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The world is losing species and biodiversity at an unprecedented rate and its causes go deep and the losses are driven by a complex range of social, economic, political and biological factors at different levels. Some of the direct causes are as follows. H Habitat destruction I Invasive Species P Pollution P Population O Over-Grazing Habitat destruction is the process in which natural habitat is made functionally unable to support the species present. In this process, the organisms which previously used the site are displaced or destroyed, reducing biodiversity. Habitat destruction by human activity is mainly for the purpose of harvesting natural resources for industry production and urbanization. Clearing habitats for agriculture is the principal cause of habitat destruction. Other important causes of habitat destruction include mining, logging, trawling and urban sprawl. Habitat destruction is currently ranked as the most important cause of species extinction worldwide. It is a process of natural environmental change that may be caused by habitat fragmentation, geological processes, climate change or by human activities such as the introduction of invasive species, Etc. Impacts of Habitat Destruction on Organisms In the simplest terms, when a habitat is destroyed, the plants, animals, and other organisms that occupied the habitat have a reduced carrying capacity so that populations decline and extinction becomes more likely. Perhaps the greatest threat to organisms and biodiversity is the process of habitat loss. Temple (1986) found that 82% of endangered bird species were significantly threatened by habitat loss. Endemic organisms that obtain limited ranges are most affected by habitat destruction, mainly because these organisms are not found anywhere else within the world and thus, have less chance of recovering( EXAMPLE HERE ). This is also contributed by that many endemic organisms that obtain very specific requirements for their survival that perhaps can only be found within a
certain ecosystem, resulting in their extinction. Habitat destruction can also decrease the range of certain organism populations. Biodiversity hotspots are chiefly tropical regions that feature high concentrations of endemic species and, when all hotspots are combined, may contain over half of the world¶s terrestrial species. These hotspots are suffering from habitat loss and destruction. Most of the natural habitat on islands and in areas of high human population density has already been destroyed. Islands suffering extreme habitat destruction include New Zealand, Madagascar, the Philippines, and Japan. South and east Asia especially China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Japan²and many areas in West Africa have extremely dense human populations that allow little room for natural habitat. Marine areas close to highly populated coastal cities also face degradation of their coral reefs or other marine habitat. These areas include the eastern coasts of Asia and Africa, northern coasts of South America, and the Caribbean Sea and its associated islands. Regions of unsustainable agriculture or unstable governments, which may go handin-hand, typically experience high rates of habitat destruction. Central America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Amazonian tropical rainforest areas of South America are the main regions with unsustainable agricultural practices or government mismanagement. Areas of high agricultural output tend to have the highest extent of habitat destruction. In the U.S., less than 25% of native vegetation remains in many parts of the East and Midwest. Only 15% of land area remains unmodified by human activities in all of Europe. Effect of Habitat Destruction on Ecosystems Tropical rainforests have received most of the attention concerning the destruction of habitat. From the approximately 16 million square kilometers of tropical rainforest habitat that originally existed worldwide, less than 9 million square kilometers remain today. The current rate of deforestationis 160,000 square kilometers per year, which equates to a loss of approximately 1% of original forest habitat each year. Other forest ecosystems have suffered as much or more destruction as tropical rainforests. Farming and logging have severely disturbed at least 94% of temperate broadleaf forests; many old growth forest stands have lost more than 98% of their previous area because of human activities.Tropical deciduous dry forests are easier to clear and burn and are more suitable for agriculture and cattle ranching than tropical rainforests; consequently, less than 0.1% of dry forests in
Central America's Pacific Coast and less than 8% in Madagascar remain from their original extents. Farmers near newly cleared land within Taman Nasional Kerinci Seblat (Kerinci Seblat National Park), Sumatra. Plains and desert areas have been degraded to a lesser extent. Only 10-20% of the world's drylands, which include temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, scrub and deciduous forests, have been somewhat degraded. But included in that 10-20% of land is the approximately 9 million square kilometers of seasonally dry-lands that humans have converted to deserts through the process of desertification. The tallgrass prairies of North America, on the other hand, have less than 3% of natural habitat remaining that has not been converted to farmland. Wetlands and marine areas have endured high levels of habitat destruction. More than 50% of wetlands in the U.S. have been destroyed in just the last 200 years. Between 60% and 70% of European wetlands have been completely destroyed. About one-fifth (20%) of marine coastal areas have been highly modified by humans. One-fifth of coral reefs have also been destroyed, and another fifth has been severely degraded by overfishing, pollution, and invasive species; 90% of the Philippines¶ coral reefs alone have been destroyed. Finally, over 35% mangrove ecosystems worldwide have been destroyed.
Natural Causes Habitat destruction through natural processes such as volcanism, fire, and climate change is well documented in the fossil record. One study shows that habitat fragmentation of tropical rainforests in Euramerica 300 million years ago led to a great loss of amphibian diversity, but simultaneously the drier climate spurred on a burst of diversity among reptiles. It should be noted that these changes took place gradually over million of years, not quickly like the destruction of tropical rainforests today. Human Causes
Deforestation and roads in Amazonia, theAmazon Rainforest.
Habitat destruction caused by humans includes conversion of land to agriculture.infrastructure development. sociopolitical. forest conversion to agriculture is the main land use change responsible for tropicaldeforestation. deforestation. and other anthropogenic changes to the characteristics of land. Geist and Lambin (2002) assessed 152 case studies of net losses of tropical forest cover to determine any patterns in the proximate and underlying causes of tropical deforestation. This may explain why human population density accounts for 87. Demographic drivers include the expanding human population. family planning. and cultural drivers all contribute to habitat destruction. The proximate causes were clustered into broad categories of agricultural expansion (96%). and wood extraction (67%). yet result in habitat collapse. The forces that cause humans to destroy habitat are known as drivers of habitat destruction. permanent cultivation (48%). ecosystem type. urban sprawl. fragmentation. infrastructure expansion (72%). and country. coral reefs). Most of the exponential human population growth worldwide is occurring in or close to biodiversity hotspots. and the combined effects of poverty. commercial wood extraction (52%). scientific and technological. cattle ranching (46%). providing indisputable evidence that people play the largest role in decreasing biodiversity. Therefore. while transport extension (including the construction of new roads) is the largest single proximate factor responsible for deforestation. The specific categories reveal further insight into the specific causes of tropical deforestation: transport extension (64%). Habitat degradation. and pollution are aspects of habitat destruction caused by humans that do not necessarily involve overt destruction of habitat. gender.Demographic. and education status of people in certain areas. and coral reef degradation are specific types of habitat destruction for those areas (deserts.9% of the variation in numbers of threatened species across 114 countries. Drivers While the above-mentioned activities are the proximal or direct causes of habitat destruction in that they actually destroy habitat. One result is that shifting cultivation is not the primary cause of deforestation in all world regions. provide a quantitative prioritization of which proximate and underlying causes were the most significant. The boom in human population and migration of people . yielded as percentages of the case studies in which each parameter was a significant factor. forests. age.subsistence agriculture (40%). this still does not identify why humans destroy habitat. spatial distribution of people in a given area (urban versus rural).Desertification. and fuel wood extraction for domestic use (28%). economic. Their results. according to this study. rate of population increase over time. shifting (slash and burn) cultivation (41%).
