Discuss the Impact of Human Activities on the Diversity of Plants and Animals

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Discuss the impact of human activities on the diversity of plants and animals
The greater the number of alleles all members of a species possess, the greater the genetic diversity and the greater the genetic diversity the greater the chance of survival. This is due to the fact that larger gene pools results in a wider range of characteristics, and the wider the range of characteristics the greater the probability that a species will possess a characteristic that will aid its survival in an environment.
There is no doubt that human activities have had an impact on the diversity of plants and animal, for example the over hunting/poaching of animals has had a very negative effect on diversity. Over hunting can or has led to extinction of many species, like the tiger for instance which has been vastly reduced over the century and one of the contributing factors is poaching. When a significant number of a species is wiped out by poaching, the result is that the gene pool is reduced dramatically, and the species must repopulate itself with the alleles available, the genetic diversity is reduced, similarly to the genetic bottleneck effect although the reason for mass species reduction is not due to natural causes. So although poaching can lead to reduced diversity in one species, it can potentially increase in another. The reason being over hunting can lead to a trophic cascade, where the number of a top predator is increased/decreased – decreased in this case - from the food chain, as a result the abundance of the other trophic levels are effected e.g. if lions in the savannah are reduced, the antelope in the next trophic level is increased, and the grass in the next trophic level is reduced. In conclusion poaching can have a minor increase in the genetic diversity of some species; however the species that is directly affected has its genetic diversity vastly reduced.…...

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