An Essay On Freshwater Ecosystem

829 Words4 Pages
Humans deeply depend on freshwater ecosystems for many services such as food, potable water energy creation and recreation. Freshwater ecosystems; however, have not been at the forefront of recent environmental efforts, but current articles written by Mota et al. 2014 and Martinuzzi et al. 2014 attempt to change that. In each article the authors examine ways freshwater ecosystems are degraded, possible future implications and effective management plans to ensure that freshwater ecosystem services and biodiversity are continued for generations to come. Mota et al. 2014 put a great deal of emphasis on freshwater fish, their valuable role in the ecosystem and the ways in which they are threatened, all excluding climate change, occur due to humans. The authors accuse humans of overexploitation, eutrophication, fragmentation, degradation, and habitat loss as well as exotic introductions. In an effort to explain the magnitude of the problem they use pollution and subsequently biomagnification to connect multiple trophic levels. Biomagnification occurs when an organism, which is later consumed by another, ingests a fat-soluble pollutant or pesticide. The pesticide accumulates within members of the highest trophic level with detrimental effects (as in the case of the peregrine falcons DDT accumulation caused eggshell thinning). Mota et al. 2014 indicate that freshwater ecosystems are important bioindicators because they show the affects of most environmental changes both natural and human caused. The authors go on to list various management strategies to correct and protect the freshwater ecosystems in both developed and developing countries. Most importantly they list restoring the system to natural conditions through sewer treatment, ex... ... middle of paper ... ...ibe nearly as many solutions to the impending ecosystem degradation other than collaborative efforts from different ecological impacts and international funding. Not only do freshwater ecosystems provide food for most human populations but are also a rich source of biodiversity. Further loss of the watersheds will not only provide less food but also impact important ecosystem services such as flow regulation, water purification, and regulates excessive erosion. From these articles it is clear that urbanization and exploitation will only continue the destruction of watershed ecosystems. The fate of many organisms is tied to the health of the ecosystem with further reaching implications than we think. With a surprising amount of primary producers, the degradation will slow nutrient recycling impacting growth for all freshwater ecosystem dependents, including humans.
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