environmental stress are more gradual and do allow species to lessay adapt. Climatic change, immigration, adaption/evolution, age ecological succession, disease, geographical isolation. Climate change was thought to be the reason behind the extinction of the dinosaur. Ecological succession involves one species gradually taking over an environment from another as circumstances within the environment change. As a climate becomes drier, drought-resistant species will gradually take over. Some of the effects of environmental stress Organism level Physiological and biological changes Psychological disorders Behavioural changes Fewer or no offspring Genetic defects in offspring Cancers Population level Population increase or decrease Change in age structure survival of different genetic strains based on stress threshold. Community-ecosystem level Disruption of energy flows -decrease or increase in solar energy uptake and heat output -Changes in trophic structure in food chains and webs Disruption of chemical cycles -depletion of essential nutrients -excessive nutrient levels Simplification -reduction in species diversity -reduction or elimination. Helens volcanic eruption 18th may 1980 at mt st Helens Washington state. A large volcanic eruption disrupts the natural order. New populations of flora and fauna were beginning to colonise the harsh environment.

10 page essay on pollution

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In contrast, human-induced changes are usually rapid and do not allow species to adapt. The ability to instigate large-scale environmental change means that people are able to push the state of dynamic equilibrium beyond its limits. This means that people have created situations where they are required to maintain a state of equilibrium by utilising twist resources found elsewhere. The use of fertilisers and pesticides to maintain an agricultural monoculture, which would collapse without them. Today, human activities destroy or seriously threaten species and destroy or degrade their habitat. Changes affecting ecosystems by cause and rate catastrophic Gradual natural sources of environmental stress Drought Climatic Change flood Immigration of new species fire Adaptation/evolution volcanic eruption Ecological succession earth quake disease landslide change in stream course disease human-induced sources of environmental stress Deforestation Irrigation- salinization. Droughts, floods, fire, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, disease, tsunamis and cyclones.

10 page essay on pollution

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It is located close to urban development and is surrounded by farms. This increases the levels of pollutants entering the system and has lead to significant weed infestation. Natural and Human-Induced Environmental Stress Ecosystems are constantly changing and evolving in response to stress-induced changes within the total environment. These changes may be brought about naturally. Drought, or may be human-induced. Natural changes usually take place more evernote slowly than human-induced changes and the biome gradually adapts as animals and plant species that have characteristics unsuited to the change die out, and those more suited to the new environment remain alive to breed and pass. Sudden natural disasters have occurred from time to time which have caused whole species to die out almost instantly because they had no time to adapt, however this is rare.

Ecosystems that have low levels of interdependence are much more vulnerable to change. Give an example of the subtle forms this interdependence can take. Interdependence can take very subtle forms. Ome flowering plants can be fertilised by only one species of insect. This insect may turn, be dependent on some other organism for part of its life cycle. Case study: Vulnerability of Minnamurra rainforest The minnamurra rainforest is a small pocket of rainforest located on the south coast of New south Wales near kiama. The extent, biodiversity and location of the rainforest all work together to make this a vulnerable ecosystem.

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10 page essay on pollution

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large herbivores typical of these regions require extensive grazing areas c) biodiversity biodiversity is usually considered at three levels: genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity. ) Genetic diversity genetic diversity is the variety of genetic information contained in all the individual plants, animals and micro-organisms genetic diversity occurs within and between populations of species as well as between species. genetic diversity favours the survival of a species, because it increases the chance that some members of the species will have characteristics that aid their survival Often a gene has costs as well as benefits a study has shown that peach potato aphids that are. The greater the species diversity the more robust the ecosystem If the population of one consumer organism crashers there are other producers available that can fulfil a similar function in the ecosystem When ecosystems are diverse, there is a range of pathways for the ecological. Interdependence, or linkages, is related to disorder species diversity the greater the level of interdependence within an ecosystem the greater its ability to absorb change the loss of a primary consumer from a food web,. S unlikely to have a major impact on secondary consumers if there is a range of alternative primary consumers on which to feed Ecosystems that have low levels of interdependence are much more vulnerable to change krill are the dominant primary consumer organism and the. Some flowering plants can be fertilised by only one species of insect Anything that jeopardises this third organism, therefore, will affect the reproductive success of the flowing plant Primary consumers have highly specific food sources, and many parasitic organisms depend on specific hosts The same.

Outline (using examples) how the level of interdependence within an ecosystem will affect its vulnerability. Interdependence, or linkages, is related to species diversity. The greater the level of interdependence within an ecosystem the greater its ability to absorb change. The loss of a primary consumer from a food web,. Is unlikely to have a major impact on secondary consumers if there is a range of alternative primary consumers on which to feed.

