Ecosystems often need managing, either to prevent their destruction (by invasive species for example) or to allow sustainable use of their resources. This GCSE Geography quiz looks at some of the methods of management used, their advantages, their disadvantages and their effect on the environment.
Mankind has been managing the ecosystems in Britain ever since the arrival of hunter-gatherers to our shores - not only to prevent their destruction, but also to exploit their resources. Forest clearings were maintained to allow deer to graze in these areas. The deer would shed their antlers yearly and these could be collected and used in mines as shovels and picks. Coppicing is the growth and management of trees to allow specific growth to be cut, for example the thinner branches for willow weaving, or thicker branches for hedging, making longbows and even for fire wood.
Ecosystems management looks at managing natural resources by focusing on maintaining ecosystems in a sustainable manner. This will help to meet both ecological and human needs now and in the future. This system of management needs to be adaptive to changing needs and new information. One key technique is to balance the needs of the ecosystems with the realistic facts of the context of the ecosystem and the humans that might use the area.
The Yorkshire Dales National Park is a key source of minerals such as building stone. The mining and quarrying is managed so as to limit the damage being done to the ecosystem whilst still allowing this important economic activity. Other management includes removing plants and animal species that are considered invasive, reducing access to areas during sensitive periods (such as the bird nesting season), removing or reducing predators, and creating methods by which people can continue to rely on the ecosystem for an income in a sustainable manner.
Try this quiz and see how much you have learned about the management methods used to prevent the destruction of ecosystems and to allow us to sustainably use their resources.