The Effect of Human Population on Biodiversity

 Edward J. Otten wrote many articles on the Effect of Human Population on Biodiversity. He states that according to Erhlich’s theory, humans must voluntarily control their numbers or nature will definitely control them. (through methods that are unpleasant for humans). The rapid rise of growth in the human population is having a grave impact on biodiversity. The destruction of other species by humans will ultimately lead to the destruction of the human species through natural selection.
This global impact is taking place through five primary processes:         

Furthermore, Otten explains the nature of human beings is to control their environment as much as possible, this is what allows us to spread to new habitat and obtain new food sources. However, during the 18th century a combination of scientific, technical, and industrial innovations enabled humans to overharvest not just land animals, but fish, whales, birds and any other species humans could find use for. The technologies of these tools, like harpoons, gunpowder, and driftnets have allowed us to harvest species much faster than they could replace or reproduce themselves. (Otten)

Image from Hawaii
Humans have an advantage and are the most mobile of all species; able to live pretty much anywhere on earth. When traveling from place to place we have often transported other species with us introducing alien species into a new environment where there aren't any natural controls. Hawaii is an example of such devastation. Prior to the arrival of humans Hawaii had thousands of species of birds, invertebrates, and plants that could not be found anywhere else on earth. Since the introduction of rats, pigs, dogs, mongoose and many non-native species of plants, over half the bird species and snail species have gone extinct. (Otten)

The technology that has enabled our species to control and eliminate other species is only obtainable at the high price of pollution. The burning of fossil fuels and use of petrochemicals and heavy metals has led to the increase of “greenhouse gases” as well as the contamination of water. Although species can respond to the changing climate it is the speed of the increase and the human barriers such as roads, cities, and agricultural areas that will not allow species to move before destruction occurs. The increase in population will increase the demands on the earth’s resources of land, water, mineral, plants, and air. (Otten)

The article used for this post came from Biodiversity & Human Health:

Blog Author: Carol Staats