most of whom lack an education and family planning. and demographic factors (61%). Road construction has the largest feedback effect. When these industries become commercialized. low domestic costs for land. Impact on human population . and subsidies for land-based activities (26%). or mismanagement (42%). missing basic values (36%). and timber (32%). in turn. public unconcern toward forest environments (43%). and increases in product prices mainly for cash crops (25%). which causes a growth in wood (logging) and food markets. and policy failures such as corruption. which leads to wasteful logging practices. more land is cleared more rapidly for commercial markets. labor. technological factors (70%). they must become more efficient by utilizing larger or more modern machinery that often are worse on the habitat than traditional farming and logging methods. The main technological factor was the poor application of technology in the wood industry (45%). Within the broad category of cultural and sociopolitical factors are public attitudes and values (63%). fuel. urban industrial growth (38%).into such species-rich regions are makingconservation efforts not only more urgent but also more likely to conflict with local human interests. There are also feedbacks and interactions among the proximate and underlying causes of deforestation that can amplify the process. the underlying driving forces were prioritized as follows (with the percent of the 152 cases the factor played a significant role in): economic factors (81%). The main economic factors included commercialization and growth of timber markets (68%). property rights and land-tenure insecurity (44%). lawlessness. cultural or socio-political factors (66%). Institutional and policy factors included formal pro-deforestation policies on land development (40%). which are driven by national and international demands. institutional or policy factors (78%). This common feedback example manifests just how closely related the proximate and underlying causes are to each other. From the Geist and Lambin (2002) study described in the previous section. The high local population density in such areas is directly correlated to the poverty status of the local people. Demographic factors were the in-migration of colonizing settlers into sparsely populated forest areas (38%) and growing population density²a result of the first factor²in those areas (25%). Either way. Growth in these markets. economic growth including colonization and infrastructure improvement (34%). individual/household behavior (53%). progresses the commercialization of agriculture and logging industries. and unconcern by individuals (32%). because it interacts with²and leads to²the establishment of new settlements and more people.
When biodiversity is lost. the destruction of habitat surrounding agricultural land has degraded approximately 40% of agricultural land worldwide via erosion. plant transpiration recycles rainwater and maintains constant annual rainfall. Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Other ecosystem services that are diminished or lost altogether as a result of habitat destruction include watershed management. a healthy ecosystem with good management practices will reduce the chance of these events happening. On the other hand. spread of disease. The loss of trees from the tropical rainforests alone represents a substantial diminishing of the earth¶s ability to produce oxygen and use up carbon dioxide. The environment and all its . phosphorus. andecotourism usually rely upon virtually undisturbed habitat. Over the past 50 years. Probably the most profound impact that habitat destruction has on people is the loss of many valuable ecosystem services. sulfur. but the indirect effects of losing many species as well as the diversity of ecosystems in general are enormous. Aesthetic uses such as birdwatching.pollination. Many people value the complexity of the natural world and are disturbed by the loss of natural habitats and animal or plant species worldwide. andcarbon cycles..pollution. Agricultural land can actually suffer from the destruction of the surrounding landscape. on a global scale. plants (especially trees from tropical rainforests) from around the world counter the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by sequestering carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. oxygen production. Habitat destruction has altered nitrogen. The loss of biodiversity may not directly affect humans. which has increased the frequency and severity of acid rain. recreational uses like hunting and fishing. on a regional scale. nutrient depletion. nitrogen fixation. and nutrient recycling of sewage or agricultural runoff. and water contamination. crop failure. compaction. One ecosystem service whose significance is becoming more realized is climate regulation. On a local scale. salinization. algal blooms.e. and urbanization. the breaking down and immobilization of toxic pollutants). waste treatment (i. and fish kills in rivers and oceans and contributed tremendously to global climate change. the environment loses many species that provide valuable and unique roles to the ecosystem. Habitat destruction vastly increases an area's vulnerability to natural disasters like flood and drought. or will at least mitigate adverse impacts.The draining and development of coastal wetlands that previously protected the Gulf Coast contributed to severe flooding in New Orleans. Humans also lose direct uses of natural habitat when habitat is destroyed. trees provide windbreaks and shade. These services are becoming even more important as increasing carbon dioxide levels is one of the main contributors to global climate change.
Species will be pushed out of their habitat either directly by habitat destruction or indirectly by fragmentation. timber. Any efforts to protect the world¶s remaining natural habitat and biodiversity will compete directly with humans¶ growing demand for natural resources. ecotourism. but the value of the same land may be much larger when it can supply natural resources or services such as clean water. agricultural output will need to increase by at least 50%. Agricultural intensification will become widespread at the cost of the environment and its inhabitants. Others will seek out new land or will convert other land-uses to agriculture. so they will use more fertilizers and less concern for the environment to meet the market demand. flood. The negative effects of habitat destruction usually impact rural populations more directly than urban populations. When too much biodiversity is lost. Outlook The rapid expansion of the global human population is increasing the world¶s food requirement substantially. or flood regulation and drought control. In the past. Across the globe. pharmaceutical drugs to cure existing or future diseases or cancer. and bacteria. The impending global food crisis will be a major source of habitat destruction. or pollution. . as the world¶s population increases dramatically. and humans would obviously suffer from that. as more than 98% of all land suitable for agriculture is already in use or degraded beyond repair. Commercial farmers are going to become desperate to produce more food from the same amount of land. That easy fix will no longer be available. In fact. what are people losing out on by taking away a given habitat? A country may increase its food supply by converting forest land to row-crop agriculture. In other words. or volcanic eruption could cause an ecosystem to crash. yet wealthier people and countries simply have to pay more to continue to receive more than their per capita share of natural resources. viruses. poor people suffer the most when natural habitat is destroyed.inhabitants rely on biodiversity to recover from extreme environmental conditions. especially new agricultural lands. however. over the next 30 years. a catastrophic event such as an earthquake. Loss of biodiversity also means that humans are losing animals that could have served as biological control agents and plants that could potentially provide higher-yielding crop varieties. degradation. Another way to view the negative effects of habitat destruction is to look at the opportunity cost of keeping an area undisturbed. continually moving to new land and soils provided a boost in food production to appease the global food demand. Simple logic instructs that more people will require more food. and new resistant crop varieties for agricultural species susceptible to pesticide-resistant insects or virulent strains of fungi. because less natural habitat means less natural resources per capita.
along with many other results about tropical deforestation from the Geist and Lambin study. Protecting remaining intact sections of natural habitat. national. Before any local. rather than merely regulating the proximate causes. . Preserving habitat corridors to minimize prior damage from fragmented habitats. habitat loss from human development is a major reason for the loss of green turtle nesting beaches. and international scale need to emphasize the following: Considering the many irreplaceable ecosystem services provided by natural habitats. national. governmental bodies at a local. can easily be applied to habitat destruction in general. governmental leaders must acquire a detailed understanding of the complex combination of proximate causes and underlying driving forces of deforestation in a given area or country. Although the endangered species is protected. three to four underlying causes are driving two to three proximate causes. Governmental leaders need to take action by addressing the underlying driving forces. Educating the public about the importance of natural habitat and biodiversity. In most cases of tropical deforestation. Finding ways to increase agricultural output than simply increasing the total land in production. or international deforestation policies are written and enforced. This means that a universal policy for controlling tropical deforestation would not be able to address the unique combination of proximate and underlying causes of deforestation in each country. Developing family planning programs in areas of rapid population growth.Solutions Chelonia mydas on a Hawaiian coral reef. In a broader sense. This concept.
