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

Using examples explain some of the ways in which human activity has had an effect on vegetation successions.

Extracts from this document...


Ecosystems - The report Using examples explain some of the ways in which human activity has had an effect on vegetation successions. Humans have had many effects on vegetation. Succession is defined as the evolution of plant communities, so this question is looking at human activity on the evolution of plants. The most controversial human impact on vegetation is global warming. Rising global temperatures as a result of global warming are expected to raise sea level, and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Changing regional climate could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies. It could also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. The likely impacts of this onto the UK (by 2020) are; - Temperature increase at a rate of about 0.2oC per decade - with higher rates in the south east. This could prove beneficial to the region's economy (due to higher temperatures and less rain), but will cause a lot of changes to the environment. It will likely cause an increase in animal species, especially insects (as they migrate northwards, from Europe), but a decrease in plant diversity due to the loss of northern and mountain types. ...read more.


- Drought may cause the loss of broadleaved woodland - Species confined and dependent on particular areas of Britain may die out - Salt marsh vegetation may decline Specifically, global warming is likely to have an adverse effect on freshwater ecosystems. The problem is one of scale: Many of the most significant impacts on freshwater ecosystems will result from hydrological changes at the scales of small catchments and drainage basins. Water levels in lakes and reservoirs are highly sensitive to weather conditions; small lakes and reservoirs may fluctuate rapidly in response to changes in precipitation and evapotranspiration. Where water levels are likely to decline, inshore areas will change significantly. In shallow lakes and reservoirs in particular, inshore aquatic vegetation and surrounding wetlands would decrease in area. This decrease may result in changed habitats for aquatic biota, reduction of productivity, and even extinction of fish and invertebrate species that are dependent on these types of biomes. Where lakes have extensive bordering wetlands, declining water levels would reduce productivity and impact negatively on populations of fish and invertebrates that are dependent on these types of wetlands for their survival. ...read more.


The key problem is soil erosion. Soil, the thin layer of top-soil on which our survival depends, is a non-renewable resource. For nature to form a layer of top-soil thick enough to support plant life takes thousands of years. Through human misuse, the layer can be destroyed in a few decades, or in a few years. Once eroded, its loss is permanent. That is desertification. The encroachment of cultivation on these vulnerable lands has led to loss of biodiversity and accelerated soil erosion, making the people even more vulnerable to future droughts. The reduced capacity for food production as a result of vegetation loss has brought a population of over 200 million people to the verge of calamity. Some have died of starvation, and among the survivors, especially the children and young people, many will suffer impaired health for the rest of their lives. Overall, the main human impacts on plant communities are global warming, trampling, and desertification. This is, in general leading to a decrease in biodiversity, and a complete change in the makeup of plant communities. The ironic thing is, that in some areas (such as Africa) this human impact, is actually causing more problems in the long run than it had caused solutions in the short run. ...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. Cliff erosion in East Sussex - the processes, problems and solutions.

    The top and bottom of the cliffs have the same gradient of about 45�; the middle part has a gradient of about 80�. The top has been weathered. The top is also a different stone to the rest- sandstone, which is why it is easily weathered.

  2. 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 seek to harvest forest and make profits from sales of pulp and valuable hardwoods e.g.

  1. Investigationg Eco-systems At Sand Dunes

    I1 M1 Q1 D2 H2 L2 P2 7.77 7.5 8.0 7.5 8.0 8.0 7.0 8.0 8.0 8.0 2 B1 F1 J1 N1 R1 A2 E2 I2 M2 Q2 T2 7.50 7.5 8.0 7.5 5.5 6.0 6.5 7.5 5.5 7.5 6.5 7.0 3 C1 G1 K1 O1 S1 B2 F2 J2

  2. Coral Ecosystems

    Because the coral and algae are producers, if they die then other wildlife that depend on them would also not be able to survive. This means the sun is in a way 'the source of all life on the reefs'.

  1. The Truth about Climate Change

    Korea (South) 507.0 (10) 1.71% 10.5 (26) As you can see from this table, United States of America is emitting the most carbon dioxide in the world, emitting 19.80% of carbon dioxide out of all the carbon dioxide emitted in the world, which is a lot! Then China, 17.5%, followed by the European Union, which isn't a

  2. Is There a Relationship Between Desirability and Quality of Life at Ward Level in ...

    The ideal way to do this is a questionnaire of people from all different wards. It is essential a wide number of people are asked and over the whole city area. If we ask people in for example just St Peters Parish it wouldn't be an accurate representation of the whole city.

  1. Explain with examples why some regions and countries are zones that experience multiple hazards

    As it breaks waves of energy travel outwards, shaking the ground. As the majority of earthquakes occur due to this occurrence on plate boundaries it would suggest that this is why 90% of them occur in regions that lie on the boundaries and this is just pure bad luck that you do happen to live where two plates meet.

  2. Assess the view that human activities have a greater impact on the physical environments ...

    They are also felt to have been exploited by big co-corporations companies who have taken their land and cared little about the needs of the Amerindian tribes who live in the Amazon. Rivers have been polluted due to the mining in the area and soil erosion is a serious problem as the protective canopy of trees is removed.

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