3. Interrelations between the components of the system (man, water, livestock, rangeland)
Our environment has been classified into four major components: 1. in urban areas, many of the processes that explain the relationships between plants, animals different criteria have added complexity to the urbanisation process in India. The different techniques of water development will be examined in chapters But in a rangeland environment of a developing country, cost of water is an The relationship between livestock and the human population is important and. Relationships between human activity and the environment There may be ink or metal staples or other components in your notebook that were made from.
In the next section, we will consider components on the basis of their function in an ecosystem, creating yet another set of categories independent of the structural ones.
Characteristics of Ecosystems[ edit ] An example of a marine ecosystem Acheta domesticus organism that helps maintain its ecosystem The complexity of an ecosystem will increase as the species diversity present in the ecosystem increases. Ecosystems that are not species rich barren ecosystems may appear to be physically complex but are actually considered functionally complex.
Even if few species live in an environment, often because it is an unfavorable environments, that ecosystem can be still functionally complex if it include species with remarkable biochemical specializations that allow them to survive. A healthy ecosystem will have high species diversity and is not likely to be damaged by human interactions, natural disasters, and climate changes.
Every species within an ecosystem has a niche, the unique way that a given species uses its environment. New species are discovered every day and the roles they play in their environment to keep it healthy. This idea behind the species within the environment using their niches to keep it healthy can clearly be illustrated in a lake ecosystem. In a lake ecosystem, the sun hits the water and helps the algae grow. Algae use carbon dioxide and water to make sugars and oxygen.
The oxygen is useful for any eukaryote organism and the sugars provide food for the algae or anything that eats the algae, such as microscopic organisms. Small fish eat the microscopic animals, absorb oxygen with their gills and expel carbon dioxide, which plants then use to grow. If the algae disappeared, everything else would be impacted.
Microscopic animals wouldn't have enough food, fish wouldn't have enough oxygen and plants would lose some of the carbon dioxide they need to grow. Soil is also an important part of an ecosystem. It provides important nutrients for the plants in an ecosystem. It helps anchor the plants to keep them in place.
Soil absorbs and holds water for plants and animals to use and provides a home for lots of living organisms. The atmosphere provides oxygen and carbon dioxide for the plants and animals in an ecosystem. The atmosphere is also part of the water cycle. Without the interactions among organisms and elements in the atmosphere, there would be no life at all. The latter three are living components, what Odum termed the three "functional kingdoms of nature", so important and universal is their presence in ecosystems.
Abiotic Factors[ edit ] An example of organisms that live in the intertidal zone Abiotic factors can increase or decrease the amount of environmental stress on an ecosystem and therefore can also affect the stability of that ecosystem.
We studied many of these in detail in Chapter 4. Do not forget that physical essentially geological structure can influence ecological function: The intertidal zone is the shore area that is submerged at high tide and exposed at low tide.
It is rich in oxygen and nutrients and provides a home for many different species. The organisms that live in this area are constantly exposed to a high stress, less stable environment. However, they have adapted to huge daily changes in moisture, temperature, turbulence from the waterand salinity. They have to be used to living in both wet and dry conditions continually.
Water is a very powerful substance and the constant impact from the moving water can have drastic impacts on both living and non-living things. Also, the constant flux of the environmental temperature is enough to make any creature uncomfortable. Since this area is exposed to both water and land, the organisms here must compete with predators that hunt at both areas.
A tropical forest on a polynesian island Jungles or rainforests are an example of a low stress, more stable environment that are vital to maintaining the ecosystems of the earth. Unlike the intertidal zone, this environment has more subtle changes that occur at a much slower rate.
It is also a very diverse environment consisting of several layers of organisms using different parts of the ecosystem. As well as increasing biodiversity, jungles are beneficial to increasing our knowledge of medicinal plants and increasing oxygen output.
Food Webs[ edit ] A food web is a series of interacting food chains.
Competency Relationships Between Organisms and the Environment | BioEd Online
Food chains show the order in which animals consume food. Food chains and food webs are made up of Producers, Consumers, and Decomposers. Producers are Autotrophic Organisms.
The most conspicuous group of autotrophs are the photolithoautotrophs, organisms such as algae and flowering plants that have cells containing chlorophyll and are thus capable of fixing light energy "photo-" to build complex organic substances from simple inorganic substances "litho-".
