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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.
commercial wood extraction (52%).infrastructure development. The forces that cause humans to destroy habitat are known as drivers of habitat destruction. The specific categories reveal further insight into the specific causes of tropical deforestation: transport extension (64%). and education status of people in certain areas. providing indisputable evidence that people play the largest role in decreasing biodiversity. while transport extension (including the construction of new roads) is the largest single proximate factor responsible for deforestation. Demographic drivers include the expanding human population. provide a quantitative prioritization of which proximate and underlying causes were the most significant. forest conversion to agriculture is the main land use change responsible for tropicaldeforestation. The boom in human population and migration of people . age. family planning. rate of population increase over time. scientific and technological. coral reefs). fragmentation. The proximate causes were clustered into broad categories of agricultural expansion (96%). One result is that shifting cultivation is not the primary cause of deforestation in all world regions. according to this study. economic. and fuel wood extraction for domestic use (28%). ecosystem type. sociopolitical.Demographic. Most of the exponential human population growth worldwide is occurring in or close to biodiversity hotspots.subsistence agriculture (40%). Habitat degradation. permanent cultivation (48%). and country.9% of the variation in numbers of threatened species across 114 countries. spatial distribution of people in a given area (urban versus rural). 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. and cultural drivers all contribute to habitat destruction. cattle ranching (46%). shifting (slash and burn) cultivation (41%). forests.Desertification. urban sprawl. Therefore. and pollution are aspects of habitat destruction caused by humans that do not necessarily involve overt destruction of habitat. gender. yet result in habitat collapse. this still does not identify why humans destroy habitat. and wood extraction (67%). Drivers While the above-mentioned activities are the proximal or direct causes of habitat destruction in that they actually destroy habitat.Habitat destruction caused by humans includes conversion of land to agriculture. and the combined effects of poverty. Their results. deforestation. and other anthropogenic changes to the characteristics of land. and coral reef degradation are specific types of habitat destruction for those areas (deserts. yielded as percentages of the case studies in which each parameter was a significant factor. infrastructure expansion (72%). This may explain why human population density accounts for 87.
and subsidies for land-based activities (26%). technological factors (70%). most of whom lack an education and family planning. 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. This common feedback example manifests just how closely related the proximate and underlying causes are to each other. When these industries become commercialized. There are also feedbacks and interactions among the proximate and underlying causes of deforestation that can amplify the process. labor. institutional or policy factors (78%). more land is cleared more rapidly for commercial markets. Either way. missing basic values (36%). economic growth including colonization and infrastructure improvement (34%). The main economic factors included commercialization and growth of timber markets (68%). Institutional and policy factors included formal pro-deforestation policies on land development (40%).into such species-rich regions are makingconservation efforts not only more urgent but also more likely to conflict with local human interests. public unconcern toward forest environments (43%). individual/household behavior (53%). property rights and land-tenure insecurity (44%). which causes a growth in wood (logging) and food markets. and unconcern by individuals (32%). low domestic costs for land. and increases in product prices mainly for cash crops (25%). 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%). From the Geist and Lambin (2002) study described in the previous section. lawlessness. 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%). and demographic factors (61%). 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%). fuel. and policy failures such as corruption. progresses the commercialization of agriculture and logging industries. which leads to wasteful logging practices. and timber (32%). because it interacts with²and leads to²the establishment of new settlements and more people. which are driven by national and international demands. The high local population density in such areas is directly correlated to the poverty status of the local people. or mismanagement (42%). Impact on human population . Road construction has the largest feedback effect. urban industrial growth (38%). cultural or socio-political factors (66%). Growth in these markets. in turn.
 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 draining and development of coastal wetlands that previously protected the Gulf Coast contributed to severe flooding in New Orleans. Over the past 50 years. oxygen production. The loss of biodiversity may not directly affect humans. recreational uses like hunting and fishing. nitrogen fixation. algal blooms. Other ecosystem services that are diminished or lost altogether as a result of habitat destruction include watershed management. The environment and all its .pollination. One ecosystem service whose significance is becoming more realized is climate regulation. crop failure. Agricultural land can actually suffer from the destruction of the surrounding landscape. but the indirect effects of losing many species as well as the diversity of ecosystems in general are enormous. On the other hand. nutrient depletion. andcarbon cycles. trees provide windbreaks and shade. Habitat destruction has altered nitrogen. compaction. or will at least mitigate adverse impacts. Probably the most profound impact that habitat destruction has on people is the loss of many valuable ecosystem services. plant transpiration recycles rainwater and maintains constant annual rainfall. andecotourism usually rely upon virtually undisturbed habitat. and fish kills in rivers and oceans and contributed tremendously to global climate change. Aesthetic uses such as birdwatching. and urbanization. on a global scale. These services are becoming even more important as increasing carbon dioxide levels is one of the main contributors to global climate change. Habitat destruction vastly increases an area's vulnerability to natural disasters like flood and drought. and nutrient recycling of sewage or agricultural runoff. When biodiversity is lost. the breaking down and immobilization of toxic pollutants). Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Humans also lose direct uses of natural habitat when habitat is destroyed.e. the environment loses many species that provide valuable and unique roles to the ecosystem. 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. sulfur. and water contamination. Many people value the complexity of the natural world and are disturbed by the loss of natural habitats and animal or plant species worldwide. spread of disease. a healthy ecosystem with good management practices will reduce the chance of these events happening. salinization. the destruction of habitat surrounding agricultural land has degraded approximately 40% of agricultural land worldwide via erosion. waste treatment (i.pollution. On a local scale. phosphorus. on a regional scale.. which has increased the frequency and severity of acid rain.
