Olla Peeps! In this article, I will be sharing about the balance of nature. Well, you can easily guess the meaning from the term itself that, we are going to talk about nature and how to maintain its balance.
In the following article I will brief you all on the following:
- What is meant by Balance of Nature?
- What is the balance of Nature Hypothesis?
- Importance of balance of nature.
- Ways to maintain balance in nature.
1) Balance of nature- Definition
It is a concept in Ecology which describes that the natural systems are in a state of equilibrium. Simply, it means that balance of nature is a concept that speaks of maintaining a balance in nature. If we disturb any one element, then all the other elements get interrupted in the entire system.
It is usually interpreted that the natural state of any system is the best-preferred state and you should not disturb it. The balance of nature is also considered as the state where the natural communities of plants and animals exist. It is then maintained by competition, adaption and other interactions between the members of a community and their nonliving environment.
This theory of the balance of nature may apply where the population depends on each other. For example, in prey systems, or you can say, relationships between herbivores and their food items.
It is also applied on the relationship between Earth and its Ecosystem. The composition of the atmosphere and the weather of the world.
History of the Theory- Balance of Nature
This concept that nature maintains its own condition is from the Ancient times itself. It is a relationship between both the predator and the prey species. There is always proportion maintained between both predator and the prey as the predator never consumes its prey in access.
The concept of “Balance of nature” once ruled the ecological research and also governed the management of natural recourses. All this led to a doctrine which became popular among few of the conservationists. It said that “Nature was best left to its own devices. Human involvement into it was by definition which was unacceptable.”
Let’s now learn about the predator and its prey interactions. Later, I will brief on humans involvement.
Predator and its Prey Interactions
Predators and the prey population often show disorderly behavior but within limits. The sizes of the populations change too in a random manner. But, they obey deterministic laws which are based on the relationship between population and its food source.
There is an example to prove this above statement. A study was done on small Baltic Sea creatures like plankton. They were isolated from rest of the ocean. Due to this, it was seen that each member of this food web was taking turns for multiplying and declining. The outside conditions were kept constant too.
An article in Journal Nature stated that “Advanced mathematical techniques proved that when there is an indisputable chaos in the food web then, long-term prediction is not possible.”
Some of the conservationists say that human activity is not compatible with a balanced ecosystem. They say that human activities disturb the balance of nature. This is somehow true too, but, not fully.
There are places where humans equally support in maintaining the balance of nature. Latin America’s rainforests are such an example. These forests are existing because of humans planting and transplanting them.
It is a misconception too that humans can’t maintain ecological balance as they are destroying it. This misconception is due to those who are acting against the laws and damage the environment.
Human activities can also support the maintenance of the balance of nature. The correct example is the Australian Aboriginal practice of “Fire-stick farming.” This practice has resulted in forests to convert into grasslands which are capable of sustaining larger populations of faunal prey.
This is found in the western and northern regions of the continent. Many plant and tree species from the affected areas have now entirely adapted to this annual fire regime. In this process, they need the passage of a fire before their seeds germinate.
2) What is the balance of Nature Hypothesis?
As we all know that hypothesis means, an explanation which is based on limited evidence, or even no evidence at all. It acts as a starting point for further investigations. You can say it’s an assumption.
So, the balance of nature hypothesis means, assumptions made on how nature is balanced or how the balance of nature is maintained. The oldest concept of a balance of nature in the Western side was that the gods provide this balance. But, it required human encouragement or humanitarian aid for its maintenance.
With the rise of Greek philosophy, all the focus got shifted towards traits gods endowed species, rather than human actions. All this led to a shift of interest from features of nature which were contributing tot he balance. Later Darwin came, and he changed its basics from God to nature. He proved that environment plays a vital role in balancing the ecosystem.
How things changed?
It becomes our duty to protect our nature and the biodiversity. Early Greeks believed that god maintains the nature with the help of rituals, human prayers, and sacrifices. As the Greek philosophy grew, the concept of human help in retaining the nature got de-emphasized.
