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    Value of Maintaining Natural Ecosystems

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    I need to compare and contrast the practices of preservation and conservation as they relate to the maintenance of ecosystems. I also need to discuss the concept of "natural regulation." Use examples of these practices from your local area (e.g., natural swings in sizes of animal populations, natural occurrence of grassland and forest fires, and natural succession of fallow farmland and waterways). Use a minimum of two outside references.

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    Natural regulation involves the control of populations without intervention by man. Generally, the population of any animal is kept in balance by weather conditions and predators. When a drought occurs, food will be limited, and the population will fall. I don't know where you live, but here are a couple of examples to give you an idea of the how you could write about it:

    About five years ago, an infestation of bark beetles devastated forests in the Southwest (1). These insects are opportunistic, and when trees are weakened by drought, their populations explode. Although it was upsetting to people to see the forests dying, the infestation was part of a natural cycle that recurs regularly. Eventually, the drought ended and the beetle population declined to its prior level. Many trees died, which reduced their population.

    Another example of natural regulation are mole crickets, which can destroy turf, pastures, and vegetables, as noted by the University of Florida (2). They are subject to a variety of predators, including birds, armadillos, and beetles. ...