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SRI VENKATESWARA COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY


GE6351 - ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

UNIT 1
ENVIRONMENT, ECOSYSTEM AND
BIODIVERSITY

1.

D E F I N E E N VI R O N M E N T MA Y 2011
Environment is defined as the holistic view of the world as it functions at a given point of time, with
a multitude of spatial, elemental and socio-economic systems, distinguished by quality of space, and
the mode of behaviour of the various abiotic and biotic forms.

2.

W HA T I S E N VI R O N ME N T B I O LO G Y A N D E C OL OG Y ?
Environmental Biology is the branch of science that deals with the study of living organisms in
relation to its surroundings.
Ecology can be defined as the study of the relationships between organisms and their environment.

3.

H OW WI L L YO U C L A S S I F Y E C O LO G Y ?
Ecology can be classified into two types
a. Auto ecology
b. Syn ecology
Auto ecology is the study of behaviour of individual population in the environment. Eg. Behaviour
of camels in the Desert/ Syn ecology is the study of Community behaviour in the environment.
Eg. Behaviour of Rabbits, Lion, Tigers, plants, etc in the Forest

4.

D E F I N E H A B I TA T , C O MM U N I T Y A ND E C O S YS TE M . Dec 2009, 2012


Habitat is the place where an organism lives.
The different species living in a habitat forms a Community.
The interaction of community with its natural surrounding is called as Ecosystem.
Ecosystem can be defined as a natural functional ecological unit comprising of Biotic components
and Abiotic components and their interaction to form a stable self supporting system. Eg. Pond,
Lake, Desert, Grassland etc.

5.

E X P LA I N T HE C LA S S I F I C A TI O N O F E C OS YS TE M . MA Y 2010
Ecosystem can be broadly classified into two types
a.
Natural
and
b. Artificial
Natural System is further classified into
a. Terrestrial
and
b. Aquatic
Aquatic in turn is classified into
a. Fresh water
and b. Marine Ecosystem
Fresh Water itself is classified into
a. Lotic
and b. Lentic Ecosystems
Forest , Grassland, desert, river, ocean, stream, lake, pond and estuarine ecosystem

6.

W HA T A R E T HE T W O C O M P O N E N T S O F E C O S YS TE M ? E X P LA I N . MA Y 2010
An Ecosystem has two major components.
a. Biotic or living components
b. Abiotic or nonliving Components
Abiotic components comprises of the non living factors or the physical environment prevailing in an
ecosystem.

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Abiotic components are mainly of two types
a. Climatic Factors
Eg. Rain, Temperature, Light, Wind, Humidity etc.
b. Edaphic Factors
Eg. Soil, pH, Topography, Minerals etc.
Biotic components comprises of the living organisms including plants, animals and micro-organisms
that are present in an ecosystem

7.

W HA T A R E T HE B I O TI C C O MP O N E N TS OF E C OS YS TE M ? E X P LA I N . Dec 2009, 2011


Ecosystem has two major Biotic components
a. Plants
b. Animals.
Biotic components can be classified into three types
a. Producers
b. Consumers
c. Decomposers
All green plants and organisms like chemosynthetic, photosynthetic bacteria and Blue green algae
which are capable of producing their own food are called as Producers. They are otherwise called as
Autotrophs.
All animals which lack chlorophyll and are unable to synthesise their own food, depends on
producers for their food are called as Consumers. They are otherwise called as Heterotrophs.

8.

E X P LA I N T HE T WO T Y PE S O F C O N S U ME R S .
Consumers can be classified in to two types
a. Macro Consumers
b. Micro Consumers
Macro Consumers are the larger heterotrophic organisms like Herbivores, Carnivores and
Omnivores.
Macro Consumers can be classified into Four types
a. Primary
c. Secondary
b. Tertiary
d. Quaternary
Micro Consumers are microscopic heterotrophic organisms commonly called as decomposers.
They are
also known as Saprotrophs.
Micro Consumers
Eg. Detrivores
9.

