Understanding human impact on ecosystems and organisms
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Understanding Human Impact on Ecosystems and organisms. You will understand the delicate nature of ecosystems and how humans actions can disrupt them. Limiting Factors. All ecosystems are limited in the number of organisms they can contain! These numbers are limited by the 3 LIMITING FACTORS

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Understanding human impact on ecosystems and organisms

Understanding Human Impact on Ecosystems and organisms

You will understand the delicate nature of ecosystems and how humans actions can disrupt them.


Limiting factors
Limiting Factors

  • All ecosystems are limited in the number of organisms they can contain!

  • These numbers are limited by the 3 LIMITING FACTORS

  • Food= amount of energy available to the Community

  • Space = amount of space needed by Populations of organisms

  • Season/Weather Influence = affects the first two factors for the community


Ecosystems basic design
Ecosystems Basic Design

  • 1. Specie = each individual living component of an ecosystem

  • 2. Population = number of organisms for each specie within an ecosystem

  • 3. Community= Interaction of Populations of Species with an Ecosystem

  • 4. Biome= specific habitat in which the community lives. Defined by temperature and vegetation (land based)


How do you determine where things go wrong
How do you determine where things go wrong?

  • Ecologists analyze health of ecosystems through population studies of organisms

  • These studies can tell you primarily how a population of organisms is doing, thus providing clues to the ecosystems health

  • ********************OR******************

  • To study the overall health of ecosystems however, ecologists look at abiotic and biotic factors. These help give ecologists a better overall picture of an ecosystem’s health


Biotic factors
Biotic Factors

  • Biotic Factors – living parts of an ecosystem which impact the community

  • Producers – (Autotrophs)

  • Consumers – (Heterotrophs)

  • Decomposers – (Recyclers of Nutrients)


Abiotic factors
Abiotic Factors

  • Abiotic Factors- non living parts of an ecosystem which impact the organisms or “SWATS”

  • Sunlight

  • Water

  • Air

  • Temperature

  • Soil



Nitrogen cycle
Nitrogen Cycle survival?


Carbon cycle
Carbon Cycle survival?


Water cycle
Water Cycle survival?


Human impact on ecosystems
Human Impact on Ecosystems survival?

  • Humans have long had a negative impact on Natural Ecosystems’ health

  • Most of the actions were unintentional as human populations grew and demand for resources grew

  • However, there have been many times in which humans purposely made a negative impact on a population of organisms or an ecosystem for their own benefit


Whaling the disaster of humans for centuries
Whaling: The Disaster of Humans for centuries survival?

  • Whale oil was originally used as an illuminant for lamps

  • Later as Industrial Revolution began need for Whale Oil grew as a lubricant for machinery. (Sewing machines specifically)

  • In WW1 Whale Oil was used as a preventative for trench foot and used as an ingredient for explosives (1914-1917 175,000 whale killed in South Atlantic)

  • Was also used in margarine, the original Rust-Oleum, and was used in Auto-transmition fluid in cars up until 1972.


Whaling the largest example of humans negative role or impact in an ecosystem
Whaling: The largest example of humans negative role or impact in an ecosystem

  • Commercial Whaling is the slaughter of Whales for their blubber as a source of oil for various human products

  • Whaling has its roots back since the 1300’s but took off with the invention of the explosive tipped harpoon in the late 1800’s

  • All the great baleen whales are now endangered as a result of commercial whaling


How bad was the slaughter
How Bad was the slaughter? impact in an ecosystem


Slaughter outcomes
Slaughter Outcomes impact in an ecosystem

  • International treaty (International Whaling Commission 1986)- Outlawed Commercial Fishing of Whales by most Industrialized Nations

  • Japan, Russia, Iceland, Finland and Norway were only countries that did not support or sign the treaty


To this day whaling continues
To this day, Whaling Continues impact in an ecosystem


Impact of whaling on society
Impact of Whaling on Society impact in an ecosystem

  • Allowed for longer work days during Industrial Revolution due to its use in lighting

  • Was first Oil type of either mineral or animal to make Commercial Viability. North East US was major Whaling Boom site as a result.

  • Literature of time was impacted with best examples being Moby Dick and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

  • NHL Team in Conn named Hartford Whalers


Impact of whaling on society1
Impact of Whaling on Society impact in an ecosystem



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