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Human Geography Ecosystem

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It’s not easy studying an entire planet

Luckily, geography is split into two main areas that make it easier to wrap your head around. Physical geography looks at the natural processes of the Earth, such as climate and plate tectonics. Human geography looks at the impact and behaviour of people and how they relate to the physical world. However, it is important to remember that all areas of geography are interconnected: for example, the way human CO2 emissions affect the climate is part of both physical and human geography. The main area of geography that looks at the connection between physical and human geography is called environmental geography.

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Together with freshwater ecosystems, marine ecosystems are also part of the broader category of aquatic ecosystems. Marine ecosystems cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface and have a high salt content. Some examples of marine ecosystems are offshore systems like the ocean surface, the deep sea, pelagic oceans or the seafloor. But there are also nearshore systems like coral reefs, mangroves or seagrass meadows. Marine ecosystems can too be characterized following the abiotic and biotic dimensions mentioned above. In this way, its biotic components are organisms and their species, predators, parasites, and competitors. On the contrary, the concentration of nutrients, the temperature, sunlight, turbulence, salinity and density are its abiotic components. Natural ecosystems are “balanced” systems. This means the interactions between the different organisms that make up the ecosystem contribute to a certain stability. For example, in grassland ecosystems, herbivores consume grass, but also feed the soil with their droppings, which allows the grass to grow back and allows some sort of balance. Still, this doesn’t mean an ecosystem, even a healthy one, is static. In reality, ecosystems are constantly evolving as they are based on dynamic processes that are constantly changing. For instance, biocenosis are living organisms that interact with their environment and constantly transform it. How? Because animals compact the soil, plants create humidity or regulate the temperature and bacteria help in the microscopic world by protecting all sorts of animals from diseases and helping in their digestion process. As well, an ecosystem also evolves due to external or unforeseen events. A climatic or natural phenomenon, for example, can lead to transformations in the environment. In this way, biocenosis the ecosystem’s living organisms to adapt to these new constraints, and change happens.

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Our global impact is finally receiving the scientific attention it deserves. The outcome will largely determine the future course of evolution

Human-modified ecosystems are shaped by our activities and their side effects. They share a common set of traits including simplified food webs, landscape homogenization, and high nutrient and energy inputs. Ecosystem simplification is the ecological hallmark of humanity and the reason for our evolutionary success (Hammond A., 1998). However, the side effects of our profligacy and poor resource practices are now so pervasive as to threaten our future no less than that of biological diversity itself. This article looks at human impact on ecosystems and the consequences for evolution. It concludes that future evolution will be shaped by our awareness of the global threats, our willingness to take action, and our ability to do so. Our ability is presently hampered by several factors, including the poor state of ecosystem and planetary knowledge, ignorance of human impact, lack of guidelines for sustainability, and a paucity of good policies, practices, and incentives for adopting those guidelines in daily life. Conservation philosophy, science, and practice must be framed against the reality of human-dominated ecosystems, rather than the separation of humanity and nature underlying the modern conservation movement (Vitousek P M, Mooney H A, 1997). The steps scientists can take to imbed science in conservation and conservation in the societal process affecting the future of ecosystems and human well-being are discussed.

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Thus, ecosystems can recover from destruction, however. The delicate coral reef ecosystems in the South Pacific are at risk due to rising ocean temperatures and decreased salinity. Corals bleach, or lose their bright colors, in water that is too warm

They die in water that isnt salty enough. Without the reef structure, the ecosystem collapses. Organisms such as algae, plants such as seagrass, and animals such as fish, snakes, and shrimp disappear.

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Martin P S, Steadman D W. In: Extinctions in Near Time. MacPhee R D E, editor. New York: Plenum; 1999. pp. 17–55.

Vitousek P M, Mooney H A, Lubchenco J, Melillo J M. Science. 1997;277:494–499.

Hammond A. Which World? Scenarios for the 21st Century. London: Earthscan; 1998.

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