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Ecology and Environment Essay

1. Describe your local and surrounding ecologies and environments. Before we can describe the local and surrounding ecologies and environments, we have to know the meaning of ecology and environment. The relation among organisms and the environment that they are in is called ecology. During an organism’s lifetime, anything that affects it in any way is called an environment. Local and surrounding ecologies and environments in the local area that I reside in are trees, shrubs and vines, wildflowers and weeds, fungi (honey mushroom), lichen, fish, reptiles, amphibious animals, birds, mammals, insects, snails, and different worms. These ecologies require different habitats in the environment to survive and make their being.

There are a few different habitats that exist in Northern Virginia, forest, meadows, thicket, marsh, ponds, forest streams, rivers, flower garden, and regular neighborhood streets. Habitats are very important components of an organism’s life. Organisms need the different shelters to live in. The forest can be a very big area that certain organism can live in. Some organism uses the shelter to hide in or move along so other organism want see them to eat them. The ponds and streams are important for any organism and any life form. Organism needs water to survive, without getting enough water to drink an organism will die. (Northern Virginia Ecology) The environment that we live in plays an important part in the lives of an organism. The habitat (the environment) consists of shelter, water, food, and space that an organism needs to survive.

2. List the specific factors that distinguish your local ecology and environment. The specific factors that distinguish your local ecology and environment is determined by the area that and individual, and an organism live in. Latitude, the geographic coordinate, and your elevation above sea level are important factors that distinguish your local ecology and environment. Certain organism may and may not be able to live in certain areas above or below certain sea levels, latitudes, and longitudes. Other distinguishing factors of local ecology and environment in Northern Virginia are the types of forest, river, streams, and ponds. Types of forest in Northern Virginia are the Bottomland Hardwoods, Loblolly Pine, and White Pine.

3. Discuss how human activities have affected your local ecosystems. First of all humans require so much to survive. To survive we do what ever it takes to get what we need. We are what you call greedy in some ways. We all live in different areas of the world, and our need for resources grows rapidly because there are a number of us throughout. When it comes to the ecosystem, it becomes imbalanced because of our activities, making it harder for different organism to survive. In my local area a lot of construction is being done to build new homes and buildings. A lot of trees are being cut down to make way for homes, buildings, town homes, parking lots, and other construction. Because of the construction that is being done, the soil that is being moved end up killing the organism that live in the soil and the plants that are rooted there also.

A lot of the construction is being done to build roads and buildings. The land itself is being changed to a more flat land, which disrupts the way the water flows through the land when rain falls. The activities that human are conducting are consequences known as abiotic and biotic. According to Tillery, Enger, & Ross (2008), biotic factors are other living things that affect an organism, and abiotic factors are nonliving influences that affect an organism. Other human activities that affect the local ecosystem are the pollutants that we cause. Polluted run-off is from sewage treatments that are discharged into the lakes. Washing cars, watering the lawn or crops all affect the local ecosystem. All these different pollutants can cause different kind of reactions to organism. If organism consume the pollutants it may cause death and to human possible serious health problems. Some of these pollutants can start the growth of E. coli on the beachfronts that disrupt the ecosystems.

4. Describe the ways that global warming might affect your local ecosystems. The definition of global warming according to dictionary.com is an increase in the earth’s average atmospheric temperature that causes corresponding changes in climate and that may result from the greenhouse effect. Because of global warming and the increase in temperatures, some organism may not be able to survive in the local area. These organisms have to possible migrated to other cooler areas to survive. The local ecosystems change because the food supply need by some organism will decrease because of the changing environment. In the local ecosystem you will find that certain butterflies that use to reside here are moving or migrating to northern latitudes along with frogs and some birds. Over the next 20 to 30 years we will see a decrease in the mammals and bird species. I believe that global warming will have a huge affect on our local ecosystem.

You have plants and animals that are use to a certain environment and when that environment change because of temperature increased, they have to adjust to the change. If they are unable to adjust to the changing seasons the plants and animals will become extinct.

5. Relative to other parts of the world, would your local ecosystems be affected more or less? Relative to the rest of the world I believe that my local ecosystem will be affected more. I agree this will happen because of a few different things. Number one, global warming, global warming will cause climate changes. In certain areas of my local area that require certain rainwater, this may decrease. If you have been observing the weather storms are becoming more violent and causing damages to areas that didn’t have that type of weather before. Second, human activity will be another cause that affects my local ecosystem. Humans today are conducting construction more a more trying to create job, build cooperation, and roads. In the construction process, trees are being destroyed, lakes and streams are being drained and moved to different places.

By destroying the trees organism are left without shelter food and other habitats that secure their survival. In our everyday activity we are polluting the water with the everyday washing of cars, and the drainage of sewers that eventually drain over into the lakes and streams kills the fish and causing the build up of algae that is causing death and serious sickness to wildlife and humans. In conclusion, we have to learn more about the environment and how it affects the ecosystem. All the changes that we make in the environment will affect something or someone. To save our ecosystem and environment we have to ask is this change really worth it. Global warming is already making a big impact on our world and if we continue to make the changes we are, the health of the world will continue to decline.


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