Biophysical Interactions - Maddens Creek

Topics: Water, Precipitation, Rain Pages: 5 (1455 words) Published: June 7, 2013
Describe and analyse the biophysical interactions that impact on the Madden’s Creek ecosystem.

The Madden’s Creek ecosystem is located at the beginning of George’s River and is found 60km south west of Sydney at an elevation of 350 meters above sea level. About 45% of the catchment contains large tracts of natural bush land. It is home to many species of flora and fauna creating a wide range of biodiversity that interlink and affect each other significantly. In this ecosystem there is a mixture of rural and recreational land uses which all have a significant impact on the biophysical interactions in the area.

Atmosphere – this is the combination of gases that overlap the globe. It has layers that surround the earth and are responsible for both air and weather. •Lithosphere – is the earth’s solid outer shell and forces the shape of the earth’s surface. •Biospheres – is the meeting point for all the spheres and is the earth’s surface zone and the atmosphere, were all organic life lives. It comprises of an organism that belongs to a population, which then belongs to a community that belongs to an ecosystem, which makes up the entire biosphere. •Hydrosphere – this comprises of the water storage system with the lithosphere. It involves the water cycle, distribution of water, impact of humans on the hydrosphere and the impact of the hydrosphere on humans.

Orographic rainfall is a process that leads to precipitation. Its occurance encompasses the hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere. It refers to when mountain ranges or plateaus and interrupts the movement of air mass. As moist air rises, it cools until it reaches a point on a mountain; the water vapor condenses and forms clouds, which eventually leads to rain. This process was clearly seen on fieldwork at Sublime Point where rainfall is more than 1400mm compared to 1100mm at Sydney and 780mm at Campbelltown. With an undulating plateau and costal plain, Sublime Point marks the beginnings of the George’s River and is an important atmospheric process to this area as there needs to be a constant water supply to feed the ecosystem and keep it healthy. With a sufficient supply of water there will be a diverse range of species such as the 24 different species of frogs found in the ecosystem.

In the Madden Creek ecosystem it is evident that there are clear interactions between the biosphere and the lithosphere. Human activity has contributed to this significantly through the use of creating man-made recreational sites such as the Boomerang Golf Course and the addition of roads. These sites and activities affect the soil in the area, which then gets transferred to plants introducing new weeds into the ecosystem. Weeds such as the Ecopro have escaped from people’s backyards through the dumping of grass clippings emptied into the bush-lands and allow weeds to quickly invade and spread. Although this may not seem like a significant impact, the introduction of new species and weeds out-compete native plants, destroy the habitat of native animals and affect the health of waterways by reducing water quality and choking waterways.

Along with this, the addition of the farmer’s water pump has saturated the soil in the area. Due to this occurring water is absorbed by the gum trees resulting in their death. Since this has occurred the area has been changed from swampland to woodland altering the overall type of ecosystem and having a significant impact on habitats. Dumping also has a significant impact on the ecosystem. This human activity will severely affect and cause negative impacts on the surrounding habitats and all flora and fauna. As a result severe penalties have been implemented to stop the action and protect and conserve the area.

Coal Seam Gas is a potential new introduction to the area that will alter the George’s River ecosystem dramatically. Coal Seam Gas mining threaten catchments, important ecosystems and habitats due to land clearing, produced water...
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