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Define invasive species and discuss the problems associated with invasions. Use the Internet to access your state department of agriculture or fish and game department to find examples of exotic species (plant or animal) that have been introduced into your area that are having negative effects on the native plants and animals. Often these will be listed under the state fish and game department, or your state’s agricultural extension service. Pick a specific invasive species that has invaded your area. Describe where it came from, how it got to your area, the damage that it is causing, and what is being done to remove it. Also, offer suggestions for what might have been done to prevent its invasion in the first place. Be prepared to discuss the general problem of invasive species and the harm that they cause economically and relative to loss of native biodiversity.
Question 2: Biomes
Consider the variety of biomes that are found as dominant community types. Using both information from maps and your observations of the natural communities around you, determine what major biome or biomes dominate the area where you live. What do the local biomes tell you about the climate of your area? How do the local biomes limit the kinds of living things that you may see regularly in your area? Be prepared to discuss how the biomes of local areas influence the daily life, economy, and natural diversity of local areas.
Select one species of organism that is interesting to you (try to pick something different from your classmates’ choices---you only have about two million to choose from). Show the hierarchy of classification for the organism you choose from Domain through to binomial name (genus and species). Be sure to write the names in correct format and to spell correctly.
What are the nearest relatives of your chosen species? How do the levels of classification for your species trace the major evolutionary steps the ancestors of your species took over time? Be prepared to discuss similarities and differences in the evolution of diversity in the examples chosen by your classmates.
Question 4: Innovation and Diversity
Over the long period of time that life has existed on Earth, there have been a number of important or significant innovations including (but not limited to) endosymbiosis to create mitochondria and chloroplasts; multicellularity; adaptation to land by plants and animals; development of exoskeletons in arthropods, shells in molluscs, and notochords followed by vertebral columns in chordates and vertebrates; and bipedalism in the ancestry of humans. All of these had to come about by natural selection in response to changing environmental forces.
Pick one of these significant innovations and describe:
a. How the innovation appears to have happened
b. What environmental challenges were met and overcome by this innovation, and
c. What opportunities were opened for the organism that made this innovation.
Be prepared to discuss the general concept of innovation and opportunity in response to selective challenges in life and how this can greatly increase biodiversity over time.
Question 5: Growth Models
Using your favorite Web search tool, find examples of countries for each population growth model (rapid, slow, zero). Use examples other than the ones described in the text or the lecture. What evidence can you find to support your choices? What problems/challenges/opportunities do these countries face in the next 10–20 years as a result of their particular class of growth? Be prepared to discuss ways in which countries might plan to regulate or restructure their growth rates to better adapt to their resources and needs.
Question 6: Environmental Problems
Use the Internet to find an environmentally related problem that is happening in your area. Present information about the history behind this problem including what factors led to its occurring and who might be responsible for it. Share what is being done to solve the problem and how effective those efforts are. Present ideas for how you might have handled the situation in the first place to prevent the problem or what you might do now to help solve it. Be prepared to discuss the classes of environmental problems that seem to be widespread and recurring across our country and the world.
Define invasive species and discuss the problems associated with invasions. Use the Internet to access your state department of agriculture or fish and game department to find examples of exotic species (plant or animal) that have been introduced into your area that are having negative effects on the native plants and animals.