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  • Posted By: markjo
  • Date Posted: 06/21/2011
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 1309
  • Pages: 6
  • Views: 728
  • Rank: 763

Ecosystems

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Ecosystems

Human impacts have influenced the landscape and rate of change in Australian ecosystems since the indigenous peoples arrived. However the extent of influence exponentially increased with the arrival of the European colonizers, which have continued to damage as well as benefit ecosystems such as the wetland and sand dunes found at the Towra Point Nature Reserve, NSW. The human activities located nearby include industrial use, the Kingsford Smith Airport, oyster farming and visitors to the area, as well as historically from the indigenous peoples and the European arrivals. Combined, negative human impacts have caused environmental problems such as erosion, dune migration, loss of animal and plant habitats and pollution. As a result, the rate of change occurring in this area, whether it be natural or not, has been significantly affected.


An ecosystem is a biological community where abiotic and biotic organisms interact with each other and its environment. Its level of existence is maintained by the strength and complexity of its food chains, linkages to each other and the human environment, and the productiveness of the ecosystem. Concepts of vulnerability and resilience are also associated with the interrelatedness of the ecosystem, and the number of different species actively supporting its overall wellbeing. From this idea, ecosystems with greater number of interactions and linkages show greater resilience in times of challenge, whether it be from human impacts or facing stochastic elements. In this sense, wetlands and sand dunes are one of the most susceptible ecosystems because of their relative interdependence of other species in surviving.


The wetland in Towra Point has been affected by human impacts since indigenous people used the area as part of their seasonal movement, evidenced by remaining middens and Aboriginal sacred sites. The location provided them with fresh water and ample timber from the mangrove plants ...

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