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Natural Resources and Energy Paper - Essay Example

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 Natural Resources and Energy Paper Name: Institution:       Natural Resources and Energy Paper Introduction At the center of North America lies a vast area of land, which was at one time filled with wild flowers and grass. The people from France referred to the rolling plains of grass as prairie…
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 Natural Resources and Energy Paper       Natural Resources and Energy Paper Introduction At the center of North America lies a vast area of land, which was at one time filled with wild flowers and grass. The people from France referred to the rolling plains of grass as prairie. This is derived from a field grazed by animals. The prairies are a form of grass area filled by herbaceous grasses and plants. A small number of trees grow in this area and are normally widely spread. The North American prairie form a triangular shape covering southern Texas, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Mexico, and almost 1,000 miles from Western Indiana to the west side of the Rocky mountains. The North American prairie also constitutes approximately 1.4 million square miles. In addition, the rainfall in the North American prairie lessens as one moves from east to west. Climates are also extra moist nearer to the east and north and to the mountains. They are also dry in the central areas. This leads to the formation of different forms of prairies. It is also connected to natural resources, for example, short grass prairie found in the rain shadow of the rocky mountain and mixed-grass prairies found in the central Great Plains. There are also other resources such as wildlife and different species of fish. Fire also spreads across an area of land every one to five years. The fire travels quickly across the land and does not move into the soil very far. Finally, the North American prairie is connected to energy as it may provide wood necessary for a number of industries (Anderson, 2006). This paper will look at the North American prairie, its impact associated with agriculture, and the effects that a growing human population may have on the North American Prairie resources, including loss or harm to populations of wild species. There are a number of impacts of North American prairie associated with agriculture. The North American prairie grasslands are beneficial to both farmers and wildlife. The greater part of losses takes place when grasslands are turned into agricultural areas. The conversion of North American prairie into agricultural areas has continued because cash crops offer economic returns to the farmers. Nonetheless, a large number of prairie grasslands are not giving all their potential advantages because they are significantly affected by pollutants. Even though grasslands can handle a specific amount of pollutants, extreme amounts can overwhelm them (Anderson, 2006). In addition, elevated concentrations of pesticides and heavy metals can cause significant transformations in the North American prairie grasslands. This also lessens the grassland’s beneficial use by both individuals and wildlife. Moreover, pollution of North American prairie grasslands by agricultural pesticides may cause different forms of damage, for example, changing the development of plants. This occurs when wide scale pesticides directed at pests in agriculture land accidentally harm animal and plant species in nearby grasslands. Also, almost the entire North American prairie grasslands have been damaged because of extensive farming. The consequence has been a large area of soil without a firm prairie grass to keep it in position, and a small number of trees to blockade the wind. In addition, lab examinations of surface soil indicate that the grassland engulfed by cultivated land contain a higher Phosphorous concentration than grasslands which are not covered with cultivated land. Finally, in the 1930s, when drought stuck the prairie, the Great Plains was devastated when high winds blew the dry soil into massive, recurrent dust storms. A growing human population has a number of effects on the North American prairie resources. Prior to the movement of settlers to the west, the prairies were enclosed with herds of grazing animals, for example, rabbits, buffalo, deer, and elk. These creatures enhanced the expansion in prairies by adding nitrogen to the soil through feces and urine. They also established open areas for plants that prefer to have the soil dug up. Nonetheless, as the population augments and the desire for commodities enhances, there is an escalating conflict between human activities and the resources found in the North America prairie. Currently, a minimal number of the initial prairies exist. A large area of the land has been converted for agricultural activities, fires are being restrained, and urban areas are coming up. Consequently, the biological and genetic diversity of the plants are fading away. The herds of grazing animals are all but being wiped out due to human activities (Tilman & Lehman, 2001). In conclusion, there is a fervent urge to inform individuals about prairies. Numerous states are re-establishing what remains of their prairies and reintroducing the native plants and wildlife. References Anderson, R. C. (2006). Evolution and origin of the Central Grassland of North America: Climate, fire, and mammalian grazers. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society, 133(4), 626-647. Retrieved from http://bio.illinoisstate.edu/rcander/Anderson%20Evolution%20and%20origin%20of%20the%20Central%20grassland%20of%20North%20America%20climate%20fire%20and%20mammalian%20grzers.pdf Tilman, D., & Lehman, C. (2001). Human-caused environmental change: Impacts on plant diversity and evolution. The National Academy of Sciences, 98(10), 5433-5440. Retrieved from http://www.pnas.org/content/98/10/5433.full Read More
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