Human Activities that Endanger an Ecosystem

1. Human activities often affect whole ecosystems. 2. Many of the problems related to the environment are the results of human activities and human interference with the ecosystems 3. The negative effect of this hasty , unplanned development and the mismanagement of the ecosystem results in various environment problem . 4. These problems bring about negative effects that increasingly threaten the economic resources , health and survival of ecosystems. 5. These are the example of human activities that endangered the ecosystem. • Deforestation • Burning of fossil fuels • Overuse of fertilizers in intensive farming • Dumping of domestic and industrial waste

The impact of human activities on the ecosystem
Deforestation and its effect
1. The rapid destruction of woodlands or the removal of trees from forests is known as deforestation. 2. Every year , vast areas of forests are cleared to make way for agriculture and development. 3. In , general deforestation results in • Soil erosion, flash floods , and landslides a) Without proper development and planning , a land stripped of its vegetation is subject to soil erosion. Soil erosion is removal and thinning of the soil due to physical and climate processes, such as high rainfalls. b) The absence of plant root systems makes the soil structure unstable c) When there are heavy rains for a long period of time , the top layer of the soil crumbles and this lead to landslides.

Severe climate changes a) Deforestation disrupts the normal weather patterns . making the land infertile. d) The recycling of nitrates and other ions slow down. drier weather and causing global climatic changes. . e) Tree roots bind soil particles together . causes flash floods during rainy seasons. Deforestation . • The loss of biodiversity a) The destruction of millions hectares of forests by human activities means : • The removal of bases of numerous food webs • The loss of habitats of many species of flora and fauna • The extinction of countless species and varieties of plants and animals . b) The removal of trees reduces transpiration .• d) The eroded soil is then carried by moving water and deposited at the bottom of the rivers e) This together with depletion of water catchment areas . c) The level of atmospheric oxygen drops as less oxygen is released by plants during photosynthesis . f) Soil erosion cause the land to be depleted of minerals and natural resources . The extinction of flora and fauna species reduces the biodiversity . therefore . High levels of carbon dioxide prevent heat from escaping from the atmosphere. rainfall and the rate at which plants adsorb carbon dioxide from atmosphere during photosynthesis . This is known as the greenhouse effect which is believed to lead to global warming . Biodiversity can be a rich source of food and priceless medicines to mankind • Disruption to the carbon and nitrogen cycles a) The removal of plants in the rainforests disrupts the natural cycles of nutrients b) The level of atmospheric carbon dioxide rises as less carbon dioxide in the air is removed by plants during photosynthesis. and the tree canopy cushions the force of rain beating down on the soil. causes the loss of nutrients through leaching and run-offs. c) This leads to an increase in the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere. creating hotter .

The dumping of waste in landfills poses a great danger to living organisms as toxic substances and other pollutants from dumpsites leak into the ground and eventually pollute the nearby water sources. 2. The burning of fossil fuels adds about 75% of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.d) Forest clearing and burning of wood result in air pollution and release more carbon dioxide into atmosphere. Since nitrate and ammonium ions are highly soluble . Excessive use of land for intensive farming decreases the space and resources available for other species. 2. An increase in human population generates an increase in both domestic and industrial waste. An increase in carbon dioxide level is associated with the greenhouse effect and global warming. to improve crop yields. 3. . This leads to eutrophication . In intensive farming . 2. they do not remain in the soil for long and are quickly leached into the surrounding rivers and lakes. Burning fossils and its effects 1. The effects of an increase in domestic waste and industrial waste 1. phosphates and potassium ions . Intensive farming and its effects 1. which contain nitrates . farmers often use inorganic fertilisers . Eutrophication is discussed later in the section on water pollution. 4.

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