E X P LA I N T HE S U B C L A S S I F I C A TI ON O F C O NS U ME R S I N DE TA I L . J UNE 2010
Animals which directly depend on plants or producers for their food are called as Primary
Consumers. They are otherwise called as Herbivores.
Animals which depend on herbivores for their food are called as Secondary Consumers. They are
otherwise called as Primary Carnivores.
Large animals which depend on Secondary Consumers for their food are called as Tertiary
Consumers. They are otherwise called as Secondary Carnivores
Animals which depend on both Autotrophs (Plants) and Heterotrophs (Carnivores) for their food are
called as Quaternary Consumers. They are otherwise called as Omnivores.
Organisms which depend on dead living matter (both Plants and animals) for their food source are
called as Detrivores or Saprotrophs. They breakdown the organic materials of dead living matter
into simple inorganic and organic substances by metabolism and releases into the environment.

10.

D E F I N E F O O D C H A I N . N O V 2009
A Food Chain is defined as the transfer of food energy and nutrients from source in
plants
(producers) through a series of organisms (Herbivores to Carnivores to decomposers) with repeated
stages of
eating and being eaten is called as food
chain. The main source of energy is the Sun and
it is transferred
through the Biological systems.
11.

E X P LA I N T HE T HR E E TY P E S O F
Food chain exists in three types.

F O OD C H A I N .

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a. Grazing Food Chain


b. Parasitic Food Chain
c. Detritus Food Chain

Terrestrial or Aquatic

Grazing Food Chain starts from Green plants proceeds to Herbivores and ends in carnivores
Parasitic Food Chain begins with plant and then goes to herbivores of huge number of ecto
parasites (Parasites living outside the host). It comprises of Plants and Animals of grazing food
chain infected by parasitic organisms. i.e. The smaller organisms grow on larger organism without
killing them.
Detritus Food Chain starts from dead organic matter of decayed plant and animal bodies to the
microorganisms and then to detrivores, followed by predators.

12.

D E F I N E T R O PI C L E V E L . A S S I G N T HE C O M PO NE N TS I N E A C H TR OPI C
LE VE L .
Ecologists assigned group of plants and animals to various feeding levels. These feeding levels or
feeding status of an organism in an ecosystem are called as Tropic levels.
Tropic Level can be defined as the number of links by which it is represented from producer to
consumer and so on. The same species may occupy more than one tropic level depending on the
source of energy or food assimilated.
First Tropic Level Green Plants
Second Tropic Level
Herbivores or Primary Consumers
Third Tropic Level Carnivores or Secondary Consumers
Fourth Tropic Level Tertiary Consumers
Fifth Tropic Level Decomposers (Bacteria and Fungi)

13.

D E F I N E F O O D WE B . MA Y 2010
The interlinking of various linear food chains at different tropic levels forms a food Web. In nature
linear food chains are rare and only complex interlinked food relationship exists between organisms.
It means an organism derives its food from more than one source and it in turn food for more than
one animal.

14.

D I S TI N GU I S H B E T WE E N F O O D C HA I N A N D F OO D WE B . J UNE 2013
Food chain is a linear one. Food web is a complex interlinking of linear one or simply cross linked.
In Food chain If the size of the population in one tropic level decreases enormously or the whole
population is destroyed the food chain will be destroyed at that stage itself. i.e. It is intra dependent
on only one level
In a food web even the whole population is destroyed the organism will consume food from other
species due to interlinking concept.
Thats why the concept of food web is more real ecologically compare to the concept of food chains.

15.

E X P LA I N T HE E N E R G Y TR A N S F E R F R O M O N E TO A N OT H E R T R O PI C LE VE L .
Gross production
: Total energy (Calories) acquired from lower tropic level
Net Production
: Total energy (Calories) left after Respiration
At each tropic level Net production is only a fraction of gross production because organisms must
spend some energy to stay alive.

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The difference between net and gross production is greater for consumers than producers as they
are more active.
As energy passes from one tropic level to another tropic level substantial loss in net production of
energy takes place.
The ratio of net production at one tropic level to net production at the next higher tropic level is
called the Conversion Efficiency.
Producers to Primary Consumers
:
17%
Primary consumers to Secondary Consumers
:
4.5%
16.

D E F I N E P H O T O S YN T HE S I S .
The green plants have Chlorophyll and they trap solar energy and change
it into carbohydrates using H2O and CO2 by a process called as
Photosynthesis.
CO2 + H2O
C6H12O6 + 6O2 + 6H2O

17.

W HA T A R E B I O G E O C HE MI C A L C YC LE S ? E X P LA I N T HE F UNC TI ONS .
There is dynamic relationship between various biotic and Abiotic components. These relations are in
the form of natural or biogeochemical cycles. It is the continuous circulation of all elements and
nutrients which are essential for life, from the environment to organism and back to the environment.
Eg. Hydrological Cycle, Nitrogen Cycle, Oxygen cycle, Phosphate cycle

18.

