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

The Effect Of Fertilisers On The Environment

Extracts from this document...


The Effect Of Fertilisers On The Environment. The use of fertilisers and their effect on the environment is a much-debated issue. There are positive and negative effects which must be considered throughout this essay. It is difficult to say which argument outweighs the other, and whether usage should be continued, abolished or more heavily controlled. 'Fertilisers are chemicals given to plants with the intention of promoting growth; they are applied either via the soil or by foliar spraying' (Wikipedia, 2005). Varying proportions of the three major plant nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are used as well as other chemicals in inorganic fertilisers. Organic fertilisers can be used to 'improve the production of new biomass in ... ecosystems' (Fullick, 2000). Manure was once the most popular fertiliser, as 'many UK and US a farmer's were 'mixed' farmers' (Fullick, 2000) producing livestock and crops, and is still a predominant organic fertiliser. 'Crop rotation' (Fullick, 2000) is another method of Organic Fertilisation. ...read more.


The process emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which may be damaging the whole world environment by adding to Global Warming. 'Diffuse pollution' (www.environment-agency.gov.uk) is a major negative effect of fertilisers. Agricultural activities are a major contributor to diffuse pollution, including fertilisation of crops. Nitrogen and Phosphorous cause the majority of diffuse pollution, as Potassium is 'taken up by plant roots rapidly' (www.agric.nsw.gov.au) and therefore, minimises the chances of potassium being leached into the surrounding environment. Diffuse pollution and leaching of fertiliser chemicals and organic fertilisers such as manure, as well as 'a third of nitrogen applied (as fertiliser) to farms [which] emerges as animal waste' (www.newscientist.com) often results in the most common negative effect; Eutrophication. When fertiliser chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus, and manure leach into rivers, streams and ponds. 'they provide nutrients for the water plant, algae and photosynthetic bacteria present in the water'. (Fullick, 2000) These products will then induce and encourage growth in algae and other water plants on a mass scale. ...read more.


Therefore, while some species main food source thrived, others food sources decreased resulting in loss of species. Increased human activity on crops to deal with the increased crop yields (due to fertiliser usage) will also be damaging to the environment, as many animal and bird species may be forced out of their natural habitat. This will reduce abundance of life in the environment and could be damaging to the local food chain. There are positive (mainly economical) and negative (mainly physical) effects which the use of fertilisers induce. Undoubtedly, the economic stability of many developing countries rely on a strong agricultural abilities. Fertilisers create and increase such abilities. However, the negative effects, such as Eutrophication and habitat loss, are damaging the environment around such countries, and many others. It is difficult to say which argument outweighs the other. The fact is, some countries and their people, would struggle to survive without organic and inorganic fertilisers, but the effect fertilisers are having on the environment may be damaging enough in future years to destroy those countries and people. ...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

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

    Balance of Food Production and Conservation

    4 star(s)

    In addition, by controlling pests that carry human disease, they have saved millions of human lives. However, with their widespread use and success there are problems, the mains ones being persistence and bioaccumulation. Both of these are illustrated by DDT (Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane), an insecticide used against the malaria mosquito in the 1950s and 60s very successfully, eradicating malaria from southern Europe.

  2. Animal behaviour and research into attitudes on animal testing.

    The statistic for the percentage of British households which own a pet came from the Pet Food Manufacturers' Association (PFMA)

  1. Should cannabis be legalised in the UK?

    ischemic stroke, cerebral trauma, tumors, multiple sclerosis and a host of other maladies. There are herbal cannabinoids, which come from the cannabis plant, and the bodies of humans and animals produce endogenous cannabinoids. The substance can also be designed in the lab.

  2. Global Warming Essay

    at the University of Illinois, projects that without any effective climate change policy, there is a 45% probability that the ocean conveyor will shut down this century and a 70% chance it will shut down over the next 200 years.

  1. alternatives to global warming

    anyone's mind that Global Warming does exist and is changing the world's climate, however although many people believe that humans are the cause of this problem, there are a minority that disagree. The theory that global warming is just a natural occurrence is becoming more common as each day passes,

  2. Estimating the population of non-grass plants on the school fields.

    I will look at the possible reasons for this later. This is the rank order of the different plants, the once that I found the most are at the top, and this comes down to the plants that I have found the least. 1. Clover 2. Daisy 3. Plantain 4.

  1. The effect of osmosis on potatoes

    Diagram: 1m 0.6m 0m Results: Concentration of sucrose solution (M) Mass at the start (g) Mass after 20 minutes in the solution (g) Change in mass (g) 1 3.71 3.72 0.01 0.6 3.49 3.52 0.03 0 3.71 3.84 0.13 This experiment was easy; it was quick and simple to remove

  2. An Investigation into the water quality of the River Banwell in

    4. Record the mg/l stated on bottle. Ammonium test: Method 1 1. Using a strip place into the sample of water and wait 20 seconds. 2. Remove the strip and if there is a colour change record it as a positive reading. If no colour change is observed record as negative.

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