Describe How Humans Change the Food Web

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Humans are at the top of the food chain, sustaining ever-growing populations through practices and activities that alter the world's food webs in various ways, affecting the biodiversity, stability and growth of ecosystems.

Significance

  • Humans are dominant consumers, affecting food webs through urban development, fishing, energy production and agriculture, as demands for food and shelter rise with population growth, affecting soil and aquatic ecosystems.

Function

  • Humans change the food web by sustaining themselves through farming, livestock rearing and aquaculture pratices that increase the production of plants, meat and fish, but reduce the overall diversity of the natural food web.

Effects

  • The human pursuit of economic gain through poaching, trading, over hunting and overfishing can create food shortages at all levels, upsetting the natural balance.

Considerations

  • Humans directly affect animal extinction, as habitat destruction caused by farming, pollution or large projects such as dams, and mass hunting result in mortality rates that rise above reproduction rates, threatening species, particularly top predators that are dependent upon diverse energy resources for food.

Prevention/Solution

  • Human conservation efforts to preserve habitats, enforce stringent hunting and fishing laws and provide breeding programs at zoos may prevent extinction and promote biodiversity by reversing the effects of endangerment.

References

  • Photo Credit "Enchantment in the hills" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: Athena's Pix (Athena Flickr) under the Creative Commons Attribution license.
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