The Natural Ecosystem of the Panama Canal
The Ecosystem of the Panama Canal has gone through many changes over the years since its development. Before the canal was created it was part of a lush and dense rainforest that was full of different species of plants and animals. Around the 16th century a plan was devised to make a passage along the Isthmus of Panama back around 1513 by Vasco Nunez de Balboa when he discovered a narrow strip of land that could connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. As a result of these findings plans were made up to see if construction of such a channel would be possible, but as time passed nothing came out of it until the United States gave interest into the crossing after President Grant lead an Army Infantry and their families across the Isthmus of Panama going to California. During the track through the jungle he lost about 150 men, woman, and children due to the conditions of the passage. What does this all have to do with the ecosystem of the area, will this was the start of the United State changing the landscape of the area and having a drastic on the ecosystem.
As construction began there was the excavation of the forest and the diversion of rivers as different dams were built to control water flow. All of these changes effected the conditions of the land for the population and animal inhabitants as the construction progressed. One of the major problem that had an affect on the rainforest was cutting and removing the trees. The removal of the trees and soil increased the possibility of landslides since there was nothing to hold back the soft clay of the ground under wet conditions, and from the many landslides they had caused most of the loose dirt to flow into the neighboring rivers and lakes which changed their levels. As a result of the deforestation of the canal area the sediment has changed these level which is now under constant monitoring so the Panama Canal Authority can keep it deep enough for the large...
References: Canal De Panama. (1998-2012). Read Our Story. Retrieved from Panama Canal Authority: http://www.pancanal.com/eng/history/
ROBERTO IBÁÑEZ, R. C. (2002). AN ECOSYSTEM REPORT ON THE PANAMA CANAL:. Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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