. yet wealthier people and countries simply have to pay more to continue to receive more than their per capita share of natural resources. The impending global food crisis will be a major source of habitat destruction. especially new agricultural lands. viruses. or pollution. continually moving to new land and soils provided a boost in food production to appease the global food demand. over the next 30 years. Commercial farmers are going to become desperate to produce more food from the same amount of land. or volcanic eruption could cause an ecosystem to crash. and humans would obviously suffer from that. or flood regulation and drought control. degradation. When too much biodiversity is lost. 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. In fact. Outlook The rapid expansion of the global human population is increasing the world¶s food requirement substantially. timber. however. 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. a catastrophic event such as an earthquake. poor people suffer the most when natural habitat is destroyed. and bacteria. as the world¶s population increases dramatically.inhabitants rely on biodiversity to recover from extreme environmental conditions. Any efforts to protect the world¶s remaining natural habitat and biodiversity will compete directly with humans¶ growing demand for natural resources. flood. Another way to view the negative effects of habitat destruction is to look at the opportunity cost of keeping an area undisturbed. Others will seek out new land or will convert other land-uses to agriculture. In other words. but the value of the same land may be much larger when it can supply natural resources or services such as clean water. pharmaceutical drugs to cure existing or future diseases or cancer. Across the globe. The negative effects of habitat destruction usually impact rural populations more directly than urban populations. Agricultural intensification will become widespread at the cost of the environment and its inhabitants. 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. Species will be pushed out of their habitat either directly by habitat destruction or indirectly by fragmentation. as more than 98% of all land suitable for agriculture is already in use or degraded beyond repair. so they will use more fertilizers and less concern for the environment to meet the market demand. ecotourism. agricultural output will need to increase by at least 50%. That easy fix will no longer be available. In the past.
In most cases of tropical deforestation. national. three to four underlying causes are driving two to three proximate causes. and international scale need to emphasize the following: Considering the many irreplaceable ecosystem services provided by natural habitats. 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. 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. national. Developing family planning programs in areas of rapid population growth. . Finding ways to increase agricultural output than simply increasing the total land in production. or international deforestation policies are written and enforced. habitat loss from human development is a major reason for the loss of green turtle nesting beaches. Protecting remaining intact sections of natural habitat. governmental bodies at a local. Preserving habitat corridors to minimize prior damage from fragmented habitats. Educating the public about the importance of natural habitat and biodiversity. Before any local. In a broader sense.Solutions Chelonia mydas on a Hawaiian coral reef. Governmental leaders need to take action by addressing the underlying driving forces. Although the endangered species is protected. along with many other results about tropical deforestation from the Geist and Lambin study. This concept. rather than merely regulating the proximate causes.
plants or animals that adversely affect the habitats and bioregions they invade economically. the most used. wilderness areas. Pollution results from human activities and their inability to clean up the mess they created. Examples: oil spill.: predators or herbivores). hunting "Invasive species". with several definitions. It is also used by land managers. and/or wildland-urban interface land from loss of natural controls (i. and yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) are examples. Examples: excessive logging that leads to deforestation. and secondly. or "nonnative". and/or ecologically. with the non-native ones. or invasive exotics. The kudzu vine (Pueraria lobata). particular habitats. horticulturalists. considered to be . Andean Pampas grass (Cortaderia jubata). but broadens the boundaries to include indigenous or native species. This includes non-native invasive plant species labeled as exotic pest plants andinvasive exotics. outside their natural distribution area. is a nomenclature term and categorization phrase used for flora and fauna.e. burning fossil fuel Overexploitation of Wildlife is when humans take advantage of the resources without consideration of consequences. They disrupt by dominating a region. environmentally. water and air. nuclear wastes. conservationists. and for specific restoration-preservation processes in native habitats. The second definition includes the first. threatenbiological diversity. Population Pressure is due to the increase in human population which compete with other species for resources. applies to non-indigenous species. 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.Invasive Species Invasive Species is when non indigenious species compete with current species for resources and limit the growing capacity of current speices. researchers. firstly. that disrupt by a dominant colonization of a particular habitat or wildlands area from loss of natural controls (i.Deer are an example. Pollution effects all forms of life that occupy land. TheEuropean Union defines "Invasive Alien Species" as those that are. and the public fornoxious weeds. The first definition. botanists. This results in habitat destruction because humans need land to expand and relieve population pressure.e. whaling for commercial use. in restoration parlance.: predators or herbivores). growing in native plant communities.
involving a number of traits and interactions. as not every nonindigenous or "introduced" species has an adverse effect on a nonindigenous environment. 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. Studies seem to indicate certain traits mark a species as potentially invasive. since most introduced plants. biotic and animals do not become invasive. This one can be too broad. At low population densities. as well indicating that invasiveness involves complex interaction not easily categorized. Because of the variability of its definition. One study found that of a list of invasive and noninvasive species.overpopulating their native zones and adjacent suburban gardens. Sometimes they just have the ability to grow and reproduce more rapidly than native species. 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. though common outside its native range globally. by some in the Northeasternand Pacific Coast regions of the United States. The third definition identifies invasive species as a widespread nonindigenous species. While all species compete to survive. Another study found invasive species tended only to have a small subset of the invasive traits. other times it is more complex. invasive species appear to have specific traits or combinations of specific traits that allow them to outcompete native species. 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. 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. Species-based mechanisms Species-based characteristics focus on competition. and that many of these invasive traits were found in noninvasive species. so a . It is most likely a combination of several mechanisms that cause an invasive situation to occur.