The first definition. considered to be . in restoration parlance. hunting "Invasive species". botanists. Pollution effects all forms of life that occupy land. horticulturalists. Population Pressure is due to the increase in human population which compete with other species for resources. threatenbiological diversity. This results in habitat destruction because humans need land to expand and relieve population pressure. water and air. It has been used in this sense by government organizations as well as conservation groups such as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the California Native Plant Society. whaling for commercial use. and/or wildland-urban interface land from loss of natural controls (i.Deer are an example. conservationists. The kudzu vine (Pueraria lobata). TheEuropean Union defines "Invasive Alien Species" as those that are. burning fossil fuel Overexploitation of Wildlife is when humans take advantage of the resources without consideration of consequences. wilderness areas. firstly. and secondly. This includes non-native invasive plant species labeled as exotic pest plants andinvasive exotics. It is also used by land managers. with the non-native ones. Andean Pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata). Examples: excessive logging that leads to deforestation. and yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) are examples. applies to non-indigenous species. environmentally. plants or animals that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions they invade economically. particular habitats. Examples: oil spill. is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna. and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats. or "nonnative".Invasive Species Invasive Species is when non indigenious species compete with current species for resources and limit the growing capacity of current speices. researchers.: predators or herbivores). outside their natural distribution area. nuclear wastes. and/or ecologically.e.: predators or herbivores). The second definition includes the first. or invasive exotics. with several definitions. the most used. Pollution results from human activities and their inability to clean up the mess they created. but broadens the boundaries to include indigenous or native species. that disrupt by a dominant colonization of a particular habitat or wildlands area from loss of natural controls (i. They disrupt by dominating a region. growing in native plant communities.e. and the public fornoxious weeds.
Common invasive species traits include: The ability to reproduce both asexually and sexually Fast growth Rapid reproduction High dispersal ability Phenotypic plasticity (the ability to alter one¶s growth form to suit current conditions) Tolerance of a wide range of environmental conditions (generalist) Ability to live off of a wide range of food types (generalist) Association with humans Other successful invasions Typically an introduced species must survive at low population densities before it becomes invasive in a new location. A nonadverse example is the common goldfish (Carassius auratus). it can be difficult for the introduced species to reproduce and maintain itself in a new location. involving a number of traits and interactions. The third definition identifies invasive species as a widespread nonindigenous species. Species-based mechanisms Species-based characteristics focus on competition. invasive species appear to have specific traits or combinations of specific traits that allow them to outcompete native species. as well indicating that invasiveness involves complex interaction not easily categorized. biotic and animals do not become invasive. At low population densities. It is most likely a combination of several mechanisms that cause an invasive situation to occur. since most introduced plants.overpopulating their native zones and adjacent suburban gardens. Because of the variability of its definition. so a . it is rarely in harmful densities to a native habitat. including species-based mechanisms and ecosystem-based mechanisms. 86% of the invasive species could be identified from the traits alone. the phrase invasive species is often criticized as an imprecise term for the scientific field of ecology Conditions that lead to invasion Scientists propose several mechanisms to explain invasive species. Studies seem to indicate certain traits mark a species as potentially invasive. other times it is more complex. Sometimes they just have the ability to grow and reproduce more rapidly than native species. and that many of these invasive traits were found in noninvasive species. While all species compete to survive. as not every nonindigenous or "introduced" species has an adverse effect on a nonindigenous environment. by some in the Northeasternand Pacific Coast regions of the United States. Another study found invasive species tended only to have a small subset of the invasive traits. One study found that of a list of invasive and noninvasive species. This one can be too broad. though common outside its native range globally.
such as nutrients. a high Mg/Ca ratio. crowding out native species that have not adapted well to growing on serpentine soils. Repeated patterns of human movement from one location to another. or at least inhibitory. such as ships sailing to and from ports or cars driving up and down highways.species might be transported to a location a number of times before it becomes established. Israel An invasive species might be able to use resources previously unavailable to native species. and gradually the superior competitive ability of an invasive species becomes apparent as its population grows larger and denser and it adapts to its new location. Plant populations on these soils tend to show low density. barbed goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis) was introduced to California on serpentine soils. In allelopathy. light. For example. One such facilitative mechanism is allelopathy. also known as chemical competition or interference competition. physical space. Moshav Sdei Hemed. and possible heavy metal toxicity. but goatgrass can form dense stands on these soils. Lantana growing in abandoned citrus plantation. such as deep water sources accessed by a long taproot. Invasive species often coexist with native species for an extended time. or an ability to live on previously uninhabited soil types. water or food. allow for species to have multiple opportunities for establishment (also known as a high propagule pressure). the new environment may allow them to proliferate quickly. allowing the species to thrive. These Eastern European noxious . If these species evolved under great competition or predation. to competing species. Ecosystems in which all available resources are being used to their fullest capacity by native species can be modeled as zerosum systems. An introduced species might become invasive if it can outcompete native species for resources. which have low water-retention. a plant will secrete chemicals which make the surrounding soil uninhabitable. Facilitation is the mechanism by which some species can alter their environment using chemicals or manipulating abiotic factors. such unilateral competitive superiority (and extinction of native species with increased populations of the invader) is not the rule. where any gain for the invader is a loss for the native. However. while making the environment less favorable to other species with which it competes. Examples of this in Centaurea are Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) and Centaurea diffusa (diffuse knapweed). low nutrient levels.
