NRS 100- First Test

Most important tool for early humans?
For how much of our history were humans hunters and gathers?
For 99.9% of our history
What was the most important use of fire by early humans?
The ability to use fire to alter habitat and create “edges”.
Why were humans in the old stone age considered super predators?
The invention of the bow and arrow allowed them to make large animals such as mammoths, mastodons, saber tooth tigers and giant buffalo go extinct.
What was Toba?
A volcanic eruption at the end of the Paleolitic era that caused an small instant Ice Age.
What is and Edge?
Where two habitats come together. Note they are now known as “kill zones”.
When did humans come to the Near East, Australia, Europe and America?
90,000 YBP, 50,000 YBP, 40,000 YBP and 12,000 YBP respectively.
What is Swidden or Milpa agriculture?
Slash and Burn agriculture, where forest are cut down and burned. Leads to quick erosion of soil.
What are the 4 distinct stages of environmentalism?
Pragmatic resource conservation, moral and aesthetic nature preservation, health and ecological damage concerns and global environmental citizenship.
George Perkins Marsh
“Greatest good for the greatest number of of people for the longest time”
He was a Pragmatic Utilitarian Conservationist
John Muir
Founder of the Sierra Club. He had a Biocentric view of the world- we should preserve nature regardless of it’s usefulness to humans.
What many people today live on less than one dollar a day?
1.4 billion people
How many kilograms of raw material does it take the average American to get through a single day?
What is Autecology?
A subdivision of ecology that studies individual species and organisms.
What’s an environmental reason for caring about Indigenous people?
Their homelands harbor biodiversity, thus if you recognize native rights you can in many circumstances provide ecological safeguards.
What are the 4 main goals of environmental science?
1. Understand how nature works
2. To understand how we affect nature
3. To understand how nature affects us
4. to figure out how to live more sustainably.
Natural Capital is equal to:
Natural Capital = Natural resources + Natural services
1st and 2nd law of thermodynamics
1st: Energy is never created or lost.
2nd: when energy changes from one form to another, we always ends up with lower-quality or less usable energy that we started with.
Decomposers vs Detritivores
organisms that break down and recycle Nutrients in out ecosystem vs Insects or scavengers that feed on dead things and waste.
Perpetual Resources
Resources that are continuous on a human time scale.
Renewable Resources
Resources that can be replenished rapidly on a human time scale.
Non-renewable Resources
Resources that on a human time scale are in fixed supply. Their lives can be extended by recycling and reusing them.
What are 3 major problems with pollution?
1. Can disrupt/degrade life support systems
2. can damage health and property.
3. Can be a nuisance with it’s noise, smells and sights.
Who are Cornucopians?
People who believe that human ingenuity will always allow us to keep our environmental sustainable.
Who are Neo-Malthusians?
People who believe that the environmental Situation is hopeless!
What did Aldo Leopold write?
San County Almanac
What is Basal Metabolic Rate?
The minimal amount of energy one needs to stay alive. (doesn’t account for any activity)
How did Ecology get it’s name?
From Earenst Haeckel in 1869. He used the greek word Oikos- home or place to live and the word Logos- study of to come come up with Ecology- the study of our home.
Who is Eugene Odum?
He is considered the Father of Ecology. Ecology is the study of structure and function of nature where,
Structure: abiotic components, physical factors and biotic components.
Function: Energy flow and Chemical cycling.
What is the human population doubling equation?
70/% Increase
Define Evolution vs Natural Selection vs Adaption:
Evolution: The process whereby earth’s life changes overt time through changes in the genes of population.
Natural Selection: Traits that increase ability to survive and produce offspring become more prevalent in a future population
Adaption: Any heritable trait that enables an individual organism to survive through natural selection and to reproduce more than other individuals.
Define Interspersion
intermixing of habitats that creates more edge.
What happens as you go from the universe to subatomic particles?
You decrease variability and complexity.
Population vs Communities vs Ecosystem
Population: Members of a species interacting in groups in a given area and time.
Communities: Populations of different species living and interacting in a given area and time.
Ecosystem- a biological community interacting with its physical environment of matter and energy in a given area and time.
What does the Biosphere include?
Air, Water, Soil, Minerals and Life
Large major ecosystems on land
What did Shelford say about tolerance limits?
Each environmental factor has both a minimum and maximum level beyond which a species cannot survive.
Any system spontaneously becomes disordered
RATE of energy storgage
Primary, Gross Primary, Net, and Secondary Productivity
Primary: Rate at which radiant energy is store by organisms in the form of organic substances
GPP: Total rate of photosynthesis
Net Primary: GPP – Respiration
Secondary: Rate at which energy is stored at the consumer levels
Most productive ecosystems
Rainforests, estuaries, swamps and marshes.
Macroconsumers vs Microconsumers
Macro: anything in the grazing food chain that eats something
Micro: anything in the Detritus food chain (dead things)
Functional diversity, ecological diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity
What is the number one reason for extinction?
habitat destruction
Reservoir Pools vs Exchange Pools
Large, slow moving, no biological components
Exchange: small, fast moving, biological, exchanges (between organisms and environment)
Gaseous Cycle vs Sedimentary Cycles
Have atmospheric and hydrosphere reservoir vs crust reservior
Perfect vs Imperfect Cycles
Perfect: Respond very rapidly to changes to peturbances
Imperfect: respond very slowly
Nitrogen Cycle
Perfect and Gaseous with Atmosphere as it’s reservoir


