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4.1.2 - Indicators of healthy outdoor environments

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Lashay Tricker

on 20 June 2013

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Transcript of 4.1.2 - Indicators of healthy outdoor environments

4.1. 2 Indicators of healthy natural environments
What do you need to be able to do?
For each of the measurements of environment health you need to be able to assess the health of a variety of environments that you have studied or visited.
Water quality is influenced by environmental events, land-use and human activity within catchment systems.

How can we judge water quality?
Simply -
how clear and clean it is
The types of organisms living in it

By testing -
Turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity

Were you able to use it?
Refers to the condition of air relative to the requirements of one or more biotic species or to any human need or purpose
Can be measured by looking at
Vegetation cover
Health of Vegetation
Salinity levels - salt tolerant plants
Land degradation - compaction, erosion, nutrient levels
Drainage
Worms or other species in soil

Can it be used effectively?
Water Quality & Adequacy
Air Quality & Adequacy
Soil quality and adequacy
The benchmarks against which air quality is set in the Ambient Air National Environment Protection Measure (NEPM)
The pollutants covered by the Air NEPM are carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulfur dioxide, lead and particles (measured as PM10, a measurement that relates to the size of the particle).
Levels of biodiversity
http://www.epa.vic.gov.au/air/aq4kids/station_map.asp
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life and the interrelationships within natural environments. Biodiversity contributes to the sustainability and resilience of eco-systems and is essential for the survival of living entities.

There are three levels, you need to know and be able to assess these.
What is biodiversity?
to assess levels of biodiversity, you need to be able to discuss all three levels

the amount of genes
then amount of species
the amount of ecosystems

Biodiversity can be used to measure the health of a natural environment as generally areas that are more diverse in genes, species and ecosystems are deemed to be more healthy than those that aren’t. Areas of healthy levels of biodiversity are not dominated by one type, they have a diverse amount that make up the natural environment.
Levels of introduced species or pests
An environment can also be assessed by looking at the numbers and types of introduced species or pest

Low to no introduced species within an ecosystem generally indicates a healthy environment as native species are normally thriving with no threat from predation. Numbers of introduced species can also be used to identify an unhealthy environment.
Do they make the environment healthy or not?
What evidence do you have to support this?
Be able to discuss what indicators tell us it is unhealthy or healthy - be able to discuss with reference to our trips
Use references to support your findings if relevant
Full transcript