a chemical produced at the root of C. normal succession would favor certain native grasses and forbs. providing crevices in which invertebrates live.weeds have spread their way through the western and West Coast states. it has altered the local fire regimen so much that native plants cannot survive the frequent fires. together with the nutrition provided by the waste products of mussel filter-feeding. diffusa. When changes occur in an ecosystem. diffusa and C. tectorum to further extend and maintain dominance in its introduced range. increases the density and diversity of benthic invertebrate communities.zebra mussels increase habitat complexity on lake floors. and demonstrates the potential for novel weapons to aid in invasiveness. is highly fire-adapted. while others are highly specialized. This has an impact on the ecosystem and changes its composition of organisms and their use of available resources. solstitialis do not appear in their native habitats to be overwhelmingly successful competitors. and they also can create niches that did not exist. equilibrium exists in the use of available resources. Some invading species are able to fill niches that are not used by native species. originally from Eurasia. These mechanisms describe a situation in which the ecosystem has suffered a disturbance which changes the fundamental nature of the ecosystem. Experiments show that 8-hydroxyquinoline. With the introduction of a species that can multiply and spread faster than the native species. In stable ecosystems. Nitrogen and phosphorus are often the limiting factors in these situations. Ecosystem-based mechanisms In ecosystems. Bromus tectorum. some species fill large and varied roles. allowing B. Such co-evolved native plants have also evolved defenses. Facilitation also occurs when one species physically modifies a habitat and that modification is advantageous to other species. This shows how difficult it can be to predict if a species will be invasive just from evaluating its behavior in its native habitat. Changes in fire regimens are another form of facilitation. like forest fires in an area. In areas where it is widespread. It not only spreads rapidly after burning. but also increases the frequency and intensity (heat) of fires. diffusa. the balance is changed and the resources that would have been used by the native species are now used by an invader. For example. These roles are known as niches. . and C. This increase in complexity. by providing large amounts of dry detritus during the dry fire season in western North America. the amount of available resources and the extent to which those resources are used by organisms determines the effects of additional species on the ecosystem. Every species has a role to play in its native ecosystem. has a negative effect only on plants that have not co-evolved with C.
under the influence of natural events. Ecology Monterey cypress Although an invasive species is often defined as an introduced species that has spread widely and causes harm. Whether noticed increases in population numbers and expanding geographical ranges is sufficient reason to regard a native species as "invasive" requires a broad definition of the term. This anthropogenic alteration of an environment may enable the expansion of a species into a geographical area where it had not been seen before. as it refers to some natural geographic range of a species. Human alterations of the natural landscape are especially significant. Traits of invaded ecosystems . because they now can use greater available resources that did not exist before. and thus that species could be described as invasive. naturally occurring only in two small stands in California. and in that sense become invasive. such as long-term rainfall changes or human modifications to the habitat. In essence. some species native to a particular area can. All species go through changes in population numbers. but some native species in disrupted ecosystems can spread widely and cause harm. They are being exterminated as exotic invasive species less than 50 miles (80 km) from their native home.When changes occur to ecosystems. and is not coincident with human political boundaries. For example. the Monterey cypress is an endangered endemic. This can cause once rare species to replace other species. in many cases accompanied by expansion or contraction of range. The changes can favor the expansion of a species that would not have been able to colonize areas and niches that did not exist before. conditions change that impact the dynamics of species interaction and niche development. increase in numbers and become invasive. one must define "native" with care. an example would be the edge effect.
while large-scale studies tend to show a positive relationship. but heavily invaded ecosystems and have argued ecosystems with high species diversity seem to be more susceptible to invasion. a chance to establish themselves with less competition from more adapted species. or because their distance from colonizing species populations makes them more likely to have ³open´ niches. including many biogenic ones. Elton argued ecosystems with higher species diversity were less subject to invasive species because of fewer available niches. This debate seems largely to hinge on the spatial scale at which invasion studies are performed.In 1958. Vectors Non-native species have many vectors. Charles S. Since then. This disturbance may give invasive species. but the rate and magnitude of human-mediated extensions in these species tend to be much larger than natural . invaded ecosystems may lack the natural competitors and predators that keep introduced species in check in their native ecosystems. invaded ecosystems have often experienced disturbance. other ecologists have pointed to highly diverse. a point that is also seen in the Guam example. Small-scale studies tend to show a negative relationship between diversity and invasion. Natural range extensions are common in many species. The brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) Invasion is more likely if an ecosystem is similar to the one in which the potential invader evolved. Island ecosystems may be prone to invasion because their species are ³naïve´ and have faced few strong competitors and predators throughout their existence. but most species considered "invasive" are associated with human activity. which are not otherwise co-evolved with the ecosystem. usually human-induced. The latter result may be an artifact of invasive or non-native species capitalizing on increased resource availability and weaker overall species interactions that are more common when larger samples are considered. and the issue of how diversity affects community susceptibility to invasion remains unresolved. An example of this phenomenon is the decimation of the native bird populations on Guam by the invasive brown tree snake. Lastly. Alternately.
Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) One of the earliest human-influenced introductions involved prehistoric humans introducing thePacific rat (Rattus exulans) to Polynesia. Impacts of wildfire .S.S. agriculture.extensions. U. and the distances species can travel to colonize are also often much greater with human agency. they could pose a threat to native ecosystems. Caspian and Azov seas. and king stag beetle. The arrival of invasive propagules to a new site is a function of the site's invasibility. In 2008. non-native species come from horticulturalplants either in the form of the plants themselves or animals and seeds carried with them. Species have also been introduced intentionally. The invasive freshwater zebra mussels. the box contained more than two dozen live beetles. Because these beetles are not native to the U. Today. To prevent exotic species from becoming a problem in the U. postal workers in Pennsylvania noticed noises coming from inside a box from Taiwan. Programs such as Smuggling Interdiction and Trade Compliance (SITC) have also been set up by the USDAin an effort to prevent exotic species outbreaks in America. special handling and permits are needed when insects and other living materials are shipped from foreign countries..S. to feel more "at home". Economics play a major role in exotic species introduction. For example.. For example. The ARS entomologists identified them as rhinoceros beetle. hercules beetle. U. were probably transported to the Great Lakes via ballast water from a transoceanic vessel. Customs and Border Protection sent the beetles to the Agricultural Research Service(ARS) to be expertly identified. and from animals and plants released through the pet trade. The scarcity and demand for the valuable Chinese mitten crab is one explanation for the possible intentional release of the species in foreign waters. Invasive species also come from organisms stowed away on every type of transport vehicle. native to the Black.S. and the environment. American colonists formed "Acclimation Societies" that repeatedly released birds that were native to Europe until they finally established along the east coast of North America. ballast water taken up at sea and released in port is a major source of exotic marine life.