Phosphorous Cycle
Imperfect and Sedimentary
Bird poop, is collected in Galapagos for it’s use a phosphorous fertlizer
Bird poop, is collected in Galapagos for it’s use a phosphorous fertilizer
Species Diversity
Species Richness- The number of different species in a community and Species Evenness- the abundance of individuals within each of those species
diversity and geological location
Species Diversity is highest in the tropics and declines as you move towards the poles
Indicator Species:
Canary Species, Species that serve as early warning signs of damage to a community or an ecosystem
Steno vs Eury
Steno is Narrow and Eury Wide

Steno-haline, Eury-thermal

Keystone Species
help determine the types and numbers of other species in a community, there by helping to sustain it.
Foundation Species
Can create and enhance habitats that can benefit other species in a community
Batesian vs Mullerian Mimicry
Harmless mimics Harmful vs Harmful mimics Harmful
Explain Proto-Cooperation vs Amensalism Vs Commensalism
+ + vs + (-) vs (+) 0
Ecological Succession
The Gradual Change in species composition of a given area


Stability- Inertia (persistence) vs Constancy vs Resilience
resist being disturbed or altered and keeps its numbers within the limits imposed by available resources vs ability to bounce back and repair damage after disturbance
Biotic Potential
Capacity for population growth under ideal conditions
Carrying Capacity
(K) max number of population of a given species.
Describe the Different Population Curves:
Stable: Fluctuates slightly above and below carrying capacity
Irruptive: Populations explode and then crash to a move stable level
Cyclic: populations fluctuate, regular cyclic or boom and bust cycle
Irregular: erratic changes possibly due to chaos or drastic change
Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning
Arrive a general statement vs Arrive at specific conclusion
3 conditions necessary for biological evolution:
Genetic Variability, traits must be inheritable, traits must lead to differential reproduction (survival of the fittest…)
Multidimensional hyperspace man about graphing Niches. Talked about Stability Fields.
Fundamental Niche vs Realized Niche
Full range or habitat of species could exploit (if there was no competition)
vs the resources or habitat a species actually does exploit.
Boundaries between adjacent communities. Sharp boundaries are a closed community and indistinct boundaries are an open community.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Sex
Advantages: Genetic Diversity and Offspring Protection
Disadvantages: males do not give birth, courtship and mating is costly, increases genetic errors and defects.
How we extended earth’s carrying capacity?
LOOK UP ****