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Analyse the Human Impact on Local and Global Biodiversity

In this worksheet, students will define biodiversity, explain the importance of stabilising ecosystems, and analyse how humans have negatively impacted global environments.

'Analyse the Human Impact on Local and Global Biodiversity' worksheet

Key stage:  KS 4

GCSE Subjects:   Biology: Single Subject, Biology: Combined Science

GCSE Boards:   OCR 21st Century

Curriculum topic:   Life on Earth: Past, Present and Future

Curriculum subtopic:   How is Biodiversity Threatened and How Can We Protect It?

Difficulty level:  

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Every ecosystem around the world is bursting with life.

 

Everywhere you look, you can see a community of different species sharing a habitat and relying on each other for resources to survive.

 

This is called biodiversity: when many different species live together in an ecosystem.

 

 

The higher the biodiversity, the more types of species cohabit and the more stable the ecosystem.

 

As coexisting creatures and plants rely on each other, having a large variety of species ensures:

 

FOOD + SHELTER + a HEALTHY AND SAFE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT= A STABLE ECOSYSTEM

 

As the Earth is one large ecosystem, this applies to us too, meaning human survival depends on protecting our environment so it stays stable enough to provide for us!

 

So let’s put all these pieces together:

 

 

The smallest change to one creature can affect all the other creatures around them, like in a food chain, so preserving nature is a key responsibility among humans, especially as a lot of damage is our fault.

 

While environmental awareness is increasing, humans have already damaged the world in 3 major ways:

 

 

 

Deforestation provides land for farming and housing, but fewer trees mean fewer habitats and less carbon dioxide gas being absorbed from the atmosphere, destabilising the planet.

 

The rising human population and higher standards of living mean more waste, creating toxic pollution that reduces biodiversity and leaves the remaining species with less food and living resources to choose from.

 

Sewage and fertilisers have dirtied our water, toxic gases and smoke are causing air pollution and landfills are damaging land along with toxic chemicals- basically, humans are messy!

 

And the one we’re all feeling- global warming! More CO2 and methane in the atmosphere is heating the planet through the greenhouse effect, and the hotter the planet gets, the more biodiversity suffers.

 

Ultimately, if habitat destruction, environmental changes and introducing more foreign species continues, extinction is a very real possibility!

 

 

 

We are getting better at helping the planet, but tackling reduced biodiversity locally and globally is a challenge. 

 

The financial burden of new programs and the risk of mass unemployment by terminating eco-unfriendly jobs are putting a huge strain on productive change. 

 

Also, as the population grows, more housing is needed, but the cost of development means more natural habitats have to be destroyed for our sake. So remember:

 

COSTS of initiatives + UNEMPLOYMENT + DEVELOPMENTS= BARRIERS TO CHANGE

 

 

But despite the controversy, some measures are seeing great success.

 

Ecotourism aims to minimise the impact of humans on natural habitats as a sustainable concept, making sure any new building works benefit the locals as well as tourists.

 

 It also makes sure local communities have a say in how their environment and ways of living may be impacted by tourism to minimise exploitation.

 

So let's hope humans continue to enforce more positive sustainable ways to conserve biodiversity!

Decide if the examples below demonstrate high and low biodiversity:

Fill in the blanks below with ONE WORD answers:

How are different species in the same ecosystem reliant on each other for survival?

 

Choose the correct options below:

Which THREE ways do humans damage ecosystems?

Farming

Waste Management

Deforestation

Migration

Global Warming

Examples of pollution from waste management include air pollution, water pollution and what?

With the examples of poor waste management shown below, indicate what type of pollution they cause.

Column A

Column B

Sewage
Water Pollution
Toxic Chemicals
Air Pollution
Smoke
Water Pollution
Leaking Fertilisers
Water Pollution and Land Damage
Landfills
Land Damage

Fill in the blank below:

Column A

Column B

Sewage
Water Pollution
Toxic Chemicals
Air Pollution
Smoke
Water Pollution
Leaking Fertilisers
Water Pollution and Land Damage
Landfills
Land Damage

The challenges to tackling reduced biodiversity include:

[Select THREE answers below]

Funding

Employment

Administration

Human Rights

Developments

True or False:

 

'Ecotourism aims to reduce tourism to save natural environments'.

The image below is an example of an ecosystem where different species are living together in the same environment:

 

 

A change to one species can have a ripple effect across the whole ecosystem, but some changes are more devastating than others. 

 

In the table below, select which animals would be affected NEGATIVELY if the indicated species were removed from this ecosystem. 