can accelerate 'invasive exotic' plants spreading. A species of wetland plant known as ae ae in Hawai i (the indigenous Bacopa monnieri) is regarded as a pest species in artificially manipulated water bird refuges because it quickly covers shallow mudflats established for endangered Hawaiian stilt (Himantopus mexicanus knudseni). Many invasive plant species have the ability to regenerate from their roots. In response. The crews can unwittingly be the bearers of invasive seeds. and it is required that vehicles be "decontaminated" prior to engaging in suppression activities. Impact of wildfire suppression on spreading Wildfires often occur in remote areas. Should any of these stowaway seeds become established along the way. In the resulting ecological free-for-all. Disturbed habitats are prone to invasions that can have adverse effects on local ecosystems. The undercarriage of the vehicle becomes a prime vessel of transport. In addition when suppressing large wild fires. and often completely shade out any native vegetation. on large fires. Impact Ecological impacts Land clearing and human habitation put significant pressure on local species. Fire suppression vehicles are often the major culprits of such outbreaks. foot trails) to colonize an area. Large wildfires are capable of sterilizing soils and removing any trace of life from their path. destroying the native cover and exposing open soil. at which point controlling the outbreak will require years of continued attention to prevent further spread. the disturbance of the soil surface. roads. and quickly become established. This means if a low intensity fire burns through an area and removes surface vegetation. vehicle washing stations are set up. the vegetation clearance and brush removal ordinances of municipalities for defensible space can result in excessive clearcutting of native shrubs and perennials that exposes the soil to more light and less competition for invasive plant species. invasive species can easily dominate native plants. changing ecosystem functions. a new thriving concentration of invasive weeds can be present in as few as six weeks.Invasive species often exploit disturbances to an ecosystem (wildfires. such as firebreaks for fire prevention. In suburban and wildland-urban interface areas. making these undesirable feeding areas for the birds. Also. personnel from around the country are often used. further increasing the potential for transport of seeds across the country. while adding a variety of nutrients to the soil. requiring fire suppression crews to travel through pristine forest to reach the site. thus showing the importance of "cleaning stations". while a well-established invasive species with intact roots can regrow as soon as the ecosystem recovers from the fire. as the vehicles are frequently driven on back roads often overgrown with invasive plant species. native species will have to rely on seeds for propagation. .
). thus driving the native species to extinction. hybridization with introduced cordgrass. These phenomena can be especially detrimental for rare species coming into contact with more abundant ones where the abundant ones can interbreed with them. For example. Spartina alterniflora. For example. creating hybrids and swamping the entire rarer gene pool. Examples of these species are giraffe. Invasive species can change the functions of ecosystems. Genetic pollution Main article: Genetic pollution Natural. It had been found in small quantities in the harbor but had never displaced the native clam species (Nutricola spp. The gem clam was introduced into California's Bodega Harbor from the East Coast of the United States a century ago. Genetic pollution can bring about a form of extinction either through purposeful introduction or through habitat modification. nutrient cycling (smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora). resulting in a massive reduction in forage for native bovids and other grazers. invasive plants can alter the fire regimen (cheatgrass. cattle grazing over the past six centuries has allowed invasive scrub and small trees to displace much of the original grassland. threatens the existence of California cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) in San Francisco Bay. large scale efforts have been underway to reduce invasive species. Bromus tectorum). partial success has led to re-establishment of many species that had dwindled or left the region. impala. the introduction of the European green crab. it is not always apparent from morphological observations alone. Harmful effects of hybridization have led to a decline and even extinction of native species. bringing previously isolated species into contact. Since the 1970s.Multiple successive introductions of different non-native species can have interactive effects. and all constellations of genes and . Genetic pollution is uncontrolledhybridization and introgression. kudu and white rhino. the introduction of a second non-native species can enable the first invasive species to flourish. In the mid 1990s. and hydrology (Tamarix) in native ecosystems. wild species can be threatened with extinction through the process of genetic pollution. Attention has to be focused on the extent of this problem. found to prey preferentially on the native clams. In the Waterberg region of South Africa. evolutionarily constructive process. Invasive species that are closely related to rare native species have the potential to hybridize with the native species. which leads to homogenization or replacement of local genotypes as a result of either a numerical or fitnessadvantage of the introduced species. Some degree of gene flow may be a normal. Examples of this are the introductions of the amethyst gem clam (Gemma gemma) and the European green crab (Carcinus maenas). blue wildebeest. resulted in a decline of the native clams and an increase of the introduced clam populations.
are better at filtering out water pollutants than native oysters. in areas of eastern North Carolina where the red wolf has been reintroduced. when in sufficient quantities to be harvestable. threaten a rare species' existence. A recent study by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found the Asian oyster could significantly benefit the bay's deteriorating water quality. but the negative effects are generally perceived to outweigh the positive. alone amount to more than $138 billion annually. Costs Economic costs from invasive species can be separated into direct costs through production loss in agriculture and forestry. they are low because they do not consider environmental damage. hybridization with or without introgression may. The wide range of benefits from many "invasive species" is both welldocumented and underreported. or mink feed. Estimated damage and control cost of invasive species in the U. nevertheless. there are commercial benefits.S. Numerous vegetative 'invasives' like water hyacinth. For instance. for example.genotypes cannot be preserved. either existent or capable of being developed. if monetary values were assigned to the extinction of species. can be turned into fuel by methane digesters if no other better use can be determined. Economic impacts Benefits Often overlooked. where heavy metals are not excessive in their flesh. In most cases invasive species have benefits. The following examples from different sectors of the economy demonstrate the impact of biological invasions. Asian oysters. Economic opportunities For many invasive species. costs from impacts of invasive species would drastically increase. can be harvested for human food and exported to markets already familiar with the product. They also grow faster and withstand disease better than natives. and loss of ecosystem services. and management costs of invasive species. However. An example of this is the interbreeding of migrating coyotes with the red wolf. economic losses can occur through loss of recreational and tourism revenues. In addition to these costs. at least initially. The depletion or exploitation of any unwanted species is dependent on officials who recognize the need for a solution. Biologists are currently considering releasing the mollusk in theChesapeake Bay to help restore oyster stocks and clean up the bay's pollution. silver carp andcommon carp. or into pet foods. loss in biodiversity.When economic costs of invasions are calculated as production loss and management costs. Commercial enterprises need assurances the exploitation can continue long enough for a reasonable profit to be generated and that taxation of the . economic benefits from "invasive" species should also be accounted.
" Eurasian Watermilfoil . but not limited to. Many introduced weeds in pastures compete with native forage plants. hunting. In many cases. The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) was first introduced into the U. Tourism and recreation Invasive species can have impacts on recreational activities. though they often provide essential nutrients for sustenance farmers. and is expected to infect and damage millions of acres of hardwood trees. Introduced rats (Rattus rattus and R. including. one could consider the overabundant invasive plant species as a ready source of biomass in the perspective of biogasproduction. water quality and quantity. and species abundance. and watersheds.g. Eiswerth goes on to say that "very little research has been performed to estimate the corresponding economic losses at spatial scales such as regions. yellow starthistle). plant and animal diversity. states.. leafy spurge. Thirty million dollars have already been spent in attempts to eradicate this pest and protect millions of trees in the affected regions. such as fishing. The woolly adelgid inflicts damage on old-growth spruce fir forests and negatively affects the Christmas tree industry.g.The chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) and Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi) are two plant pathogens with serious impacts on forest health. destroying stored grains. Forestry The unintentional introduction of forest pest species and plant pathogens can change forest ecology and negatively affect the timber industry. See Eichhornia crassipes. Weeds can have other useful purposes: some deep-rooted weeds can "mine" nutrients from the subsoil and bring them to the topsoil. Agriculture Weeds cause an overall reduction in yield. while others provide habitat for beneficial insects and/or provide alternative foods for pest species. norvegicus) have become serious pests on farms.S. Euphorbia esula) to young cattle (older animals will avoid them) or unpalatable because of thorns and spines (e. A decline in pollinator services and loss of fruit production has been caused by the infection of honey bees (Apis mellifera.'resource' is given a sufficiently long period of grace that an enterprise is attracted to the proposition. and water-based recreation. Forage loss from invasive weeds on pastures amounts to nearly US$1 billion in the U. wildlife viewing. another invasive species to the Americas) by the invasive varroa mite. They negatively affect a wide array of environmental attributes that are important to support recreation.S. hiking. Many weed species are accidental introductions with crop seeds and imported plant material. in 1996. are toxic (e.. alone.
