Agricultural influences on biodiversity (ENVS2004)

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http://bit.ly/2yKEPMB

Many new farming practises such as using pesticides and fertilisers can have huge impacts upon biodiversity.

Pesticides a large impact on biodiversity because if they are consumed they  directly kill the animal or reduce mobility making them an easier target for predators or could be persistent and so stay in the environment for a long time creating larger problems.

Fertilisers will also reduce the diversity of plants as the added nutrients increases the growth of fast growing plants. These will then out compete slower growing plants blocking out the sunlight and causing them to die. Excessive fertiliser use can run off the field and leach into rivers. As the nutrients are absorbed by large plants and algae they will block out the light causing other plants to die. Eventually deoxygenating the river causing aquatic organisms to die reducing diversity. 

Agriculture contributes 70% of the world’s deforestation which is happening in Latin America, Asia and Africa as vast areas of trees are felled for the room of grazing livestock. This destroys the habitat of many exotic species and decreases the quality of the forest.  

Overgrazing can also destroy some certain sensitive habitats such as peat lands. This causes bare rock to be exposed at the surface widening the rivers. This causes rivers to change course  creating flooding causing some species to drown.

The main area where this is happening is the Amazon rainforest and for every 10% of the Amazon that is lost one or two major species will be lost. The main cause of this deforestation is for cattle ranching where the produce is then exported to wealthy western countries.  

Overall modern farming techniques are destroying biodiversity and so we should reduce the negative impacts caused to conserve nature for future generations.

References 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/016788099500609V

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8026552.stm

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749199000913

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120925091608.htm

http://www.noticenature.ie/What_effect_does_agriculture_have_on_biodiversity_and_why_take_action_to_protect_it_.html

http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/amazon-deforestation-threshold-causes-species-loss-to-accelerate

 

 

Author: alexcarter19

I am a young student studying for an Environmental Science degree. I live on a farm which is where my love for the environment and the outdoors came from, which is what has inspired this blog as i understand the negative impacts agriculture has on the environment and i want to make people more aware.  

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