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Describe Your Local and Surrounding Ecologies and Environments.

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Submitted By chuck864
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•Describe your local and surrounding ecologies and environments.
Ecology is the relations and interactions between organisms and their environment. (Dictionary.com 2013) An ecosystem is comprised of living organisms together with their surrounding environment. The abiotic constituents found in the local ecosystem include; water, minerals, soil and other nonliving constituents such as sunlight and climate. The living part of the ecosystem is referred to as biotic. Biotic and abiotic constituents are linked together by nutrients cycling and energy flow. (Integrated Science, 2009) Sun is the main source of energy in an ecosystem which is transferred through an ecosystem through the food chain. The main components of an ecosystem include animals, plants and microorganisms but they are also comprised of non-living materials such as water, minerals, soil and rocks. My local surrounding environment is farm land. I live in the country with fields of hay and cattle surrounding me.
•List the specific factors that distinguish your local ecology and environment.
The specific factors that distinguish my local ecology and the environment are climate, soil, rocks, minerals, plants and animals. Climate is a vital factor in my local ecology since it determines the kind of animals and plants to be found in the ecosystem. Different animals and plants are only found in certain places in the globe defined by the climate of the place. Soil is another factor which affects the kind of plants and animals to be found in an ecosystem.
•Discuss how human activities have affected your local ecosystems.
The local ecosystem is adversely affected by human activities. Some of which include agricultural practices and settlements. Human being destroys forests in order to obtain land to construct houses. Forest degradation is probably one of the greatest negatives effects on the ecosystem. This is because some living organisms such as birds use trees and forest as their living places. Forests also regulate the climate of a place which defines the kind of plants and animals to be found in a certain ecosystem. Forests act as carbon sinks and thus purifies the environment which plants and animals rely on. Agricultural practices are another factor which influences the local ecosystem. Human beings cut down trees in order to get space for farming. This leaves the land stripped of its plant cover and allows nutrients to be washed away. This affects the living organisms in that specific ecosystem since they depend on those organisms for their food. During cultivation, human beings use chemical fertilizers and pesticides on the land. When chemicals are washed away in to water sources, they affect the living organisms in the nearby water masses. Also application of chemicals changes the soil properties such as soil PH. This affects the organisms living in the soil. While there are a lot of negative aspects to some of the native organisms the changes made by humans have allowed cattle, corn, and other plants and animals to thrive.
Other human activities which have affected the local ecology include; waste disposal. There are various ways of that human’s dispose of waste. On way is to bury it underground. This affects the local ecology since things such as explosives and poisonous substances buried under the soil may be hazardous. Poisonous substances buried in the soil may find their way to water masses killing the local animals and organism.
•Describe the ways that global warming might affect your local ecosystems.
Global warming involves the change in climate as a result of introduction of ozone gases in to the atmosphere. Introduction of carbon gases and other chemical substances such as sulfur affects the ozone layer. Global warming is an issue of global concern due to its impacts to the ecosystem. Global warming can also lead to a rise in water levels due to melting of ice. This would cause the living organisms in the water acquirers to be affected. As ice melts from the mountain, it carries sediments into the water reservoirs which carry nutrients needed by some living things. Global warming also has other effects to the local ecosystem such as acid rain. The introduction of chemicals in to the atmosphere also contributes to acidic rain. Acidic rain affects plants, animals and also the infrastructure. It may result in the drying up of plants and also animal death. Acidic rain is corrosive which kills plants and also corrodes buildings. In comparison to other places, my local ecosystem may experience the same impact. This is because human activities and global warming adversely affect the ecosystem across the border. In order to maintain the ecosystem, human beings should be alerted on the consequences of their activities. Improved farming practices should be put in place. Introduction of chemical substances in to the atmosphere should be minimized. This can be achieved by minimizing usage of toxic substances in the industries.
•Relative to other parts of the world, would your local ecosystems be affected more or less? I believe that my region could handle slight increases in temperatures due to global warming but drastic changes would probably dry out the land making it unfit to farm. In terms of other places in the world I believe that my area would be less affected but one can never tell because just like the rest of the world my area depends on rain and a certain climate. With the weather being controlled by the climates and regulated temperatures of the world, who knows what will happen.

References - Ecologies. (n. d.). Dictionary.com Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/ecologies?s=t - Tillery, B., Enger, E., & Ross, F. (2009). Integrated science. (Custom Edition). McGraw-hill Companies, Inc.

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