How can agriculture affect biodiversity


Agriculture can cause both damage and loss of biodiversity in the environment. One of the major ways this happens is via land use conversion to farms, ranches and land used for agriculture – especially on the larger scale. Trees and forests for example contain biodiversity, and can be cleared and converted to agricultural land.

AGRICULTURE AND BIODIVERSITY. In addition to its effects on climate, the expansion of agriculture has caused massive losses in biodiversity around the world: natural habitats have been converted to farms and pastures, pesticides and fertilizers have polluted the environment, and soils have been degraded.


Can farming affect biodiversity?

The way that farmers grow crops and raise animals can be either good or bad for biodiversity. On one hand, farmers can support biodiversity through careful farming methods. On the other hand, if farmers are not careful, the environment and organisms on and near the farm can be harmed. Trees can act as natural water filters.

How does agriculture impact our ecosystems?

Agriculture can have a massive impact on the ecosystems surrounding it. This environmental impact of agriculture is the effect of various farming practices, and it can vary greatly depending on the country we are looking at. Many critical environmental issues are tied to agriculture, such as climate change, dead zones, genetic engineering …

How does pest and disease affect agriculture?

The Impact of Pests on the Agriculture Industry

  • Crop Damage. Insects are a big threat. …
  • Damage to Finished Products. Pest species can also cause much harm to finished products that are getting ready for sale. …
  • Equipment and Machinery Damage. Rodents are the biggest problem. …
  • Safeguard Pest Control. …

What are the environmental impacts of Agriculture?

Agriculture can have significant impacts on the environment. While negative impacts are serious, and can include pollution and degradation of soil, water, and air, agriculture can also positively impact the environment, for instance by trapping greenhouse gases within crops and soils, or mitigating flood risks through the adoption of certain farming practices.


How does agriculture affect biodiversity?

Agriculture also affects biodiversity in the actual crops that are being grown. Many pesticides are used to keep insects from eating the crops, but these pesticides reduce a lot of biodiversity and they also go into the creatures that eat the insects, like birds. Some of these pesticides can harm these larger animals and spread throughout the food chain (Impacts). Pesticides and fertilizers can also be washed into rivers and streams because of runoff and can have harmful effects on the aquatic species living there (Impacts). Agriculture is a huge problem for aquatic environments, especially freshwater ecosystems. Sadly, agriculture doesn’t just affect the biodiversity of what it directly impacts, but it spreads to other regions and harms other areas. This also is a big concern because we eat animals that eat these insects with pesticides, and this could potentially damage our own health as well.

How has agriculture changed the world?

Agriculture began up to 12,000 years ago and over time has completely changed the way humans live and how the world is around us (Development). Before agriculture, most people were nomadic and gathered food. Once agriculture and farming became a regular practice, the human race became much more advanced and the population began to grow due to a lot of food being provided in a stable environment. Now, we live almost exclusively off of farming and domesticated animals, and we are able to feed large amounts of people while staying in one place. Agriculture has a lot of benefits towards humans, but the extreme amount of agriculture today has a lot of negative effects on our environment and reduces biodiversity.

How does agriculture reduce biodiversity?

Agriculture contributes to climate change and is affected by it. At the same time the continuing loss of biodiversity through over-exploitation of forests and degradation of ecosystems through widescale monoculture farming limits ecosystems’ ability to provide essential carbon capture.

What are the effect of agriculture on biodiversity?

Agriculture is the largest contributor to biodiversity loss with expanding impacts due to changing consumption patterns and growing populations. Agriculture destroys biodiversity by converting natural habitats to intensely managed systems and by releasing pollutants, including greenhouses gases.

Does increased biodiversity increase food production?

Biodiversity is essential to food and agriculture Biodiversity makes production systems and livelihoods more resilient to shocks and stresses, including those caused by climate change. It is a key resource in efforts to increase food production while limiting negative impacts on the environment.

What are negative effects of agriculture?

Agriculture is the leading source of pollution in many countries. Pesticides, fertilizers and other toxic farm chemicals can poison fresh water, marine ecosystems, air and soil. They also can remain in the environment for generations.

How does pollution affect biodiversity?

For example: pollutants such as sulfur can lead to excess levels of acid in lakes and streams, and damage trees and forest soils; atmospheric nitrogen can reduce the biodiversity of plant communities and harm fish and other aquatic life; ozone damages tree leaves and negatively affects scenic vistas in protected

Why is maintaining biodiversity important for agriculture?

Many livelihoods, such as those of farmers, fishers and timber workers, are dependent on biodiversity. Ecological life support— biodiversity provides functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, pest control, wastewater treatment and many ecosystem services.

