Environmental Science Discussion : Crop Yields; Ecosystem Services

Ch.7

Question 5

Explain how over-irrigation can damage soils and reduce crop yields

Overirrigation stands for frequent use of water or the use of excessive amounts of water. It can damage soils and significantly reduce crop yields because of prolonged soil saturation. Nitrogen leaching past the plant’s root zone leads to the increased crop vulnerability to weed pressure. Overirrigation causes damage to landscape plant. The adverse effects of over-irrigation on the growth and development of plants create negative conditions on the rate of crop yields because of the land degradation, waterlogging and salinization (Withgott & Brennan 250).  Only a fat soil can yield a good crop. Excessive soil moisture leads to the depravation of oxygen in roots. As a result, roots are killed by overirrigation. Root decay pathogens damage plants.

Question 6

How do fertilizers boost crop growth? How can large amounts of fertilizer added to soil also end up in water supplies and the atmosphere? How do sustainable agriculture approaches reduce fertilizer runoff?

Fertilizers boost crop growth as they are rich in phosphates. Synthetic phosphates help to produce phosphoric acid in crops. The lack sufficient phosphorus is the main factor that limits crop growth. Large amounts of fertilizer added to soil also end up in water supplies and the atmosphere because fertilizers are washed out of the soil by rainwater. For example, nitrates from extensive use of fertilizers can end up in the soil, contaminating ground water and evaporating at high temperature to the atmosphere. Sustainable agriculture approaches can reduce fertilizer runoff. For example, it is possible to use crown vetch, birdsfoot trefoil and other types of perennial cover crops that help to control the erosion of soil and minimize runoff losses. Plant grass can absorb runoffs. The use of less amounts of fertilizers allow reducing fertilizer runoff.

Ch. 8

Question 2

Define the term ecosystem services. Give three examples of ecosystem services that people would have a hard time replacing if these were lost.

The term ecosystem services can be defined as the contributions or benefits of ecosystem provided to humans with the goal to enhance human well-being. The examples of ecosystem services that people would have a hard time replacing if these were lost include: watershed ecosystem services, instream ecosystem services and land-related ecosystem services. These ecosystem services provide water and food to humanity. People cannot live without water and food.

Question 2

Some people say we shouldn’t worry about endangered species because extinction has always occurred. How would you respond to this view?

I would respond to this view in the following way: we should be worried about endangered species, although extinction has always occurred. There is a need to save all the world’s endangered species as people should take care of nature. Extinction is a natural process that will continue its existence. People should try to stop it because today species are going extinct very fast if compared with previous years. The increased extinction rate is associated with climate change and global warming. People should use new technologies to preserve endangered species and support biodiversity because we are dependent on ecosystem services.

Ch. 9

Question 2

Describe three ecosystem services that forests provide.

Three ecosystem services that forests provide include ecological, economic, and scenic and landscape ecosystem services. Ecological ecosystem services relate to the role of forests in the global ecosystem as forests serve as carbon sinks, ensure regulation of atmospheric gases and soil quality. Economic ecosystem services relate to the role of forests in developing and maintaining global economy. Scenic and landscape ecosystem services highlight the role of forests as aesthetic natural environment.

Question 1

People in industrialized nations are fond of warning people in industrializing nations to stop destroying rainforest. People of industrializing nations often respond that this is hypocritical, because the industrialized nations became wealthy by deforesting their land and exploiting its resources in the past. What would you say to the president of an industrializing nation, such as Indonesia or Brazil, in which a great deal of forest is being cleared?

In this situation, I would say to the president of an industrializing nation, such as Indonesia or Brazil, in which a great deal of forest is being cleared, that it is necessary to stop destroying rainforest. These actions lead to rapidly approaching extinction of endangered species, soil damage, and air pollution, decrease of tourism activity. If the industrializing nation keeps destroying the rainforests, they will be gone in 50-100 years. The government of this industrializing nation should work collaboratively with other governments to stop the rainforests from being destroyed. There is a need for having a good understanding that human life is linked to the natural environment and all life forms it produces. It is necessary to overcome economic greed and ignorance through education.

Works Cited

Withgott, Jay & Laposata, Matthew. Essential Environment, 5th Edition. Pearson Publisher. 2014.

The terms offer and acceptance. (2016, May 17). Retrieved from

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016.

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

freeessays.club (2016) The terms offer and acceptance [Online].
Available at:

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: November 27, 2021]
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