Ecosystems By : Maneet and Tanvika

OIL SPILLS

About

Oil spills affects the ocean and sea as it pollutes the water. It also affects the all living things from the oil itself because it has poisonous chemicals. This can affect them from both internal exposure to oil because they might inhale or ingest the poisonous chemical.

Prevention

Some used to prevent oil spills are secondary contamination (which prevents the releases of oil in the environment), blowout preventer (which is a large device to seal, control and monitor the oil wells to prevent the release of crude oil) and the recovery workers (there job is to contain the slick with booms and remove it with floating skimmers as water and oil don’t mix with each other. After it is recovered, the oil can be separated from the water and reprocessed. When the oil is reprocessed, oil can be burned to power oil refineries, power, stations, cement plants, or brick kilns. But they can have some difficulties too depending on If there is a huge spill and the spill spreads really very fast). But the effective ways are that you can leave the oil so that it can break down into natural means or introducing it to biological agents for a faster bio degradation. The effectiveness of a program depends on the various factors like weather, how fast does the spill spread, etc.. (https://www.ceoe.udel.edu/oilspill/cleanup.html)

Impact

Oil spills impact a lot on the terrestrial ecosystem because they can cause a lot of pollution too. For example, the Kuwaiti oil fires caused a lot of air pollution. So this can cause a lot of sustainability in the terrestrial ecosystems. It can also affect some marine animals. If it affects marine animal then there are a lot of chances of them to die and oil spills happen really often. So a lot of marine animals will die which can affect the sustainability of the aquatic ecosystems.

Government initiative

The government of Canada is using a modern and coordinated approach to manage the impact of human activities ,like oil spills, on Canada's oceans and making important progress in protecting the marine areas. The government also undertakes the important science, research and monitoring the problems in our ecosystem and find out and effective way.

Food Chain

Importance

Human activities can really affect aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems in many ways. Some of those ways are, ocean pollution, change of landscape, and global climate change (ramp-alberta.org).

Impact

Ocean pollution contains bad bacteria for marine life, change of landscape can impact aquatic ecosystems as well since the landscape can affect the amount of space, and global climate change affects the sea level and climate of the ocean. Other ways are fishing (sciencelearn.org.nz). Fishing causes a decrease in sea animals and other ecosystems, like mammals, that depend on fishes and marine life for food. For example, otters, walruses, raccoons and skunks (www.reference.com). Construction and deforestation both affect terrestrial ecosystems because construction takes up a lot of land from the animals, and takes up land for their food, shelter etc (bas.ac.uk). Deforestation decreases the amount of food and nutrients for the animals as well as the homes and shelters they inhabit (www. wwf.com).

Biodiversity

What is it?

Biodiversity is the variety of life.

Importance

It is very important because it is important to know how different species live and how they need one another to survive. The biodiversity of a certain species is important to know not only because it is beneficial knowledge but also because it helps other species. For example, greater number of plants make more greater varieties of crops, it provides a greater sustainability to all life forms and the more healthier the ecosystem, the better they react to disasters (http://www.globalissues.org).

Connections

I learned about how oil spills can affect the sustainability of the ecosystem not only underwater but also on the land because if the water is polluted then animals can’t drink that water and they survive on water. If the animals will die then there will be a huge imbalances in the ecosystem.

Photosynthesis & Cellular Respiration

Affects

Oil spills contaminates the water. So the plants under water can’t make their food (sugar) out of it. As the spilled oil floats on the surface of water, it blocks sunlight which is one the essential things that plants rely on.(http://homeguides.sfgate.com/oil-spill-affects-photosynthesis-79801.html)

Transfer Of energy

In photosynthesis, it only happens in plants. The sunlight(that is a kind of energy) with carbon dioxide and oxygen is transferred into food (sugar) and oxygen (that plants exhale) whereas in cellular respiration, it happens in all living thing like humans. They eat plants and use the plant’s energy (the sugar) to change it into carbon dioxide (that living this exhale) water (that they need for hydration) and cell energy (all cells absorb energy from food). Transfer of energy uses only w natural resources and that are sunlight and water.