AIDS virus). mammals. flea. though quarantines and ballast water rules have improved the situation. human health. Introduced birds (e. subjective. and 0 Propagules residing in a donor region pejorative vocabulary that so often I Traveling accompanies discussion of invasive species even in scientific papers. mosquito. and causative agents of harmful algal blooms are often transported via ballast water. This model does not attribute detrimentality to invasive species and . and bubonic plague. fill lakes with plants making fishing and boating difficult. resulting in the deaths of humans.g. such as cholera bacteria (Vibrio cholerae). Waterborne disease agents.. The model evaluates individual populations. II Introduced Colautti and MacIsaac have III Localized and numerically rare proposed a new nomenclature IVa Widespread but rare system based on biogeography rather than IVb Localized but dominant on taxa. and reptiles. It poses a particular risk to inadequately regulated fresh water systems. A recent example of an introduced disease is the spread of the West Nile virus across North America.(Myriophyllum spicatum) in parts of the US. and economic factors from consideration. epidemics of human diseases. For instance. This can lead to new associations between a disease and a human host (e. The introduced Chinese mitten crabs are carriers of the Asian lung fluke. Scientific definition In an attempt to avoid the Stage Characteristic ambiguous. typhus. rodents and insects (e.yellow fever. ] The full range of impacts of invasive species and their control goes beyond immediate effects and can have long term public health implications. Health impacts An increasing threat of exotic diseases exists because of increased transportation and encroachment of humans into previously remote ecosystems. this model focuses only on ecological factors. Threat to global biodiversity Main article: Biodiversity Biotic invasion is one of the five top drivers for global biodiversity loss and is increasing because of tourism and globalization. pigeons). have been associated with these vectors. and not entire species. pesticides applied to treat a particular pest species could pollute soil and surface water. V Widespread and dominant By removing taxonomy.g. birds. such as malaria. Throughout recorded history. louse and tsetse fly pests) can serve as vectors and reservoirs of human diseases.g.
chemical and biological characteristics of air. Pollution may be a result of human activities or natural calamities like volcanoes. floods etc. forest fires. The effects in living organisms may range from mild discomfort to serious diseases such as cancer to physical deformities.beneficiality to native species. water and soil pollution ± have an impact on the living environment. . There is no doubt that excessive levels of pollution are causing a lot of damage to human & animal health. The problem of pollution . as well as the wider environment. All types of pollution ± air. today. water and soil which effects human life. extra or missing limbs in frogs. This model could be applied equally to indigenous and to non-native species. ex. It merely classifies a species in a particular location based on its growth patterns in that particular microenvironment. has become a major challenge to all as the pollution of various components have increased to such an extend that it can affect the very existence of life.. Solid waste Liquid waste (industrial. plants & trees including tropical rainforests. domestic. sewage and agricultura) ( industrial affluents) Gaseous waste ( radio active emissions ) Pollution effects are indeed many and wide-ranging. POLLUTION Pollution is an indescribable change in the physical.
nose. 2) y y y y Reduced lung functioning Irritation of eyes.Experts admit that pollution effects are quite often underestimated and that more research is needed to understand the connections between pollution and its effects on all life forms. reproductive and immune systems Neurobehavioral disorders Cardiovascular problems Cancer . Environmental Pollution Effects on Humans We know that pollution causes not only physical disabilities but also psychological and behavioral disorders in people. mouth and throat Asthma attacks Respiratory symptoms such as coughing and wheezing y y y y y y y Increased respiratory disease such as bronchitis Reduced energy levels Headaches and dizziness Disruption of endocrine. We are discussing the effects of air pollution and specific air pollutants in more detail in the Air Pollutants article. The following pollution effects on humans have been reported: Air Pollution Effects (1.
persistent organic pollutants. hydrocarbons. and stomach aches Conditions related to water polluted by chemicals (such as pesticides. Water Pollution Effects (3) Waterborne diseases caused by polluted drinking water: y y y y y Typhoid Amoebiasis Giardiasis Ascariasis Hookworm Waterborne diseases caused by polluted beach water: y y y Rashes. gastroenteritis. heavy metals etc): y y Cancer. ear ache. diarrhoea. prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin¶s lymphoma Hormonal problems that can disrupt reproductive and developmental processes Damage to the nervous system y . vomiting. encephalitis. incl. pink eye Respiratory infections Hepatitis.y Premature death We discuss effects of air pollution in more detail here.
o Other notes: y Water pollution may also result from interactions between water and contaminated soil. and even death. y y Soil Pollution Effects (4) y Causes cancers including leukaemia . delayed or incomplete mental development. learning deficits. multiple sclerosis. Alzheimer¶s disease.y y y Liver and kidney damage Damage to the DNA Exposure to mercury (heavy metal): o In the womb: may cause neurological problems including slower reflexes. autism and brain damage. as well as from deposition of air contaminants (such as acid rain). In adults: Parkinson¶s disease. Damage to people may be caused by vegetable crops grown / washed with polluted water (author¶s own conclusion). heart disease. Damage to people may be caused by fish foods coming from polluted water (a well known example is high mercury levels in fish).
Some levels of pollutants left by the company on its sites of oil exploration have been calculated to exceed the US safety standards by as much as 1. Since it is closely linked to water pollution. causing such side effects as children born with fused fingers and deformed eyes. etc.y Lead in soil is especially hazardous for young children causing developmental damage to the brain. fatigue. y y y Other notes: y Contact with contaminated soil may be direct (from using parks.000 times. check out the Oil Pollution of Ecuador Rainforest article. Also causes headaches. For more details. high cancer rates. y y y An Extreme Oil Pollution Case Pollution of pristine Ecuador rainforest by Texaco / Chevron oil corporation represents perhaps one of the most outrageous cases of oil pollution ever. many effects of soil contamination appear to be similar to the ones caused by water contamination. Causes neuromuscular blockage as well as depression of the central nervous system. Contamination of crops grown in polluted soil brings up problems with food security. Environmental Pollution Effects on Animals . nausea. eye irritation and skin rash. schools etc) or indirect (by inhaling soil contaminants which have vaporized). via acid rain). Soil pollution may also result from secondary contamination of water supplies and from deposition of air contaminants (for example. cyclodienes can lead to liver toxicity. Mercury can increase the risk of kidney damage.
