BI207 Environmental Biology Assignment Example Maynooth University Ireland
The application of ecological concepts, theories, and methods to the management of biological resources is an integral component in understanding how humans impact their surroundings. Topics covered include the ecology and control of insect pests; the roles of microorganisms in the environment and how they impact human and animal health; the ecology of invasive species; marine and sea-floor (benthic) ecology.
This module provides an introduction to the fundamental principles of ecology, the study of how plants and animals interact with each other and their physical environment. The module will explore the structure and function of ecosystems, populations, communities, and particularly the way in which energy flow and chemical cycling determine how ecosystems work.
Assignment Solution of Environmental Biology (BI207)
On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
Assignment Activity 1: Describe basic insect structure and function and the ways in which insects are injurious to humans, their livestock, crops, and products
Insects are important because they pollinate plants and help with sustainability, but they also feed on the natural resources of humans. Some insects can cause disease when their larvae enter your body through a bite or sting.
The basic structure of an insect is segmented around the thorax. Insects also have three body parts: head, abdomen, and thorax. Insects have an exoskeleton made of cuticles instead of bones. Inside the insect are muscles for movement, a system for breathing, nervous tissue, digestive material, reproductive materials, and tubes called tracheae that transport gases in and out of the body.
Insects have two antennae on their heads that help to detect their food, other insects, and danger. Insect eyes can sense light or dark, but they cannot see a complete image as a human eye can. Insects also have an external covering called an exoskeleton, which is made of a material called chitin. This exoskeleton helps protect the insect and prevents water from entering the body cavity.
Insects can spread disease, consume or damage crops and other plants, and cause structural damage to buildings.
Insects can spread disease when they carry pathogens on their bodies or in their digestive tracts. Many insects are equipped with needle-like structures called stylets, which are used to pierce plant or animal tissues and allow the insect to suck up fluids. If the insect is carrying a pathogen, it may transmit that pathogen to its food. Some pathogenic agents that insects can transmit include viruses, bacteria, and parasites.
Insects also consume or damage crops and other plants. Beetles, for example, can feed on the leaves of plants, while flies can feed on fruits or vegetables. In addition, some insects can damage buildings by boring into the wood or by depositing their eggs near foundations.
Assignment Activity 2: Compare and contrast various approaches to controlling insect pests
There are many different ways to control insect pests.
- One approach is to use pesticides. Pesticides are chemicals that are used to kill or control insects.
- Another approach is to use biological controls. Biological controls are methods that use other organisms to kill or control insects. For example, biological control for mosquitoes might be to release a type of fish that eats mosquito larvae.
- A third approach to controlling insect pests is to use cultural controls. Cultural controls are methods that use the environment to control insects. For example, farmers can use crop rotation to prevent insects from feeding on the same plant over and over again. They can also use traps or barriers to keep insects from entering a building or field.
- Finally, a fourth approach to controlling insect pests is to use mechanical controls. Mechanical controls are methods that use machines to kill or control insects. For example, farmers might use a harvester to remove insects from a field of crops. Building owners might use a vacuum cleaner to remove insects from the inside of a building.
All of these methods of controlling insect pests have advantages and disadvantages. Using pesticides is one way to control insects, but it can also harm beneficial insects, such as the natural predators of the targeted insect pest.
Assignment Activity 3: Describe the vital processes that require bacteria, and understand the interrelationships of microorganisms in the environment, agriculture, food, human, animal, and waste
Bacteria are tiny, unicellular organisms that play an important role in many vital processes. One of the most important roles bacteria play is in the process of digestion. Bacteria help break down food into smaller molecules that can be absorbed by the body. Bacteria are also necessary for the production of some vitamins, including vitamin B12 and vitamin K. Bacteria are also necessary for the breakdown of waste products in the body.
Understanding the role of bacteria is important for many reasons. First, it is essential to know that bacteria are necessary for survival. Second, it is important to understand the role of bacteria in human health, agriculture, and the environment.
Bacteria play a wide variety of beneficial roles in food production. For example, some types of bacteria are responsible for fermentation during the making of cheese or yogurt. Other types of bacteria are responsible for allowing bread to rise during the baking process.
In addition, bacteria play a vital role in human health, agriculture, and the environment. For example, bacteria are responsible for certain types of decay that can help break down matter into nutrients that may be reused by other organisms. Bacteria also recycle nitrogen from waste products back into the soil, which helps fertilize the ground and promote plant growth.
