Physical stressors

Examples of physical stressors on terrestrial ecosystem include habitat loss or landtake such as the loss of a wetland to real estate development. This can affect shellfish and waterfowl that depend on such a habitat, or forest land conversion to real estate and the resultant loss of valuable plant and animal species. Habitat fragmentation which has led to the extinction of venerable species is also a form of physical stressor and is often initiated by humans from activities such as road construction that put much stress on organisms that require large areas for their survival. Physical stressors could also be in the form of a gradual disappearance of a stream, lake, or river due to siltation or dam construction. Global warming is a physical stressor that could result in significant shift in vegetation due to changes in climatic variables such as temperature and precipitation; such a shift in vegetation could also affect the distribution of other organisms in both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems as well. Fire, radioactive isotopes, volcanic eruption, tornadoes, hurricanes, drought, tsunami, and mudslide can also be considered physical stressors in the environment.

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