Although today we think we know
the problem about DDT, there are still problems that need to be solved. Bad chemicals
are still being dumped into the temperate forest and other ecosystems that effect the flora and fauna in that area. A chemical that are similar to DDT that are still being dumped DDE.
DDE is what is left of the DDT in the environment and unfortunately it stays there for a long time and it is a hard
thing to lose in an ecosystem. Some of its affects on animals is that it can
cause thin eggshells and also sterile eggshells which means nothing inside of them (like baby birds).
term affect was the decrease in bald eagle population. Like the eagles many other birds were also affected by DDT. One reason as to why the birds and eagles were affected was because of the many different toxins that flowed
into water as a part of runoff. As we know eagles and some birds feed from the
fish that live in fresh water. But these toxins were trapped in the bodies of
if not all most fish in the waters. Since the eagles and birds eat the fish they
too consume the toxins with in the fish. The transfer/concentrating of toxins
throughout the food chain is called Biomagnification.
So the fish were intoxicated as well as the eagles.
inside the eagles and birds enabled them to do many different things. The most
difficult was to produce offspring. The different toxins and DDT forced the birds
egg shells to become thin, so when the mother laid her eggs and sat on them to keep warm they would crush leaving no baby
eagle or bird. This made it hard for the eagles to continue and make a bigger
One part of the short term affects is that the
DDT kills any type of insect that tries to eat/or come in contact with a type of plant with DDT on it. This harms the entire food chain in this one region of the Temperate forest. Because it kills the insects it would harm the bird population that rely on these insects for their food. If these two populations in an area run out then the entire food chain for that community
is all messed up.
It was not until the late 1940’s
that problems began to occur. Insects began to develop resistance to DDT and it was discovered that it was of high toxicity
to fish. DDT has a life of around eight years so animals cannot metabolize the substance rapidly. Since DDT is deposited in
fatty tissue, if ingestion occurs at a steady rate, excess DDT can build up within an animal to toxic levels. When DDT is
sprayed from planes it can remain on the ground for years. The reason being is DDT hardly evaporates. Eventually DDT mixes
with rain water and is evaporated and is re-dispersed through precipitation into nearby rivers and even oceans greatly affecting
animal life. DDT can affect and contaminate waters and soil away from where it was applied. Bacteria can convert DDT into
even more toxic substances Such as DDD and DDE. Even though people knew about this in the 1940’s it was not dealt with
until the 1970’s. DDT over time Can Harm an animal.