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Balancing Ecosystems


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Balancing Ecosystems
Jaclyn Bataclan
Lori Keller

Dear City Council of Glimmerville,
Good day to all residing in Glimmerville. I would like to introduce myself, my name is Jaclyn Bataclan, I am a college student that is been assigned to restoring the balance of Sparksville waters by removing the Grass Carp. I understand that Glimmerville is having the same challenges as we were. I am offering you my knowledge of how we removed the Carp, and restored balance in the waters of your lovely town.
Let me first explain what an ecosystem is and why it’s important to have a balanced ecosystem. An ecosystems is a balance of all things living and nonliving together in a specific area. For example, a coral reef is an ecosystem is contains substrate, water, microorganisms, fish, plants, and air. Balance within an ecosystem is important because without it will not maintain its stability. Every part of an ecosystem has a job to do, and when a species of an ecosystem disappears the balance is off kilter. If an invasive species is introduced to an ecosystem it can endanger the species that is native to the ecosystem and potentially destroy the ecosystem. An invasive species may pray on the native ones, and remove it from the ecosystem, which in turn can create other species to invade; decease to come and lastly destroy the soil and create erosion. However, the native species helps maintain the stability of the ecosystem, like plants, which are producers, provide food for other living organisms. The Grass Carp has changed the ecosystem of our waters. This fish removes needed oxygen from the water creating an in balance for the native species in the lake; with that being said succession of the lakes ecosystem here in Sparksville has changed since the introduction of the Grass Carp. The carp is an invasive species, and what should have been predicable in this ecosystem has not been. The native species are struggling to produce, and maintain life. The Grass Carp has removed much of the native species food, and made the water more alkaline. With the increase in alkalinity the native species is struggling to breath. Moreover, native species to an ecosystem assist in producing a flow of energy which maintains the ecosystem. For instance, at a trophic level of energy primary producers, such as plants, algae and some bacteria use solar energy to produce organic plant materials through photosynthesis. When an invasive species is introduced to the ecosystem, like the Grass Carp, it consumes all the plants. Now the energy flow is off and the plants are no longer there to feed the species like herbivores.
Here are some ways to remove the Carp invasion out of your waters. One way is to use a shock treatment. Post electrified materials from shore to shore, so when the carp swims throughout the lake it will zap the fish. There is a downside to this method it can be very dangerous to the public, and for the people that will maintain the area. Another way is to use poisons in the water, this is highly risky and dangerous to the native species residing in there ecosystem. However, it has been known to do the trick. The last two approaches I suggest be used together. Hold a sporting event where fisherman from all over can come and fish for these carp to reduce the numbers. There is very little danger of doing this, but I would to caution on keeping the native species safe from these events to ensure the native species are not fished too much from the water. Lastly, we have found that reducing the frequency of the fertilizer used by the local farmer has already shown some improvement in the over growth in the water, which was the reason why the Grass Carb was introduced. So far the reduction in fertilizer has not decreased the crop growth too much. There has been a slight margin loss in this area, but it has not proven to be dangerous to the local farmers.
Even though ecosystems have a lot of fortitude they can be destroyed. It is important to maintain balance and/or restore ecosystems. People are the number one culprit for creating these imbalances and destroying them. It is vital to us as humans to restore or maintain these ecosystem to continue our lively hood, the lake in Sparksville not only provide necessary food for us, it also provides money to support our local residents and community. Thinking on a larger scale the Boreal Forest has many ecosystems with in it, however I would like to think of it as a large scale ecosystem. “Most of the boreal forest is not well suited to agriculture because of its short growing season and mineral-poor soil. However, the boreal forest yields lumber, pulpwood for paper products, animal furs, and other forest products.” (2011, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley). Just think if this forest was destroyed or became unbalance, we as humans would struggle for some of life necessities. So, as we are cutting down trees to make our paper products, or to build our building and homes, it is our part to keep this forest balanced to remain stable, and keep providing us with resources. As well as to keep providing the producers, and consumers that are native to the forest alive and a part of this ecosystem.

Berg, L. R., Hager, M. C., Hassenzahl, D. M., & National Geographic Society (U.S.). (2011). Visualizing environmental science. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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