Humans in the Biosphere

The Tragedy of the Commons • Areas used by everyone are no one’s responsibility • Leads to misuse. loss of resources .

Renewable Resources • Resources can regenerate (living) or • Resources that can be recycled through biogeochemical cycles • Examples – Trees – Water .

For example: – Drought – Pollution . BUT there are events that CAN make it very limited.Renewable resources are NOT necessarily UNLIMITED. • Freshwater is a renewable resource.

• Examples: – Fossil fuels .Nonrenewable Resources • Cannot be replenished by natural processes.

Is a tree population renewable or nonrenewable? • Individual trees are renewable • A population of trees may not be. . because the ecosystem they were in may change forever once the trees are gone.

Sustainable Development • Using resources without depleting them • Providing for human needs without causing long-term damage to the environment • Must take into account – Functioning of ecosystems – Human economic systems .

Sustainable Development Strategy .Example • Using insects instead pesticides to control pests .

Land Resources .Soil • Renewable or not? – Renewable if managed properly .

and roots that hold soil in place are removed .Mismanagement of Soil Resources • Soil Erosion – Wearing away of surface soil by water and wind – Results when land is plowed.

Mismanagement of Soil Resources • Desertification – Misuse of soil causes once productive areas to become deserts • • • • Dry climate Farming Overgrazing Drought .

click Options in the Message Bar.To help protect y our priv acy . To download and display this picture. PowerPoint prev ented this external picture from being automatically downloaded. Forest Resources • Ways in which forest resources are used by people – Building – Burning . and then click Enable external content.

Forest Resources • Ways in which forests provide ecological services – Forests as “lungs of the Earth” • Absorb CO2 and release O2 – – – – – Store nutrients Provide habitat and food for organisms Moderate climate Limit soil erosion Protect freshwater supplies .

the ecosystem would never return to its present state. .Are Forests Renewable Resources? • Maybe – it depends on the forest – Our temperate deciduous forests seem to come back pretty well after cutting. though not always exactly as they were – Old Growth Forests are NOT renewable • Ancient trees and ecosystems • Will not be replaced by a similar ecosystem if cut – The plants and animals dependent on the anceint trees in the system would die – Even if allowed to come back.

Old Growth Forest .


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