category : Biodiversity and nature preservation
An ecosystem has animals, plants and inanimate nature.
What we call inanimate nature
Animals should hide in rocks or dead trees. Water is needed for drinking, and some animals live in water. Air is also an inanimate part of the ecosystem – all animals need air.
How man uses ecosystems
Some ecosystems provide special products and materials for the whole world. For example, although tropical forests cover only 6% of the Earth, they produce about 40% of oxygen in the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Other ecosystems produce food, medicine and useful materials such as rubber and wood.
Equilibrium in an ecosystem is very important. If the needs of organisms in the ecosystem are not met, they cannot survive. Animals usually need food, water and shelter. For example: if deer have to eat grass and the place where they live (their ecosystem) no longer has grass, they have to move somewhere else or risk not surviving.
When we think of an ecosystem as a forest, there are many organisms that are important. Trees, deer, plants, birds, squirrels and insects are prominent members of the ecosystem. There are many more organisms that live in an ecosystem that are not as noticeable as insects and fungi.
Another way in which humans affect ecosystems is through the introduction of invasive species. Invasive species are living beings that do not occur naturally in this ecosystem, but are placed in it by humans. They disturb the natural balance.
Endangered plant species
One of the most endangered plant species on earth is the Alabar mahogany. This tree is known for its durable wood, which leads to an increase in demand and thus begins its mass felling; other endangered species are – red sandalwood, ebony.
Endangered plant species range from small mosses to towering trees. The mandrite is an endangered shrub with bright red flowers. Alien plant species have taken over their habitat on the island of Mauritius and are on the verge of extinction. At the beginning of the 21st century, less than 50 of these plants grow in the wild. Another endangered plant, the Bermuda cedar, grows in the wild only in Bermuda. People cut down many of these trees to build houses, ships and furniture.
The disappearance (deforestation) of forests has a strong impact on ecosystems and their inhabitants.
Deforestation means deforestation. The word is usually used to describe people’s actions in deforestation, not destruction caused by natural events such as hurricanes and fires. People have been cutting down trees for thousands of years. Recently, however, the number of forests lost through deforestation has increased tremendously. This is seen as a major environmental problem. Experts estimate that about 500,000 square miles (1.3 million square kilometres) of land is deforested every 10 years. The greatest deforestation occurs in tropical areas, where tropical forests are cut down. Most deforestation is permanent and the forests there cannot be restored.
Why it is important to have forests
Trees and other green plants produce oxygen, which humans and other animals need to breathe. When trees are cut down, less oxygen is released into the atmosphere.
Trees also capture carbon dioxide, one of the gases that contributes to a problem known as global warming. When burned, trees emit carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.
Deforestation on steep mountain hills can lead to erosion. Erosion is when the ground wears out and crumbles because the trees are not there to hold the soil. Heavy rains in such areas can wash the land down the slopes in catastrophic landslides that destroy fields, homes and even human lives.
Many forests are calm, quiet places where people can rest and children can play. When trees are cut down, this use of forests for recreation is lost.
Forests are home to a huge array of living things. When an area is deforested, many plants and animals die. Some species are disappearing due to deforestation, especially those living in tropical forests. The traditional way of life of tropical forest people can be severely affected by deforestation.
Trees in Bulgaria / Serbia. The oldest trees in Bulgaria and Serbia
Serbian spruce is an endangered tree species in Serbia; Thracian oak is an endangered tree