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Environments and Ecosystems - Essay Example

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Environments and Ecosystems

Most interesting to the ecological properties of the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River is that the outflow does not immediately mix with the salt-containing water, maintaining its fresh-water integrity as it flows with Gulf currents. The stability of the river reduces the salt content as it maintains it outflow, thus providing significantly different species of plants and animals not regularly found in the Gulf of Mexico at its deepest and most dense levels. New Orleans is also surrounded by a blend of forest and subtropical vegetation that sustains a wide variety of mammals, ornithological birds of flight, and marshland reptiles that are reliant on the duplicity of these ecological differences and blends. For instance, forest-dwelling mammals depend on the food sources from marshland reptiles, which thus controls population as it relates to egg production and gestation periods in crocodiles and snakes, as two examples. These are highly inter-dependent systems that ensure a balance in ecology, thus maintaining a quality food chain and avoiding negative impact to human ecology. The Mississippi River and its surrounding marshlands also provide winterizing benefits to mid-continental fowls and opportunities for breeding for non-tropical birds (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, 2002). Some of these species are crucial in other parts of North America for aiding in plant fertilization or reducing certain infestations of unwanted pests in the country. Today, some of these breeding grounds are being impacted by national drought circumstances that are depleting the Mississippi River volume and marshland availability that might have lingering impact on insect volumes or fertilization capabilities of certain indigenous, national plant varieties. Surrounding this blended ecosystem is the human condition, consisting of retail centers, housing developments and scattered suburban lifestyle. In some areas, especially the Gulf and Mississippi River areas, certain species of plants and animals have become dependent on human infrastructure and have thrived as a result of human social development. At the same time, vital breeding grounds for certain fish species have been depleted by human technological restructuring of the flood plain, resulting in lowered populations of certain species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, 2002). This has created more human dependence on the ability of fish hatcheries and breeding systems to repopulate and provide sustenance in the food chain for humans. Additionally, dredging activities in the Gulf and Mississippi River have reduced certain sandbars that were home to clams and oysters that humans rely on for consumption and even commercial benefit. Changing the dynamics of river flow reduces, also, the breeding capabilities of certain fish species, reducing population of plant consuming and fish-consuming breeds in the river. This impacts the bird, human and reptilian food chains that currently maintains unknown long-term consequences. Global warming and other climate change, as aforementioned, impacts the viability and volume of the Mississippi River. Outside of the consequences already mentioned, this also changes the dynamics of plant growth and photosynthesis. Increased levels of carbon dioxide provides plants and trees with more vital nutrients, however scientific research has shown that increased carbon dioxide created by global warming alters the root development of large trees. Trees, when ...Show more


RUNNING HEADER: Environments and Ecosystems Environments and Ecosystems: New Orleans, Louisiana and Surrounding Ecology BY YOU YOUR SCHOOL INFO HERE DATE HERE Environments and Ecosystems New Orleans, Louisiana is a blend of two different ecosystems, this being Eastern Temperate Forest influenced by subtropical vegetation and wildlife…
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Environments and Ecosystems essay example
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