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University Degree: Ecology

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 2
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  1. Marked by a teacher

    Examine the reasons for the existence and localities of biodiversity hotspots.

    5 star(s)

    identified twenty-five hotpots that predominately represent tropical forests and Mediterranean-type habitat zones (numbering fifteen and five hotpots respectively). In this essay, the reasons for the existence and the localities of biodiversity hotspots will be examined. It should be noted at this stage that biodiversity hotpots do not represent a neutral scientific observation, but are implicitly influenced by human values. The approach encompasses decisions on which aspect of biodiversity is worth conserving (for biodiversity itself is an inconsistently and ill-defined concept according to Gaston, 1996)

    • Word count: 3094
  2. Marked by a teacher

    What is Biodiversity?

    3 star(s)

    WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY? Biodiversity is the variety of life here on Earth. Variety includes the many different micro-organisms, plants, animals, genes and ecosystems living beneath the biosphere, (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2005), and can be subdivided into three parts; genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity (National Biological Information Infrastructure, n.d.), with its main focus being the species (Wright, 2005). Biodiversity, originally known as biological diversity has taken on a few descriptions, with the main issues being conservation value. To some, conservation may apply to all species, to others conservation may apply to a specific species and is called biospecifics.

    • Word count: 764
  3. The extinction of dinosaurs must have been related to a major event. Something enormous had to have happened in order to completely devastate these really massive animals.

    The absence of respiratory turbinate in the dinosaurs is also a sign of evidence that dinosaurs may have been cold blooded because they share similar characteristics to reptiles (Power point). Nevertheless there is no clear and concise evidence of whether dinosaurs were cold blooded or warm blooded. However, the biggest argument that scientists have never really been able to understand was how exactly the dinosaurs died out. What is mostly believed is that during the time of the dinosaurs, they overcame a big catastrophic event that wiped out the dinosaurs.

    • Word count: 1643
  4. Article Summary - Meachen, J. A. & Samuels, J. X. (2012), Evolution in Coyotes (Canis Latrans) in Response to the Megafaunal Extinctions.

    Meachen and Samuels also studied the evolutionary changes of the grey wolf (Canis Lupus) and compared these changes with those of the coyote. In their research, Meachen and Samuels looked at the lengths and circumferences of several different bones in both species of canids. They collected bones and fossils deriving from different locations and times, from the Pleistocene era, the Holocene era, and the present. The Pleistocene and Holocene fossils came from tar pits in Rancho La Brea, California. They also collected modern specimens from Arizona, California, Montana, and other western states.1 Meachen and Samuels took many different measurements from both the fore-, and hind-limbs.

    • Word count: 1071
  5. Escalated Carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere: The most concerned environmental issue

    The excess CO2 in the atmosphere is all due to human-induced activities. From burning fossil fuels to deforestation, all these human activities releases a superior amount of CO2 in the atmosphere which thus cause the 'Greenhouse gas effect' and eventually leads to global warming. If the current way this phenomenon is being handled continues, catastrophic consequences can follow for the future population. Carbon dioxide as we all know is a chemical compound consisted of two oxygen atoms that are covalently bonded to a single carbon atom. It is always being constantly used up by plants for respiration and synthesis of other organic molecules.

    • Word count: 1639
  6. Vegetation response to management practice. The area surveyed was an area of chalk grassland which is managed in three different ways.

    To this end, a survey was made of an area of chalk grassland which had three different management techniques. These were an area fenced off and grazed by sheep, an area mowed twice yearly and an area of abandonment. The abandoned area has been left to its own devices and it is probable this area has higher biomass and taller plants but as dominant plants would succeed in out-competing lesser able ones, this area perhaps would have the least plant biodiversity.

    • Word count: 1561
  7. Using field and class laboratory data, compare and contrast the base metal nutrient cycles for two contrasting soil ecosystems

    After the decomposition of organic matter 'Humus' is formed. Humus contains colloidal material which has a great influence on the chemical properties of the soil. Organic matter alters the physical nature of the soil as it binds together soil particles to make aggregates. Organic matter different depending on the environmental conditions, in this case, the different characteristics between pine and oak (Ashman & Puri, 2002, p. 10). 'Soil Inorganic Matter' is the parent material of the soil, this is mainly formed of sand, silt and clay as well as other small minerals and rock fragments.

    • Word count: 1798
  8. Ecological Succession

    In my estimation it was roughly 1995, or possibly a few years prior, when the area encountered an atrocious infestation of these caterpillars. Although their population has dwindled significantly since then, they are still a predator to our trees. The spruces have most likely survived as long as they have due to one important abiotic factor: temperature changes. Northeast Pennsylvania experiences cold winters whose frigid temperatures aid in the destruction of the caterpillar eggs.