Transfer of energy in food chains

So first the plants make their own food by the process of photosynthesis in which they need sunlight and water, that are natural resources and they need carbon dioxide which is produced by living organisms like humans. When plants go under photosynthesis, they produce sugar and oxygen. So plants exhale oxygen and almost all living things need oxygen to live, so they inhale it. Then comes the process of cellular respiration in which all living thing eat the plants and use the plant's food to produce energy for themselves. So when they eat plants, the plant energy (sugar) in presences of oxygen is converted into energy by the mitochondria that is present in all cells and that works as energy for all the cells.

Balance

Oil spills impact plants a lot as it prevents the plants to go under the process of photosynthesis. Due to this, a lot of plants can die too. This will create a huge imbalance in the marine ecosystem as there will be no plants and the marine animals that only rely on plants for their survival will die too. Oils spills impact cellular respiration as it is dependent on photosynthesis. During cellular respiration, plant requires oxygen and glucose which is produced by plants through photosynthesis. If, because of oil spills, plants can’t do photosynthesis then they won’t get oxygen and glucose for respiration too, which can cause an imbalance in the ecosystem.

Connections

Oil spills affect the process of photosynthesis a lot as the plants under water can’t do photosynthesis. The reason it that the oils spilled blocks the sunlight. If plants can’t do photosynthesis, and cellular can't happen too because this process need sugar and oxygen produced by plants during the process of photosynthesis.

Biosphere

Types of spheres

Lithosphere (land)- it is the moving part of the surface of earth. It includes the crust(land), oceanic crust and the asthenosphere. It is basically the earth’s outermost layer. Hydrosphere (water)- this includes gaseous, liquid and solid water. It is kind of a ball that covers 70% of the space on earth. It is usually wet, except when it is frozen. Almost all animals and plants rely on it for survival. It is always in motion. Biosphere(living things)- it includes all the living organisms. This is made up of different ecosystems. Atmosphere (air)- it is divided into 4 layers. That are troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere and thermosphere. It is made up of composition of gases that surrounds earth.. The major components are nitrogen, oxygen and argon.

Connections

It can affect all the 4 spheres. Lithosphere (land) can be affected because if the water gets polluted, then animals can’t drink that water or if they drink it, they will die resulting in imbalance in the ecosystem. Hydrosphere can be affected because oil spills prevent plants to go through photosynthesis by blocking the sunlight. Also the marine animals will die too because of the water pollution. Atmosphere can be affected because one of the ways to separate the oil from the water is to burn it. If the oil is burned, it will pollute the atmosphere.

Healthy Ecosystems

WHat is it?

A healthy ecosystem is a sustainable ecosystem which means that means when the animals, plants and nonliving things are in harmony and there is nothing to disturb the ecosystem. When everything is done the way it should be and nothing that is a part of our ecosystem is in danger, that is a healthy ecosystem. Oil spills can affect the sustainability of the ecosystem as it creates a huge imbalance in the ecosystem.

ABiotic & Biotic

Abiotic components include all the chemical and physical factors which can affect the ecosystem. Biotic components include all the living things like all the organisms, such as plants, animals, autotrophs and heterotrophs.

SUSTAINABILITY

All biotic and abiotic components are important as they all rely on each other for their survival. Like plants rely on living thing such as humans for carbon dioxide and humans and almost all the animals rely on plants. Is anything was added or subtracted, it will create a huge imbalance and that will cause a disturbed ecosystem.

Environmental Factors

Water can be a factor because if it rain heavily then there are a lot of chances of flood and a lot of animals can be killed.

Wind could be another factor as it changes the environment by blowing of the seeds around.

Fire is another factors as if there is a lot of friction, then there can be fire in the forest and it can destroy the forest. If the forest is destroyed then the animals can die too or some animals will have to migrate.

Natural disaster can also affect the sustainability of the ecosystem. Earthquakes on high scale can affect as a lot of animals can die and the trees can fall too. Earthquakes also create mountains and the animals that can’t live on mountains will have to migrate from one place to another.

