Environmental changes affect the distribution of species in an ecosystem. These changes include:
- Temperature - species will only be able to cope within a certain temperature range
- Availability of Water - plants and animals must have sufficient levels of water in order to survive
- Composition of Atmospheric Gases - plants and animals require specific gases in order to function
- Seasonal - some species may not survive during specific seasons due to the change in the temperature and the food available
- Human Interaction - certain species are hunted by humans
Biodiversity is the variety of all the different species of organisms on earth, or within an ecosystem.
A great biodiversity ensures the stability of ecosystems by reducing the dependence of one species on another for food, shelter and the maintenance of the physical environment.
Rapid growth in the human population and an increase in the standard of living means that increasingly more resources are used and more waste is produced. Unless waste and chemical materials are properly handled, more pollution will be caused.
Pollution can occur:
- In water, from sewage, fertiliser or toxic chemicals.
- In air, from smoke and acidic gases.
- On land, from land ll and from toxic chemicals.
Pollution kills plants and animals which can reduce biodiversity.
Humans reduce the amount of land available for other animals and plants by building, quarrying, farming and dumping waste. The destruction of peat bogs, and other areas of peat to produce garden compost, reduces the area of this habitat and thus the variety of different plant, animal and microorganism species that live there (biodiversity). The decay or burning of the peat releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Deforestation is when forests are taken down so that the land is used for something else (other than growing trees).
Large-scale deforestation in tropical areas has occurred to:
- Provide land for cattle and rice fields
- Grow crops for biofuels
However, this reduces biodiversity as lots of plants and animals survive in the forests as they become extinct. It also removes the potential of medication to be obtained, as lots of medicines are found in a range of plants. It also ruins the habitats in which animals would normally survive in. It also deeply affects the soil in the area. Deforestation also leads to an increase in carbon dioxide levels, which then leads to global warming.
Human activity is speed up the rate of global warming. The temperature of our earth is changing rapidly in the recent few decades due to the increase in carbon dioxide and methane levels in our atmosphere.
As humans burn more fossil fuels, more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. As we chop down more trees during deforestation to use the land for our own good, it increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as there are less trees to photosynthesize.
Gases such as carbon dioxide form a layer around the Earth’s atmosphere. This layer normally allows heat from the sun to enter, and it stays within the atmosphere. We need the sunlight in order to survive as heat is extremely important for survival. However, the temperature is rising more and more as the layer around the Earth is getting thicker, meaning that more heat is being trapped.
The way that humans interact within the ecosystem can have both a positive and negative impact on biodiversity. Biodiversity is when there is a variety of living organisms living in a specific habitat.
- What is global warming?
- Your answer should include: Temperature / Earth / Changing / Rapidly / Recent / Decades
Explanation: The temperature of our earth is changing rapidly in the recent few decades due to the increase in carbon dioxide and methane levels in our atmosphere.
- What is biodiversity?
- Your answer should include: Variety / All / Different / Species / Organisms / Earth / Ecosystem
Explanation: Biodiversity is the variety of all the different species of organisms on earth, or within an ecosystem.
- What is the advantage of introducing non-indigenous species?
- Your answer should include: Kill / Pests / More / Products / Produced / Ruined
Explanation: It can kill off pests so that more products can be produced without being ruined.