Farming

Welcome back to my blog everybody! Today’s topic is about conventional farming versus organic farming.

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Conventional farming refers to a method of farming with the use of chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizers, while organic farming use natural pesticides.  Organic farming focuses more on soil regeneration, water conservation and animal welfare.

In the previous posts, we learned that even the slightest change in an ecosystem can interrupt both aquatic and terrestrial organisms. For instance, conventional farming causes soil erosion and land degradation.  As the sediment  from soil erosion gets to the ocean, habitats for many marine organisms are effected.  The erosion decreases in the amount of available sunlight which many limit the production of the algae.  Without less algae, there is less food source for marine organisms since algae is a primary producer.   Soil degradation also damage fish by irritating or scouring their gills and degrade fish habitats as gravel containing buried eggs becomes filled with fine particles.

http://www.soilerosion.net/doc/off-site.html  Off-site effect of soil erosion!

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ocean-dead-zones/ Dead zones in the oceans caused by soil erosions.

Till next time!

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Zebra Mussels

Hello readers! Welcome back to my blog.  It is officially one more month till summer. hooray! The topic for today’s post is invasive species.

Basically, invasive spices are species of plants, animals, fungus or bacterium that are not native to an area. When new species get introduced into different ecosystems, they will effects the economy and the environment negatively. However, not all introduced species are harmful.

Invasive species are a major destruction to our environment because they can change habitats and alter ecosystem function, out grow or replace native species and damage human activities.  They can also cause disease, act as predators, parasites and competitors to native species.  Invasive species are cabable of causing extinctions of native organisms.

There are several pathways invasive species can be brought into new environments due to human interventions.  Some of them are shipping vessels, recreational and commercial boating,release of bait, trading and unauthorized introductions.  Once an invasive spices is established, it is extremely have to be remove.

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In 1988, zebra mussels or Dreissena polymorpha were found in Lake St. Clair in Ontario in the Great Lakes.  As the water channels are all connected in the area, the species spread rapidly to the rest of the waterways. Many people introduce zebra mussels unknowingly through live wells, bilge water, bait buckets and fishery gears.  Zebra mussels also attach themselves to boat hulls as boats move from one lake to another.

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A current meter covered in zebra mussels

Zebra mussels can clog water intake pipes, foul beaches and kill native clams, disrupting the whole ecosystem.  The government spends hundreds of millions dollars to repair damages caused from zebra mussels.  Their feeding causes an increase in water clarity which increased light penetration and an overgrowth of vegetation and toxic algal bloom.

check out the link below for more details on stopping zebra mussels’ invasion.
>//>http://www.noaa.gov/features/earthobs_0508/zebra.html