Plant populations on these soils tend to show low density. which have low water-retention. Israel An invasive species might be able to use resources previously unavailable to native species. water or food. a high Mg/Ca ratio. and possible heavy metal toxicity. to competing species. while making the environment less favorable to other species with which it competes. allowing the species to thrive. 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. For example. barbed goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis) was introduced to California on serpentine soils. allow for species to have multiple opportunities for establishment (also known as a high propagule pressure). 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. or at least inhibitory. such as ships sailing to and from ports or cars driving up and down highways. low nutrient levels. One such facilitative mechanism is allelopathy. Moshav Sdei Hemed. These Eastern European noxious . such as nutrients. but goatgrass can form dense stands on these soils. where any gain for the invader is a loss for the native. physical space. light. also known as chemical competition or interference competition. a plant will secrete chemicals which make the surrounding soil uninhabitable. the new environment may allow them to proliferate quickly. crowding out native species that have not adapted well to growing on serpentine soils. Repeated patterns of human movement from one location to another. Lantana growing in abandoned citrus plantation. such as deep water sources accessed by a long taproot. Ecosystems in which all available resources are being used to their fullest capacity by native species can be modeled as zerosum systems.species might be transported to a location a number of times before it becomes established. If these species evolved under great competition or predation. Invasive species often coexist with native species for an extended time. Examples of this in Centaurea are Centaurea solstitialis (yellow starthistle) and Centaurea diffusa (diffuse knapweed). An introduced species might become invasive if it can outcompete native species for resources. In allelopathy. However. or an ability to live on previously uninhabited soil types.
In stable ecosystems. Such co-evolved native plants have also evolved defenses. Ecosystem-based mechanisms In ecosystems. Bromus tectorum. Facilitation also occurs when one species physically modifies a habitat and that modification is advantageous to other species. diffusa and C. Every species has a role to play in its native ecosystem. solstitialis do not appear in their native habitats to be overwhelmingly successful competitors. This shows how difficult it can be to predict if a species will be invasive just from evaluating its behavior in its native habitat. These mechanisms describe a situation in which the ecosystem has suffered a disturbance which changes the fundamental nature of the ecosystem. increases the density and diversity of benthic invertebrate communities. When changes occur in an ecosystem. and C. the balance is changed and the resources that would have been used by the native species are now used by an invader. normal succession would favor certain native grasses and forbs. Nitrogen and phosphorus are often the limiting factors in these situations. Experiments show that 8-hydroxyquinoline. diffusa. like forest fires in an area. but also increases the frequency and intensity (heat) of fires. it has altered the local fire regimen so much that native plants cannot survive the frequent fires.weeds have spread their way through the western and West Coast states. diffusa. For example. providing crevices in which invertebrates live. This increase in complexity. equilibrium exists in the use of available resources. With the introduction of a species that can multiply and spread faster than the native species. Some invading species are able to fill niches that are not used by native species. allowing B. and they also can create niches that did not exist. originally from Eurasia. Changes in fire regimens are another form of facilitation. It not only spreads rapidly after burning. a chemical produced at the root of C. These roles are known as niches. some species fill large and varied roles. together with the nutrition provided by the waste products of mussel filter-feeding. 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. tectorum to further extend and maintain dominance in its introduced range. has a negative effect only on plants that have not co-evolved with C. is highly fire-adapted. while others are highly specialized. In areas where it is widespread. and demonstrates the potential for novel weapons to aid in invasiveness. . This has an impact on the ecosystem and changes its composition of organisms and their use of available resources.zebra mussels increase habitat complexity on lake floors.
When changes occur to ecosystems. conditions change that impact the dynamics of species interaction and niche development. For example. and in that sense become invasive. in many cases accompanied by expansion or contraction of range. They are being exterminated as exotic invasive species less than 50 miles (80 km) from their native home. This can cause once rare species to replace other species. as it refers to some natural geographic range of a species. and is not coincident with human political boundaries. some species native to a particular area can. one must define "native" with care. because they now can use greater available resources that did not exist before. and thus that species could be described as invasive. under the influence of natural events. Human alterations of the natural landscape are especially significant. 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. increase in numbers and become invasive. naturally occurring only in two small stands in California. the Monterey cypress is an endangered endemic. an example would be the edge effect. Traits of invaded ecosystems . such as long-term rainfall changes or human modifications to the habitat. All species go through changes in population numbers. but some native species in disrupted ecosystems can spread widely and cause harm. This anthropogenic alteration of an environment may enable the expansion of a species into a geographical area where it had not been seen before. 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. Ecology Monterey cypress Although an invasive species is often defined as an introduced species that has spread widely and causes harm. In essence.
