Human impact on biodiversity

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Human impact on biodiversity

  • Habitats, and the organisms adapted to life there, have been lost as a result of activities relating to intensive agricultural practices, such as drainage, removal of trees and hedges, and nutrient enrichment of soils
  • Habitat loss can lead to fragmentation so that populations of particular species become isolated. The consequence of this is a loss of genetic diversity and adaptability
  • Native woodland represents a particularly rich habitat for a large number of species and its loss has greatly reduced biodiversity
  • The use of pesticides (herbicides, fingicides and insecticides) on farmland has caused a number of environmental problems. These include mobility into other habitats (aquatic and soil) with adverse effects there, toxicity to non-target organisms, pest resurgence, secondary pest outbreaks and the evolution of pest resistance
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Human impact on biodiversity

  • Non-native, invasive species represent a major threat to native species
  • Strategies that have been developed to encourage biodiversity include the planting of native trees, hedge restoration and management, and a variety of sustainable agricultural practices
  • Sustainable agricultural practices include a more judicious use of fertilisers, the use of crop rotation and a reduction in pesticide use with a move towards narrow-spectrum pesticides. There is also support for areas of farmland to be either left undisturbed or managed to encourage biodiversity
  • Locally, nationally and internationally, species action plans have been established for the conservation and management of certain threatened species
  • A number of habitats are being conserved and managed through the designation of special areas of protection
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