The Impact of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors on Biodiversity of Arid and Semi-Arid Zones of Eastern Georgia
Authors: Tea Mchedluri
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The biodiversity of Georgia, as well as the whole Caucasus, is under the extreme threat. Most of the forests are modified by human influence. Due to overgrazing, the natural vegetation is almost destroyed and the erosion process is taking place. Natural vegetation is preserved in just a little part of its historic area. Current threats to Georgia's biodiversity are: poaching, cutting down the forests, overgrazing, illegal trading of species of plants and animals, and etc. As a result, the living habitat of living organisms is degraded, the number of species is decreased and ecological processes are disruption – all of them lead to the destruction of biodiversity.
Natural and anthropogenic factors are well expressed on large areas of the ecosystem of arid and semi-arid areas in the east of Georgia. A large part of arid and semi-arid ecosystems itself is rare biotope for Georgia, that is why some species are found only here in Georgia.
The negative impacts of natural and anthropogenic factors affect the flora and fauna diversity, resulting in a possible degradation of plant communities, semi-desert and desert plant characteristic species – Salsola spp, Artemisia fragans, Gamantus pilosus et al. and the expansion of the plant communities Artemisietum, Artemisieto-salsoletum, Botrichloeto-artemisietum. Also, the impoverishment of animal composition – disappearance of some insectivorous and rodents, for example, Crocidura leucodon, the vole Microtus socialis, Sorex volnuchini, the expansion of hares Alactaga spp, which is typical to a desert landscape.
The current level of negative impact of Natural and anthropogenic factors goes beyond the boundaries of the resistance of the ecosystem, and therefore, more or less irreversible degradation processes have been developed. All of this might cause irreparable harm to Georgia's biodiversity