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Introduction to ecosystems
Introduction to ecosystems

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Week 5: Human impact


Figure 1

How do humans affect ecosystems? Early humans were components of the ecosystem in which they evolved. Modern humans spread across a range of systems that differ from those in which the species originated.

Ecosystems satisfy our needs for food, water and shelter, but unfortunately, human activities inevitably have an impact and may disrupt many ecosystems, some of them permanently. Human impacts may alter the interactions that take place within an ecosystem, or affect the productivity of the system – or both.

Dr Mike Gillman and Dr Vince Gauci consider the consequences of human interference in well-balanced ecosystems.

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