Later, the discovery of fossils challenged this idea behind Gods balancing the nature. They contradicted the idea that species divinely get created with the necessary features to survive. Later, increasing population and the rising demand brought a question on the functioning of the balance of nature.
Darwin’s theory of evolution cleared out things. The theory explained the existence of fossils. He brought the functioning of nature in the limelight. In today’s time, Nature is still under observance as it is a vast topic itself. The idea of balance of nature still lives under imagination amongst many conservationists and environmentalists.
When Darwin replaced God with the natural selection, the comfort of the balance of nature became less overarching. Today, ecologists don’t recognize a balance. The public who does it, see it as a thing which is to be protected if you need benefits in future.
3) Importance of Balance of nature
The balance of nature is a concept which describes the state of equilibrium between living organisms like human beings, plants and animals and also their environment. A harmonious relationship reflects a healthy ecological balance. The balance of nature can also be considered as ecological balance.
Humans play a very crucial role in maintaining the ecological balance. It is because they have the highest thinking capacity in comparison with the other living organisms. If there is sufficient food for all the living organisms, then it means a healthy ecological system. Also, it shows that the balance of nature is maintained.
This why it is very important to maintain this balance as it assures us our survival, stability and most importantly, our existence. When the ecological balance is favorable, it ensures that each organism multiplies and live as expected.
Every living organism gets proper food which keeps them alive. A maintained balance of nature is also necessary as it leads to the continued existence of the organisms. It also keeps in check that no species is exploited or overused.
What happens when the resources are insufficient?
Insufficient food leads to starvation and then death. This reduces the existence of some species. So, if the ecosystem is balanced, then such issues don’t occur. Ecological balance also makes sure that the organisms and the environment are stable. It also enhances an environment which is free from imbalances like floods which may lead to hunger, overhunting of predators, etc.
You need to put collective efforts to make sure that a stable environment is created. Human activities, influence the stability of environment a lot. Tree planting reduces deforestation, and thus, it also prevents undesirable climate changes. A human can easily contribute towards creating and maintaining the balance of nature.
To make it much clearer, the point is that, the balance of nature ensures the stability of organisms and their environment. Balanced ecology brings the existence of the world.
All living organisms continue to live and survive. The world produces sufficient food for all the living organisms. Also, a green environment is maintained. A green environment means that the world has achieved the state of equilibrium that will benefit all the living beings.
4) Ways to maintain balance in nature
Following are the ways by which, you can maintain balance in nature:
- Management of natural resources- It is essential to maintain a sustainable manner to use our natural resources. It is to maintain the ecological balance. The expanding civilization is putting a burden on the ecosystem.All the natural resources like fossil fuels, minerals have come up to an alarming rate. It has become essential for humans to shift their usage to other options.
- Controlling population- It has become critical to control overpopulation. It will one day eradicate our ecological balance. More people means access usage of resources and a day will come when these resources will diminish due to over usage.
- Water Protection- Marine ecosystem is in danger due to the harmful effects of the polluted water. The water gets polluted from the wastes dumped by the manufacturing industries and the agricultural runoffs.Different ways should be adapted to reduce and eliminate pollution which is coming from the streets or the farms so that our ecological balance can be maintained. Higher usage of agricultural fertilizers has speeded the growth of algae in lakes and streams. This can block the way of sunlight and oxygen into the water. It will lead to the reduction of natural greenery inside the marine system. Due to this, marine animals might die too which will surely disturb the ecosystem. So, we should find out ways to avoid these disasters.
- Recycling- It is the best way to prevent ecological imbalance. By using energy saving automobiles and appliances, you are contributing towards your savings and with that you are assuring the safety of our ecological system. You should always think about protecting our mother earth.
This article was all about the balance of nature. It is essential for us to maintain this balance as it’s for our existence and the existence of other living organisms. So, guys, I hope you like this article. If you did, then do let me know through your comments below.
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