AP Biology : 8.7 Disruptions to  Ecosystems- Study Notes

Human Impact on the Environment
➢ Greenhouse effect

  •  Atmospheric concentration of $\mathrm{CO}_2$have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels and forests, contributing to the warming of the Earth
  •  Higher temperatures cause ice caps to melt, flooding
  • Can change precipitation patterns, plant/animal populations/agriculture

➢ Ozone depletion

  •  Caused by pollution $\text { n (ex. CFCs) }$
  •  Ozone$\left(\mathrm{O}_3\right)$ forms when UV radiation reacts with $\mathrm{O}_2$
  •  Ozone protects earth from excessive UV radiation
  •  Loss can increase genetic defects and cancer

➢ Acid Rain

  •  Burning of fossil fuels produces pollutants such as $\mathrm{SO}_2$and $\mathrm{NO}_2$
  •  When these compounds interact with water in clouds, acids are created
  •  Acidic rain causes lower pH in aquatic ecosystems, damaging water systems, plants, and soil, and kills fish

➢ Desertification

  •  When land is overgrazed by animals, it turns grasslands into deserts and reduces the available habitats for organisms

➢ Deforestation

  •  When forests are cleared (esp. By slash and burn methods), erosion, floods, and changes in weather patterns can occur

➢ Pollution

  •  Toxic chemicals in environment
  •  Biomagnification

➢ Reduction in biodiversity

  • As different habitats have been destroyed many plants and animals have become extinct
  • Some of these plants could have provided us with medicines and products that may have been beneficial
Scroll to Top