invaded ecosystems may lack the natural competitors and predators that keep introduced species in check in their native ecosystems. An example of this phenomenon is the decimation of the native bird populations on Guam by the invasive brown tree snake. This disturbance may give invasive species. a chance to establish themselves with less competition from more adapted species. Alternately. Small-scale studies tend to show a negative relationship between diversity and invasion. but heavily invaded ecosystems and have argued ecosystems with high species diversity seem to be more susceptible to invasion. Since then. including many biogenic ones. invaded ecosystems have often experienced disturbance. and the issue of how diversity affects community susceptibility to invasion remains unresolved. a point that is also seen in the Guam example. while large-scale studies tend to show a positive relationship. Elton argued ecosystems with higher species diversity were less subject to invasive species because of fewer available niches. 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. but most species considered "invasive" are associated with human activity. other ecologists have pointed to highly diverse. but the rate and magnitude of human-mediated extensions in these species tend to be much larger than natural . Vectors Non-native species have many vectors. Natural range extensions are common in many species. usually human-induced. or because their distance from colonizing species populations makes them more likely to have ³open´ niches. which are not otherwise co-evolved with the ecosystem. The brown tree snake (Boiga irregularis) Invasion is more likely if an ecosystem is similar to the one in which the potential invader evolved. This debate seems largely to hinge on the spatial scale at which invasion studies are performed. Charles S. Island ecosystems may be prone to invasion because their species are ³naïve´ and have faced few strong competitors and predators throughout their existence. Lastly.In 1958.
extensions. Today.S. Customs and Border Protection sent the beetles to the Agricultural Research Service(ARS) to be expertly identified. agriculture. For example. hercules beetle. To prevent exotic species from becoming a problem in the U. The arrival of invasive propagules to a new site is a function of the site's invasibility. were probably transported to the Great Lakes via ballast water from a transoceanic vessel. 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. they could pose a threat to native ecosystems.S. and the distances species can travel to colonize are also often much greater with human agency.S. Economics play a major role in exotic species introduction. to feel more "at home". For example. U. postal workers in Pennsylvania noticed noises coming from inside a box from Taiwan.S.. Species have also been introduced intentionally. In 2008. 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. The invasive freshwater zebra mussels. ballast water taken up at sea and released in port is a major source of exotic marine life. Invasive species also come from organisms stowed away on every type of transport vehicle. and from animals and plants released through the pet trade. special handling and permits are needed when insects and other living materials are shipped from foreign countries. The scarcity and demand for the valuable Chinese mitten crab is one explanation for the possible intentional release of the species in foreign waters. Impacts of wildfire . the box contained more than two dozen live beetles. and king stag beetle. native to the Black. and the environment. non-native species come from horticulturalplants either in the form of the plants themselves or animals and seeds carried with them. Because these beetles are not native to the U. The ARS entomologists identified them as rhinoceros beetle. U.. Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis) One of the earliest human-influenced introductions involved prehistoric humans introducing thePacific rat (Rattus exulans) to Polynesia. Caspian and Azov seas.
and often completely shade out any native vegetation. In the resulting ecological free-for-all. In addition when suppressing large wild fires. In suburban and wildland-urban interface areas. native species will have to rely on seeds for propagation. as the vehicles are frequently driven on back roads often overgrown with invasive plant species. vehicle washing stations are set up. and quickly become established. The undercarriage of the vehicle becomes a prime vessel of transport. thus showing the importance of "cleaning stations". In response. at which point controlling the outbreak will require years of continued attention to prevent further spread. personnel from around the country are often used. requiring fire suppression crews to travel through pristine forest to reach the site. Also. This means if a low intensity fire burns through an area and removes surface vegetation. while a well-established invasive species with intact roots can regrow as soon as the ecosystem recovers from the fire. The crews can unwittingly be the bearers of invasive seeds. Impact of wildfire suppression on spreading Wildfires often occur in remote areas. further increasing the potential for transport of seeds across the country. roads.Invasive species often exploit disturbances to an ecosystem (wildfires. while adding a variety of nutrients to the soil. foot trails) to colonize an area. invasive species can easily dominate native plants. such as firebreaks for fire prevention. Many invasive plant species have the ability to regenerate from their roots. changing ecosystem functions. a new thriving concentration of invasive weeds can be present in as few as six weeks. . on large fires. making these undesirable feeding areas for the birds. 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). the disturbance of the soil surface. destroying the native cover and exposing open soil. Should any of these stowaway seeds become established along the way. Fire suppression vehicles are often the major culprits of such outbreaks. and it is required that vehicles be "decontaminated" prior to engaging in suppression activities. 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. Disturbed habitats are prone to invasions that can have adverse effects on local ecosystems. can accelerate 'invasive exotic' plants spreading. Large wildfires are capable of sterilizing soils and removing any trace of life from their path. Impact Ecological impacts Land clearing and human habitation put significant pressure on local species.
partial success has led to re-establishment of many species that had dwindled or left the region. bringing previously isolated species into contact. creating hybrids and swamping the entire rarer gene pool. hybridization with introduced cordgrass. nutrient cycling (smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora). For example. thus driving the native species to extinction. found to prey preferentially on the native clams. threatens the existence of California cordgrass (Spartina foliosa) in San Francisco Bay. Invasive species can change the functions of ecosystems. which leads to homogenization or replacement of local genotypes as a result of either a numerical or fitnessadvantage of the introduced species. impala. For example. the introduction of the European green crab. resulting in a massive reduction in forage for native bovids and other grazers. Invasive species that are closely related to rare native species have the potential to hybridize with the native species. Genetic pollution is uncontrolledhybridization and introgression. In the Waterberg region of South Africa.). Examples of this are the introductions of the amethyst gem clam (Gemma gemma) and the European green crab (Carcinus maenas). kudu and white rhino. Since the 1970s. invasive plants can alter the fire regimen (cheatgrass. These phenomena can be especially detrimental for rare species coming into contact with more abundant ones where the abundant ones can interbreed with them. Spartina alterniflora. Attention has to be focused on the extent of this problem. It had been found in small quantities in the harbor but had never displaced the native clam species (Nutricola spp. Bromus tectorum). wild species can be threatened with extinction through the process of genetic pollution. and hydrology (Tamarix) in native ecosystems. Genetic pollution Main article: Genetic pollution Natural. the introduction of a second non-native species can enable the first invasive species to flourish.Multiple successive introductions of different non-native species can have interactive effects. blue wildebeest. evolutionarily constructive process. large scale efforts have been underway to reduce invasive species. In the mid 1990s. Harmful effects of hybridization have led to a decline and even extinction of native species. resulted in a decline of the native clams and an increase of the introduced clam populations. it is not always apparent from morphological observations alone. Some degree of gene flow may be a normal. The gem clam was introduced into California's Bodega Harbor from the East Coast of the United States a century ago. Examples of these species are giraffe. Genetic pollution can bring about a form of extinction either through purposeful introduction or through habitat modification. and all constellations of genes and . cattle grazing over the past six centuries has allowed invasive scrub and small trees to displace much of the original grassland.
