What would happen to the earth’s terrestrial and aquatic species (a) if most of the world’s oceans disappeared and (b) if most of the world’s land disappeared? a) More than two- thirds of the earth’s surface is covered with oceans. These oceans support up to nine tents of the habitable environmement without which most the living organisms will perish. Several life forms are supported by the oceans. The coral reefs, salt marshes and sea grass beds are exampls of ocean environments which support a large number of species which live in symbiosis. It is vital to note that ocean water support land- dwelling organisms.
The oceans influence the climate andd weather thus affecting life on land. The water from the ocean evaporates and rises. It then cools and forms rainfal which is important for the survival of land -dwelling organisms. The rainfall is also the basiss of rivers and lakes. It can therefore be concluded that if the oceans disapeared, most of the living organisms will dissapear. Perhaps a few organisns will remanin from the little water available but eventually it will dry up and no more life on earth. b) If most of the land disapeared, most land vegetation would dissapear.
This means less food for land animals hence most land animals would die. Some aquatic animals depend on land for reproduction. Thus lack of land may cause extinction of such animals. This may cause imblance of life in the ocean causign the death of more life. It can be argued that most organisms would dissapear but some aquatic animals will survive. Why do deserts and arctic tundra support much smaller biomass of animals than do tropical forests? Why do most animals in tropical rain forest live in its trees? Arctic tundra occur at high latitudes. They receive little water as precipitation.
Howewer, their soil remains wet since there is little evaporation due to low temperatures. Also the low temperatures lead to freezing of the soil thus prevenitng underground drainage. The low temperature affects the soil and climate in general and cannot favor the survival of many animals. This impplies low biomass. In the deserts there is a lot of heat and lack of water. Therefore desert animals must develop serveral adaptations in order to survive. Most are noctunal. Due to extra care the animals need to survive, they may not get favourable conditions for cohabiation hence low rate of reproduction.
Most animal species cannot survive in the desert leading to low biomass. On the other hand toripical forests receive much rain and warmth throught the year and therefoe consist of tall trees. Due to availability of food and favourable climate many animals live in the forets. The animal reproduce faster than in the deserts. This results to a greater biomass. Many animals in the forest live in trees since they have to adopt themselves to the forests. The trees are tall and therefore the animals have to climb to find food and sunlight. The insects and birds mostly depend on nector which has to be found high up the trees.
How would you reply to someone who argues that we should not worry about our effects on natural systems because natural succession will heal the wounds of human activities and restore the balance of nature? If nature is left alone it will always heal itself. Human activities deplete natural resources at a rate faster than it can sustain. Due human activities, there has been destruction of habitats. Forests have been destroyed which will take several years to recover. In the seas and oceans, there has been overexploitation of fish which bring about imbalance of aquatic ecosystems.
Many fish species have become extinct which affects all organisms in the food chain. Human activities have also brought about global warming which has led to climate change. This change leads to extinction of plant and animal species. Man has also brought in some alien species of plants and animals which may affect those organisms in their natural habitat. How would you reply to someone who contends that efforts to preserve natural systems are not worthwhile because nature is largely unpredictable? One can argue that nature is unpredictable. However, most of the ways of nature are known.
For instance it is known fish eat planktons. It is expected that if there is overfishing, there would be excess of phytoplankton. This will affect all other members in the food chains. Consequently marine life would be affected. Excess phytoplankton may decay and cause further damage. Some members in the food chain may become extinct. Also careless use of chemicals affects the sea life thus destabilizing the sea life. Inasmuch natural disasters and the course of nature may cause damage, deliberate harmful activities cause great damage quickly than would have been caused by natural disasters.
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