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Ecosystem Stability Project: Soil Contamination
Transcript of Ecosystem Stability Project: Soil Contamination
How is ecosystem stability affected by soil contamination?
Hazardous chemicals that are spilled or buried directly into the soil, is soil contamination. Soil contaminants have great impacts on ecosystems. Soil contaminants can show changes in the metabolism of endemic microorganisms and arthropods present in a soil environment. Soil contaminants can soak down into ground water and cause health problems for the organisms that drink the water. As the pollutants leak and soak into the soil, they leak and soak into the plant life and then are eaten by living organisms. The harmful chemicals become more and more concentrated as they spread through the food chain, this process is called biomagnification.
What type of disruption occurred to the carbon cycle because of soil contamination and what were the consequences?
Metal contamination in agricultural soils could significantly affect the carbon cycle. Soil contaminants can affect the limit of the soil microbial communities to break down organic matter, therefore causing a loss of soil fertility and modifications in the balance between CO2 release and long-term C storage.
What type of disruption occurred to the nitrogen cycle because of soil contamination and what were the consequences?
Soil contaminants such as nitrogen=based fertilizers, result in increased nitrogen deposition in many different ways.
The Carbon Cycle: Before and After Soil Contamination
Main Types of Soil Contamination:
-Industrial activity (petroleum hydrocarbons)
-Agricultural chemicals (pesticides)
-Improper disposal of waste (solvents, lead, and other heavy metals)
By: Allison Harrell
When humans pour and dump poisonous chemicals into the ground it can affect the number of the soil microbial communities to break down the organic matter, that then causes a loss of soil fertility and changes in the balance between Carbon Dioxide release and long-term Carbon storage.
How are organisms affected by soil contamination?
When the soil contaminates soak into the soil, they soak into the grass, which has a low concentration of the poison. Then the rabbit eats the grass and the concentration increases by 10%. The coyotes then feed on the rabbits and gains another 10% of poison. Then the buzzards feed on dead coyotes and the left over coyotes body decomposes back into the soil.
How do relationships among the organisms change due to soil contamination?
The harmful waste in the soil that the plants take in can cause illness in the animals that eat the plants and can potentially kill them. Then that means a decrease in the population that is eating the plants (or a mutation in their offspring), that then leads to a lack of food to those that eat the decreased population, and so on like a chain reaction down the food chain.
Has ecological succession occurred? And what affect has it had on the populations and species diversity?
Secondary succession can occur after soil contamination. Soil contamination can affect the populations and species diversity. As soil contaminates spread through the food chain they can cause disease, death, and mutations in the organisms. The concentration of the chemicals increases through the food chain (biomagnification) causing greater risks for the top level predators. These problems can cause a decrease in population and then a chain reaction throughout the food chain. Soil contamination can also cause a lack of microbial diversity.