A biodiversity crisis concerns every member of the global community. Four important reasons why the Earth faces biodiversity loss include over-exploitation of resources for commercialization, pollution, global climate change, and population over-consumption. Each of these causal factors is things that we can change. By promoting ecologically friendly products for use in your home or business, you could reduce the exploitation in the Amazon rain forests. Simply choosing a different paper towel brand could mitigate the impacts of over-exploitation.
Air pollution is a common cause of loss of animal populations, but water pollution can drastically affect the plant ecosystems. If a company deposits waste in the same area of a river for ten years, the water table and surrounding plant life are changed. In this example, water pollution is an issue because both the temperature of the hazardous waste and the contents of the waste pose a problem to a large geographical area of plant species. Pollution is increasing and is a leading cause of the many global species lost due to a reduction in biodiversity. On the coasts of continents, ecosystems are impacted by commercial usage of fertilizer.
Fertilizer contains high amounts of nutrient-rich nitrogen. When it rains, the fertilizer seeps into runoff water. This can create nutrient overloads in the ocean, threatening the ecosystems. Nutrient overloads can cause spectacular bursts of algae. Algae bloom block out sunlight and oxygen, which impacts the plant and animal' species. Lack of oxygen or energy can cause the extinction of plant species. Following the destruction of plant species, the animals will suffer from lack of food. The domino effect in the food chain contributes to global species loss. Food chains in the oceans are interconnected, so the impacts of algal blooms can cascade from one ecosystem to another. One way to help the affected animal' species is to recognize the damage to the ecosystem and promote active human intervention in your community. For example, we can help with this threat by petitioning for better Clean Water Act protections with our local representative.
On the ground level of air pollution, compounds like sulfur and nitrogen contribute to the functioning of plant and animal species. Plant species can take in too much nitrogen and not produce seed. These effects the next phase of the growth cycle for a plant, leading to the potential of another global species lost. And ground-level ozone as it affects their ability to function and grow. Near some factories, the trees turn dark from the carbon and soot emissions. This type of air pollution affects the trees and the animals that depend on them. For example, a factory is placed in a forest full of light-colored trees. There are symbiotic white moths that feed on the trees and offer them protection from destructive ant colonies. The trees and moths have a positive symbiotic relationship. Then, a coal factory is set up on the perimeter of the forest and begins to dispense dense, foggy air pollution. After a few years, the white insects that fed on the tree sap before the factory arrived are no longer camouflaged against predators. The tree bark has become black with soot. Since the moths are no longer hidden from predators, they have to move to another area or perish. This biodiversity loss in this ecosystem is a prime example of how air pollution can create a crisis. Because the trees co-adapted with the insects that are no longer present, it creates a scenario that might make the plants endangered. Once the forest becomes damaged, the ecosystem becomes at risk of collapse. Once an ecosystem collapses, the likelihood of renewing biodiversity becomes extremely difficult.
Ecosystems are also impacted by air pollution. Corporate factories expel a large amount of ozone-depleting compounds. Atmospheric air pollution is caused by carbon emissions and greenhouse gas emissions. The effect of greenhouse gases on the health of the Earth's ecosystem is incalculable. Greenhouse gases cause the Earth to retain more heat during the day. As the gases create a thick barrier between the Sun's reflective rays against the ozone, it over-heats the temperature of the atmosphere. This can cause a cascade of issues in the Earth's ecosystems. By increasing the temperature across the globe, habitat ranges change. Greenhouse gases heat the Earth so quickly that species cannot evolve or recover from the loss. Many species have to migrate to a better climate or face extinction. Because the atmosphere is so massive, it becomes increasingly difficult to remedy the damage. Global climate change remains one of the most substantial issues about biodiversity loss.
The ways to help with global climate change are well-known: reduce your carbon footprint and conserve your resources. This issue is linked to the point of over-consumption of resources, and both are active contributors to biodiversity loss. The remedy for over-consumption is straightforward: to watch what you consume and balance it with what you need.
It would be a real chance to embrace the actions listed above to help with biodiversity loss. But what if you want to make a real difference? The loss of our plant and animal populations due to exploitation has already done a lot of damage to our Earth's ecosystems. With active human intervention and action, biodiversity loss is reversible through ecological restoration. We can help prevent the extinction of plant species by strategically planting trees in appropriate habitats.
Getting started with ecological restoration is as simple as recognizing that there is a problem in an ecosystem. Many local environmental organizations monitor and track specific ecosystems in your community that may need restoration. The best way to become aware of issues and by seeking out others who are concerned as well. Local organizations are likely to be the most in-touch with small-scale biodiversity issues. A small point would include the plants endangered in your community. By knowing what needs to be planted, you can make a more significant positive impact on the ecosystem.
An effective way to get involved will be to see if there are volunteering opportunities in your local community. Being proactive is a simple but effective way to start helping. Many cities are adopting ecological restoration techniques that allow community members to participate in tree planting. In America, Earth Day remains a fantastic volunteering opportunity in local communities. If your city is lacking in resources, consider volunteering to build an environmental awareness group. Biodiversity loss is caused by human action and is causing plants to become endangered. It is important to remember that biodiversity loss is reversible through ecological restoration. We can affect real change in our homes and communities by taking proactive actions every day.