Man’s Disruption of Ecosystem
Man has done much to alter the face of earth. Almost in all the countries the sprawling cities, the broad highways, the highly cultivated farmlands, the big factories and the great areas of land made unproductive through mismanagement, all combine to produce a disruption of natural ecosystem. Great achievements in industrialization, transportation, mechanized agriculture, public health and medicines have aided in uplifting the standard of living far above than ever known before, but these advances have been bought at a price.
In achieving all these comforts, man has created several problems, by disturbing the delicate ecological balance in nature. The web of life is so delicately inter-woven that we cannot alter any part without far reaching consequences. For example, the poisons and insecticides are used to kill the insects which the birds eat, but these insecticides also kill those birds that we do not wish to kill. The forests cleared for the construction of factories, dams or railway tract also cause grave danger to the wildlife. The industrial wastes as chemical effluents, gases, smog etc. pollute the water and air, killing numerous freshwater and marine organisms (fishes, oysters and green vegetation) valuable to man in various ways.
In early times man formed only a small part of the ecosystem exchanging material with it just like other animals. By learning to hunt, to grow crops he gained superiority over other species in his environment. The explosive increase in his population accompanied with an expanding knowledge in every field made him the ruler of the earth. By creating artificial environment and providing modern comforts man has combated with nature. But all this has disturbed the ecological balance to such an extent that ecologists have started predicting that if man continues to disrupt his environment at the same speed, he will bring the dooms day of his race very soon. Now he mu use his intellect to preserve the ecosystem and the natural balance, which are very necessary for his survival.
The conservation of environment, and natural resources by the application of ecological principles is very essential in ensuring a continual yield of plants, animals and materials for fast expanding human population Man has been squandering natural resources by improper cultivation of land wasteful lumbering methods, unrestricted slaughter or animals, depletion fisheries and industrial and sewage pollution of water resources.
A new method has been evolved by the experts of the Dehradoon based Central Soil and Water Conservation Research Institute at it Bellary
Research Centre involves digging of ditches of suitable sizes to break flow of run-off water. Conservation ditching, as the new technique is called helps in preserving, a major portions of the run-off water for utilization during the dry period for irrigating field crops. By cutting off the flow of water from a rain storm, these ditches help in preventing effectively the erosion of down stream soil.
Major Advantage: One of the major advantage of the new conservation system is that it offers scope for boosting farm production in rain fed areas of black cotton soils by providing supplementary irrigation. The practice can be adopted even at the individual farm level. In an experiment at the Bellary Centre, the results indicated that the yield of sorghum (jowar) could be increased by nearly 47 percent by just providing one irrigation to the crop from water stored in the ditches.
Experiments have also been conducted at Dehradoon to ascertain the viability of water harvesting technology involving storage of excess rain water in ponds and utilizing it for providing supplementary irrigation to rainfed crops. It has been found that about 40 percent of the storage capacity of the ponds constructed in the fields is generally lost due to seepage and evaporation. The remaining 60% of the available water can be successfully used for providing life saving irrigation to rail crops.
Conservation of Natural Resources: The natural resources means the land, soil, minerals, waters and their products; the vegetation, and wild life which are useful for human society and maintenance of modern comforts .Conservation of these resources by the application of ecological principles is very essential in ensuring a continuous yield of plants and animals used as food and other materials which are essential for the expanding human population. Therefore, conservation is nothing but applied ecology.
1. Soil conservation: Soil is the top cover of the earth in which plants an grow. The plant life is very essential for conserving kinetic solar energy into potential energy and forms the only source for providing energy to the animals. These supply fodder for animals, food and clothing to man and shelter to all. Its wood is put to various uses. It is, therefore, essential to protect the soil against soil erosion, floods and to conserve its fertility. The rotation of crop, contour ploughing and use of proper fertilizers help in maintaining the fertility of soil. Plantation of trees, controlled grazing of islands, reforestation, prevention of forest fires will protect the erosion of top soil. The regulation of water resources to prevent flood will help not only soil conservation but also supply an adequate water supply in the period of drought.
2. Water Conservation : Soil conservation alone will prove inadequate is not accompanied by the maintenance of suitable quantities of water. r is needed for our domestic, agricultural and industrial uses. With an increase of our industrial civilization our need for water has increased. If our water resources are polluted, or stored water runs short, the very existence of the entire civilized world is threatened.
The Construction of artificial reservoirs, lakes and canals enable us to spread water to suitable lands where it could be used. The mismanagement of stored water may lead to soil erosion, may fill reservoirs, run canals and dams and may cause overflow of the river
hanks ruining the farms.
3. Environmental Conservation: Life and environment are inseparable. Man is an integral part of the environment exchanging materials with the environment in a continuous cycle. With his modern knowledge in technology, chemistry, and biology and agriculture man has the ability to modify his environment, but still he cannot completely isolate himself. As his population increases, he needs more space and to utilize resources from other place, which he had not exploited earlier. It must, therefore, be realized that man should try to conserve his environment in which he is residing and should use his environment in an intelligent way so that the human race is not exposed to environmental hazards.