Free

Environmental Studies. Ecology - Research Paper Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
Summary
Ecology.
Ecology is the scientific study of relationships in the world of nature. Ecosystems consist of communities of various species of living organisms, who depend on their environment for their needs…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER92.7% of users find it useful
Environmental Studies. Ecology
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Environmental Studies. Ecology"

Ecology is the scientific study of relationships in the world of nature. Ecosystems consist of communities of various species of living organisms, who depend on their environment for their needs. Every living species, whether of the plant or animal variety is part of a community and its function as part of that community is described as its ecological niche. Biodiversity or Biological diversity refers to all the life forms living in various ecosystems. The importance of biodiversity cannot be overstated, because it increases productivity in an ecosystem, and the greater the biodiversity in an ecosystem, the healthier it is. Changes in climate or movement of species bring about change in an ecosystem. When the change is gradual, the species adapt and survive, but in cases of sudden or drastic changes, many species die out. Man has been the main culprit in upsetting the delicate balance of these ecosystems. Mining, farming and other industries such as aquaculture and meat production, have left scars on an environment that is unable to sustain itself. It has now been left to our ingenuity and resourcefulness to see that further harm is avoided, and every effort must be made to reduce man’s carbon footprint. In this effort each one of us can make a valuable contribution, failing which future generations will have to bear the consequences of our callousness. Environmental Studies The scientific study of relationships in the world of nature is referred to as ecology. An ecosystem is a community of living organisms, as well as the non living components in their environment, on whom they depend for their needs. Nutrients and energy that are obtained from the environment are used so as to maintain an ecosystem. An ecosystem consists of various species and each of them has a relationship with other species that cohabit the ecosystem. An ecological niche can be described as a way of life that is unique to a particular plant or animal species. A niche is not the same as a habitat. Many species can share a habitat but not a niche. Every species whether of plant or animal variety are part of a community, their function as part of the community is known as their niche. In other words, an ecological niche is the relational position of a particular species in an ecosystem. Biodiversity refers to the diverse forms of life on our earth. This includes all species of plants, animals and organisms that exist in diverse ecosystems, like tropical rainforests, deserts, or in the oceans. The variety of different species in an ecosystem is known as biodiversity. The Convention on Biological Diversity (2010) defines biodiversity as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”. (CBD, 2010) Biodiversity is important to the environment because it increases productivity in an ecosystem, where every species, no matter how tiny, contributes to the health and well being of the ecosystem. As Ban Ki Moon (2010) rightly points out “Biodiversity underpins the functioning of the ecosystems on which we depend for food and fresh water, health and recreation, and protection from natural disasters.” (Ban Ki Moon, 2010) Greater biodiversity, makes an ecosystem more resilient and healthy, and lessening this biodiversity, increases the risk of extinction of species. “Biodiversity, the variety of life on Earth, is essential to sustaining the living networks and systems that provide us all with health, wealth, food, fuel and the vital services our lives depend on” says the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2010) hosted by the United Nations Environment Program. (UN News Centre , 2010) Change in the environment is constant due to climate change or other factors like movement of species from one location to another. When changes occur slowly over time in an ecosystem, it gives the species living there time to adapt and survive. However, rapid changes that occur due to natural disasters like volcanoes or tsunamis, fires and storms, or human activities like mining or aquaculture, agriculture or forestry can do untold damage to the delicate balance of these ecosystems. Man needs energy for his everyday needs, but this energy that he takes in the form of minerals like petroleum or fuels such as coal, leave their imprint on the environment. No fuel, except maybe wind energy is completely without some harmful effects. However, today man has become aware of the importance of protecting the environment and steps are being taken by the international community to limit the harmful effects of man’s energy needs. Many energy sources like biofuels, as well as wind and solar energy are being tapped to reduce man’s carbon footprint. However, there is a fear that this may be too little and too late. Meat production has many distinct impacts on the environment. The use of the natural habitats being converted to farmland for producing food for cattle and pigs, has been responsible for destroying ecosystems that thrived in the area. Besides, these animals are the “most significant contributors to water pollution, and soil degradation, and are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions.” ( World Wildlife Fund, n.d.). Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) also pose increased environmental hazards. Pollutants like Ammonia, Nitrogen and Phosphorous are associated with animal wastes and as these are concentrated in particular areas, they can prove harmful to the environment. Aquaculture is another industry that has been increasingly criticized for its propensity to upset the environmental balance. As the world tries to feed its teeming millions, aquaculture has become the fastest growing food production sector, especially benefitting people living in coastal areas in some of the poorest countries in the world. However, pollution and destruction of coastal habitats threaten aquatic biodiversity. Sustainable development has been aptly defined by The Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, (1987) as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (WCED, 1987) The energy needs of our planet are growing daily, compromising the ability of the environment to sustain itself, as well as to fulfill the requirements of future generations. In such a situation, it is up to each one of us to think about how we can contribute to conserving energy and reducing our carbon footprint. Each one of us can contribute our mite to helping sustain our environment, and make sure that no species, in any ecosystem, is forced by our activities into extinction. The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2010) has rightly pointed out that “Humans are part of nature's rich diversity and have the power to protect or destroy it.” (UN News Centre, 2010) How then do we go about this in our own small ways? Not all of us can afford to buy a hybrid car or install solar panels on our roofs. However, there are some constructive ways through the use of which we can make a difference. Each one of us can make a start by trying to use our cars as sparingly as possible. Using bicycles, or for greater distances public transport, preferably electric trains, or transport using green fuels can help. Unplugging electrical appliances like cell phone chargers, TVs, stereos and also switching off electric lights when a room is not in use, are ways to reduce both our electricity bill as well as our carbon footprint. Using organic foods and carrying our own water bottle instead of buying packaged water, or buying goods with less packaging like loose vegetables or fruits and carrying our own reusable bag is another way to avoid plastic waste, which has become a huge problem for the environment. Making lists and doing necessary jobs in one go is a useful way of saving both our own energy as well as car fuel. It also protects the environment from avoidable emissions. In conclusion, we should all take note of the warning that Executive Director United Nations Environment Program has sounded (2010) “The arrogance of humanity is that somehow we imagine we can get by without biodiversity or that it is somehow peripheral: the truth is we need it more than ever on a planet of six billion heading to over nine billion people by 2050.” (Steiner,2010) References Ban Ki Moon Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 page 5 Foreword by United Nations Secretary-General Retrieved from Convention on Biological Diversity Biodiversity, the CBD and the 2010 target. Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 page 15 Retrieved from Steiner, Achim Global Biodiversity Outlook 3 page 6 Message from the Executive Director UNEP Retrieved from UN News Centre January 2010 UN Opens Biodiversity Year with Plea to Save World’s Ecosystems. Retrieved from WCED, 1987 Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development: Our Common Future Transmitted to the General Assembly Our Common Future, Chapter 2: Towards Sustainable Development Retrieved from World Wildlife Fund Environmental Impacts of Beef Production n.d. Retrieved from Read More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
  • CHICAGO
(“Environmental Studies. Ecology Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 words”, n.d.)
Retrieved from https://studentshare.org/environmental-studies/1463904-what-is-an-ecological-niche-and-how-does-it
(Environmental Studies. Ecology Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words)
https://studentshare.org/environmental-studies/1463904-what-is-an-ecological-niche-and-how-does-it.
“Environmental Studies. Ecology Research Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 750 Words”, n.d. https://studentshare.org/environmental-studies/1463904-what-is-an-ecological-niche-and-how-does-it.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Environmental Studies. Ecology