The depletion or exploitation of any unwanted species is dependent on officials who recognize the need for a solution. Costs Economic costs from invasive species can be separated into direct costs through production loss in agriculture and forestry. are better at filtering out water pollutants than native oysters. Numerous vegetative 'invasives' like water hyacinth.When economic costs of invasions are calculated as production loss and management costs. Economic impacts Benefits Often overlooked. However. Commercial enterprises need assurances the exploitation can continue long enough for a reasonable profit to be generated and that taxation of the . costs from impacts of invasive species would drastically increase. Economic opportunities For many invasive species. at least initially. loss in biodiversity. hybridization with or without introgression may. The wide range of benefits from many "invasive species" is both welldocumented and underreported.genotypes cannot be preserved. or into pet foods. The following examples from different sectors of the economy demonstrate the impact of biological invasions. nevertheless. Asian oysters. or mink feed. economic losses can occur through loss of recreational and tourism revenues. In most cases invasive species have benefits. for example. either existent or capable of being developed. they are low because they do not consider environmental damage. alone amount to more than $138 billion annually. For instance. In addition to these costs. where heavy metals are not excessive in their flesh. and management costs of invasive species. in areas of eastern North Carolina where the red wolf has been reintroduced. 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. threaten a rare species' existence. silver carp andcommon carp. if monetary values were assigned to the extinction of species. Biologists are currently considering releasing the mollusk in theChesapeake Bay to help restore oyster stocks and clean up the bay's pollution. but the negative effects are generally perceived to outweigh the positive. economic benefits from "invasive" species should also be accounted. when in sufficient quantities to be harvestable. An example of this is the interbreeding of migrating coyotes with the red wolf. there are commercial benefits. Estimated damage and control cost of invasive species in the U. and loss of ecosystem services.S. A recent study by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health found the Asian oyster could significantly benefit the bay's deteriorating water quality. can be turned into fuel by methane digesters if no other better use can be determined.
states.S. another invasive species to the Americas) by the invasive varroa mite. one could consider the overabundant invasive plant species as a ready source of biomass in the perspective of biogasproduction. alone.. Agriculture Weeds cause an overall reduction in yield. leafy spurge. yellow starthistle).'resource' is given a sufficiently long period of grace that an enterprise is attracted to the proposition. Forestry The unintentional introduction of forest pest species and plant pathogens can change forest ecology and negatively affect the timber industry. Weeds can have other useful purposes: some deep-rooted weeds can "mine" nutrients from the subsoil and bring them to the topsoil. Thirty million dollars have already been spent in attempts to eradicate this pest and protect millions of trees in the affected regions. Many introduced weeds in pastures compete with native forage plants. plant and animal diversity. Many weed species are accidental introductions with crop seeds and imported plant material. water quality and quantity. in 1996. such as fishing. destroying stored grains. and is expected to infect and damage millions of acres of hardwood trees. but not limited to. The Asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) was first introduced into the U.S.g. though they often provide essential nutrients for sustenance farmers. while others provide habitat for beneficial insects and/or provide alternative foods for pest species. and water-based recreation. hunting. A decline in pollinator services and loss of fruit production has been caused by the infection of honey bees (Apis mellifera. and species abundance. including. See Eichhornia crassipes. and watersheds. norvegicus) have become serious pests on farms. are toxic (e.. Euphorbia esula) to young cattle (older animals will avoid them) or unpalatable because of thorns and spines (e. The woolly adelgid inflicts damage on old-growth spruce fir forests and negatively affects the Christmas tree industry.The chestnut blight fungus (Cryphonectria parasitica) and Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma novo-ulmi) are two plant pathogens with serious impacts on forest health. wildlife viewing. Forage loss from invasive weeds on pastures amounts to nearly US$1 billion in the U. Tourism and recreation Invasive species can have impacts on recreational activities. Eiswerth goes on to say that "very little research has been performed to estimate the corresponding economic losses at spatial scales such as regions. Introduced rats (Rattus rattus and R.g. They negatively affect a wide array of environmental attributes that are important to support recreation. In many cases." Eurasian Watermilfoil . hiking.