How does biodiversity benefit food production?

Biodiversity is the basis of agriculture and our food systems. Agricultural biodiversity also performs ecosystem services such as soil and water conservation, maintenance of soil fertility, conservation of biota and pollination of plants, all of which are essential for food production and for human survival.

Why do ecologists prefer no-tillage methods?

Faced with this dilemma, most ecologists still tend to favour no-tillage methods because of the environmental benefits of reduced tillage and the poten- tial of minimizing the untoward effects of herbicides through better product choice (see Batt et al., 1980; Batt et al., 1985) and better mechanical control of drift.

What is conservation tillage?

Conservation tillage in its various forms, including reduced tillage, zero-tillage and minimum-tillage, generally reduces the physical disturbance of soil and leaves crop residues from the previous year’s growth unploughed at the soil surface.

What is drift of agriculturally used pes- ticides?

Drift of agriculturally used pes- ticides also reduced the diversity and abundance of arthropods specifically associated with particular plant species, e.g. Artemisiafilifolia on and off natural areas in Texas (Miller and Kevan, 1979).

What insecticides have been used to kill birds in North America?

Organo- chlorine insecticides such as DDT and dieldrin came very close to resulting in the outright loss of some bird species from North America and Europe e.g. fish eating species and raptor species such as the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) (Newton, 1976).

What is crested wheatgrass?

Canadian studies have found crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum), which is commonly used for the revegetation of aban- doned or marginal cropland, produces a drier soil which increases erosion relative to soils re-seeded with native grasses (Dormaar, 1992).

How many herbicides are there for wild roses?

No fewer than nine herbicides are registered for the control of the wild rose (Rosa woodsii) on Canadian rangeland, a concern for the continued survival of the vulnerable (and formally listed) prairie rose (R. arkan- sana) which is often found in close association with the former (Moss, 1983).

Why is rest rotation important?

The ‘rest-rotation’ grazing system has been found useful for ameliorating some of the adverse impacts of season-long grazing on wild birds and mammals pri- marily because certain areas of pasture are left undis- turbed at least part of the time (Anderson and Scherzinger, 1975).

How does farming affect biodiversity?

Can farming affect biodiversity? The way that farmers grow crops and raise animals can be either good or bad for biodiversity. On one hand, farmers can support biodiversity through careful farming methods. On the other hand, if farmers are not careful, the environment and organisms on and near the farm can be harmed.

What are the organisms that live in soil?

There are millions of organisms that live in soil — microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, and macroorganisms, such as worms, mites, ants and spiders. These organisms can help farmers to reduce the negative effects of farming.

What happens if farmers don’t take care of their trees?

On the other hand, if farmers are not careful, the environment and organisms on and near the farm can be harmed. Trees can act as natural water filters. Their roots absorb rainwater, and minimize the amount of runoff entering rivers and lakes.

Is farm dirt rich in biodiversity?

A handful of farm dirt is rich in biodiversity. Soil biodiversity includes animals, bacteria, fungi and even the roots of plants growing above. Soils form complex ecosystems that make farming possible.

How can a species adapt to the landscape?

Species capable of adapting to the agricultural landscape may be limited directly by the disturbance regimes of grazing, planting and harvesting, and indirectly by the abundance of plant and insect foods available. Some management techniques, such as drainage, create such fundamental habitat changes that there are significant shifts in species …

What are the factors that are considered in fertilizer?

Factors which are considered include the mobility, trophic interactions, persistence, and spectrum of toxicity for various pesticides. The ecological virtues of organic and inorganic fertilizers are compared, and the problems arising from excessive use of fertilizer are discussed.

Why do farmers not fence in their pastures?

Many farmers do not fence in these natural pastures so that wild herbivores can use them too. Leaving the pastures open can be risky – carnivores may prey on farm animals. Other farmers design their farms to minimize changes to the natural landscape. They might even try to enhance biodiversity on and around the farm.

How does farming affect the Amazon?

In some areas, farming brings enormous changes to the landscape. In parts of the Amazon, large tracts of forests have been cut down and replaced by monoculture (one crop) farming or pastures for cattle grazing. These changes reduce the number and variety of habitats available for species.

What is the end result of the loss of biodiversity?

The end result is a loss of biodiversity. In other areas, the land does not change much. Some farmers use the landscape as it is. For example, grasslands are natural pastures for many farm animals or wild herbivores. Many farmers do not fence in these natural pastures so that wild herbivores can use them too.

Why do construction workers build roads?

For example, construction workers build roads so that trucks can pick up farm produce and take it to markets. When farmers cut trees to create space for growing crops or raising livestock, they also reduce natural water filtration (cleaning) and available habitats for many species.


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