Final Exam

Topics: Extinction, Biodiversity, Ecology Pages: 5 (1338 words) Published: May 26, 2014
Please respond to each question in 100-200 words. Make sure they are your own words (i.e. you cannot use direct quotes! I want to know your understanding of a topic). Do not copy directly from the book or any other source. Each question is worth 1.5 points, for a total of 15 points. You should be able to answer all questions with the textbook. If you use your textbook as a source, please reference the book and use in text citations where possible.

1.What is a species? How do we place value on species? Analyze from your own perspective what values should be considered when placing priority for conservation efforts.

A species by definition is difficult to explain, primarily because many scientists can’t agree on exactly what a species is. However, the most common explanation is a specific group of individuals that have the ability to interbreed. Although this explanation is always accurate as many groups are asexual. We place value in species by evaluating its instrumental and intrinsic value. A species instrumental value is determined by its ability to provide the means for acquiring something else of value. It’s intrinsic value is determined by the understanding that each species has value, in and of itself but also determining how rare or endangered a species is. We should determine both values of a species when placing priority on conservation efforts. Such as, how many “like” species there are, would supporting the endangered species habitat benefit more than one threatened species. Will the species extinction greatly modify the food chain or have other long term effects etc.

2.What is biodiversity? What is conservation biology? How are these two terms related?

Biodiversity is several different species located in one ecosystem. Conservative Biology is the scientific study of biodiversity that’s main focus is protecting species and biodiversity. These two terms are related because one explains what biodiversity is and the other is the science in protecting and understanding that understanding.

3.What is an ecosystem? Describe some reasonable thresholds at which habitat degradation can be considered habitat loss, or ecosystem degradation can be considered ecosystem loss.

An ecosystem is the physical place that numerous species live in a given area. A reasonable threshold where habitat degradation can be considered habitat loss, could be described as when deforestation removes more trees than can reasonably be grown back in time to prevent certain species from dying off or having to relocate due to lack of food, water, shelter or other things necessary to survival.

4.What are some economic benefits of ecosystems? Is conservation ultimately possible only if economic growth ceases? Why or why not?

Some of the economic benefits of ecosystems are things that humans either cannot do without nature or could only do with great economic cost. Some such things are removing or immobilizing pollutants from water systems. Wetlands, creeks, rivers, streams, lakes and other waterways act as a water purification system. Some insects eat bacteria or algae, while others are pollinators. Diverse Ecosystems are needed for agriculture, wild game, clean air, purified water and essentially supporting life itself on earth. Outdoor recreation can also be an economic benefit as well. Conservation is possible with or without economic growth, as long as importance is placed on ecosystems and diversity and the understanding that without clean air, water and edible food sources, we too can be become extinct.

5.Consider each of the three major ways to be rare (limited geographic range, restriction to rare habitats, and low population densities) and discuss how organisms that exhibit each kind of rarity are likely to be affected by the four major risks facing populations (environmental, demographic and genetic stochasticities, and catastrophes).

6.What is an invasive species? In what ways are they...
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