and economic factors from consideration..(Myriophyllum spicatum) in parts of the US. fill lakes with plants making fishing and boating difficult. and 0 Propagules residing in a donor region pejorative vocabulary that so often I Traveling accompanies discussion of invasive species even in scientific papers. human health. 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. though quarantines and ballast water rules have improved the situation. pesticides applied to treat a particular pest species could pollute soil and surface water. and causative agents of harmful algal blooms are often transported via ballast water. For instance. V Widespread and dominant By removing taxonomy. Waterborne disease agents.g. and reptiles. louse and tsetse fly pests) can serve as vectors and reservoirs of human diseases. resulting in the deaths of humans. epidemics of human diseases. It poses a particular risk to inadequately regulated fresh water systems. have been associated with these vectors. 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. birds. This model does not attribute detrimentality to invasive species and . Throughout recorded history. and bubonic plague. The model evaluates individual populations. pigeons). such as cholera bacteria (Vibrio cholerae). A recent example of an introduced disease is the spread of the West Nile virus across North America.g. ] The full range of impacts of invasive species and their control goes beyond immediate effects and can have long term public health implications. mosquito. This can lead to new associations between a disease and a human host (e. typhus.g. Introduced birds (e.yellow fever. AIDS virus). Scientific definition In an attempt to avoid the Stage Characteristic ambiguous. mammals. 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 not entire species. subjective. rodents and insects (e. flea. such as malaria. The introduced Chinese mitten crabs are carriers of the Asian lung fluke.
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. as well as the wider environment. water and soil which effects human life. plants & trees including tropical rainforests. ex. All types of pollution ± air. This model could be applied equally to indigenous and to non-native species. The problem of pollution . domestic. . floods etc.. chemical and biological characteristics of air. There is no doubt that excessive levels of pollution are causing a lot of damage to human & animal health. Pollution may be a result of human activities or natural calamities like volcanoes. The effects in living organisms may range from mild discomfort to serious diseases such as cancer to physical deformities.beneficiality to native species. extra or missing limbs in frogs. It merely classifies a species in a particular location based on its growth patterns in that particular microenvironment. water and soil pollution ± have an impact on the living environment. today. POLLUTION Pollution is an indescribable change in the physical. forest fires. sewage and agricultura) ( industrial affluents) Gaseous waste ( radio active emissions ) Pollution effects are indeed many and wide-ranging. Solid waste Liquid waste (industrial.
2) y y y y Reduced lung functioning Irritation of eyes. reproductive and immune systems Neurobehavioral disorders Cardiovascular problems Cancer . The following pollution effects on humans have been reported: Air Pollution Effects (1. We are discussing the effects of air pollution and specific air pollutants in more detail in the Air Pollutants article. nose.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. 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.
y Premature death We discuss effects of air pollution in more detail here. prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin¶s lymphoma Hormonal problems that can disrupt reproductive and developmental processes Damage to the nervous system y . ear ache. persistent organic pollutants. pink eye Respiratory infections Hepatitis. heavy metals etc): y y Cancer. 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. encephalitis. gastroenteritis. incl. hydrocarbons. vomiting. diarrhoea. and stomach aches Conditions related to water polluted by chemicals (such as pesticides.
Damage to people may be caused by vegetable crops grown / washed with polluted water (author¶s own conclusion). heart disease. y y Soil Pollution Effects (4) y Causes cancers including leukaemia . In adults: Parkinson¶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. delayed or incomplete mental development. and even death. Damage to people may be caused by fish foods coming from polluted water (a well known example is high mercury levels in fish). learning deficits. autism and brain damage. as well as from deposition of air contaminants (such as acid rain). multiple sclerosis. o Other notes: y Water pollution may also result from interactions between water and contaminated soil. Alzheimer¶s disease.
Contamination of crops grown in polluted soil brings up problems with food security.000 times. high cancer rates. many effects of soil contamination appear to be similar to the ones caused by water contamination. Mercury can increase the risk of kidney damage. fatigue. Since it is closely linked to water pollution. check out the Oil Pollution of Ecuador Rainforest article.y Lead in soil is especially hazardous for young children causing developmental damage to the brain. schools etc) or indirect (by inhaling soil contaminants which have vaporized). Environmental Pollution Effects on Animals . Causes neuromuscular blockage as well as depression of the central nervous system. Soil pollution may also result from secondary contamination of water supplies and from deposition of air contaminants (for example. eye irritation and skin rash. causing such side effects as children born with fused fingers and deformed eyes. etc. For more details. via acid rain). 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. cyclodienes can lead to liver toxicity. nausea. 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. y y y Other notes: y Contact with contaminated soil may be direct (from using parks. Also causes headaches.
deformities and death of fish life.Water Pollution (6) y Nutrient pollution (nitrogen. y y y y Other notes: . can also cause gastrointestinal irritation. 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. reduced reproduction. y Effects of Pollution on Animals . increase susceptibility to disease and affect reproductive processes. and damage to the nervous system. phosphates etc) causes overgrowth of toxic algae eaten by other aquatic animals. and death. Excessive ultraviolet radiation coming from the sun through the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere which is eroded by some air pollutants. slower growth and development. Too much sodium chloride (ordinary salt) in water may kill animals.Effects of Pollution on Animals . Ozone in the lower atmosphere may damage lung tissues of animals. y Chemical contamination can cause declines in frog biodiversity and tadpole mass. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) may cause declines. Oil pollution (as part of chemical contamination) can negatively affect development of marine organisms. nutrient pollution can also cause outbreaks of fish diseases. liver and kidney damage. may cause skin cancer in wildlife. and may cause death.
as described above. Small life forms may consume harmful chemicals which may then be passed up the food chain to larger animals. destroy the leaves of plants. Ozone holes in the upper atmosphere can allow excessive ultraviolet radiation from the sun to enter the Earth causing damage to trees and plants. y Environmental Pollution Effects on Trees and Plants Air Pollution (9) y Acid rain can kill trees. 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. ozone can also decay plant cells directly by entering stomata.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. y y . and thus have a negative effect on predator animal species. can infiltrate soil by making it unsuitable for purposes of nutrition and habitation.Soil Pollution (8) y Can alter metabolism of microorganisms and arthropods in a given soil environment. Effects of Pollution on Animals . this may lead to increased mortality rates and even animal extinction.
