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Ecosystem Components

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An 'ecosystem' is a biological environment in which, there may be found a strong interaction between abiotic (as light, temperature etc.) as well as biotic (as producers, consumers etc.) components in terms of exchange of matter and energy. To understand the phenomenon 'How nature works and Got affected by man-made activities?' we often study an ecosystem. (Margalef, 1963)

For instance, we may consider here 'Lake Tahoe Ecosystem' that has been kept in the category of ecosystems which require proper planning and management by U.S.A government, hence; 'Tahoe Regional Planning Agency' (TRPA) has been formed which is a bi-state compact between California and Nevada and is related to its protection. (Odum, 1964)

Actually, it's a famous lake of United States and center of attraction for tourists also because of its natural beauty as well as rich biodiversity (flora and fauna). It is a great source of fresh water and climate around it consists of optimum temperature and precipitation (1400 mm. annually) so, rich vegetation is present in this region. For eg. in flora, Conifer forests as Pinus jeffreyi, Pinus contorta are present here while, in fauna we may see Salmon (Kokanee salmon), Mink (Neovison vison), Bears (Ursus americanus) etc. Besides flora and fauna, this area is also rich in minerals as silver deposits (a non-renewable resource). (Colinvaux, 1993)

Due to all above reasons, human beings got attracted towards it and tourism, construction and mining (to get silver) etc. activities have been started here. As a result, the fresh water of this lake became cloudy, the temperature of this region changed due to the burning of fossil fuels (still rising at the rate of 0.015 degree per year because of increased air temperature as well as long wave radiations) and owing to accumulation of Nitrates and Phosphates (which occurred as a consequence of human's interruption), eutrophication also started here. (Leownti, 1979)

On account of all above reasons, this lake has to face serious threat for its life. Besides, due to construction and de-forestation as well as mining activities, flora and fauna affected badly in this area which also resulted in reduction of bio-diversity. For instance; many protected fish species present in lake have shown reduction in their population since, zooplankton's population reduced here which serves as food for fishes. So, whole food chain (and further food web) as well as biogeochemical cycles became affected in the lake in an adverse manner. (Geiger, 1955)

Though, it's a genuine thing that we can't keep the environment intact completely as, due to manmade actions it would be disrupted definitely up to an extent but, we should try our best to reduce such activities to ensure its protection. Right now, one positive thing is that besides TRPA, people (as local residents) as well as U.S Environment Protection Agency are also trying to minimize such harmful activities and compensate the loss which occurred here via Land regulation and planning. To achieve this goal, regular researches are being performed on flora and fauna of this place as, to restore an eco system, it's necessary to maintain its structural as well as functional integrity. (Lamb, 1972)

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