Human Impacts on the Environment


What to do? Design a PowerPoint presentation on the impact of humans on ecosystems


With each slide

  • include images
  • highlight the important terms/ phrases in each dot point

You may copy and paste the points from this page!


Slide1: Title: Human Impacts on Ecosystems

Example slide:


Slide 2: Outline the seven major impacts on ecosystems resulting from human activities.

  • Land clearing
  • Habitat loss
  • Salinity
  • Introduced species
  • Pollution
  • Increasing carbon dioxide emissions and,
  • Soil erosion


Slide 3: Describe the impact that land clearing has had on Australian ecosystems.

  • European settlement has significantly altered Australia's natural landscape -and with it, Australia's biodiversity.
  • In Australia up to 75% of native forests have been cleared or modified since European settlement.
  • Clearing increases erosion and sedimentation of waterways and reduces water quality.
  • Clearing removes habitats leading to the direct loss of native animals and plants.


Slide 4: Describe how human activities can result in the loss of habitat.

  • A habitat is the natural home for an animal or plant.
  • Humans contribute to the destruction o natural habitats through activities such as; logging, agriculture, lighting fires, and clearing land for urban development.
  • Land clearing poses the most direct threat to wildlife in Australia – it destroys their habitat, shelter and food sources.
  • Islands of bushland surrounded by cleared land are also vulnerable to invasion by weeds and feral animals.


Slide 5: Describe the impact of increasing soil salinity on natural ecosystems.

  • The Murray-Darling river system in south eastern Australia has been severely impacted by increasing salinity caused by over irrigation of agricultural lands.
  • Clearing native vegetation and over irrigating crops has caused natural water tables to rise.
  • Salt stored in sub soils is being brought to the soil surface and carried sideways into streams.
  • Impacts of salinity include; reductions in water resources, reductions in agricultural land, damage to urban infrastructure, losses to industry, reductions in biodiversity and, reductions in natural aesthetics.


Slide 6: Describe the impact introduced species can have on native ecosystems.

  • Environmental pests and weeds can be controlled by physical, chemical and biological means.
  • Australians have used physical, chemical and biological control methods in attempts to reduce the impact of the Cane Toad on biodiversity within native ecosystems.


Slide 7: Describe the environmental impacts which result from the pollution of the atmosphere and natural waterways.

  • Pollution is the spoiling of the natural environment through human activity.
  • Pollution of the atmosphere may result in the production of toxic and unsightly photochemical smog.
  • The release of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide into the atmosphere can result in the production of acid rain.
  • The pollution of natural waterways reduces natural biodiversity.
  • Pollution of the natural environment may also lead to serious impacts on human health.


Slide 8: Outline some of the environmental concerns relating to the issue of increased carbon dioxide emissions.

  • As human populations increase, the rate at which fossil fuels are being burned is increasing.
  • Increased burning of fossil fuels results in increased CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.
  • CO2 is a greenhouse gas and there is concern that it may contribute to environmental problems such as; global warming, rising sea levels and ocean acidification.


Slide 9: Describe some of the impacts of soil erosion on native ecosystems.

  • Land clearing directly contributes to increased rates of soil erosion.
  • Soil erosion may reduce the productivity of agricultural lands as fertile top soil is washed away.
  • Soil erosion into rivers and streams may kill aquatic organisms due to increased levels of turbidity and nutrients such as (agricultural fertilisers).