Humans can be a negative factor towards the sustainability of the ecosystem because humans need wood to make houses and more the population, the more they need wood. So they will cut a lot of trees for that and this will create a huge imbalance in the ecosystem as the animals that rely on trees will die too like deers. Also the animals that rely on those animals can die too like tiger rely on deers for their survival too.

Population

Water can be a factor because almost all animals need water to survive. As these days, there are less drinking water resources, a lot of people will die because of that reason. Also due to a lot of human activities, the water is getting polluted. Like oil spills, and if the animals drink that water, they can die too. It is a problem for plants too as they can’t do photosynthesis. (http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwep12a.htm)

Environment can be another factor because some animals need specific environment to survive. Some plants too need specific environment to grow.

Limited Factors

If there are less trees, all the animals and humans will die because trees are one of the essential things humans and animals survive on. Limited drinking water can affect too because everyone needs water for their survival.

Connections

I think oil spills affect both abiotic (water) and biotic (plants and marine animals) stuff. It can also result in limited source of water which can affect the population and the sustainability of the ecosystem.

Soil Composition

Affects

Human activities affect soil composition in many ways. Some of those ways are farming, construction and mining ( http://www.classzone.com).

Impact

Farming affects soil composition because, when farming, farmers put artificial nutrients in the soil to make their crops grow better, and some of these nutrients can make microorganisms in the soil harder to produce nutrients naturally (http://www.classzone.com). Construction affects soil composition as well. You need soil to make roads and houses, so most of the soil at construction sites gets blown away because the plants protecting it are taken away (http://www.classzone.com). Mining affects soil composition as well. When mining, there are a few methods that cause soil loss. When digging strip mines and open pit mines, you would need to remove many plants and soil from the ground (http://www.classzone.com).

Affects on ecosystems

Soil composition can affect ecosystems as well. Farmers use artificial fertilizers, those fertilizers add water pollution when the lakes, rivers and oceans are filled in with rainwater that drifted from those fields with excess nutrients ( http://www.classzone.com). Another reason is that when the soil is blown away from those construction sites, it’s soil can make other rivers and lakes dirty and muddy and harm organisms inside of it. The buildup of soil can also cause flooding (http://www.classzone.com).

Water Quality

Affects

Human activities affect water quality in many ways. Some of those ways are overpopulation, agriculture, littering and commercial forestry (http://www.umgeni.co.za/water_education/wpwq.asp).

Impacts

Overpopulation is a human activity that affects water quality because there are many people that live near water areas and many of those areas do not have treated water, so people bathe in rivers and lakes. Agriculture can be an issue to water quality, because when farmers spray their crops with different chemicals, those crops can go into groundwater and flow into rivers and streams. Those chemicals damage the water quality. Littering can be an issue to water quality when garbage like plastic bags, bottles and paper that are carelessly thrown around and blown into the river and/or lakes. This causes to make the water dirty and unclean. Commercial forestry is a problem for water quality because planting many trees can drain a lot of water. For example pine trees absorb 200 litres of water.

Human actions

Farming, clearing forests, building roads and mining are all human actions that affect water quality that can also impact aquatic ecosystems. I know this because all of these put a lot of soil in water, which causes plants to be harmed and makes other animals carry toxic chemicals into the water that smother fish eggs, and mini organisms that fish use as food (http://www.greenfacts.org).

Connections

Oil spills affect water quality in many ways. The spills make the oil very unclean, and cause sea animals to get sick and die. Water quality is easily affected by oil spills and can cause massive damage to the quality of the water. The underwater plants die out as well, since the spills cover the surface of the water, blocking them from the sun, and affecting the process of photosynthesis.

Credits:

Created with images by Larisa-K - "forest pond water" • USFWS/Southeast - "Drilling and recovery at impact site" • jfl1066 - "Dunnfield Creek II" • abhijeetsawant - "Flamingos-1340" • { pranav } - "i love green HBW [ Explored ]" • RyanFSpack - "leaves fall au" • Schill - "Case Study: Cilantro is more interesting than Basil.." • Hans - "drift wood flotsam and jetsam garbage" • Jaro Larnos - "Water"

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