Biodiversity and Land Quality Essay

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Biodiversity and Land Quality

Human society's progression through time has resulted in many environment-altering effects, particularly those brought about by industrialization and rapid population growth. The combination of increased numbers of humans and improved technology has created the need for better management of resources and transportation across the globe. This need has produced great leaps in infrastructure, such as roads and dams. However, the introduction of this infrastructure into the natural world has adversely affected the environment. Biodiversity is often drastically altered, resulting in changes in breeding and predation patterns which, in turn, lead to species extinction and degradation of soil and vegetation. The
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Land-use change has the greatest impact on soil biota, which dictates types of vegetation and the kinds of animals which consume it. Important areas of biodiversity, such as forests and wetlands, are claimed by encroaching dams and roads- in Asia, more than 5,000 square km of wetlands are lost each year to industrial activities, primarily irrigation and dam construction (Myers 129). Dam construction also has an effect upon areas far away from the physical dam itself. A study on the impacts of damming in North America found that sites remaining structurally intact after nearby dam construction still lost an average of 0.5 to 1.0 % of its species each year for at least 50 years, due to the restriction of necessary flooding). Infrastructure construction decreases the diversity of all soil taxa and makes conditions very unfavorable to biodiversity (Balmford et al. 13).

Roads and dams impact wildlife by altering animal behavior and species distribution. Plants and animals are affected by modifications to the chemical environment, interference with the physical environment, and significant noise. Dams in particular emit large amounts of methane and reduce water supplies to wildlife that is downstream
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