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Sunday, 16 September 2018

Effects of Agricultural Activity on Ecosystems

Agricultural activity or farming involved both the growing of crops as well as the rearing of livestock such as poultry, cattle , goats and pigs.

   Farming is carried out on land. To set up a farm, a piece of land is cleared of its natural vegetation. Then, the land surface may be levelled and the soil is broken up and loosened mechanically. The crops are planted and fertilizers are added. If water is scarce, it is supplied by various irrigating schemes. All these farming activities upset the natural ecological system.

Natural and farming ecosystems
An ecological system or ecosystem is composed of both the living and non living parts of an environment. The various living organisms in  an ecosystem are interdependent and interact with the non living part of the environment such as air, water, soil and light. The tropical forest is a natural Ecosystem that took thousands of years to establish. When we clear a patch of tropical forest for farming, we destroy, within a very short period, an ecosystem that nature took such a long time to establish.

  In the present world , we have to practise farming to feed the ever increasing human population. Bad farming practises and methods can cause large  areas  of farmland to become barren desserts. However ,  a well organized and well managed farm can be considered as an agricultural ecosystem where the farmer chooses the main plants and animals that live on it and ensures soil fertility by adding fertilizers.

   To establish an agricultural ecosystem, we have to study about how the various agricultural activities affect the soil and the living organisms in ecosystems. Such knowledge should enable us to

I. Farm land productively to supply pur needs;
ii. Prevent valuable fertile land from becoming deserts; and
iii. Prevent the different types of living organisms present in the original natural Ecosystem from becoming extinct.

   We should also make a great effort to preserve a certain percentage of our natural Ecosystem.

   In my next write up I will discuss the effects and the activities associated with it such as burning, tillage and Application of fertilizers and pesticides on the ecosystem.