#116 The human influences on the ecosystem
The use of modern technology resulted in increased food production.
- Increasing use of pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides à ↑ levels of nutrients in the soil, kill insect pests, kill weeds à ↑ crop yields.
- Use of modern machinery (tractors, combined harvesters) à manage land and crop more efficiently.
- Artificial selection to produce varieties of plants suited to particular climates and soil types, and breeds of animal for specific purposes (optimum meat, milk, wool production).
- Use of yeast and bacteria in the large-scale production of breads, beer and wine, yoghurt and cheese. Single-cell protein and fungi are used to produce meat substitutes.
- Use of medicines such as antibiotics, hormones and artificial insemination techniques in intensive animal rearing.
- Use of plant hormones in plant growing and fruit production.
- Use of genetic engineering and cloning techniques to produce organisms to produce hormones…
- Development of systems to water plants in greenhouses automatically and to grow plants in nutrient solutions (hydroponics).
- Use of satellites to monitor crop development, observe crop diseases and assess the need for additional fertilizer.
- Development of intensive farming and automated feeding mechanisms.