Within a specific species, genetic variation also represents biodiversity. Biodiversity helps in species interaction and stability in the environment. Research has been conducted to understand the negative impacts that genetically modified crops may have on the wild ones. One of the most important consequences that could occur in the environment is that of outcrossing. It is possible that the genetically modified crops breed with the wild ones thereby passing on modified genes and traits to the hybrid offsprings. Continuous outbreeding may erase the existence of the wild species altogether them with a hybrid species that carries a modified trait.
This could have a substantial impact on the ecology since a whole species would be replaced thereby affecting the ecological role of the wild variety. Effect on biotic communitiesWithin the natural environmental setting, the biotic communities are harmonized and stable. However, mostly owing to outbreeding wild species or some other species may be eliminated altogether leading to instability. Fishes genetically modified to be larger or more cold-tolerant could disrupt the biotic communities of other small fishes (Baker et al, 1986). SuperweedsOne of major impacts of genetic engineering is the extensive usage of weed resistant crops.
Weed resistant crops had been bioengineered to help farmers fight against weeds. ” For nearly 20 years, herbicide-tolerant GE crops have been marketed as a way to improve yields, lower costs for farmers and reduce agriculture’ s environmental impact” (Beans, 2013). The usage of herbicide-resistant seeds has spurred the use of superweeds which are extremely resistant to herbicides which indirectly increased the rate of herbicide usage. Negative impact on Soil and WaterIt has been predicted that with the over usage herbicide-resistant crops there would be increased usage of herbicides in the future.
This is a potential threat to the soil and water quality of the land where the crop is grown since the large amounts of herbicides would either seep into the soil or run off and enter the water bodies thereby deteriorating the quality.
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