• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Analyse the role of human activity in plant succession.

Extracts from this document...


Analyse the role of human activity in plant succession. There are many factors that can affect a climax vegetation. These include climate, hydrology and soil type. Human activity also plays a major role. If succession is modified or interrupted by a human influence then a plagioclimax is reached. Human activities include grazing, burning and deforestation and these processes can be collectively known as arresting factors. A plant succession begins on bare ground with light-seeded grasses, legumes and flowering plants. Over time small trees, brush and briar thickets shade out the sun loving grasses. Ultimately, light-seeded trees shade out the brush and make conditions favourable for shade loving mast producers like oaks. Deforestation involves the cutting down, burning and damaging of forests. If the current rate of deforestation continues then the world's rainforests will disappear completely within 100 years - causing unknown effects on global climate and eliminating a majority of plant and animal species currently alive on the planet. The reasons for deforestation are complex. It is mainly carried out for agricultural reasons, e.g. grazing cattle and planting crops. Poor farmers may chop down a small area (usually a few acres) ...read more.


Major roads are being built through the forest to provide easier access to the underground resources like iron and aluminium ores: more trees need to be removed to mine these commodities. Inhabitants of shanty towns around Major cities in Brazil are being encouraged to move to rural areas and more land has to be cleared to accommodate these people. In third world countries forests are cut down and used to provide firewood, since this is practically the only source of fuel available to people living there. There are also a large number of new markets opening which are set to increase the demand for products, which have their origin in the tropical rainforests. These include body creams, bath oils, sweets, fruits and nuts, but as these products come into greater demand the future of the forest will be more secure because to produce a large yield of these products a large number of trees need to be grown. About 16-20 million hectares of tropical rainforests are removed each year. When trees are removed no water gets transpired back into the atmosphere from the soil. ...read more.


There are now varied types of species in Britain due to human interferences, modification and management. Without interference vegetation would be typically temperate forest. Today, in Britain, there are no natural woodlands at all, only semi woodlands, and there is only 2% of that. In Spain the figure for natural woodland is 28% and Sweden has a 64% woodland covering. Other interferences have caused the introduction of foreign plants such as the rhododendron or sycamores. The rhododendron was in fact imported from Japan. Other introductions to this country include the rabbit, which was imported from Spain by the Normans. Urbanisation also causes damage to plant life. High demand for housing has caused the destruction of forest and woodland, especially in the north. A rising birth rate in the twentieth century called for an increase in housing, and this needed to be conducted as cheaply and effectively as possible. As a result, miles of forests were cut down in order for building to go ahead. This s detrimental to our health as well as destroying areas of natural beauty. . Recent investigations suggest that over a third of the world's oxygen supply is produced by the rainforests, the only larger source being algae in the sea. So cutting down trees is very damaging to our well being. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Physical Geography section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Physical Geography essays

  1. Analyse the role of human activity in plant succession?

    At national level, governments sell logging concessions to raise money for projects or to pay international debt. For example, Brazil had an international debt of $159 billion in 1995 on which it must make payments each year. Logging companies harvest forest and make profits from sales of pulp and valuable hardwoods e.g.

  2. Epping Forest

    The site with the most soil erosion will tell me which site has got more soil compaction. Push the penetrometer into the soil until it reaches the red bit. Then check what number the soil compaction is to. Pentrometer The soil was very hard, so it was hard to put the pentromet-er in.

  1. The Direct Environmental Causes and Effects of Deforestation When one hears the word 'deforestation' ...

    According to reports by the World Resource Institute and Rainforest Alliance, tropical forests account for 80% of that loss. An area almost the size of Washington State is destroyed each year, and at current rates, tropical forests will be reduced by almost half from existing levels in the next 45 years.

  2. Free essay

    Exploitation and management of resources

    This is because many countries will choose industry over agriculture as a means of economic growth. "Presently, industry accounts for 22 per cent of the global freshwater consumption. It is expected that the figure will double over the next two decades".

  1. The role of leadership in global politics: do leaders make a difference?

    and have acceded to that position by winning those wars and playing a leading role in the winning coalition. Those wars rendered collective decisions that proved to be, for a time, binding for the whole of the global system. Just as election campaigns and electoral contests punctuate the political life

  2. Using examples explain some of the ways in which human activity has had an ...

    This could lead to drought in the South and increased flooding in the north. This is also likely to increase soil aridity, especially in the South, and a decrease in crop yields in this area. However, in the North, it may actually prove beneficial for the timber industry: an increase of 25% by 2050 is predicted.

  1. The sun undergoes a cycle of increased and decreased activity over a period of ...

    Although this is not its major effect, carbon dioxide is generally known as a greenhouse gas as it is capable of absorbing radiation which is re-emitted by ozone and oxygen in the atmosphere. This is absorbed and then re-emitted again, some of it radiating towards the Earth's surface.

  2. Explain why for both physical and human reasons, some coastlines attract more human management ...

    At times of extreme, harsh climate, such as storms, the load is usually greatly increased to include boulders as the sea holds more energy during this period. The Holderness Coast is one of Europe's fastest eroding coastlines. The average annual rate of erosion is around 2 metres per year.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work