    • Word count: 542
  9. The Oceans

    All oceans contain salt water and other minerals. The Pacific Ocean has the largest body of water in it. It spreads nearly halfway around the world. The Pacific Ocean is also the deepest ocean out of all four oceans. The Atlantic contains the second largest body of water. Next is the Indian Ocean, which is on the borderline of being a big ocean and a small ocean. Last is the Arctic Ocean, which by all means is the smallest ocean of them all. Ocean water and currents affect the climate. Because it takes far more energy to change the temperature of water than land or air, water warms up and cools off much more slowly than either.

    • Word count: 659
  10. Younger dryas glacial

    With predicted increases in freshwater input to the North Atlantic resulting from increases in atmospheric CO2, a future shift in the THC is a possibility. Predicting the magnitude and climatic consequences of such an event depends upon further study of the Younger Dryas and of other abrupt palaeoclimatic changes which involved the THC. The timing of the Younger Dryas was first established using radiocarbon dating and assigned to the approximate interval 11,000 to 10,000 years before the present (BP). The radiocarbon timescale is now known to be in error for the late-glacial period, owing to rapid changes in global carbon reservoirs at that time.

    • Word count: 1163
  11. Sir David Attenborough

    Holmes, M. The Blue Planet a natural history of the oceans. London. BBC Worldwide Limited. Wright, J. Watch This. Guardian, 19 October. Wikipedia 2009 Sir David Attenborough article Available from; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Attenborough (Accessed 22/10/2009) Barnes, S. 2009. Snippets of genius. Wildlife Magazine. Volume 27. 85_85 Born David Frederick Attenborough, on the 8th May 1926, in London. He is the younger brother of actor and director Lord Richard Attenborough. He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and graduated in 1947. In 1950 he married Jane Oriel; they had 2 children and were married until Jane's death in 1997. In 1952 the Natural History Unit (NHU)

    • Word count: 1225
  12. What determines the abundance of organisms?

    In this essay I shall examine the differing theories of abundance and closely focus on density-dependent effects on abundance of organisms. In order to examine what determines the abundance of organisms it is necessary to measure abundance, which is in many respects more difficult than one may assume. It would be a vast simplification to merely count the size of the population in a particular area as this does not take into account the age, s*x, size and dominance of the population.

    • Word count: 1533
  13. Greenhouse Gas Lab

    Problem: What is the effect of various concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) on the temperature of the atmosphere? Hypothesis: If the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) is related to the temperature of the atmosphere, then increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) will increase the temperature of the beakers/containers in a directly proportional relationship. Variables: Independent: the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the container Dependent: the temperature of the air in the container Constants: the size of the containers used, room temperature, air circulation, distance of containers from the heat source, time beakers are exposed to heat source, data logger/carbon dioxide sensor used, amount (volume)

    • Word count: 1114
  14. Is Sustainable development compatible with human welfare?

    The questions gave different answers. He also worked on sustainable development as an ethical issue. It gave an interesting answer: "sustainable development would create the greatest good or least harm by allowing those inhabitants to exist in a world where the air is breathable, the water is drinkable, the soil is fertile, and renewable resources thrive." They be taken also on level of sustainable development effirts for businesses. From the standpoint of businesses, it is important to ascertain which sustainable development issues can and cannot be addressed.

    • Word count: 767
  15. Entomology is the scientific study of insect.

    Furthermore, they have rigid and repeatable life cycle, which can provide retrospective interpretation in forensic investigation, for example, it can be used to determine the time of death, provided that the evidence is properly collected and analysed. (Langford et al, 2005) Insects, particularly blowflies and their larvae provide important evidence in the investigation of a crime. Information about the size and age of blowfly larvae on a corpse can be used to identify the time, and sometimes place of death.

    • Word count: 3415
  16. Overpopulation Crisis

    Critics of the Institute and other similar agenda-driven think tanks have claimed the Fraser Institute's reports, studies and surveys are usually not subject to standard academic peer review or the scholarly method (CBC, 2004). The Fraser Institute has a history of attracting high profile people such as the former Ontario Premier Mike Harris and Reform party founder Preston Manning (CBC, 2004). There are those who say the organization's birth in 1974 was not completely benign. Michael Walker, an economist, helped set up the institute after he received financial backing from forestry giant MacMillan-Bloedel Limited, largely to counter British Columbia's NDP government (CBC, 2004).

