A Solution to the Environmental Anthropogenic Stressors That Affects the Ecosystem

Plants and animals are being constantly exposed to anthropogenic stressors that can arise naturally or from human activity. For instance, these stressors can come from the lack of water associated with competition for food, infestation with parasites or confrontation with environmental chemicals such as pesticides. These stressors tend to greatly influence the biological life of plants and animals within an ecosystem. However, when these anthropogenic stressors act individually their affects are discernible. Moreover, the research team from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ, at the University of Koblenz-Landau and the Bundeswehr University, Munich, found that the presence of the environmental stressors could multiply the effects of pollutants by a factor of up to 100. In order to prevent such stressors from harming the ecosystem, it is vital that figure out which combination of stressors have the most harmful affect on the ecological community. Moreover, Professor Dr. Matthias Liess along with his research team from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research UFZ created a model that calculates the overall quantitative stress exerted on an organism. This model is known as the Stress Addition Model (SAM). This was achieved by, determining the interrelationships among the individual stressors and also taking into account their individual stress capacity. However, these factors may vary depending on the organisms that are present within a population. As a result, it was found that most populations have a medium level of stress capacity. Some populations cannot cope with even a low level of stress, and other populations can withstand high levels of stress without any problems. This study was based on data from pervious scientific investigations performed in the last 15 years that address the combined effect of pollutants such as pesticides and heavy metals and at the same time examine the effect of environmental stressors such as lack of food, predator pressure and UVB radiation on living organisms. Furthermore, Professor Dr. Matthias Liess along with his research team have successfully identified universally valid patterns of combined anthropogenic stressors and its effects on the ecosystem as a whole that includes aquatic organisms as well. This SAM model has now made it possible to predict the combined effect of stressors on different populations of species including plants, animals and aquatic species. The researchers look forward to the upcoming years, as they want to refine and improve their model in such a way that it will be applicable to all combinations of stressors in the future. In my opinion this is something that is truly amazing because we can finally have a healthier ecosystem for all types of organisms that depend on the ecological community for survival.



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