CIE A Level Biology (9700) 2019-2021

Revision Notes

18.3.8 Restoring Degraded Habitats

Restoring Degraded Habitats

  • Habitat degradation is the process by which the quality of a habitat is reduced
  • It can occur as a result of natural processes and human activities
  • A degraded habitat can become incapable of supporting its native species
  • There are many projects and organisations worldwide with the aim of improving the quality of habitats through habitat restoration

Habitat restoration

  • There can be different aims when restoring a habitat, such as:
    • Increasing overall biodiversity of the habitat
    • Improving and reestablishing the support systems for a keystone species
  • Restoration projects can vary in size and scale:
    • Rewilding a small farming field that is no longer being used for crop production
    • Replanting an entire forest
  • Restoration methods depend on the project and its needs:
    • Rewilding projects leave the habitat to recover itself with little or no labour involved
    • Other projects can require a lot of manpower; altering the structure of the habitat, removing invasive plant and animal species and establishing native plant and animal species

The Eden Project

The Eden Project in Cornwall, England is an example of a well-developed and mature restoration project. In 1995 several passionate conservations reclaimed land that was previously a china clay pit. At this point, it was a large hole in the ground with very low biodiversity. Over the years scientists and architects came up with unique bubble structures and special drainage systems to allow for the planting and growth of over 1000 plant species. It is now the largest indoor rainforest in the world. The centre has plans for a new marine-focused project in the seaside town of Morecambe in Lancashire.

Author: Lára

Lára graduated from Oxford University in Biological Sciences and has now been a science tutor working in the UK for several years. Lára has a particular interest in the area of infectious disease and epidemiology, and enjoys creating original educational materials that develop confidence and facilitate learning.

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