Assignment Activity 4: Discuss non-human sources or reservoirs of microbial disease & their roles in modern infectious diseases, and describe how the environment provides antibiotics and the risk that it poses as a source of antibiotic resistance
Non-human sources or reservoirs of microbial disease are other animals and the environment. The environment provides antibiotics and it can be a source of antibiotic resistance.
The role non-human sources play in modern infectious diseases is that they may transfer disease to humans. For example, because zoonotic diseases can be transmitted from animals to humans, it is important to keep track of diseases in animals. It is also important to keep the environment clean and free of contamination.
The risk the environment poses as a source of antibiotic resistance is that it can provide a place for bacteria to become resistant to antibiotics. This can happen when antibiotics are overused or when they are released into the environment through human waste or through the improper disposal of unused antibiotics.
Assignment Activity 5: Discuss the relationship between colonization and extinction in the MacArthur and Wilson Island Biogeography model:
The MacArthur and Wilson Island Biogeography model is a theory that explains the distribution of species on islands. The theory states that when a species colonizes an island, it will go through a process of extinction and replacement. This means that the first species to colonize an island will eventually be replaced by another, more competitive species.
The relationship between colonization and extinction is important to understand because it helps us to understand how species are distributed on islands. The theory also has implications for the conservation of species. It is important to protect the first species to colonize an island because they are more likely to be replaced by another, less-competitive species.
The relationship between colonization and extinction is a type of competition. The replacement process will continue until a stable community is reached, with each species having an important role in the ecosystem.
Assignment Activity 6: Describe the impact of invasive plant species on ecosystems, for example, Rhododendron ponticum in Ireland and Eichhornia crassipes in the tropics
Invasive plant species can have a negative impact on ecosystems. For example, Rhododendron ponticum, an invasive plant species in Ireland, can displace native plants and reduce the diversity of the ecosystem. This can happen because invasive plants often have a competitive advantage over native plants. They may be able to grow faster and spread more easily.
Invasive plant species can also have a negative impact on the environment. For example, Eichhornia crassipes, an invasive plant species in the tropics, can reduce the quality of water by blocking sunlight and preventing plants from growing. This can disrupt the food chain and alter the balance of the ecosystem.
Invasive plant species can also pose a threat to human health. For example, some invasive plant species may be toxic or contain allergens. Invasive plant species are a growing problem and it is important to take steps to control them. One way to do this is by monitoring the spread of invasive plants and controlling them when they are discovered. Additionally, it is important to monitor the plant species that are native to an area so that when they are in danger of being replaced by another, more competitive species, steps can be taken to protect them.
Assignment Activity 7: Describe ecological processes such as the zonation of seashore organisms and primary productivity in marine ecosystems
The zonation of seashore organisms is the horizontal distribution of different species of plants and animals along a shoreline. It is often seen as concentric rings around an area, with each ring representing a change in the ecological environment.
The zonation of seashore organisms helps to explain how species are distributed on the shore. It is important because it influences other processes such as predation, competition, and resource availability. This process can also impact human activities because people often depend on products from the coast for food or recreation.
Primary productivity in marine ecosystems describes how much energy is used by primary producers such as algae and kelp. This is important because these organisms are the base of the marine food web, providing energy for all other species.
Primary productivity in marine ecosystems has a significant impact on the overall health of the ecosystem. It is important to monitor it so that we can understand and predict changes in the environment. Additionally, it is important to protect primary producers because they are essential for the health of marine ecosystems.
Assignment Activity 8: Discuss the adaptations that some marine animals have evolved which enable them to survive in the deep ocean environment:
Some marine animals have evolved adaptations that allow them to survive in the deep ocean environment. These adaptations include things such as large size, low metabolism, and bioluminescence.
Large size is often an adaptation for deep-sea animals because it allows them to conserve energy. Additionally, having a large body allows them to capture more food. Low metabolism is another adaptation that allows deep-sea animals to conserve energy. This is important because the environment in the deep ocean is very harsh and it is difficult to find food. Bioluminescence is a type of light that some marine animals generate. This light helps them to see in the dark and communicate with other animals.
These adaptations help deep-sea animals survive in their environment. Additionally, they can also help scientists to learn more about the organisms and how they live.
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