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ZO417 Marine and Coastal Ecology Assignment Example NUI Galway Ireland

ZO417 Marine and Coastal Ecology course provides an introduction to the ecology of marine and coastal ecosystems. The focus is on the physical and biological factors that affect these ecosystems. Students learn about the distribution and abundance of marine and coastal species, as well as their interactions with each other and with the environment. The course also covers human impacts on marine and coastal ecosystems and ways to mitigate these impacts.

Topics include the physical and chemical features of saltwater, biological oceanography, pelagic and benthic communities, coral reefs, seagrasses, kelp forests, fisheries, pollution, and global climate change. The laboratory component of the course emphasizes field research in local estuaries and the open ocean.

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In this course, there are many types of assignments given to students like group projects, individual assignments, continuous assessments, reports, business plans, business proposals, executive summaries, and other solutions given by us.

In this section, we are describing some assigned tasks. These are:

Assignment Activity 1: Understand the basics of sustainable yield models in fisheries and their underlying assumptions; Give examples of different reasons for fish stock collapses.

A sustainable yield model allows a fishery to continue harvesting fish at a rate that does not lead to the depletion of the fish stock. There are many different types of sustainable yield models, but all of them share some common underlying assumptions. These assumptions include:

  • That there is a limit to how many fish can be harvested from stock each year;
  • That the fish population can rebound from being depleted if fishing pressure is removed;
  • That there is some level of natural mortality in the fish population that cannot be prevented; and
  • That the fish stock is not being impacted by other factors (such as pollution or disease) that could lead to its depletion.

Different reasons for fish stock collapses can include things like overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change. In many cases, a combination of these factors can lead to a stock collapse. For example, if a fishery is overfished, it can deplete the fish population to the point where it can no longer recover. If this overfishing is combined with habitat destruction (such as the loss of reefs or seagrasses), then the fish population may have no place to rebound, leading to a complete collapse of the stock. Climate change can also play a role in fish stock collapses, as it can cause changes in water temperature or ocean circulation that can make it difficult for fish to survive.

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Assignment Activity 2: Describe stock assessments, explain how these feed into Total Allowable Catch (TAC) & explain the EU Management Structures including practices on discards.

A stock assessment is a scientific evaluation of the status of fish stock. This assessment includes information on the abundance of the stock, as well as its age, size, and reproductive status. This information is used to determine the health of the stock and to identify any potential threats to its survival. Stock assessments are important because they provide the basis for setting Total Allowable Catches (TACs). A TAC is the maximum amount of fish that can be harvested from stock each year without leading to its depletion.

The EU Management Structures are a set of rules and regulations that govern how fisheries are managed in European waters. These structures include things like quotas and bans on certain types of fishing gear. One of the main goals of the EU Management Structures is to prevent overfishing and to ensure that fisheries are sustainable. To achieve this goal, the structures include measures like quotas and bans on certain types of fishing gear. The structures also include provisions for discards, which are fish that are caught but then thrown back overboard. Discards are a controversial practice, as they can lead to the waste of fish that could be used for food or other purposes. However, some argue that discards are necessary to prevent overfishing and to ensure the sustainability of fisheries.

Assignment Activity 3: Know about stock identification methods including the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches.

Many different methods can be used to identify fish stocks. These methods include things like genetic testing, tagging, and otolith analysis. Each of these methods has its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Genetic testing: Genetic testing is a method that can be used to identify fish stocks by analyzing their DNA. This method is very accurate and can be used to identify fish stocks down to the species level. However, genetic testing is expensive and time-consuming, which limits its use in large-scale fisheries.
  • Tagging: Tagging is a method that involves attaching a tag to a fish. This tag contains information about the fish, such as its age, size, and location. Tagging can be used to track the movements of fish and determine their population size. However, tagging is not always accurate and can be difficult to use in large-scale fisheries.
  • Otolith analysis: Otolith analysis is a method that involves looking at the ear stones (otoliths) of fish. Otoliths contain information about the age and growth of a fish. This information can be used to identify fish stocks. However, otolith analysis is time-consuming and requires special training.

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Assignment Activity 4: Present and discuss evidence for long term trends in the ecological impacts of global warming.

There is evidence that global warming is hurting the environment. This impact includes things like changes in temperature and precipitation, as well as increases in wildfires and insect infestations.

