Human activity affects ecosystems in a wide variety of ways, but it primarily does so through agriculture, habitat destruction, water use and fishing. Whenever humans enter a habitat, they tend to reshape it to fit their own needs, destroying the resources that other animals use, which drives them out. The overuse of water drains natural aquifers and alters the local water table, and pollution can negatively affect wildlife populations.Know More
Fishing is one area in which human activity can have massive effects on an ecosystem. Humans often put extreme pressure on apex predator species, such as tuna. When the numbers of these predators dwindle, the lesser predators that they consume grow in number, which then puts pressure on the species further down the food chain. Additionally, industrial fishing operations can damage habitats and kill unrelated species that are caught along with the targeted fish.
Humans also affect the environment through pollution, and these changes can be widespread. Increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have raised global temperatures, and these increases can alter sea levels and weather patterns. Just a few degrees of change can damage fragile ecosystems by wiping out key flora or altering animals' reproductive cycles, and the fact that these gases can affect the environment for decades if not centuries ensures that their impact is long-term and widespread.Learn more in Earth Science
Eutrophication is the process of enriching an ecosystem with nutrients, primarily nitrogen and phosphorous. It can occur naturally in aging lakes. Humans can also introduce these nutrients into an ecosystem, at which point it is called artificial eutrophication.Full Answer >
Abiotic factors are the non-living parts of an ecosystem. The abiotic factors of Antarctica are its low temperatures, small amount of precipitation and polar ice sheet. Abiotic factors work with the biotic, or living, factors to shape the ecosystem.Full Answer >
There are several reasons that bald eagles became an endangered species including habitat destruction, hunting, competition with humans for food and exposure to chemical pesticides. The decline of the bald eagle began with European settlement of North America and was made worse by westward expansion.Full Answer >
Life could not exist on Earth without trees because they produce most of the oxygen that humans and wildlife breathe. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen using the process of photosynthesis. There would also be no rain without trees, since trees absorb water from the soil and release it through evapotranspiration. Water vapor released through evapotranspiration is the major mechanism by which air is remoistened.Full Answer >