Plants may be killed by too much sodium chloride (ordinary slat) in water. clay and other similar materials. Trees and plants may absorb soil contaminants and pass them up the food chain. y y y y Soil Pollution y y May alter plant metabolism and reduce crop yields.Water Pollution y May disrupt photosynthesis in aquatic plants and thus affecting ecosystems that depend on these plants. 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. herbicides are chemicals which are most harmful to plants. . Plants may be killed by mud from construction sites as well as bits of wood and leaves. Plants may be killed by herbicides in water.
Most developing countries with rapid population growth face the urgent need to improve living standards. loss of forests. As we humans exploit nature to meet present needs. Population pressures have degraded some 2 billion hectares of arable land ² an area the size of Canada and the U. Freshwater: The supply of freshwater is finite. most in developing countries. improving living standards without destroying the environment is a global challenge.S.¶ 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. but demand is soaring as population grows and y . As the world¶s population grows. Most developed economies currently consume resources much faster than they can regenerate. natural resources are under increasing pressure. Heavy metals and other contaminants also cause widespread health problems. and degradation of coastlines afflict many areas. Air pollution kills nearly 3 million more. along with poor sanitation. threatening public health and development. the population has been growing faster than food supplies. kills over 12 million people each year. soil exhaustion. Water shortages.Population and the Environment: The Global Challenge As the century begins. are we destroying resources needed for the future? Environment getting worse Public health: Unclean water. air and water pollution.
Global climate change: The earth¶s surface is warming due to greenhouse gas emissions. current demand for forest products may exceed the limit of sustainable consumption by 25%. and fish catches are down.use per capita rises. humanity faces a deteriorating environment and may even invite ecological disaster. bulldozed. y Coastlines and oceans: Half of all coastal ecosystems are pressured by high population densities and urban development. y y Taking action: Many steps toward sustainability can be taken today. sea levels would rise by several meters. Toward a livable future How people preserve or abuse the environment could largely determine whether living standards improve or deteriorate. Forests provide over US$400 billion to the world economy annually and are vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems. Forests: Nearly half of the world¶s original forest cover has been lost. 48 countries containing 3 billion people will face shortages. 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. when world population is projected to be 8 billion. Growing human numbers. and each year another 16 million hectares are cut. If the global temperature rises as projected. urban expansion. or burned. A tide of pollution is rising in the world¶s seas. Global warming also could cause droughts and disrupt agriculture. Ocean fisheries are being overexploited. These include: using energy . Without practicing sustainable development. Two of every three species is estimated to be in decline. largely from burning fossil fuels. causing widespread flooding. and resource exploitation do not bode well for the future. By 2025. Yet human activities are pushing many thousands of plant and animal species into extinction. Yet.
down from about 90 million estimated early in the 1990s. Slowing population growth would help improve living standards and would buy time to protect natural resources.12 y As population growth slows. health care. as a result.more efficiently.4% in 2000 compared with about 2% in 1960. Less growth will provide time to solve sustainability problems. In many countries. especially in the face of rising per capita demand for natural resources. more resources become available that can boost productivity. annual world population growth has fallen to about 1. . In the long run. creating overpopulation.] y Stabilizing population: While population growth has slowed. and investment rise. y In recent years fertility has been falling in many developing countries and. World population surpassed 6 billion in 1999 and is projected to rise to over 8 billion by 2025. and other improvements that help boost living standards. [etc. Slowing the increase in population.11 In turn. to sustain higher living standards. job creation. phasing out subsidies that encourage waste. The UN estimated recently that population is growing by about 78 million per year. world population size must stabilize. the absolute number of people continues to increase ² by about 1 billion every 13 years. savings. at the current pace world population increases by about 1 billion every 13 years.5 A dynamic economy also needs slower population growth. countries can invest more in education. as individual income.8.11. 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. managing cities better. 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. can take pressure off the environment and buy time to improve living standards on a sustainable basis.3.10 Still. births far outnumber deaths.
When family planning information and services are widely available and accessible. y Almost all population growth is in the developing world. including 9 in the developing world.9 Nonetheless.4 ³Even in adverse circumstance ² low incomes.2 Many countries could avoid environmental crises if they took steps now to conserve and manage supplies and demand better.6 Parts of Africa will experience drastic water shortages by 2025.y Globally. to about three children per woman. y Family planning programs play a key role. y As population and demand for natural resources continue to grow. with sub-Saharan Africa worst affected.6 Water shortages are expected to affect nearly 3 billion people in 2025. Europe¶s population will decline from 13% to 7% of world population over the next quarter century.7 The rise in populations is mainly in developing nations.1 .7 billion people live in 47 countries where the fertility rate averages between three and five children per woman. and in some countries it is substantially above replacement level. fertility is above replacement level in 123 countries. while that of sub-Saharan Africa will rise from 10% to 17%. Another 730 million people live in 44 countries where the average woman has five children or more. As a result of differences in population growth. The shares of other regions are projected to remain about the same as today. limited education. while slowing population growth by providing families and individuals with information and services needed to make informed choices about reproductive health. About 1. couples are better able to achieve their fertility desires. environmental limits will become increasingly apparent. In these countries the population continues to increase rapidly. fertility rates have fallen below replacement level of about two children per woman. fertility has fallen by half since the 1960s.10 In 65 countries. Family planning is effective in stabilizing growth.´ the World Bank has noted. and few opportunities for women ² family planning programs have meant slower population growth and improved family welfare.
