Habitat Destruction and Degradation

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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over exploitation or overharvesting is the harvesting of a renewable resource to the point where there are diminishing returns. It should be noted that the majority of harvest a ble species and marine ecosystems are considered overexploited. This point here is a great example of the over exploitation of Atlantic cod and why there was a collapse in Atlantic Cod stocks. You can see the fishing, uh, the amount of fishing that was done per year, and it steadily has, you can see is increasing. And then it spikes right here, and then it crashes because the population crashes. And so there's just nothing left to be fished due to this over exploitation of the resource. Now, another threat to biodiversity is habitat destruction, which is when habitats are rendered unable to support the species that are currently present. It's unfortunate, but humans cause a vast amount of habitat destruction all over the world. One of the major major destroyers of habitats is deforestation. Because this removes primary forests, which reduces biodiversity and globally, this is just one of the most destructive practices. Now, tropical rainforests are particularly vulnerable to deforestation. Uh, due to the length of time, the difficulty in reestablishing uh, those very developed forests, and it's estimated that nearly half half of the world's tropical rainforests could disappear in your lifetime. Now, habitat degradation is just reducing the quality of a habitat. And this can happen due to practices like habitat fragmentation, where a contiguous habitat is fragmented into smaller, more isolated pockets. And you can see that happening here, where these habitats in Africa are being fragmented into smaller and smaller habitats. And this can, uh, lead thio, forcing populations into meta populations, which remember our populations that are somehow connected. But that means that we'll actually have smaller populations making up that meta population, and smaller populations are at greater risk of extinction. Now, edge effects are changes in a population or community that occur at the boundary between two habitats and habitat. Fragmentation pronounces edge effects, and you can see the increase in these edge territories in areas where there is deforestation. And behind me, I just want to point out, uh, this image of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. You can see huge swaths being removed and not only fragmenting habitats, but increasing the amount of what you'd consider an edge area. These deforested areas. With that, let's go ahead and flip the page