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

The Impact of Monoculture and the Removal of Hedgerows on the Environment.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Impact of Monoculture and the Removal of Hedgerows on the Environment Modern developments in agriculture have had far-reaching effects on both economics of farming and the environment. I am going to focus on a discussion of monoculture and removal of hedgerows, and the impact these actions have on the environment. Monoculture is the devotion of a crop to a single plant species year after year. Monoculture was designed to increase the productivity of farmland by growing only the best variety of crop, allowing more than one crop per year and reducing labour costs. Monoculture however is a threat to a part of our environment. Worldwide, monocultures have increased dramatically. Fields which in the past have had a number of crops growing, or the only crop had a high degree of genetic diversity, are now devoted to a single crop where there is no genetic variation. ...read more.

Middle

This is expensive and can pollute surrounding groundwater due to leaching. When rich nitrates reach the rivers, lakes etc. they cause eutrophication. Hedgerows have been a part of farmland since Anglo-Saxon times to mark boundaries and enclose livestock. Since the Second World War much hedgerow has been removed because of many reasons. Mixed farms have been converted to arable farms so hedgerows are not needed to contain animals. Hedgerows reduce space available for planted crops and their roots compete for nutrients in the soil; inter specific competition. Hedgerows harbour pests and are a reservoir for disease and weeds. The hedgerows also have to be maintained which costs money and takes time. Diverse hedgerows provide habitats for at least 30 species of trees and shrubs, 65 species of nesting birds, 1500 species of insects and 600 species of wildflowers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Therefore loss of topsoil causes loss of valuable nutrients. The hedgerows provide habitats for pollinating insects; so removing them can indirectly reduce the populations of other local plant species. Conclusion The importance of hedgerows is now being recognised, and farmers can now receive grants to plant hedgerows. However it takes hundreds of years for new hedgerows to mature and develop the same diversity as the old ones. Some farmers are now returning to traditional crop rotations, where different crops are grown in a field each year. This breaks the life cycles of pests (since their host is changing); improves soil texture (since different crops have different root structures and methods of cultivation); and can increase soil nitrogen (by planting nitrogen-fixing legumes). Diversity of crops above ground as well as diversity of soil life below ground provide protection against the weather, as well as outbreaks of diseases or insect pests. Sarah English ...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. What Factors are responsible for the success of Insects?

    A comparison of the Pterygota with a sister group, the wingless Apterygotes, reveals that the winged insects are much more speciose (Gullan & Cranston, 1994). The conclusion is unavoidable: the possession of flight correlates with the first radiation of insects.

  2. How Do Fishing Methods Harm The Environment?

    The rules on phasing out driftnets were introduced the past years. The France who have the most driftnet ships have cut down from 60 to 41 over 5 years. Irelands fleet fell from over 30 to 18, while the UK's dropped from 12 to six.

  1. Human activities can impose far-reaching effects on the environment

    But pesticides are not without cost to wildlife, livestock and even people unless proper care is taken in their use. Pesticide use skyrocketed after World War II. At the same time, significant numbers of wildlife deaths began appearing. Levels of pesticides in soils are constantly changing and as a result causing many problems (see Figure 1.3).

  2. Soil erosion

    of this have a moderate to high risk rating of soil erosion, most of this is on Eyre Peninsula, the Murraylands and the South East". The speed at which soil loss occurs is much better today than they were 10 years ago.

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

    of 10 by 10 cm in the 1 by 1 m square. I do not think that to take this sample randomly would be a good idea, this would take up too much time, so each time I will take the 10 cm sample in the middle of the square.

  2. An Investigation of the Diversity and Abundance of Ground Flora in Coppices of Different ...

    which reaches a plant that depends whether it can survive, but also the quality of it too. If the light which reaches a plant does not contain much blue or red light, then it will not be able to photosynthesise well.

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