AQA GCSE Biology

Revision Notes

7.3.6 Maintaining Biodiversity

Postive & Negative Human Impact

  • The increasing human population and the activities of humans (including waste production, peat bog destruction, deforestation and our contributions to global warming) are causing a reduction in global and ecosystem-level biodiversity
  • These activities are considered as negative human interactions with ecosystems
  • There are, however, ways in which humans can interact positively with ecosystems

Methods to reduce negative impact on ecosystems & protect biodiversity

Methods used to reduce our negative impact on ecosystems and protect biodiversity_1, downloadable IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

There are many conflicting pressures on maintaining biodiversity. Some examples include:

  • The cost of programmes:
    • Protecting biodiversity can be very expensive
    • Eg. the land used for field margins could be used by farmers to grow crops and sell them – governments sometimes pay farmers a subsidy to make up for the lost money
    • It costs money to check that programmes designed to maintain biodiversity are actually being followed
  • Protecting food security:
    • Land that is protected to maintain biodiversity could instead be used for farming – this can cause conflict in areas where there are food shortages
    • Sometimes organisms seen as a threat by farmers (eg. locusts and wolves) are killed to protect crops and livestock – this can negatively affect food chains / biodiversity and can cause conflict when species that are already under threat due to hunting or habitat loss are involved (eg. lions in parts of Africa)
  • The development of society:
    • Increasing amounts of land are required to sustain the increasing human population
    • Eg. land required for new housing developments or for new agricultural land in developing countries
    • This high demand means that land with undisturbed habitats and high biodiversity is increasingly being used for development

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