What is the fragility of ecosystems?

The fragility of ecosystems refers to the set of conditions and characteristics of a natural space and the capacity for recovery, adaptation or recomposition in front of elements that disturb its balance.

exist ecosystems that have an immediate and dynamic response level facing the changes and alterations produced by man in his desire to take advantage of the fruits of nature. These ecosystems are specifically the marine ones, whose recovery, depending on the aggressiveness and the time that the impact has on the area, is usually immediate.

What is an ecosystem

Before delving fully into the fragility of ecosystems, we must specify what it is an ecosystem, which has been defined as an environmental unit made up of organisms that interact and share the same habitat, they maintain a balance and interdependence.

On the other hand, frailty is associated with sensitivity and especially with the response and adaptation capacity of ecosystems. Thus, we can say that a ecosystem is fragile before an intervention that alters its characteristics according to the reaction, Either changing or losing its qualities partially, temporarily or permanently and totally.

Then, a fragile ecosystem is one that undergoes an intervention, no matter how small, experiences alterations in its structure, composition and conformation that can go from being transitory to permanent and irreversible.

Anthropogenic influence

An ecosystem with particular characteristics and singular and unique composition, with low capacity to recover to its usual conditions, It is considered fragile and unstable, therefore it is weak before any anthropogenic intervention that alters its structure.

It is understood by anthropogenic influence on the impact that man has on the environment, or the effects that human activities produce in their natural environment, be it in the water, on the ground or in the air.

The fragility of the ecosystems has raised the concern of the community of conservationists, environmentalists, geologists, biologists, and a whole roster of scientists experts who have warned about the conditions of these spaces.

This concern has resulted in a series of alerts that have led specific, detailed and specialized management of fragile ecosystems, and the respective organisms dedicated to caring for the environment have declared protection zones and established greater conservation of these ecosystems.

Ecosystem fragility What are the most fragile ecosystems?

On earth there are unique ecosystems that are experiencing damage that threaten their integrity and compromise their existence as they are known.

The tropical forest is an example of the fragility of ecosystems, because its extension is drastically decreasing against actions such as excessive logging and burning.

Likewise, temperate forests are disturbed to large areas throughout the planet, as they are being replaced by roads, agricultural areas and infrastructure for urban settlements, which is another example of the fragility of ecosystems.

This loss of wooded areas has caused the extinction of mammals such as bears, lynxes, wolves, wild cats, among others.

Where are these fragile ecosystems found?

Fragile ecosystems that have been altered will not return to their natural state, especially since their stability and balance are broken, so their existence is compromised.

On the planet there are many places that are an example of the fragility of ecosystems, among which we can mention:

  • Giant kelp forests located in Alaska; Also called laminariales are the impressive underwater forest that gives nature, spectacular and unique. These forests exceed 50 meters and are the natural habitat of a large number of animal species whose existence is compromised. The main threat is a set of actions such as pollution, overfishing and phenomena such as El Niño, which destroy the food chain and cause sea urchins to destroy the algae that make up the forests.
  • The coral reefs in the Caribbean They suffer obvious threats from human activity, such as agriculture, tourism, overfishing and climate change, the latter responsible for coral bleaching. This hot and biodiversity-rich space is at risk of disappearing, as reported by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • Karst springs in South Australia, Known as Piccaninnie Ponds Karst Wetlands, it is a protected area of ​​more than 860 hectares that is located in the southeast of Australia, it is also a threatened and seriously endangered ecosystem, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
  • The Fynbos of South Africa They are another example of the fragility of ecosystems; They are thickets made up of about 8,500 thin-leaved plants. It is considered “one of the botanical treasures of Africa”, and is on the list of ecosystems most at risk of disappearance. The main threats are forest fires, urban growth, and habitat loss caused by agricultural activity.
  • The wetlands of the Murray River Basin in Australia they are also threatened by the overexploitation of local water used for agricultural activities.
  • Ash trees of North America: This is a tree with a thick trunk, which grows between 25 to 30 meters in height, it is the habitat and serves as food for squirrels, birds and insects which are pollinators. Currently this species is threatened due to the invasion of another species known as Agrilus planipennis or emerald ash borer, which arrived in the late 1990s on contaminated wooden pallets. It is estimated that tens of millions of ash trees have disappeared in the United States and Canada, and it is estimated that it can destroy more than eight billion of these trees.
  • The Atsinanana rainforests in Madagascar They are made up of six national parks that are vital for the conservation of the island’s biodiversity; are on the World Heritage list. Its main threats are intensive agriculture, exploitation of resources and logging and hunting.
  • Coastal swamps in Sydney, Australia, They face the consequences of various activities classified as aggressive and voracious, such as fracking, the construction of urban planning and roads, the invasion of foreign species, mining and the effects of climate change.

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