The Effect of Human Activities to Lake Ecosystem

On the first exercise of the Environmental Biology class, the students have learned what an ecosystem is and what its significance to the survival of the living and non-living are through analysis of forest and agro-ecosystems. The ecosystem as the basic unit for ecological study (Evans, 1956) consists of the complex of interacting organisms inhabiting a region with all the non-living physical factors that make up their environment (Likens, 1992). It is essential, not just for the ecologist, to study the structural and functioning relationships of ecosystem components to be able to predict how the system will respond to natural change and human disturbance.

Thus, this exercise uses another type of ecosystem as a channel of understanding the interface of the living, specifically humankind, to their environment, the lake ecosystem. Insignificant it seems with its 0.009 per cent contribution to the total amount of water in the world, freshwater and saline (saltwater) lakes are still an extremely valuable resource. Its various usages include rich habitats to diverse plants and animals, important spring of livelihood and fish protein for communities, beneficial source of hydroelectric energy especially in remote areas and irrigation water for farms, useful means of transportation and appealing destination for tourists.

Lakes also offer as catch basins for sediments from the entire watershed around them. With these numerous functions, most of the lakes are abused and their usefulness is put into expense causing the ecosystem and the organisms dependent on it harm and destruction. This is what becoming of the largest lake in the country, the Laguna de Bay. *insert something that had been said by someone about Laguna lake*. More than the economic goods and environmental services it provides there is a call for action of Filipinos to conserve the remaining life of the Laguna Lake, which is an essential part of our past and the future generations to come. At the end of this exercise, the students of the environmental biology class were able to describe the different interaction existing between the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; explain the direct and indirect effects of human activities to the lake ecosystem; discuss possible solutions to the negative impacts; and understand their roles in contributing to the solutions discussed. II. Methodology

The students went to visit sites within the municipalities of Victoria and Los Baňos including a backyard duck farm, the Municipal Plaza of Barangay Poblacion, Tadlac Lake and Dampalit Falls. The places visited provided the students a hands-on observation of different human activities affecting the main object at hand, the Laguna de bay. From the attained observations, the students were asked to cite the interactions existing between the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the positive and negative influences of human activities on the present condition of the lake and the roles of the communities, the local government together with the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) in minimalizing the lake crises. Tables to be filled-up by the students of the seen establishments and their negative impacts to the lake and a diagram showing the map of Los Baňos and the interactions, also to be constructed by the students were provided. Moreover, the students were expected to expound possible solutions to the lake problems and to understand and live with the ways by which they can involve themselves as Environmental Biology students and Filipino citizens in protecting Laguna Lake. III. Results

The Municipal Plaza in Barangay Poblacion is the center of commerce dating from the Spanish times until today. Consequently, different economic establishments are based here that either directly or indirectly affecting Laguna Lake. Some of which are shown in the table below. Table 1. Different economic activities done near the lakeshore in Poblacion, Los Baňos Establishment| Activity| Possible Pollutant|

Public wet market| | |
Recreational resorts| | |
Municipal Plaza| | |
Spa and massage center| | |
Factories| | |

Tadlac Lake is said to be connected to Laguna Lake though such assumptions still need further investigations. To date, the two lakes also contradict on physical appearances and their present condition. Tadlac is
oligotrophic. Thus, the economic and domestic activities cited in the table below are still tolerable by the lake. Table 2. Different economic and domestic activities near Tadlac Lake Establishment| Activity| Possible Pollutants|

Private Resort| | |
Boat rowing training center| | |
| Quarrying for landscape| |
| Fishing| |
| Leisure activities| |
Households| | |

IV. Discussion

Carmel Ray
Victoria is one of the 29 municipalities of Laguna surrounding Laguna de Bay. Municipal Plaza, Tadlac Lake, Dampalit Falls
V. Conclusion
VI. References

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