D E F I N E E C O L O G I C A L S U C C E S S I O N DE C 2009
The process by which organisms occupy site and gradually change environmental conditions by
creating soil, shade, shelter is called ecological succession. Primary ecological succession comprises of
Hydrarch(Hydrosere establishment
starting in awatery area like pond and lake) and Xerarch
(Xerosere establishment starting in a dry area like, desert and
rock) and (ii) Secondary succession
involving establishment of biotic communities in an area, where some types of biotic
community
is
already present.

19.

D E F I N E G R A S S LA N D A N D E S T U A R I E S D E C 2010
Large extend of earth covered by grass as vegetative cover is called as grasslands.
Types: Temperate, tropical and polar eco system
Estuaries are bays or semi enclosed bodies of brackish water that form where river eneters

the

ocean.
20.

W HA T I S E C O L O G I C A L P YR A MI D S A N D W R I TE T H E T HR E E T YP E S MA Y 2010
The graphical representation of relationship between communities in the eco system
developed
by charles Elton is
called ecological pyramids Pyramids of Number, biomass and energy are the three
types of pyramids
21.

D E F I N E E X -S I T U C O N S E R VA TI O N AND I N -S I T U C ONS E R VA TI O N
The preservation of Biological diversity (flora and fauna) outside the area where they
naturally
occur and also in their
natural habitats is called as Ex-situ conservation. Eg. Botanical Gardens,
Zoological Parks.
The preservation of Biological diversity (flora and fauna) in the area where they naturally
occur and also in their
natural habitats is called as In-situ conservation. Eg. National Parks,
Sanctuaries, Biosphere Reserves
23.

24.

D E F I N E E N D A N G E R E D A N D E N D E MI C S PE C I E S J U NE 2010
The species which are found only in a particular region are called endemic species.
The species which are under extinction is called as endangered species.

D E F I N E B I O D I VE R S I T Y . G I VE I T S S I G NI F I C A NC E . DE C 12
Biodiversity is defined as the variety and variability all groups of living organisms and the
ecosystem in which they
occur. It is the richness and complexity of species and ecosystems throughout

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the planet, continuously acquiring the
adaptations necessary for survival under constantly changing
conditions.
It sustain our lives and the lives of other species which it shares the planet and provides all the raw
materials we need to progress
25.

D E F I N E B I O D I VE R S I T Y H O T S P O T . DE C 2009 NO V 2011
The richness of species concentration on a particular region is called biodiversity hot spot. 25 Hot
spots are found in
allover the world. Two of them are Himalayan Region and the Western Ghat Region
and they are found in India.
26.

W R I TE U N I TE D N A TI O N S C O N VE N TI O N O N B I OL OG I C A L D I VE R S I T Y .N A ME T HE
K I ND S O F B I O D I VE R S I T Y .
Biodiversity is the variety among living organisms from all sources including inter alia, terrestrial,
marine and other
aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part of includes
diversity within species, between
species and of eco system. Genetic, Species, Ecological and
Landscape diversity are the four kinds of diversity.
27.

D E F I N E R E D D A TA B O O K
It is a book that categorizes species on the basis of risk according to the severity of threat

28.

W HA T I S S PE C I E S & G E N E TI C D I VE R S I TY ? D E C 2009, 2010


Species and genetic diversity- species discrete group of organisms of the same kind diversity
between differed
species., genetic species with different genetic characteristics.
Part B
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12.

Explain the characteristics, Structural and functional components of


a. Forest/Grassland/Desert ecosystem.
b. Aquatic ecosystem.
Discuss in detail about Ecological succession, Ecological pyramid, Food Chain and Web
Explain the flow of energy in ecosystem.
Explain Oxygen and Nitrogen cycles.
Classify and explain the values of biodiversity.
Explain the various threats faced by biodiversity. What are the solutions for the threats.
Explain In-situ and Ex-situ conservation of biodiversity. What are the measures recommended
for the conservation of biodiversity.
Explain the special features of hot spots of biodiversity
Explain the biogeographical classification of India
India is mega diversity nation. Account.
Explain the various physical chemical and biological hazards of environment.
Write short notes on endemic, endangered, vulnerable and extinct species.