  • Temperature: One of the most obvious impacts of global warming is the increase in average temperatures. This increase has led to changes in the distribution of plants and animals, as well as changes in the timing of major events like spring blooming.
  • Precipitation: Global warming is also causing changes in precipitation patterns. This includes increases in both drought and flooding. These changes can hurt the environment, including things like water shortages and soil erosion.
  • Wildfires: Global warming is also causing an increase in the number and severity of wildfires. This is due to the combination of increased temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns. Wildfires can have a major impact on the environment, including damage to ecosystems and air pollution.
  • Insect infestations: Global warming is also causing an increase in insect infestations. This is due to the combination of increased temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns. Insect infestations can have a major impact on the environment, including damage to crops and forests.

In conclusion, there is evidence that global warming is hurting the environment. This impact includes changes in temperature and precipitation, as well as increases in wildfires and insect infestations. These changes can have a major impact on the environment, including damage to ecosystems and air pollution.

Assignment Activity 5: Explain the utility and drawbacks associated with Bioclimate Envelope Models.

Bioclimate envelope models are used to predict how climate change will affect the distribution of plants and animals. These models use information about a species’ physiology and ecology to predict how that species will respond to changes in temperature and precipitation.

The utility of bioclimate envelope models is that they can be used to predict how climate change will affect the distribution of plants and animals. These models can be used to help decision-makers plan for the future, and they can also be used to raise awareness about the potential impacts of climate change.

The drawback of bioclimate envelope models is that they are simplified models that do not take into account all of the factors that could affect a species’ response to climate change. Additionally, these models are not always accurate, and they can be difficult to use in large-scale fisheries.

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Assignment Activity 6: Examine biophysical modelling in global warming.

Biophysical modelling is a powerful tool for understanding the potential impacts of global warming. By simulating the behaviour of Earth systems, models can help us to estimate the likely magnitude and geographical distribution of temperature changes. They can also be used to assess the potential impacts of climate change on different sectors of society, including health, agriculture, and water resources.

While biophysical modelling is a valuable tool, it has its limitations. Models are reliant on our understanding of Earth systems and how they interact with each other – an understanding that is constantly evolving as we learn more about our planet. In addition, models can only simulate what might happen – they cannot provide definitive predictions. Nevertheless, biophysical modelling is an important part of our efforts to understand and respond to the threat of global warming.

Assignment Activity 7: Discuss the ecosystem services provided by gelatinous zooplankton in marine systems according to the four categories of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classified ecosystem services into four categories: provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural. Gelatinous zooplankton provides several ecosystem services in marine systems.

  1. Provisioning services are those that provide people with food, water, fuel, and other materials. Gelatinous zooplankton provides an important source of food for many marine species, including fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. They also play a role in the ocean’s nutrient cycle, helping to recycle nutrients and carbon back into the water column.
  2. Regulating services are those that help to maintain the stability of ecosystems. Gelatinous zooplankton help to regulate population levels of other species by controlling the amount of food available. They also play a role in climate regulation by sequestering carbon in their bodies.
  3. Supporting services are those that maintain the structure and function of ecosystems. Gelatinous zooplankton provides several supporting services, including creating habitats for other species and helping to control the ocean’s pH balance.
  4. Cultural services are those that provide humans with intangible benefits, such as aesthetic pleasure or spiritual enrichment. Gelatinous zooplankton plays an important role in many cultures, and they are often used in traditional medicine. They also contribute to the global economy by providing a source of seafood.

In conclusion, gelatinous zooplankton provides several important ecosystem services in marine systems. Their role in the ocean’s nutrient cycle and climate regulation makes them essential for maintaining the health of our oceans. In addition, their cultural importance makes them an important part of human society.

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Assignment Activity 8: Discuss jellyfish abundance about climate change, overfishing and invasive species.

Jellyfish are a type of marine invertebrate that is found in all of the world’s oceans. Their populations have been increasing in recent years, and they are now considered to be one of the most significant threats to marine ecosystems.

There are several reasons for this increase in jellyfish abundance. Climate change is thought to be a major factor, as warmer ocean temperatures provide ideal conditions for jellyfish to thrive. Overfishing is another significant factor, as it removes predators from the food chain and allows jellyfish to flourish. In addition, invasive species are thought to play a role in the increase of jellyfish populations.

The effects of this increase in jellyfish abundance are far-reaching. Jellyfish are known to clog fishing nets, damage coastal infrastructure, and sting humans. They can also have a significant impact on the marine food web, as they compete with fish for food and consume large quantities of plankton.