Any increase in nutrient levels promotes the growth of algae, which reduces the amount of sunlight available for coral growth. If high nutrient levels continue the corals become stressed, reefs contract in size and the number of coral species declines. Coral is also sensitive to changes in water temperature, and flourish between 25C to 29C. A small increase in the temperature can kill the coral polyp, leaving only the white calcium skeleton (coral bleaching). Proximity to large concentrations of people is another important contributing factor to ecosystem vulnerability; demand for land grows as populations grow.

Urban, industrial and agricultural land uses destroy natural ecosystems, while oceans, rivers and the atmosphere become dumping grounds for pollutants. B) Extent The extent (size) of any particular ecosystem is the product of a variety of factors. recent research has shown that the boundaries of ecosystems tend to overlap each other. River ecosystems extended beyond the river channel to include the whole drainage system. Thus, human activity in the drainage basin can impact on the river itself even when it occurs some distance from the channel. May increase soil erosion a study showed that stoneflies and other creatures living in shallow wells on the flood plain of the river, up to 2km away from the river, mated along the riverbanks before returning to lay their eggs in the wells. This means the floodplain and the river cannot be considered as separate systems. Ecosystems that are restricted to relatively small areas or have already been distributed extensively are especially vulnerable tropical rainforest, have relatively small populations of a large number of pecies confined to relatively small, localised communities loss of small areas of rainforest can lead to extinction.

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At a movie global scale, latitude, distance from the sea, and altitude play decisive roles in determining climate and ultimately the nature of particular ecosystems. The microclimatic features of a location can be significant enough to create a range of distinctive ecosystem types within relatively small areas. Some ecosystems are located in nvironments. We will write a custom essay sample. Notes on Ecosystems or any similar topic only for you that are extreme. Deserts, polar, hypersaline lagoons. Organisms capable of living in such conditions are highly specialised. The greater the degree of specialisation of an organism to a particular set of environmental strange conditions the more vulnerable it is to changes in those conditions. Coral * Corals are highly specialised organisms that flourish in the relatively shallow, nutrient-deficient waters of the tropics.

10 page essay on pollution

The biome gradually adapts as animals and plant species that have characteristics unsuited to the change die out and those more suited the environment remains alive to breed and pass on their characteristics to successive generations. This process is known as natural part selection. Causes of Ecosystem Vulnerability * All ecosystems have some ability to withstand stress. They tend to resist being disturbed or altered and will restore themselves to their original condition if not disturbed too dramatically. In other words, ecosystems maintain themselves within a tolerable range of conditions. A number of factors are relevant to the vulnerability of ecosystems to stress, including location, extent, biodiversity and linkages. A) Location * Where an ecosystem is will affect its functioning.

Elasticity and the rate of recovery of an ecosystem property following disturbance. It also shows the rate of amplitude and the threshold level of strain beyond. The intensity and duration of stress is important in terms of the effect it has on ecosystems. Outline how natural sources of stress can play an important role in the functioning of ecosystems. These changes could be in response to changes in the availability of water, average temperature or many other natural events. In nature, these changes usually take place very slowly.

All ecosystems are, in a sense, vulnerable, but the level of vulnerability depends on how small a change is needed in any element to upset the equilibrium. Ecosystems, are therefore, not equally at risk some are more resilient than others. Which ecosystems have greater resilience? Resilience is the ability of an ecosystem (or component of an ecosystem) to adapt to a changing environment and to restore function and structure following an episode of natural or human- induced stress. Ecosystems rich in biodiversity generally have greater resilience than those with little diversity. They are able to recover tree more readily from naturally induced stress (including drought and fire) and human- induced habitat destruction. Under what conditions does long-term degradation occur?

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Topic 1: Ecosystems at Risk. Ecosystems and Their Management. Vulnerability and Resilience of Ecosystems * Vunerability is the sensitivity of an ecosystem to shakespeare cope with stress. Resilience is the ability of an ecosystem (or a component of an ecosystem) to adapt to a changing environment and to restore function and structure following an episode of natural or human-induced stress. All ecosystems function in a state of dynamic equilibrium or a continual state of balanced change. This state of dynamic equilibrium is the product of the interrelationship of the elements in the ecosystem: the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Change occurs because the interrelationship between minerals, energy and communities varies over time. It is also the interdependence of these four elements that makes an ecosystem vulnerable. A change beyond the limits of the equilibrium, in any of these elements, means that the system as a whole cannot exist in its original state.

10 page essay on pollution
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