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Unit 8

8.7 Disruptions to Ecosystems

1 min readnovember 30, 2021


Caroline Koffke

AP Biology 🧬

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Disruptions to ecosystems may lead to the process of evolution, as changes in the environment may lead to a selective advantage for some species over others. This process takes place if certain adaptations give organisms an advantage over others to survive and reproduce.

Competition and Cooperation

Disruptions in ecosystems may lead to competition and cooperation that change the size of populations. If the disruption decreases a certain type of resource, there may be an increase in competition for that resource. The species that are more successful at obtaining that resource will survive and reproduce more.


The most damaging disruptions to ecosystems are those created by humans. Our activity has led to the destruction of habitats, extinction of species, pollution, and climate change. Animals are unable to adapt as quickly as their environments are changing and are suffering greatly because of it.

Image courtesy of Giphy.

Natural changes in environments can also contribute to disruptions within ecosystems. This may include flooding, forest fires, or earthquakes. Yet, many of these natural occurrences are becoming more frequent because of human influence.
Regardless of the cause, disruptions to ecosystems put a great deal of stress on the organisms living there, and usually only some survive.

Check out the AP Bio Unit 8 Replays or watch the 2021 Unit 8 Cram


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