Any ecosystem can be affected by many types of pollution. Just as human health is affected by various toxins, so are plants and animals. Poisonous chemicals are found in the blood of ancient forests and arctic animals. Litter is found floating deep in the seas away from any land. Light and sound pollution is affecting the regular patterns of birds and animals.
Toxic chemicals, organic and inorganic pollutants enter organisms through the absorption of contaminated food and water by the skin. Higher animals in the food chain accumulate these toxins in higher and higher concentrations. This is called bio-magnification. When high-level predators have high levels of toxins, they are likely to suffer from diseases, birth defects, genetic mutations, and other fatal effects.
Pesticides kill beneficial insects, soil bacteria, and fishes as well as unwanted pests.
Water pollution reduces water quality. Pollution can also be radioactive in nature. Dead zones are a feature of eutrophication. This occurs when algae circulate on the body of water and excrete all the oxygen from the water. No other organism can survive in these zones. These harmful algal blooms are also called red tides or brown tides because of their presence in the water.
Acid precipitation that results from the mixing of air and water vapors and sulfur dioxide in its precipitation changes the chemical composition of both soil and land. This leads to the death of fish and on land it affects the growth of trees.
Garbage patches in the sea are large areas of temporary debris made primarily of plastic. They are deposited in sea gears carried here by sea and air currents. It makes oceans toxic; They damage coral reefs and entangle small and large animals in debris. Whales, seals, walrus, dolphins, magnets, and penguins are affected by plastic debris in the sea. Even microbes such as krill and zooplankton consume plastic debris and transport it to the food chain.
The sound of oil and gas pollution in the Arctic is so loud that many marine mammals and other life forms have difficulty breeding and feeding. Light pollution disturbs the normal rhythm of animals and birds as it happens to humans. Hundreds of migratory birds are getting confused by their normal routes from the city lights. Turtle hatchlings die each year as they move towards the beach on the opposite side of the lights. Many insects are attracted to street lights at night and their populations decrease.
As habitats shrink in size due to human encroachment, animals live in a more crowded fashion. There are negative effects such as low nutritional status, reproduction and survival. Polar caps in the Arctic are shrinking due to global warming. The ice is melting fast. Hunting and transportation opportunities for polar bears are shrinking. The lack of space affects the feeding and reproduction routines of these mammals. Loss of forest cover leads to the loss of many beloved species such as tigers and pandas and scores higher worldwide.
Wetlands of Asia face many hazards in the form of mass pollution, pollution, and deforestation. They, directly and indirectly, support millions of people by providing ecosystem services such as protection from natural hazards, groundwater recharge, and discharge.
The wetland is a temporary and permanent habitat for a variety of plant fish and wildlife, where mammals provide food, habitat, breeding grounds, and shelter to ‘amphibian’ reptiles and birds.
As a part of pest control, many times new species of plants, insects, animals, and even pests are added to the ecosystem. These compete with beneficial species for food shelter and all other resources. They can also present diseases for which native species are not resistant. Hence the decline in the number of native species.
Endangered refers to species that are close to extinction. And, Endangered as considered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Endangered species in the US are the bald eagle, American bison, grizzly bear, eastern wood wolf, and sea turtle. Blue whales, baldhead whales, finback whales, gray whales, sperm whales, and humpback whales are part of the larger whale list. Overhunting combined with climate change and habitat loss is a major factor in bringing a species to this list.
Some of the others are Amur Leopard, Black Rhino, Cross River Gorillas, Hawksbill Tortoise, Jaw Rhino, Leatherback Tortoise, Mountain Gorilla, Puppy Monkey Baby, and South China Tiger.
Golden toad has become extinct in high altitude areas of South America due to pollution, global warming, and fungal infections. Several species of amphibians have been lost so far. They are very sensitive to temperature and are affected by toxins in their water sources. As the pest population has reduced the sources of food of the frogs.
Most attention is usually given to large mammals such as tigers, elephants, bison whales, etc. This is usually ignored. But just like plants, insects are a foundation block for the food chain.
- Insects are natural pollinators.
- They are natural predators to control pests in agriculture.
- They are a major source of food for mammals and fishes of many birds.
- They help decompose dead material.
- Breaking the soil causes the soil to burst; It is added to make it more fertile.
- Humans use honey bees and silkworms for honey and silk.
- Some populations consume insects as a protein source.
Roughly 600 species are at risk of extinction, 48 of which are in the US alone. In tropical countries when pest species become extinct many higher species will disappear at the same time. Some of the endangered insects are beetles, moths, butterflies, and varieties of flies. The insects that eat the plant are destroyed when the plant they eat dies in large numbers.
In the same way, plant species are also going extinct. Plants are the basic food sources of many large and small species. They bring diversity and color to the world. It used as raw materials to host human needs. They provide shelter for many birds of insects and animals. Medicinal plants, plant fibers, wood, latex, rubber, and many others are affected by the pollution of land, air, and water. Climate change, drought flooding, natural and man-made disasters affect the flora in various ways. Pests and diseases also cause plant population decline.
Some of the missing plants are
- Baobab tree in Africa and India
- Monkey puzzle tree native to Chile
- Dragon tree in Africa
- Boise Dental, a small plant in Mauritius
- Cork tree
- Australian Orchid Underground
- Two popular carnivorous plants – Venus flytrap, green pot plant
- Baseball Plant
- Once completely extinct in Wales, Snowdonia wreaked havoc again.
- Largest flowering plants in the world such as Rafflesia, Titan Arum, Black Bat Flower.
- A native of Chile is a Chilean plant – only one plant survives of its kind and it can never grow outside its biome.
As mentioned, plants and animals in the world are now only 50% of what they were 75 years ago. Looking at half of a century, the remaining half is also likely to disappear unless strict rules and regulations are implemented. The glorious beauty and splendor of nature will fade on TV if humans do not take up the responsibility with the responsibility as the keepers of the earth.
As nature gives and gives more without holding us back, because human activities bring change and harm in it, it can lead to the release of her fury that is as powerful as her love. We must learn to respect him through our actions.