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

Balance of Food Production and Conservation

Extracts from this document...


Balance of Food Production and Conservation Conservation aims to maintain biological diversity for the benefit of mankind. It involves formulating policies and regulations to protect and maintain populations of wild plants and animals, identifying and preserving habitats in which wildlife can flourish, controlling pollution of the environment and setting up agencies to promote and monitor conservation strategies. However, due to many human activities biodiversity is reducing. Changes in land use, (in agriculture, road building and building of homes) which destroy or fragment habitats, tourism, commercial uses of particular species and pollution are all reducing biodiversity. As human populations increase, these effects increase. The huge increases in human population over the last few hundred years has been possible due to the development of intensive farming, including monoculture, selective breeding, huge farms, mechanisation. However, it is apparent that this intensive farming is damaging the environment and is becoming increasingly difficult to sustain. Monoculture has a major impact on the environment as it involves using a single variety of a crop, and this reduces genetic diversity and renders all crops in a region susceptible to disease. Reduced species diversity has many knock-on effects such as allowing a pest species to get out of control, fewer plants due to the lack of pollinating insects and a loss of species that may be useful to humans. Intensive farming often uses powerful chemicals such as insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides which are used to fight pests and diseases and also unwanted weeds are killed by applying herbicides. ...read more.


They are totally different to pesticides. As they are really just a source of nutrients they do not normally have any negative effects on plants and animals. However some plants can utilise the extra nutrients more effectively than others and therefore out compete the other plants. In this way fertilisers can be responsible for a reduction in species diversity Inorganic fertilisers are very effective but also have undesirable effects on the environment. Since nitrate and ammonium ions are very soluble, they do not remain in the soil for long and are quickly leached out, ending up in local rivers and lakes and causing eutrophication. They are also expensive. An alternative solution, which does less harm to the environment, is the use of organic fertilisers, such as animal manure (farmyard manure or FYM), composted vegetable matter, crop residues, and sewage sludge. These contain the main elements found in inorganic fertilisers (NPK), but in organic compounds such as urea, cellulose, lipids and organic acids. Of course plants cannot make use of these organic materials in the soil: their roots can only take up inorganic mineral ions such as nitrate, phosphate and potassium. But the organic compounds can be digested by soil organisms such as animals, fungi and bacteria, who then release inorganic ions that the plants can use. There are many advantages of organic fertilisers such as; Since the compounds in organic fertilisers are less soluble than those in inorganic fertilisers, the inorganic minerals are released more slowly as they are decomposed. This prevents leaching and means they last longer. ...read more.


But also there are some practical arguments for maintaining biodiversity. For example, there is evidence that a reduction in biodiversity may reduce climatic stability. Loss in biodiversity in ecosystems may result in drought or flooding in particular areas. Loss of genetic diversity in populations may result in their extinction. Species that we don't know very much about could be very useful to humans. Food production is uneven because some parts of the world have a climate more suited to growing crops than others. In countries where crops can be grown, farmers are usually efficient, making use of the latest agricultural techniques. Many of the developing countries cannot finance modern methods of crop production. Crops sometimes fail to climatic reasons such as drought. In other instances crops have been grown only to be eaten by pests such as locusts or ravaged by diseases. For these reasons most people in developed countries are well fed where as malnutrition and starvation are common in the third world. There must be a balance between food production and food production as the human population is continuously increasing more land is becoming intensively cultivated for food. More and more plants and animals are threatened by reduction in umbers or possible extinction because their natural habitats vanish. It is now estimated that about 25000 different plant species are threatened with extinction. Many ecologists now realise that conservation is essential for the continued survival of the human race. ...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 Living Things in their Environment section.

Found what you're looking for?

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

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

A good overview of some of the key issues associated with intensive food production. A few more specific examples would have been useful.

Marked by teacher Adam Roberts 16/07/2013

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 Living Things in their Environment essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The effect of antibiotics on the growth of bacteria.

    4 star(s)

    the micrococcus lutes bacteria as there is a zone of inhibition present 30mm, there is a lot fewer growths of bacteria present also the bacteria is mostly present at the top end of the plate and there is rare appearance of bacteria appearing near the centre.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    A2 Biology Coursework -Investigation into the effect of different concentrations of antibiotics on the ...

    4 star(s)

    Repeat procedures 9 to 12 for the rest of the Petri dishes. 14. Then put these Petri dish in an incubator at a temp of 25 degrees 15. Collect the following - Test tubes, water, buffer, antibiotic solution and cork)

  1. Explain the factors that affect the distribution of plant and animal species

    Atlantic white-sided dolphins are members of the genus Lagenorhynchus, which are typically adapted to colder water.7 Water is needed for vital functions, so there is low animal distribution is deserts. Population of camel can be found throughout the deserts due to its characteristic of able to store water.

  2. The importance uses of micro organisms.

    Millions live in the sea, where they are eaten by the sea life. A stony shell covers Protozoa's called foraminifers. When these organisms die the shells fall to the seabed and contribute to the development of limestone. Viruses are the smallest type of organism (ultramicroscopic organism).

  1. This assignment is about planning and designing practical experiment to carry out an investigation ...

    and in order to get the average of the dishes, I added the readings of dish 1 and dish 2 together and multiplied the results of both dishes with 2 ( D1 + D2) and I recorded the results. 2 The pie and bar charts below contain the results average

  2. Extended Experimental Investigation - Natural Antibiotics

    One method of killing these active bacteria is pasteurisation. Staphylococcus albus is a gram-postive spherical bacterium which is considered to be the most common bacteria of the skin. 56% of total joint infections is due to the Stapyhlococcus species. S.

  1. 'Bacteria. Friend or Foe?' Bacteria is something we are all reminded of ...

    not as hardy as some would have us believe with some not even making it to the colon and those that do stopping working once the drink is finished (10). Prebiotics have been put forward as a natural alternative, found in fruit, vegetables and grain they travel straight to the

  2. Movement in Plants and Animals.

    Some birds migrate to warm countries to avoid the harsh winter weather. These responses ensure that animals survive long enough to produce new offspring. EXTERNAL FACTORS AND PLANT MOVEMENT Growing plants respond to stimulus such as light and gravity.

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