In the next chapter we are going to study the energetics of this process; now, we are mostly interested in how producers "create" organic matter utilizing energy and inorganic matter. The organic compounds that are created may be used structurally within the organism or may be latter broken down into inorganic matter and energy extracted by the process.
Consumers are [ Heterotrophic Organisms ], which are also termed macroconsumers. A simple definition of a heterotrophic organism is a species that is dependent on organic matter for food. Decomposers are heterotrophic organisms. These are also termed microconsumers, saprobes, or saprophytes.
Decomposers are scavengers that break down dead plants and animals. Decomposers are vital to the food web because they break down and recycle nutrients back into the soil.
These nutrients are then used by producers to sustain life. Without the enzymes that decomposers provide to breakdown organic material into inorganic material, phosphorous P and nitrogen NProducers would eventually die out and the main part of food webs would cease to exist and therefore life would cease to exist. Decomposers recycle material but they do not recycle energy.
Solar irradiation still provides the energy that drives the life cycle. A foodweb of rainforest organisms Decomposition is a natural process but decomposers speed up the process of decomposition. Bacteria, fungi and actinomycetes are three main types of decomposers. They can eat anything from dead trees, dead animals and oil slicks on the surface of the ocean. Fungi and actinomycetes work on harder substances like cellulose, bark, paper and stems.
These decomposers usually only work to a certain stage in decomposition then bacteria will finish the process, similar to primary and secondary succession. A study conducted in a California river by Mary Power showed the impact that fish had on the river food wed. Tree roots reach deep into the soil and create spaces between the particles which increases soil permeability, allowing rainwater to soak in and replenish groundwater.
Permeability means the ease with which water moves through soil or rock. Fossil fuels have been the main energy source for global industrialisation, but because they are non-renewable, the quantity is ultimately limited and their use is not sustainable over the long term.
Furthermore, burning of fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change.Concepts and Components of Environment
Climate change is discussed fully in later study sessions. There are several renewable alternatives to fossil fuels. Wood used as a fuel is renewable in the sense that trees will regrow but there are other disadvantages such as deforestation, as you have read. In Ethiopia, windfarms are harnessing wind power to generate electricity Figure 1.
Ethiopia already has several hydropower stations and more are planned, including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, currently under construction. Hydroelectric power is renewable because it makes use of the energy of flowing water but does not use up the water in the process.
The direct use of water by people falls into three main categories: The relative proportions of these three categories vary in different parts of the world, but globally the sector using the most water is agriculture FAO, Figure 1.
Adapted from FAO, As well as direct use of water for human activities, water is also essential for the environment and to maintain biodiversity. Rivers, lakes and wetlands are important habitats for wildlife and need a minimum amount of water at all times. This becomes a problem when the demand for water for human activities exceeds the supply.
Water is not an endlessly renewable resource. In many parts of the world water demand is significantly above sustainable water supply. Many countries are already experiencing water stress or scarcity. These terms refer to the volume of water available relative to the use and demand for it, which is linked to the population served. Countries which have less than m3 of water per person per year for all purposes are defined as water stressed United Nations, Water scarce countries have been defined as those with less than m3 of water per person per year.
These precise figures should be used with caution, however, because they do not recognise variations between countries and they hide the underlying causes of water scarcity. View larger image Figure 1.
Meaning, Definition and Components of Environment
WWAP, Increasing water demand leads to unsustainable use of water resources. By the actions of the water cycle which you will learn about in Study Session 4 water supply is replenished, but taking excessive amounts of water from rivers and groundwater for domestic, industrial and agricultural use decreases the amount of water available for current and future generations.
Globally, water withdrawals have tripled over the last 50 years due to population growth and to increased consumption per person. Many areas with plentiful supplies can sustain this use, but in some countries the future may bring water shortages unless demand is managed.
If the trend for increased consumption continues, what could be the result for Ethiopia? As you can see from Figure 1. In practice, for Ethiopia, the problem of water supply is not so much about the volume of water that is available. The problem is the infrastructure and investment required in delivering adequate quantities of safe water to all the people wherever they live.
The availability of water and access to a safe supply varies considerably throughout the country and between rural and urban populations. However, by the amount of water in the lake had dropped dramatically Figure 1.
The use of domestic water and also water for irrigation especially for growing khat has increased significantly. Deforestation of the surrounding area, as land is cleared for farming and to meet an increasing need for wood, means that tree roots no longer hold the soil together and it is washed off the hillsides into the lake.
