Human Activities that Affect the Ecosystem By David Weedmark; Updated March 09, Humans interact with the world around us every day, but some of our actions are more harmful than others. As our population approaches 7 billion people, the effects of human activities on the ecosystem, including the water, air, land and the life that we share the world with, are almost immeasurable. Pollution Humans pollute the land, water and air with unwanted refuse.
However, the ecosystem of a freshwater lake or river can be extremely fragile, and human activities can be detrimental to their health in a number of ways: In many ways, humans depend on freshwater ecosystems for survival, but their impact on these waterways can be devastating.
Habitat Alteration Through Industry Humans can alter or even destroy freshwater ecosystems through the construction of hydroelectric dams or irrigation projects. Dams create reservoirs of water while artificially limiting the flow of water downstream of the project, which can significantly change the ecosystem on both sides of the construction.
Similarly, diverting water for irrigation can also reduce the available water for the region's wildlife and can alter the natural flow of water through the aquifer. Over time, these changes can lead to new ecosystems developing in the affected areas, but heavy disruptions to the natural balance lead to severe side effects.
Overuse of Water Humans can have a major impact on freshwater systems through water overuse. The same waterways that support wildlife and plants also provide municipal water for cities and towns, and when consumption outstrips the natural regeneration of these waterways, it can negatively affect the ecosystem.
Reducing the amount of water in lakes and other reservoirs puts pressure on aquatic populations, reducing the amount of living space available, and in some cases, it dries up streams and ponds entirely.
Sciencing Video Vault Chemical Runoff and Pollution Freshwater ecosystems near towns and cities also face threats from runoff and pollution.
Industrial dumping, particulate pollution from combustion engines, and agricultural fertilizers and pesticides, in many cases end up in rivers and streams, either falling there directly or carried to the waterways by rain. Particularly toxic pollutants may wipe out an ecosystem entirely, but even small amounts of less lethal compounds can have an effect on wildlife.
Some of these toxic substances can even cause genetic mutations, altering the life cycle of fish, amphibians and other wildlife and causing birth defects that can destroy a population over time.
Wastewater Floods and Other Mishaps While municipal sewage plants and livestock operations release only treated water into the environment under normal circumstances, system failures and floods can trigger a release of untreated sewage into the water cycle.
Depending on the particular toxicity of the spill, it may kill large numbers of wildlife, or it may only alter the nutrient balance in the water.
This imbalance can trigger algae blooms, which can choke off a freshwater ecosystem by taking up all the oxygen available or even spurring the development of toxic organisms, including certain types of cyanobacteria, that can be deadly to wildlife and even affect humans.Human activities have increased greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO 2), methane and nitrous oxide began to rise around two hundred years ago, after changing little since the end of the last ice age thousands of years earlier.
Unit 6 • Cause-Effect Essays What is a great topic for a cause-effect essay? This type of essay may focus more on the causes or more on the effects, but most writers answer this question by thinking of an effect or a final result.
A number of human activities have played a role in the river's economic development: shipping, agriculture, power generation, commercial fishing, shoreline urbanisation, industry and recreation and tourism/5(3). Oct 24, · Human activities can release substances into the air, some of which can cause problems for humans, plants, and animals.
There are several main types of pollution and well-known effects of pollution which are commonly discussed.
Not all the ways that humans affect the ecosystem are negative. Every time you recycle used paper, plastic or metal, or pick up a piece of trash from the sidewalk, you . Then take that data and put it in excel so that you can determined which land uses are most prevalent in each of the lakes.
To do these take only the land uses that occur prevalently on the graphs and use those to find the percentages of each, for each watershed (leave out because that is the white area around the map).