    • Word count: 1078
  17. Free essay

    Restoration Ecology

    al., 1997). Indeed, restoration ecology is a potentially important component in sustainable strategy (Clark, 1997). It could provide a framework for the systematic study and reconstruction of communities and ecosystems. Furthermore, it can help unifying theory and practice, but what is more important, it can help alter the prevailing view of human activity as necessarily having a negative impact on the landscape, providing tangible evidence that human activity can have a positive effect on the landscape (Aber & Jordan III, 1985).

    • Word count: 5396
  18. Should We Always Protect And Increase Biodiversity?

    These diverse conditions could hold much in the way of future potential, with many new discoveries likely to come, but not if they are destroyed by us. For example many people think there may be a cure for cancer to be found in the Amazon Rainforest, but we will never find that if loggers and industrialist continue to destroy the rich environment there. As "Sayonara16" says: "We should conserve it until we know what not conserving it will mean to us" We need biodiversity because lack of it could cause problems By preserving biodiversity we could save money on the NHS and other public health services.

    • Word count: 1304
  19. The Changing Environment

    Another definition was developed by Karr (1987), "...the capability of supporting and maintaining a balanced, integrated, adaptive community of organisms having species composition, diversity, and functional organization comparable to that of the natural habitat of a region." What these definitions have in common is that all three philosophers believed it was an important aspect of ecological integrity that ecosystems should maintain themselves when facing external stresses. NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS: THEIR OVERALL VALUE An ecosystem's members have symbiotic relationships in that the members participate with each other which are beneficial to each member participating.

    • Word count: 1293
  20. Environmental revolution and ecosystems.

    Absent care and strategic planning, life as we know it will become harsh. ENVIRONMENTAL REVOLUTION An environmental revolution would not result in environmental problems, but with problems with humans who want to have their cake and eat it too. Examples of economic ways of changing for the sake of the environment are as follows: > Solar power, which has been used quite extensively. The sun is natural energy and should be used for lighting, especially outside lighting in order to preserve electrical resources. > According to Brown (1999), urban transportation systems will change by using bicycles, walking and high-tech light rail systems as opposed to cars.

    • Word count: 706
  21. Land Ethics and Ecology (including ecological systems)

    At a minimum a duty exists not to cause further harm. Unfortunately, serious damage has already been inflicted. In the 1940's uranium mining supported the development of atomic weapons. Newton and Dillingham (2002) point out "the operations were exempt from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) oversight, Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) regulations, environmental laws, the Freedom of Information Act, and had no congressional oversight". Large quantities of contaminated materials were simply dumped into the environment. No thought was given to the consequences for future generations.

    • Word count: 1195
  22. International Biodiversity Day 2005

    The celebration each year of the International Day for Biological Diversity is an occasion to reflect on our responsibility to safeguard this precious heritage for future generations. Sadly, the earth's biological foundation is eroding at a rate unequalled in at least 65 million years. Globally, species have been disappearing at 50-100 times the natural rate. Based on current trends, an estimated 34,000 plant and 5,200 animal species - including one in eight of the world's bird species - face extinction.

    • Word count: 893
  23. Ecosystems and How They WorkThe recycling of elements is another vital functional process occurring in all ecosystems. Describe the biogeochemical cycles for carbon, phosphorous, and nitrogen. How have humans impacted these three cycles?

    These emissions blackened the air and water and disturbed ecosystems wherever rivers were dammed for power. The Environmental Revolution is "a coming change in the adaptation of humans to the rising deterioration of the environment". (Wright, 2005). I believe that this type of revolution would require sacrifices but would lead to enormous gains. It would have to start at grass-root level if we want to preserve the world's limited natural resources, its forests, and wild animals. The steps we take now may be crucial in determining the fate of humanity.

    • Word count: 1176
  24. Discuss the major factors contributing to current reductions in global biodiversity.

    Before doing so, however, we must define what we mean by biodiversity. Wilson (1996) states that, 'Biodiversity is the hereditarily based variation of all levels of organisation, from genes within a single local population of species, to the species composing all or part of a local community'. This definition supports the general consensus that biodiversity needs to be considered at three levels: species, genes and ecosystems. Biological diversity at the species level includes the full range of organisms on earth. On a finer scale biological diversity includes the genetic variation within species, both among geographically separated populations and among individuals within single populations.

    • Word count: 2948
  25. The Role of Salt in Baking.

    Once an appropriate salt is designated, one must then determine when to add the salt. Salt strengthens and tightens the gluten in dough by adjusting the solubility and swelling capacity of the dough. This increases dough strength and prevents weakness and stickiness while increasing the mixing time needed to reach maximum dough development. The end result is a more elastic and pliable dough. Some bakers argue that salt should be added after kneading and then be worked into the dough.

    • Word count: 912

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