Excessive ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun through the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere which is eroded by some air pollutants. y Effects of Pollution on Animals . Too much sodium chloride (ordinary salt) in water may kill animals. y y y y Other notes: . Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may cause declines. Oil pollution (as part of chemical contamination) can negatively affect development of marine organisms. slower growth and development. increase susceptibility to disease and affect reproductive processes. can also cause gastrointestinal irritation. and damage to the nervous system. nutrient pollution can also cause outbreaks of fish diseases. Mercury in water can cause abnormal behavior.Air Pollution (5) y y Acid rain (formed in the air) destroys fish life in lakes and streams. deformities and death of fish life. may cause skin cancer in wildlife.Effects of Pollution on Animals . reduced reproduction. y Chemical contamination can cause declines in frog biodiversity and tadpole mass.Water Pollution (6) y Nutrient pollution (nitrogen. and may cause death. and death. Ozone in the lower atmosphere may damage lung tissues of animals. liver and kidney damage. phosphates etc) causes overgrowth of toxic algae eaten by other aquatic animals.
y We also assume that some higher forms of non-aquatic animals may have similar effects from water pollution as those experienced by humans. this may destroy some layers of the primary food chain. and thus have a negative effect on predator animal species. as described above. destroy the leaves of plants. Ozone in the lower atmosphere can prevent plant respiration by blocking stomata (openings in leaves) and negatively affecting plants¶ photosynthesis rates which will stunt plant growth. y Environmental Pollution Effects on Trees and Plants Air Pollution (9) y Acid rain can kill trees.Soil Pollution (8) y Can alter metabolism of microorganisms and arthropods in a given soil environment. y y . Effects of Pollution on Animals . ozone can also decay plant cells directly by entering stomata. this may lead to increased mortality rates and even animal extinction. Ozone holes in the upper atmosphere can allow excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun to enter the Earth causing damage to trees and plants. Small life forms may consume harmful chemicals which may then be passed up the food chain to larger animals. can infiltrate soil by making it unsuitable for purposes of nutrition and habitation.
clay and other similar materials. herbicides are chemicals which are most harmful to plants. y y y y Soil Pollution y y May alter plant metabolism and reduce crop yields. Plants may be killed by herbicides in water.Water Pollution y May disrupt photosynthesis in aquatic plants and thus affecting ecosystems that depend on these plants. . Trees and plants may absorb soil contaminants and pass them up the food chain. Terrestrial and aquatic plants may absorb pollutants from water (as their main nutrient source) and pass them up the food chain to consumer animals and humans. Plants may be killed by mud from construction sites as well as bits of wood and leaves. Plants may be killed by too much sodium chloride (ordinary slat) in water.
soil exhaustion. Population pressures have degraded some 2 billion hectares of arable land ² an area the size of Canada and the U. but demand is soaring as population grows and y . Water shortages. along with poor sanitation. threatening public health and development. Most developed economies currently consume resources much faster than they can regenerate. Freshwater: The supply of freshwater is finite.Population and the Environment: The Global Challenge As the century begins. Heavy metals and other contaminants also cause widespread health problems. improving living standards without destroying the environment is a global challenge.¶ y Food supply: Will there be enough food to go around? In 64 of 105 developing countries studied by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. loss of forests. air and water pollution. natural resources are under increasing pressure. are we destroying resources needed for the future? Environment getting worse Public health: Unclean water. the population has been growing faster than food supplies. most in developing countries. and degradation of coastlines afflict many areas.S. Air pollution kills nearly 3 million more. As we humans exploit nature to meet present needs. Most developing countries with rapid population growth face the urgent need to improve living standards. kills over 12 million people each year. As the world¶s population grows.
sea levels would rise by several meters. Ocean fisheries are being overexploited.use per capita rises. bulldozed. y y Taking action: Many steps toward sustainability can be taken today. causing widespread flooding. and each year another 16 million hectares are cut. y Biodiversity: The earth¶s biological diversity is crucial to the continued vitality of agriculture and medicine ² and perhaps even to life on earth itself. urban expansion. Yet. current demand for forest products may exceed the limit of sustainable consumption by 25%. If the global temperature rises as projected. 48 countries containing 3 billion people will face shortages. Forests provide over US$400 billion to the world economy annually and are vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems. and resource exploitation do not bode well for the future. and fish catches are down. Forests: Nearly half of the world¶s original forest cover has been lost. when world population is projected to be 8 billion. y Coastlines and oceans: Half of all coastal ecosystems are pressured by high population densities and urban development. Toward a livable future How people preserve or abuse the environment could largely determine whether living standards improve or deteriorate. Yet human activities are pushing many thousands of plant and animal species into extinction. These include: using energy . Growing human numbers. Two of every three species is estimated to be in decline. largely from burning fossil fuels. A tide of pollution is rising in the world¶s seas. humanity faces a deteriorating environment and may even invite ecological disaster. Global climate change: The earth¶s surface is warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. Global warming also could cause droughts and disrupt agriculture. By 2025. or burned. Without practicing sustainable development.
5 A dynamic economy also needs slower population growth. and investment rise. at the current pace world population increases by about 1 billion every 13 years. Slowing population growth would help improve living standards and would buy time to protect natural resources.10 Still. countries can invest more in education. creating overpopulation. annual world population growth has fallen to about 1.3. In the long run. the absolute number of people continues to increase ² by about 1 billion every 13 years.11 In turn. This dynamic process has been identified as one of the key reasons that the economies of many Asian countries grew rapidly between 1960 and 1990. down from about 90 million estimated early in the 1990s.11. managing cities better. and other improvements that help boost living standards. especially in the face of rising per capita demand for natural resources. births far outnumber deaths. world population size must stabilize.4% in 2000 compared with about 2% in 1960.8. savings. can take pressure off the environment and buy time to improve living standards on a sustainable basis.12 y As population growth slows. to sustain higher living standards. [etc. World population surpassed 6 billion in 1999 and is projected to rise to over 8 billion by 2025. job creation. Slowing the increase in population. Population and sustainable development Environmentalists and economists increasingly agree that efforts to protect the environment and to achieve better living standards can be closely linked and are mutually reinforcing. The UN estimated recently that population is growing by about 78 million per year. as a result. In many countries. y In recent years fertility has been falling in many developing countries and. more resources become available that can boost productivity. health care. as individual income.more efficiently. phasing out subsidies that encourage waste. .] y Stabilizing population: While population growth has slowed. Less growth will provide time to solve sustainability problems.