Environmental Studies

...& Number: Environmental Studies (Modern Industrial Society) 03 December Modern industrial society has adverse environmental effect on the poor because they lack the mechanisms to successfully cope with the situation. How do different ways of seeing and thinking about nature affect our relationships with it, and what are the consequences of those ways of seeing and thinking for the environment? People who are poor would see the environment as something to be exploited for human consumption; they see it as a way to live enhanced living standards but this can have dire environmental consequences as it will soon deplete natural resources beyond what is called as its...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Environmental Studies

...Environmental Studies Science inventions and advancements have had a profound impact on the lives of human beings. Major studies in science and various scientific fields have enabled the transformation of human lives in the world to be able to live better and much more comfortably. However, in every good thing, there is always a negative side, which comes with negative consequences. Scientific inventions have created notable changes in the environment both positively and negatively. The following paper takes a closer look at how science has both helped and destroyed the environment. We shall look at the influences that science has made in the energy sector, climate change and agriculture...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Environmental Studies - Air Pollution

...and children who have slightly weaker respiratory systems compared to the entire demographic sects. Depletion of the ozone layer, smog presence in the environment and global warming are some of the major human facilitated air pollution as mentioned by Schnelle et al. (63). These adverse effects are known to cause numerous and sometimes rare diseases to human beings. Quite often these diseases are respiratory infections or skin diseases as mentioned by Holgate (35).Human beings are also involved in forums to design new rule and technology to reduce air pollution. The current environmental and conservation problems caused by air pollution include: Fossil fuel emission has led to depletion of the ozone layer. Excessive...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Environmental Studies Class Journal

.... Lecture 3 Class started with the usual review of what we've done and then went into an introduction to the U.S. Green Building Council and LEED group who created a recognized rating system that incorporates many of the things that we've already talked about in this class. Green design includes sustainable site planning, safeguarding water and water efficiency, energy efficiency and renewable energy, conservation of materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Benefits of green building are environmental, economic, health and safety benefits, and community benefits. Economic benefits include competitive first costs, reduce operating costs, and optimize life-cycle economic performance....
6 Pages(1500 words)Case Study

Environmental Studies

...?Environmental Studies Environmental Studies This presentation will be discussing the essentiality of limestone in general and also specifically limestone found in India. Fundamental facts and information about the properties of limestone will also be provided, locations of significant mines and sites where the rock is found will be pin pointed and the various categories of limestone that are found will be discussed. Outlining the above mentioned details are important to reach the heart of this presentation; which will talk about the uses of limestone in trade, business, manufacturing of goods and export and a conclusive analysis about the sustainable use of limestone for...
6 Pages(1500 words)Assignment

Environmental studies

...Environmental Studies Exam Part A (about 40 words each question List two features of the ical liberal philosophical framework that underpins bio-economic modelling. • Belief in new ideas This is one of the core principles of the classical liberal philosophical framework. It is a departure from the conservative principles of society. New ideas should be at the heart of bio-economic modelling to find the most suitable solution to the problems facing the environment. • Belief in a laissez-faire economic model The laissez-faire economic model is a belief that only the market forces control the market. There is no interference from the government. In the same manner, the environment has a self-control...
5 Pages(1250 words)Assignment

Environmental studies

...from aspects such as world views on environmental issues. However, this does not imply that the other more essential means such as technological, economical and scientific solutions should be ignored: instead, they should be affirmed while basing on the cultural causes and solutions to environmental problems (Poser, 2008). References Hiskes, R. P. (2009). The human right to a green future: Environmental rights and intergenerational justice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Howard-Grenville, J. A. (2007). Corporate culture and environmental practice: Making change at a high-technology manufacturer. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. Johnston, B. R. (2012). Water,...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Environmental Studies

...Environmental Studies Introduction Environment has not been preserved well and it has lead to severe consequences. Any irresponsibility will make the humans suffer at later date. Now the situation is so bad due to the negligence of the public in preserving the environment. Environmental threats should be properly handled and the environmental officers must develop and implement some plans to avoid these threats. The major destruction was because of Global warming. Anything when properly handled can be used in an effective way. Global warming could have been avoided, if the environment has been well maintained at the right time. The surroundings, natural and physical play...
7 Pages(1750 words)Essay

Environmental Studies

...widespread support from the residents and businesses in the area. A report released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency indicates that the legislation has led to the improvements of air quality, and the improvement is estimated to be $2 trillion. At the same time, the implementation of the legislation has significantly reduced the ambient concentration of fine particles and other air pollutants. The report has also associated the new legislation with a raft of health and environmental benefits. For instance, the improved quality standards of air have reduced incidence of premature mortality and diseases such as chronic bronchitis and myocardial infection. A number of studies that...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Environmental Studies

...[Due Environmental Studies STEP a) Shallowest is 130 meters, while deepest is 2060 meters. b) It increases. This is because the oldest ice or gas is usually found in the deepest depths. c) Ice and gas are two different elements with different qualities. It so happens that their age would also differ depending on their qualities. d) 2.53 years younger. e) It is smallest at the bottom of the core. This is because it is exposed to elements. STEP 2 b) Very reliable c) 160.73 and 28.1 years ago respectively STEP 3 10. Carbon dioxide and temperature are directly proportional 11. CH4 is more closely correlated with temperature. This is because it is lighter than CO2. 12. They are inversely...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Research Paper on topic Environmental Studies. Ecology for FREE!

Contact Us