Balance of nature as the term specifies associated with nature and marinating its balance. The article will help our readers to understand the term, the balance of nature, why it is important, how it can be balanced and what balance of nature hypothesis is.
What is the definition of the balance of nature?
The term finds its place in Ecology to describe the equilibrium maintained within the natural systems. In simple words, it is a concept which educates about maintaining a balance in nature. If one of the elements is disturbed, its effect can be seen in all other aspects, and the balance of the entire system gets interrupted (Ampatzidis and Ergazaki, 2017).
It is a general notion that one should not disturb the natural state of any system as it is considered as the best-favoured state. The balance of nature is the existence of all plants and animals within a community. The balance is maintained through interactions, adaptations and competition within the community and the non-living environment.
The theory of balance of nature applies in a scenario where the entire community is reliant on one another for e.g. the carnivores and their food consumptions (Ampatzidis and Ergazaki, 2018). The relationship can also be applied on the Earth and its ecosystem for e.g. the weather of a place and its atmospheric composition.
The evolvement of the theory
The concept of balance of nature finds its place for a long time. It signifies the relationship between the predator and its prey. The predator always maintains a balance while consuming its prey. Eating in proportion helps the predator to restrict itself from eating in access.
There was a time when ecological research was everything about the balance of nature. It was also used to manage natural resources, and this led to a widespread belief among a handful of conservationists. As per the doctrine, nature should not be disturbed, and the involvement of humans should be restricted. The below points will help you to understand the interactions between the predators and its prey and how humans are getting involved in this interaction.
Interaction of predator and the prey: The behaviour pattern between the predator and its prey may be different within a limited area. There is a possibility of change in the population of both communities without a specific reason. But the obedience to the law of nature is pertinent between the predator and its prey.
The above point can be proved through an example taken from a study. There was a study on the creatures of the Baltic Sea, especially the plankton (Ruhl, 2019). Planktons are different organisms which are found in the water. It was seen that these organisms were isolated from the ocean, which caused each member of the food web multiply and decline by taking turns. There was no effect on the conditions outside. In one of the articles of a journal named as, ‘Journal Nature’ it was stated that by applying scientific, mathematical tools it could be observed that when there is chaos in the food web, predictions for a longer period is not possible (Wever and Field, 2020).
Human involvement: A number of conservationists are of the opinion that human interaction in the ecosystem disrupts the balance of nature, and they are not compatible with each other. The observation may be correct to a certain extent but not entirely.
There are certain instances which establish that humans do support nature in maintaining its balance. One of the instances can be seen in the form of rainforests occurring in Latin America. The forests are in existence due to the efforts being put in by the humans residing there. The humans are planting and transferring the tree, which is helping the forests in its existence.
The concept that humans are destroying and they cannot maintain the ecological balance is also untrue to a certain extent. The misconception has been raised due to the activities being performed by a specific section of the society who are not following the laws of nature and hampering the environment.
There is a section of people in Australia who practices fire-stick farming. In this activity, the Australian Aboriginal people convert the forests into grasslands which help in maintaining a balance between the faunal preys. It can be majorly found in the western and northern region of Australia (Martins and Obeid, 2020). Some of the plants and trees of certain species depend upon this annual fire process so that their seeds can germinate.
Is there a balance of nature hypothesis?
The hypothesis is an explanation about something on the basis of a limited or no evidence. Hypothesis helps in future investigations, or it can be used as a tool to start any study. The hypothesis is assumptions made which can be majorly found in research or thesis work.
Now the point is to understand how hypothesis plays a role in the balance of nature. Hypothesis, as stated previously, are assumptions made which shows how the balance of nature can be maintained or how nature can be balanced. One of the oldest sayings on the concept was heard among the western people who believed that the balance of nature is maintained by God. But they also thought that a certain amount of efforts is to be put in by humans to encourage and ensure that the balance is maintained.
The emergence of Greek philosophy maintained the saying that God is the sole one who can maintain the balance of nature. They rejected the claim of human involvement in it. People stopped thinking about factors which contributed to maintaining the balance. But this belief was changed as Charles Darwin interfered and stated that God has nothing to do with nature (Simberloff, 2014). As per his views, it is the environment which plays a pivotal role in maintaining a balance of nature and the ecosystem.
Change of perceptions with the passage of time
People are responsible and bound to protect nature and the species living in it. The Greeks believed that God has the power to balance the nature which he does with the help of humans when they perform rituals, sacrifices and prayers. As the people started to embrace the Greek philosophy, the thought that human’s interference is required in maintaining and damaging the balance of nature began to fade away (Ampatzidis and Ergazaki, 2017).