 

Select ONE option from the following: All Animals, One Animal, Two Animals, Three Animals, None

 

  • Question 1

Decide if the examples below demonstrate high and low biodiversity:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you remember what biodiversity means? Straight away, higher mark questions will make you apply your knowledge rather than simply ask you for the definition, but that\'s the real motive here! Remember, biodiversity is a range of different species coexisting together and sharing the resources in the same habitat, for example, the Earth. Many members of the same species may show great variety, but that is not the same as having many different species together in high biodiversity, and do not forget that different species of plants can create high biodiversity too!
  • Question 2

Fill in the blanks below with ONE WORD answers:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
How did you do? This concept is crucial to understand: The greater the range of species interacting with each other in a shared physical environment, the more food sources and places of shelter will be available to sustain different creatures for longer.
  • Question 3

How are different species in the same ecosystem reliant on each other for survival?

 

Choose the correct options below:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
The questions are getting harder but did you manage this one? Coexisting species in an ecosystem are reliant on each other for food, shelter and sustaining the shared natural environment they live in. Mates and protection are things members of the SAME species offer each other, but outside their own population, creatures hunt each other, while air is an openly available abiotic factor. With shelter, don\'t forget that plants are also included as species in an ecosystem!!!
  • Question 4

Which THREE ways do humans damage ecosystems?

CORRECT ANSWER
Waste Management
Deforestation
Global Warming
EDDIE SAYS
Over hundreds of years, humans have used the Earth to their own benefit and consequently, the environment is now globally damaged, needing urgent repair. Some of the most widespread problems humans have created include deforestation, poor waste management, and global warming.
  • Question 5

Examples of pollution from waste management include air pollution, water pollution and what?

CORRECT ANSWER
LAND DAMAGE
DAMAGE OF THE LAND
LAND POLLUTION
EDDIE SAYS
How do you feel answering more specific questions about waste management? If you\'re still a little unsure, have another look at the summary diagram and notes in the intro! Human contamination largely involves air pollution, water pollution and land damage. Improper waste management can damage many naturally clean sources of nutrition and shelter, reducing biodiversity as fewer species are able to survive under worsened conditions.
  • Question 6

With the examples of poor waste management shown below, indicate what type of pollution they cause.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Sewage
Water Pollution
Toxic Chemicals
Water Pollution and Land Damage
Smoke
Air Pollution
Leaking Fertilisers
Water Pollution
Landfills
Land Damage
EDDIE SAYS
Getting super detailed now but at this level, you need to know that humans don\'t manage waste properly, the types of pollution waste causes AND examples of specific damaging actions! Improper disposal of waste materials is one of the most harmful human actions against biodiversity, key examples being creating landfills and unsafely dumping toxic chemicals that leak into the ground and damage the environment. Water pollution includes fertiliser and sewage leakage into clean water sources that many species rely on, whilst air pollution is the consequence of toxic gases and smoke contaminating clean air supplies.
  • Question 7

Fill in the blank below:

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Extinction is real! And humans aren\'t immune from this possibility! The Earth is one large ecosystem, and humans have a great responsibility to not only preserve nature but reduce and repair the damage our presence has caused. While communities are becoming more proactive with initiatives and spreading awareness, if global changes are not implemented soon, humans may also face extinction, emphasising how important maintaining biodiversity truly is.
  • Question 8

The challenges to tackling reduced biodiversity include:

[Select THREE answers below]

CORRECT ANSWER
Funding
Employment
Developments
EDDIE SAYS
There are multiple barriers stopping environmental issues from being tackled efficiently and on a global scale: - The cost of policies is a large factor preventing governments from tackling their environmental issues. - In an attempt to help ecosystems, many locals could be left unemployed, damaging the local economy - The human population is growing rapidly, and all these people need homes, but in order to develop, natural environments like forests with their own native species are being destroyed. Who's existence matters more- the humans who can repair the Earth or the displaced animals with reduced resources whose homes are being taken away?
  • Question 9

True or False:

 

'Ecotourism aims to reduce tourism to save natural environments'.

CORRECT ANSWER
FALSE
EDDIE SAYS
This is an easier question so I hope you got this one right! If not, don't worry, just have another read of the introduction or ask your teachers for advice. Ecotourism is a sustainable global attempt at reducing the impact of commercial and leisure travel on undisturbed or preserved ecosystems. It does this by making sure locals have a voice in how their environments are changed to accommodate tourism, minimising exploitation, and to make sure any changes for tourists like developments can mutually benefit the natives.
  • Question 10

The image below is an example of an ecosystem where different species are living together in the same environment:

 

 

A change to one species can have a ripple effect across the whole ecosystem, but some changes are more devastating than others. 

 

In the table below, select which animals would be affected NEGATIVELY if the indicated species were removed from this ecosystem. 

 

Select ONE option from the following: All Animals, One Animal, Two Animals, Three Animals, None

 

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Did you feel confident with this last question after all this practise? There is great interdependence amongst species in the same habitat as food sources. Change to one species can affect others, showing how having many varieties of species is important to keep resources open to promote survival, i.e. the ecosystem. Good job on this topic, and if you feel like you could have done better, take a break and try this topic again another time and you\'ll see that you\'ve remembered more than you think!
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