The increase in jellyfish abundance is a major problem for marine ecosystems. Climate change, overfishing, and invasive species are all factors that need to be addressed to reduce the threat posed by jellyfish.

Assignment Activity 9: Describe differences between biologging and biotelemetry and be able to discuss the different types of devices, their applications, and attachment protocols (inc. ethics and licencing).

Biologging is the use of electronic devices to collect data on organisms in their natural environment. Biotelemetry, on the other hand, is the use of electronic devices to remotely monitor the vital signs of animals. Both disciplines have their own unique set of challenges and benefits. 

Some of the key differences between biologging and biotelemetry include: 

  • The type of data that can be collected: Biologging devices tend to be much more versatile than biotelemetry devices, capable of collecting a wide range of data types (e.g. GPS locations, acceleration, temperature). Biotelemetry devices are typically designed to measure specific physiological parameters (e.g. heart rate, body temperature). 
  • The level of invasiveness: Biologging devices are generally less invasive than biotelemetry devices, as they can be attached to the outside of an animal’s body. Biotelemetry devices, on the other hand, often require surgery for implantation. 
  • The length of time that data can be collected: Biologging devices can often be used for long-term studies, as they are designed to be durable and weather-resistant. Biotelemetry devices have a shorter lifespan, as their batteries need to be regularly replaced. 

There are several different types of biologging and biotelemetry devices, including GPS tracking devices, accelerometers, radio transmitters, and conductivity sensors. These devices can be attached to animals in several different ways, including surgically implanted devices, external devices that are attached to the body, and devices that are carried by the animal.

  • GPS tracking devices are the most commonly used type of biologging device. They are typically attached to the animal’s collar or harness, and they use satellite signals to track the animal’s movements.
  • Accelerometers are another common type of biologging device. They are often used to measure an animal’s activity levels, as they can detect changes in acceleration.
  • Radio transmitters are used to track the movements of animals that are too small to be fitted with a GPS tracking device. They work by emitting a signal that is picked up by a receiver antenna.
  • Conductivity sensors are used to measure the salinity and temperature of the water, which can be used to track the movements of aquatic animals.

The benefits of biologging and biotelemetry devices include the ability to collect high-resolution data on the movements, behaviour, and physiology of animals. This data can be used to answer important research questions, such as how climate change is affecting animal populations, or how human activities are impacting the environment. The data collected by biologging and biotelemetry devices can also be used to inform conservation decisions, such as where to create protected areas or how to manage human-wildlife conflicts.

Several ethical considerations need to be taken into account when using biologging and biotelemetry devices. These include the potential for animals to suffer from the device, the impact of the device on the animal’s behaviour, and the use of animals in research. It is important to consult with an ethical review board before using any type of biologging or biotelemetry device.

Licensing is another important consideration when using biologging and biotelemetry devices. To use these devices, you will need to obtain a license from the appropriate regulatory body.

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Assignment Activity 10: Discuss the importance of biologging & biotelemetry in revolutionizing our understanding of our oceans.

Biologging and biotelemetry devices have revolutionized our understanding of the oceans. These devices allow us to collect high-resolution data on the movements, behaviour, and physiology of animals. This data can be used to answer important research questions, such as how climate change is affecting animal populations, or how human activities are impacting the environment. The data collected by biologging and biotelemetry devices can also be used to inform conservation decisions, such as where to create protected areas or how to manage human-wildlife conflicts.

Assignment Activity 11: Describe the sources and impacts of marine litter as an environmental, economic, and health concern.

Marine litter is a global environmental, economic, and health concern. It includes any type of man-made debris that ends up in the marine environment, from plastic bottles and bags to cigarette butts and fishing nets.

Marine litter has several negative impacts on the environment, including the entanglement and ingestion of wildlife, the spread of invasive species, and the pollution of our oceans. It also has a significant economic impact, costing the world economy billions of dollars each year in cleanup costs and lost tourism revenue.

Marine litter is also a major health concern. Studies have shown that ingested plastic can transfer harmful chemicals to animals, which can then be passed up the food chain to humans. There is also a risk of injury or drowning from entanglement in marine debris.

There are several ways to reduce marine litter, including reducing our use of single-use plastics, properly disposing of waste, and increasing recycling and waste management infrastructure in coastal communities. It is important to work together to tackle this global problem.

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