But the discovery of fossils threw a challenge at the Greet philosophy of God marinating the balance. The discovery of fossils diminished the idea that species are created with some specific features which can help them in their survival. In the later parts, the rising population and their rising demands raised a big question on the theory of balance of nature.
The theory of evolution propagated by Charles Darwin helped in providing a clear picture to the idea. His view discussed the existence of fossils and explained how nature works (Ampatzidis and Ergazaki, 2018). Nature cannot be explained at one time; there are many new features and theories coming up every day, which is putting a halt to every observation being made. Many of the environmentalists and conservationists are still observing nature and trying to find out the balance of nature.
When Charles Darwin cleared the fact that God has no role in maintaining the balance of nature, the importance of the balance of nature became less. Considering today’s scenario, ecologists do not believe in the balance, but there are people who believe in it as they are of the opinion that nature should be protected for future benefits.
What makes the balance of nature important?
Balance of nature establishes the equilibrium between human beings, animals and plants within the environment they live in. An ecological balance is reflected when a proportional relationship exists among all the three living organisms.
It can be seen that humans play an essential role in preserving and keeping up the ecological balance. It is so as humans are capable of thinking about the things being done by them as compared to other living organisms (Ruhl, 2019). When all the living organisms are able to sustain themselves with adequate food, then it can be said that there is an ecological balance and balance of nature is prevailing. Balance of nature assures survival and stability in existence. There is a proper distribution of food among all the living beings in order to keep them alive. It helps in curbing exploitation and overuse of any particular living being.
Situation under insufficient resources
When the resources are not sufficient, then there would be starvations everywhere, leading to death. Many species will get extinct if there is an imbalance in nature and an imbalance in the ecological system. The balance helps in maintain stability and reduces environmental imbalances which may be caused due to floods, overhunting, etc.
Everybody needs to put in their efforts to maintain a stable environment. The major influencing factor in the stabilization of the environment is the activities performed by humans. Planting of trees by humans can help in preventing adverse climatic changes which can affect the balance of nature (Wever and Field, 2020). Humans have all the necessary resources which can help in maintaining the ecological balance. When the balance is maintained, it provides a chance of survival to all the living beings. There is sufficient food to maintain a healthy environment.
How to maintain the balance in nature?
There are different ways through which the balance of nature can be maintained, and they are as follows:
Managing natural resources: There is an immediate requirement of using natural resources in a proportionate manner in order to maintain the ecological balance. A sudden influx in the population is hampering the ecosystem. The natural resources which were in abundance are getting exhausted, and in place of it, man-made resources have taken place which is harming the balance of nature. Humans are essentially required to use resources as per their needs, and if an alternative is available, then they should switch to it.
Population control: The overgrowing population is a factor which needs to be controlled in order to maintain the balance of nature. There will be a day when there would be no ecological balance due to the side effects of an undesirable population. Increase in the number of people leads to more usage of natural resources which is already in an exhaustive stage.
Conserving water: The undesirable pollution is not only affecting the atmosphere, but it is also affecting the marine ecosystem in the form of polluted water. Due to the use of unnatural and man-made resources in the industries, the wastes are being dumped in the water bodies. A solution to the problem needs to be devised in order to control and restrict the dumping of waste materials in the water bodies. The wastes from manufacturing units, households and farms should be dumped at a place which does not affect the ecological balance (Martins and Obeid, 2020). Usage of fertilizers and pesticides should be controlled in agricultural activities in order to reduce the growth of algae in water bodies as it can reduce the penetration of sunlight and oxygen. The lack of sunlight and oxygen can reduce the natural greenery found in the marine system. The situation may affect the species present under the water and may lead to their extinction which can easily disturb the ecological balance.
Recycling: Humans have come up with alternative sources for natural resources, but they should focus on recycling in order to save the ecosystem. It can be done by using appliances and vehicles which can save energy, and by this process, they can contribute a little in maintaining the balance of nature (Simberloff, 2014). Protection of the environment and the ecosystem is the foremost duty of all the citizens residing on this planet.
Balance of nature is an essential aspect which has been considered in this paper. It is a theory which needs to be maintained and respected in order to save the existence of all the living organisms. An imbalance of any one of the organism may cause severe damage to the ecosystem. Humans can take the sole responsibility to maintain this balance by doing certain activities which can restore the ecological balance.
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