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Biology and Environment Issues Essay

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Updated: Mar 27th, 2021

Many animal rights activists have claimed that if beef cows were eliminated, more people could be fed. What is the ecological theory behind the argument in support of this position, and what is an argument against this position?

Ecologists argue that beef is bad for the environment because it leads to the emission of greenhouse gases. Furthermore, beef production leads to unsustainable consumption of environmental resources like water and vegetation. Others oppose this view by affirming that poor agricultural practices like overgrazing are the problem.

Discuss the problem of Global Warming. What are some of the evidence that this is happening and what is causing it?

Global warming refers to the steady rise in temperatures within the earth due to the accumulation of greenhouse gasses. Some evidence includes increases in land and sea surfaces, a rise in sea levels, increases in specific humidity, melting of glaciers, and shrinking of ice in the Arctic sea.

What is the nature vs. nature problem? How can we test our ideas about this?

The nature versus nurture problem is a debate in which some people believe that behavior is explained by one’s genetic traits (nature) while others claim that it stems from one’s environment (nurture). To test it, one may compare IQ scores of separated twins or analyze the relationship between social-economic status and IQ.

What is the relationship between species diversity and geographic diversity?

Species diversity refers to the abundance of organisms within a certain area. Modoc County may have greater species diversity than San Bernadino even though they have similar sizes. Geographic diversity relates to the way species mirror their location.

What is ecology?

Ecology refers to the study of the relationship between organisms and organisms’ environments. This may entail an analysis of the environmental effects of interactions between species and how conservation efforts can be instated.

Species that are introduced to new habitats, such as islands, often exhibit very high growth rates, but then growth rates level off. Explain this phenomenon, and describe the different patterns of growth

When new species are introduced to a habitat they initially exhibit high growth rates due to a high organism to resource ratio; this is the exponential phase. They reach a plateau phase where the growth rate declines due to increases in the number of organisms competing for the same resources. They will undergo a decline phase when resources become inadequate to sustain them, and when diseases set in.

Ecologists often say that one individual living in a developed country cannot be counted as ecologically equal to one individual from a developing country. Why?

A person in a developing nation cannot be ecological equal to one in a developed nation because the ecological footprint needed to maintain a person in the latter category is quite high. This person needs too much land, energy, and resources to transport, feed, consume, and house himself or herself; the above stems from industrialization.

What are the three shapes of survivorship curves, and what does each one tell us about the population? Give an example of a species for each survivorship curve

Type I survivorship curves entail organisms that die of old age. Plenty of investment is put in their well being; an example is a Dall sheep. Type II survivorship involves organisms whose mortality depends on their competitive abilities such as slider turtles. Type III survivorship includes species that have high mortality rates but produce numerous offspring like the Bromus Tectorum (Cheatgrass).

What is the difference between an organism’s habitat and its niche?

A niche refers to an organism’s unique place within an ecosystem; this stems from a series of adaptive responses over time. A habitat is a place that supports a certain population of organisms.

What are the components of the Biosphere?

A biosphere consists of an atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. The atmosphere refers to the air surrounding all organisms. The hydrosphere encapsulates the water system within the earth while the Lithosphere is the outer crust of the earth.

Explain the four primary types of interaction among community members

Proto cooperation involves nonobligatory interspecies interactions like birds eating parasitic crocodile leeches. Another type is mutualism, where species depend on each other for survival like nitrogen-fixing bacteria in legumes. Commensalism involves an interaction where one member benefits while the other does not, such as suckerfish on sharks. Lastly, scavenging involves one species that kills another for food.

List at least three differences between an r-selected species and a K-selected species

One difference is that r organisms produce many offspring to increase survival rates while k organisms produce few offspring. The latter have long life expectancy while the former have short. Lastly, the energy used to create an individual is high in k-species and low for r species.

Discuss some pros and cons of Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering produces new organisms, boost positive traits, and increases environmental adaptability. Its cons include reducing genetic diversity and the creation of genetic defects.

Describe the three types of biodiversity. Why are each important to maintain

Genetic diversity refers to genetic variability in species, which leads to healthy breeding. Species diversity is species variety in a community and can provide environmental sustainability. Ecosystem diversity is the organization of particular species within a certain location into communities. If overused, then degradation may occur.

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