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University Degree: Ecology

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  1. The Oleta River Preserve

    A Tequesta village and midden site is preserved nearby as a reminder of the river's past human history. This area now represents one of the last wilderness areas available to wildlife in northern Miami-Dade county and is home to the endangered West Indian manatee and American crocodile. The site was purchased by the Environmentally Endangered Lands program and the Florida Communities Trust in 1995 to expand adjacent coastal resources bordering the Oleta River. Miami-Dade County employees removed exotic pest plants from the site, supervised removal of fill material, and replanted red mangroves and other shoreline vegetation. This will help begin the slow restoration of uninterrupted natural mangrove forest along the river.

    • Word count: 741
  2. Ornithorhynchus anatinus - the duckbill platypus

    Early botanists who came across the platypus in the 18th century found it so bizarre and unconformist, that many thought it was a fake until it was proven later to be genuine. The duck-billed platypus came under much scrutiny because it was like no other known mammals; as it has the possession of hair and mammary glands but has a few skeletal features in common with the reptiles, and together with the fact that female platypus lay eggs in order to reproduce.

    • Word count: 1200
  3. Discussion of the adaptations of plants in a salt marsh community.

    Most land plants subjected to such low osmotic potentials would loose water to its environment and die (www.biome.ac.uk). It is the aim of this paper to discuss some of the common mechanisms which plants colonising salt marsh habitats have evolved to make effiecient use of what oxygen is available and be able to exclude salt and absourb water or excrete any excess salt that is absourbed as a result, with reference to specific salt marsh species. Salt-marsh plants are halophytes (Gr halos:salt + phyton:plant), meaning they can tolerate excessive salinity levels (e.g.

    • Word count: 2095
  4. With reference to one named global ecosystem, assess the extent to which humans actions are threatening it's biodiversity.

    Therefore we must do what we can to manage the human actions that are threatening the biodiversity before the endangered species move to extinction. Over fishing in places like the Philippines and Indonesia has caused the disappearance of many types of fish from entire areas. With out these predators in the area, 'pests' like the sea urchin increase in population. Sea urchins kill live coral as they feed on algae, so eventually, algae growth overtakes the coral and can suffocate it. Fishing act ivies were therefore banned in 1997, and consequently diversity of fish in the Philippines is exceptionally high.

    • Word count: 700
  5. Discuss how intensive food production may affect wildlife, and how farming practices can enhance biodiversity.

    The abandonment of these activities has led to general decline in biodiversity for example loss of hedges, ditches, ponds, fallow land and uncultivated stands of wild plants and weeds. Crops and pastures of non-uniform height and density, and weed patches within them support a diversity of insects, which in turn support spiders, birds and other predators. But crop rotations have been simplified, and improved crop and pasture breeding and more efficient agri-chemical use have allowed growing and grazing times to be extended.

    • Word count: 523
  6. Deforestation - Causes and Solutions.

    And perhaps the worst culprit of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon [Image] is cattle ranching. 38% of deforestation in the Amazon wasdue to large scale cattle ranching. Mining for valuable resources also plays a major role. Deforestation has many devastating effects. It affects climate significantly, in part because the forest plays a major role in the water cycle, recycling rain back into the clouds as it receives rainfall. As a result, when the land is cleared, flooding and drought become serious problems, as rainwater travels quickly through the ground without the forest to regulate it.

    • Word count: 812
  7. Does biodiversity increase inland at Crymlyn Burrows?

    All of this information was recorded on a pre-prepared table. Before the investigation began it was necessary to establish a suitable site from which the transect could begin. This site should start on an embryo dune and the transect should be plotted in a straight-line inland from that location. Before beginning it was necessary to survey the area and check for any inconsistencies in the land profile and plant species. This means checking for any areas where the plants may have been trampled, cleared away or if there were any interferences with the land profile i.e.

    • Word count: 3140
  8. Biodiversity -reaction paper

    However, this is not often the case as humans more or less practice Darwinism by picking the species that they feel have the most desirable traits, such as juicy oranges and seedless watermelons. Dr. Bottrell presented a case study of the effects that choosing a certain rice seed genotype had on its surrounding environment, and eventually the economy of an entire region. Rice is a seven thousand year old crop that is an integral part of the diet and economy of the Filipino people.

    • Word count: 666
  9. This essay will discuss the issue on increased pressure being placed up on ecosystems which is resulting 'in a significant loss of biodiversity'.

    The burning of these fossil fuels result in the release of a number of pollutants, such as Carbon dioxide, methane and ozone which increases 'global temperatures' (B.Bush, 1997, p. 320). A number of data were collected between a given period of time which indicates an increase in global temperatures (Unravelling misconceptions of climate change). As a result of human activities a number of ecosystems are coming under threat. Past events in the Earth's history are also the reasons as to why a number of species are now under more pressure than ever before.

    • Word count: 1402
  10. The estimation of population size and the analysis of spatial distribution in a population of immobile organisms

    Analysis of the data through the use of many mathematical equations will then give a more solid idea of the habitat and thus giving us vital information on the area before it can be altered. Sampling areas and collecting data may theoretically seem simple; however there are many aspects that cause much difficulty. One must consider the sheer size of the areas that need to be surveyed to the size of the organisms that occupy that place; for example if a study were to take place in a rainforest in Brazil, one can only realistically survey a fragment of the area and assumptions that the rest of the rainforest is of the same diversity would be incorrect.

    • Word count: 1669

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