4 ³Even in adverse circumstance ² low incomes. The shares of other regions are projected to remain about the same as today. environmental limits will become increasingly apparent. y Family planning programs play a key role. and in some countries it is substantially above replacement level.6 Parts of Africa will experience drastic water shortages by 2025. fertility rates have fallen below replacement level of about two children per woman.9 Nonetheless. Europe¶s population will decline from 13% to 7% of world population over the next quarter century. with sub-Saharan Africa worst affected. Family planning is effective in stabilizing growth. In these countries the population continues to increase rapidly.y Globally.´ the World Bank has noted. while slowing population growth by providing families and individuals with information and services needed to make informed choices about reproductive health. fertility is above replacement level in 123 countries. fertility has fallen by half since the 1960s.7 The rise in populations is mainly in developing nations. while that of sub-Saharan Africa will rise from 10% to 17%. including 9 in the developing world. About 1. As a result of differences in population growth. limited education.2 Many countries could avoid environmental crises if they took steps now to conserve and manage supplies and demand better. Another 730 million people live in 44 countries where the average woman has five children or more. couples are better able to achieve their fertility desires. When family planning information and services are widely available and accessible.6 Water shortages are expected to affect nearly 3 billion people in 2025. to about three children per woman.1 .10 In 65 countries. y Almost all population growth is in the developing world. y As population and demand for natural resources continue to grow.7 billion people live in 47 countries where the fertility rate averages between three and five children per woman. and few opportunities for women ² family planning programs have meant slower population growth and improved family welfare.
less pollution. effective natural resource management. but the world¶s population is projected to continue expanding until the middle of the century.Conclusion If every country made a commitment to population stabilization and resource conservation. Worries about a ³population bomb´ may have lessened as fertility rates have fallen. Just when it stabilizes and thus the level at which it stabilizes will have a powerful effect on living standards and the global environment. As population size continues to reach levels never before experienced. and per capita consumption rises. the environment hangs in the balance. Conclusion: We risk destroying our standard of living if we don¶t control population growth. Practicing sustainable development requires a combination of wise public investment. and slower population growth. . the world would be better able to meet the challenges of sustainable development. cleaner agricultural and industrial technologies.
204. In addition. Significance 1. of which nearly 700. According the U.792 farms in the United States.The Effects on Ecosystems From Overgrazing The pattern of land use of historic prairie generally involved tall-grass prairie becoming corn and bean farms. there are over 278 millions acres of federal lands which permit grazing. Census of Agriculture figures from 2007.000 graze livestock. Replacement of longrooted prairie grasses with forage crops has left the landscape vulnerable to the effects of overgrazing. mixed-grass prairie becoming wheat fields and other crops. Considerations .S. there are 2. and short-grass prairie becoming rangeland. Rangelands are susceptible to soil erosion and drought among other threats.
and the pasture sod weakens.Prairies evolved with the presence of fire and grazing by buffalo. . Overgrazing Can Hurt Environment Sustainable grassland production is based on grass management. If the weeds are unpalatable or poisonous. Bureau of Land Management estimates that 58 percent of its 150 million acres of rangeland is in fair or poor condition due in part to overgrazing. Potential 5. Cattle grazing can result in a slowing of root growth. causing stream sedimentation and a reduction in photosynthesis and primary production. The reduced root length makes the plants more susceptible to death during dry weather. however. and livestock marketing. effects of overgrazing have spread to aquatic and wildlife habitats. Plants become weakened and have reduced root length. Grazing management is the foundation of grassland-based livestock production since it affects both animal and plant health and productivity. It can be caused by having too many animals on the farm or by not properly controlling their grazing activity. Effects 3. 2. which reduces interception of sunlight and plant growth. Overgrazing reduces plant leaf areas. making forage more susceptible to disease and replacement by invasive species. major problems can result. and overall loss of plant vigor. Overgrazing can occur under continuous or rotational grazing. cattle differ from buffalo in that cattle will pull up an entire plant while buffalo graze the top portions of plants and move on. The weakened sod allows weed seeds to germinate and grow. lowered moisture-carrying capacity. animal management. Impacts 4.S. The U. Because livestock prefer riparian or water bank habitats.
The potential grazing season lasts into November or longer when winter grazing management is implemented. when cows give less milk and the calves need pasture to maintain weight gain. Poor weaning weights on calves can be caused by insufficient pasture in late summer. This makes them hard to winter and may reduce the health and vigor of cows and calves at calving. match the forage supplement to the herd's requirement. Palatable tall grasses such as orchardgrass are sparse or nonexistent. Under rotational grazing. As the sod thins. and soil fertility hurt the land's future productivity. Under continuous grazing. overgrazed pastures are predominated by short-grass species such as bluegrass and will be less than 2-3 inches tall in the grazed areas. overgrazed plants do not have enough time to grow to the proper height between grazing events. soil organic matter. and hay needs to be fed early in the fall. Soil may be visible between plants in the stand. Cows having inadequate pasture in the early fall do not have a chance to gain weight after the calves are weaned and may have poor body condition going into the winter. Another indicator is that the livestock run out of pasture. Also. allowing erosion to occur. Overgrazing can increase soil erosion. If hay feeding is needed in October under normal weather conditions. To prevent overgrazing. the loss of soil depth and organic matter takes years to correct.One indicator of overgrazing is that the animals run short of pasture. Healthy pastures grow until mid-November in West Virginia. weeds encroach into the pasture. Soil fertility can be corrected by applying the appropriate lime and fertilizers. This means that a buffer needs to be in the system to adjust for the fast spring growth of cool-season forages. This can result in a long calving season. . Their loss is critical in determining the soil's water-holding capacity and how well pasture plants do during dry weather. which can result in delayed breeding. The animals are turned into a paddock before the plants have restored carbohydrate reserves and grown back roots lost after the last defoliation . the pasture probably is being overgrazed. One buffer many state producers use is to harvest hay in May and June and allow the cattle to graze the aftermath in August and September. Reduced soil depth. cows in poor body condition do not cycle as soon after calving. Overgrazing is also indicated in livestock performance and condition. The result is the same as under continuous grazing-tall-growing species die and short-growing species that are more subject to drought injury predominate the pasture. 55% to 75% of the calves should come in the first 21 days of the calving season. With good cow genetics and nutrition. However.
such as alfalfa. The animals then use the warm-season grasses during the heat of the summer. . which do not grow early in the season. does not permit their survival under continuous grazing. making it easier for them to keep up with the cool-season grasses. The growth habit of some forage species. it is beneficial to use rotational grazing and graze the stand close and then give adequate rest to stimulate the legumes' growth. manage pasture height at one-half the recommended turn-in height for rotational grazing to optimize plant health. When using continuous grazing. The grazing guidelines in the table are for rotationally grazed. When managing for legumes in the stand. cool-season forages. and the cool-season grasses recover for fall grazing.Another potential buffer is to plant warm-season perennial grasses such as switchgrass. This reduces the acreage that the livestock can use early in the season.
S.K Somaiya College. CLASS : TYBMM Submitted To : Prof. Padmaja. POWERED BY : Khushbu Mehta Shweta Sharma Prajita Karmore Pragnesh Dodia Mayur Bhorade Rohit Bhanushali . SUBJECT : Contemporary Issues.
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