• 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. Investigating the effect of four antibiotic agents on gram positive and gram negative bacteria.

    that Penicillin G is capable of inhibiting this type of bacteria by preventing cell wall synthesis. Therefore there should be a noticeable zone of inhibition when the agar plates are removed from the incubator. Streptomycin Streptomycin is most effective against gram-negative bacteria and as bacillus subtilis is a gram-positive bacterium,

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

    This shows how important a role animals can play even is a society that is dominated by lifeless computers. The quality of my data I made my questionnaire and went round my street asking people the questions. I think that by going to the interviewees' house I could get more personal and therefore more accurate responses.

  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. The effect of osmosis on potatoes

    and I poured the liquids into three separate, labelled plastic cups. Finally I added the pieces of potato to the water and, using a stop clock, timed the mixture for 20 minutes, before removing the cylinder of potato and weighing each of them to see if any alteration had been made to the mass of the portion of potato.

  2. What Factors are responsible for the success of Insects?

    Being small has other advantages as well. Small animals do not fall as hard as large ones - hence insects can fall off high objects safely: they experience different forces than larger animals. For example, flies can walk up vertical surfaces because the adhesive forces are sufficient.

  1. alternatives to global warming

    Energy Renewable or Non Renewable Reasons for use Reasons for not using Wind Power Renewable Plentiful, widely distributed, clean Unreliable, expensive set up Solar Power Renewable Cheap, pollution free, easy to use. Unreliable, expensive set up Tidal Power Renewable Plentiful, widely distributed, clean Unreliable, unsightly There is little doubt in

  2. Should cannabis be legalised in the UK?

    After a final warning, the young offender must be referred to a Youth Offending Team to arrange a rehabilitation programme. This police enforcement is consistent with the structured framework for early juvenile offending established under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.

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