This causes it to silt up and reduces the capacity of the lake. Warming of the local climate may also have had an effect, increasing the rate of evaporation from the lake. Recently, lack of water in the lake has interrupted water supply to Harar, a nearby town of overpeople. What are the possible causes of the loss of water from Lake Alemaya? Increased use of water for domestic uses and for irrigation, deforestation leading to soil erosion and silt deposition in the lake, and possibly climate change.
For the WASH sector, the most important of these is our own bodily wastes. The impacts of open defecation and inadequate sanitation on human health and on the wider environment are profound.
- Study Session 1 Human Interactions with the Environment
- Meaning, Definition and Components of Environment
Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogens disease-causing agents in water and food that have been contaminated by the wastes from infected people. Preventing this connection between human wastes and the intake of contaminated water is the primary goal of WASH services. Industry, agriculture and energy production all generate wastes that can pollute air, water and soil. Pollution means the introduction into the environment of substances liable to cause harm to humans and other living organisms.
For example, the leather industry produces large amounts of liquid wastes from the tanning process. These wastes contain organic materials such as fat from the hides and toxic poisonous chemicals including some human carcinogens cancer-causing agents.
Another example is the release of so-called greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, which contribute to human-induced climate change. Pollutants and pollution are the topics of Study Sessions 7 and 8 and climate change is described in more detail in Study Session 9.
The green arrow indicates the waste generated as a product of this interaction. The red arrows indicate thenegative effect on both the environment and humans if the waste is not properly managed. For instance, gadgets such as mobile phones, computers, televisions, microwave ovens and refrigerators have improved living standards for those people who can afford them. Technology can also improve the quality of our environment.
For example, energy can be generated from renewable sources such as wind and solar power, which reduces our reliance on non-renewable energy sources such as fossil fuels, and also helps to reduce the release of polluting gases to the atmosphere. Another example of the benefits from technology is the highly advanced eco-friendly wastewater treatment plant at the St. George Brewery in Addis Ababa. This plant recovers nutrients and waste water from the brewery that would otherwise be released into the environment.
This type of technology can help to alleviate the problem of water shortage, prevent surface water pollution and protect the environment. Although technology has many positive impacts on people and the environment, it also has negative impacts, including the production of toxic waste from technological processes and electronic gadgets that are thrown away when they reach the end of their useful lives, as illustrated in Case Study 1.
This type of electronic waste is referred to as e-waste. E-wastes pose a huge challenge to the environment because they contain toxic substances such as cadmium and lead from batteries, which leach out and pollute rivers and groundwater.
Leaching means the substances seep out or are washed out by rain into the soil below. Toxic substances may get into the soil, making it unfit for agriculture.
Copper from wiring is valuable for recycling, but if wiring is burned, it produces very hazardous air pollution. E-waste is becoming a major problem in many African countries, including Ethiopia, where the use of electrical equipment has increased sharply with the rising number of people on higher incomes. According to a United Nations University report, there are about tonnes of non-functioning computers, televisions, mobile phones and refrigerators in Ethiopia, mostly in the ten largest cities Manhart et al.
As there is no proper e-waste management system in Ethiopia, some e-wastes are disposed of together with other household wastes or dumped in an uncontrolled way that may cause huge environmental problems. Model Ecosystems Use this interactive module developed by McGraw Hill to learn about energy flow in forest ecosystems.
The Effect of Populations on Ecosystems The beginning teacher knows how populations and species modify and affect ecosystems. Species can affect one another and ecosystems in a variety of ways.
Communities tend to become more complex over time. This process, known as succession, leads to changes in soil, and the populations of organisms that are present.
Primary succession takes place when organisms gradually inhabit a bare substrate such as rockleading to the development of soil and gradual increases in the numbers of kinds and species.
Over time, as conditions change, different groups of organisms become prevalent. Secondary succession occurs in an area where a disturbance, such as fire, has occurred. In general, early stages of succession are characterized by fast-growing or weedy species that tolerate extreme conditions, known as r-selected species. Gradually, these early invaders are replaced by other species K-selected species that compete more effectively in the environment that has been colonized and changed by the weedy colonizers.
Invasive species are those that are introduced into a new habitat, where they out compete native species that share similar niches.