Agriculture Associated With Fresh Aquatic Ecosystems

328 words | 2 page(s)

Freshwater ecosystems offer a vast array of benefits for the purpose of agriculture. However, it is important to note that with these benefits also come risks to the very ecosystem that the agriculture is dependent upon to flourish. There are many renewable and non renewable resources around freshwater ecosystems such as the Great Lakes. The difference between the two becomes a relatively thin line as renewable resources can only be replenished under the right circumstances. However, for the purpose of this paper, the discussion will refer to renewable resources as trees and nonrenewable resources as species that become extinct due to changes in the environment.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2013), the Great Lakes have been significantly altered to do human activities and agriculture. Trees were harvested for both the benefit of lumber and the clearing of agricultural lands. However, this eliminated the forest systems and disrupted the waterways as the logs were drifted down the rivers and created runoff. The runoff altered the spawning habits of the fish and changed the natural habitats.

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Through these and other actions related to agriculture in a freshwater ecosystem, many species of plants and animals are also removed. Although the water system offers an excellent source of agricultural lands, these lands are altered by the absence of the species that once resided there. Animals and plants are generally considered renewable. However, once at the point of extinction, these resources are no longer able to be replenished. The loss of these species have created a situation where the original state of the agricultural lands cannot be recreated. Therefore, although the lands were once prime for agriculture through the removal of natural resources, this removal has drastically changed the environment and the resources that once were available.

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2013). ‘Conservation of biological diversity in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem: Issues and opportunities.’ United States Government. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ecopage/glbd/issues/intro.html.

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