. Conclusion: We risk destroying our standard of living if we don¶t control population growth. the world would be better able to meet the challenges of sustainable development. and per capita consumption rises. the environment hangs in the balance. Worries about a ³population bomb´ may have lessened as fertility rates have fallen. and slower population growth. Practicing sustainable development requires a combination of wise public investment. less pollution. As population size continues to reach levels never before experienced. cleaner agricultural and industrial technologies.Conclusion If every country made a commitment to population stabilization and resource conservation. effective natural resource management. Just when it stabilizes and thus the level at which it stabilizes will have a powerful effect on living standards and the global environment. but the world¶s population is projected to continue expanding until the middle of the century.
and short-grass prairie becoming rangeland.204.000 graze livestock.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 2. Rangelands are susceptible to soil erosion and drought among other threats. In addition. Replacement of longrooted prairie grasses with forage crops has left the landscape vulnerable to the effects of overgrazing. Considerations . According the U.792 farms in the United States. of which nearly 700. Significance 1. Census of Agriculture figures from 2007. mixed-grass prairie becoming wheat fields and other crops.S. there are over 278 millions acres of federal lands which permit grazing.
The weakened sod allows weed seeds to germinate and grow. Because livestock prefer riparian or water bank habitats. major problems can result. 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. effects of overgrazing have spread to aquatic and wildlife habitats. and the pasture sod weakens. Grazing management is the foundation of grassland-based livestock production since it affects both animal and plant health and productivity. 2. .Prairies evolved with the presence of fire and grazing by buffalo. which reduces interception of sunlight and plant growth. It can be caused by having too many animals on the farm or by not properly controlling their grazing activity. Overgrazing reduces plant leaf areas. making forage more susceptible to disease and replacement by invasive species. The reduced root length makes the plants more susceptible to death during dry weather. and overall loss of plant vigor. The U.S. lowered moisture-carrying capacity. If the weeds are unpalatable or poisonous. Impacts 4. cattle differ from buffalo in that cattle will pull up an entire plant while buffalo graze the top portions of plants and move on. Overgrazing Can Hurt Environment Sustainable grassland production is based on grass management. and livestock marketing. Effects 3. causing stream sedimentation and a reduction in photosynthesis and primary production. however. animal management. Overgrazing can occur under continuous or rotational grazing. Plants become weakened and have reduced root length. Potential 5. Cattle grazing can result in a slowing of root growth.
This means that a buffer needs to be in the system to adjust for the fast spring growth of cool-season forages. This makes them hard to winter and may reduce the health and vigor of cows and calves at calving. the loss of soil depth and organic matter takes years to correct. match the forage supplement to the herd's requirement. Overgrazing is also indicated in livestock performance and condition. the pasture probably is being overgrazed. Under continuous grazing. Also. weeds encroach into the pasture. overgrazed plants do not have enough time to grow to the proper height between grazing events. As the sod thins. The potential grazing season lasts into November or longer when winter grazing management is implemented. Reduced soil depth. If hay feeding is needed in October under normal weather conditions. cows in poor body condition do not cycle as soon after calving. 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. 55% to 75% of the calves should come in the first 21 days of the calving season. soil organic matter. Poor weaning weights on calves can be caused by insufficient pasture in late summer. Soil may be visible between plants in the stand. Healthy pastures grow until mid-November in West Virginia.One indicator of overgrazing is that the animals run short of pasture. Overgrazing can increase soil erosion. and hay needs to be fed early in the fall. However. Their loss is critical in determining the soil's water-holding capacity and how well pasture plants do during dry weather. This can result in a long calving season. allowing erosion to occur. . With good cow genetics and nutrition. Another indicator is that the livestock run out of pasture. The animals are turned into a paddock before the plants have restored carbohydrate reserves and grown back roots lost after the last defoliation . Under rotational grazing. To prevent overgrazing. and soil fertility hurt the land's future productivity. which can result in delayed breeding. when cows give less milk and the calves need pasture to maintain weight gain. 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. 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. overgrazed pastures are predominated by short-grass species such as bluegrass and will be less than 2-3 inches tall in the grazed areas. Soil fertility can be corrected by applying the appropriate lime and fertilizers. Palatable tall grasses such as orchardgrass are sparse or nonexistent.
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. and the cool-season grasses recover for fall grazing. The animals then use the warm-season grasses during the heat of the summer. cool-season forages. which do not grow early in the season. does not permit their survival under continuous grazing. When using continuous grazing. When managing for legumes in the stand. The grazing guidelines in the table are for rotationally grazed. manage pasture height at one-half the recommended turn-in height for rotational grazing to optimize plant health. . such as alfalfa. making it easier for them to keep up with the cool-season grasses. This reduces the acreage that the livestock can use early in the season.Another potential buffer is to plant warm-season perennial grasses such as switchgrass.
Padmaja.K Somaiya College. POWERED BY : Khushbu Mehta Shweta Sharma Prajita Karmore Pragnesh Dodia Mayur Bhorade Rohit Bhanushali . CLASS : TYBMM Submitted To : Prof.S. SUBJECT : Contemporary Issues.
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