Exam 2 Flashcards Preview

Environmental Science 101 > Exam 2 > Flashcards

Flashcards in Exam 2 Deck (28)
Loading flashcards...


diversity of species, diversity of ecosystems and diversity of genetics



can be defined as the ability to recover function after a disturbance. In an ecosystem this means still providing all the same services after a disturbance as before the disturbance. As species are lost, the ecosystem becomes less resilient because there are less species to fill “roles” in that ecosystem so it cannot “bounce back” as easily.


Over Harvesting

Cods are top predators so their removal from the food chain would allow for the prey population to increase dramatically which would eventually lead to a depletion of the prey’s food source. With less cod fish there would be more of their prey-the herring and herrings eat cod eggs so less cod eggs would be available which would further deplete the cod population.


Invasive species

because when introduced to an environment that it is not native to, it has no natural predators, emits a toxin to those critters that try to eat it, and really loves its new environment allowing them to breed uncontrollably. They were introduces as a biological control for the sugar cane beetles. It was not effective. The cane beetles resided high on the sugar can out of reach of the toad, they were out at different times of the day. So essentially they did not interact at all. Cane toad are extremely productive critters. They lay many, many eggs, that grow into viable toad very quickly. Other native toad species in Australia have a much longer breeding time, so they get “choked” out by the large amount of cane toad eggs, tadpoles and full grown toads. Also, the toad emits a toxin to critters that eat it. (in its native habitat it has some predators that can keep it in check that do not exist in Australia). The Cane toad can eat many creatures, as they get quite large. Cane toads could impact the ecosystem by dominating a food source that other species rely on


Hard Path:

constructing something. Like a dam or reservoir


Soft Path:

changing a midset or behavior;education and incentivizing



drill/tar sands. have a lot. affordable. efficient. BUT spills can be devastating and tar sands can be toxic



traditional mining and mt top removal. can store fly ash as solid or liquid. has dangerous chemicals. very cheap. have a ton. use the most.


natural gas

shale (fracking) or coal bed methane =concerns with chemicals and issues with water contamination. cleanest of fossil


solar photovoltaic cells.

can't store energy and sun isn't always around and efficiency is kinda low. not as affordable


concentrated solar

focusing light to superheat liquids that creates steam that turns gen. No emissions and Can store energy



happens bc changes in atmo pressure that turns turbine that turns the generator . low enviro impact and easy to build. But location specific and can't store. Most $$ viable alternative



impact species movement in ocean, have harmful things in them that can leak into ocean. not very $$ and location specific



VERY location specific



very $$ to build and potential meltdown but MOST efficient and have a lot in US



GMO’s are organisms that have been altered to contain genes from another species that adds an attribute such as disease or drought tolerance to the modified crop.


benefits GMO

1. Drought tolerance of a GMO crop may allow it to grow in desertified soils
2. Herbicide resistance of a specific GMO crop decreases labor in application of herbicides 3. May help provide food and nutrition to many in poverty,
4. in some cases a GMO may increase production of the edible part of the plant
5. Longer shelf life, etc
6. Bioremediation, plants that can rehabilitate soils
7. grow more food on less land


concerns of GMO

1. GMO’s may cause allergic reactions if they contain genes that are a potential allergy 2. The use of GMO’s in commodity crops may cause Superweeds
3. Cross contamination of non-GMO crops and patent violation
4. Potential to become an invasive species, loss of biodiversity.


food security

defined as “when all people
at all times have access to sufficient, safe, nutritious food to
maintain a healthy and active life.” First, food must be constantly available in sufficient quantities.
Second, people should have the resources to obtain food that is
nutritious, either by subsistence farming, fishing or hunting, or by
having sufficient income to purchase food. And third, people should
have an understanding of basic nutritional requirements and adequate water and sanitation.


relation bw food and water security

Food cannot be grown without adequate water resources. If water is lost, then food will also be at risk.
freshwater resources on the planet, 70% are
used for agricultural production for 40% of the
world’s food. Of that 40%, a significant portion
of agricultural systems use water inefficiently. Furthermore, 30% of food produced is wasted; In addition to the water needed to
grow crops, water is required to process them.


organic ag

Organic agriculture is a method or set of methods of growing food that does not use synthetic fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Organic agriculture also does not use GMOs seeds. Organic farming promotes the minimal use of farm inputs, and techniques that promote good soil health.
Organically certified animals must be fed a diet of Certified Organic food


conventional farming on soil

atrazine, herbicide, pesticides etc can get in soil. and create chemical cocktails


Why will the loss of Himalayan glaciers impact global food prices?

If the glaciers melt, then the river will not have an adequate water supply, reducing or eliminating water resources for irrigation. This will impact the amount of food that can be grown, increasing food prices. This will also decrease food security of this region, requiring that more food be imported.


How could the physical characteristics of the okavango

is a very rich and biodiverse area. If the river were to be developed with dams or water taken out for irrigation it could cut off they life giving supply of water and nutrients/sediment that make up the delta.


wolves as keystone species

Think about the connection of wolves, elk, and the riparian vegetation (area of land around the river) and the structure of the river. Without wolves, the elk would eat all of the aspen and willow trees. these trees provide shade, food and a riparian zone for the river. the trees also provide a habitat for other species.


Describe 2 specific examples that explain the relationship between biodiversity and supporting services.

Biodiversity provides many different species that have different roles in ecosystems. Some of these species are nitrogen fixers. These species are an important part of the nutrient cycle, taking atmospheric nitrogen and making it available to plants!
Also Coral reefs provide nutrients cycling and primary production in the ocean, very important role!


Describe 2 specific examples that explain the relationship between biodiversity and cultural services.

Biodiversity provides a multitude of different types of ecosystems for us to explore (savanna, short and tall grasslands, rainforests (both temperate and tropical) and many more. The biodiversity of a place has helped to shape each and every culture from the food that defines that culture, to the species of importance to a culture and it spiritual connection to the land. For example, salmon in the northwest of the US.


Describe 2 specific examples that explain the relationship between biodiversity and provisioning services.

Biodiversity provides different species that make up our ecosystems that can provide us with a variety of medicines, different types of trees for us to build with (hard woods and soft woods), and provides a diversity of animals and plants for us to eat. We would not just want to eat corn and soy and wheat all the time.