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Natural Resources and Energy Paper

Autor:   •  August 30, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,708 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,519 Views

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Natural Resources and Energy Paper

Ecosystems can be found everywhere throughout the world, from the smallest puddle of water, to a large forest (Botkin & Keller, 2009). Ecosystems are made up of both living and nonliving parts. The living part consisting of a set of species that interacts within the environment, and the nonliving parts including the local atmosphere, water, and mineral soil (2009).

The Everglades National Park, located in Florida, is an example of a large ecosystem. The Everglades are a vast tract of wilderness that has been protected over the years for the benefit of the unique diversity of life it sustains (National Park Service, 2011). It is one of the greatest biological wonders and contains plant and animal species not found anywhere else in the world (2011).

Throughout the following paragraphs, the Everglades will be closely examined. The effects the growing human population has on this ecosystem's resources, including the species that are, or once were found there will be discussed, along with what management practices are involved for sustainability and conservation of natural resources that can be found within the environment. Extracting or using a nonrenewable energy resource, such as oil, or a renewable energy source, such as nuclear energy, from the Everglades, or near the ecosystem, is controversial, and the risks and benefits of doing so will also be a topic discussed.

Effects of Growing Population

The Florida Everglades consists of wet sawgrass prairie that extends from Lake Okeechobee in south central Florida to the mangroves along the coast of southern Florida. Human population has increased over the years in southern Florida that requires massive supplies of fresh water, and also agriculture consumes more water. Water for human use comes from pumping ground water from canals. Retrieving water through this method causes diminished flow of surface water through the Everglades drainage system. The surface water of the Everglades does not have many nutrients. The upstream agricultural runoff provides lots of fertilizer such as nitrogen and phosphorous to the Everglades (Aber, 2009).

The Everglades ecosystem has also been raided by man seeking "redesign" to suit the needs of the increasing human population. Another source of destruction includes off road vehicles such as air boats and swamp buggies used to negotiate the difficult terrain. The vehicles create soil ruts which changes the route for water flow. Vegetation is uprooted and lost, and some off road vehicles have caused damaged of tree islands (Andrews University, 2011).

The Everglades ecosystem faces other problems such as the loss of wild life species diversity. Alligators are hunted for their hides and almost reached extinction until their sales was prohibited by law. Because of the disruption and flow


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