ENV class notes (9/2, 9/7, 9/9)
ENV class notes (9/2, 9/7, 9/9) Env 1301
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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah Fretheim on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to Env 1301 at Baylor University taught by Trey Brown in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 6 views.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
ENV class notes (9/2- 9/9) Interaction of Ecology and Economics Chesapeake Bay Story: - On the land near the Chesapeake Bay, farmers used fertilizer made up of Nitrogen and Phosphorus. Rain then washed these chemicals into the Chesapeake. The Nitrogen and Phosphorus caused phytoplankton in the bay to grow beyond what they normally would. Eventually, the phytoplankton ran out of nutrients, died and sank to the bottom where bacteria fed off of them. The bacteria also absorbed oxygen during this process which caused the overall level of oxygen to decrease. Less oxygen caused other organisms living in the bay to die, including crabs, fish and oysters. - Pollution causes there to be fewer crabs and oysters which means there is less for fishermen to catch. The loss of oysters also effects the water. Because oysters are filter feeders, the water becomes less clean when they are removed. There is space known as “the commons” which is public space that can be used by anyone. This space is often abused, leading to what is referred to as the “tragedy of the commons.” - Randy Newman wrote the song “Burn On” about the Cuyahoga River which became so polluted that it actually caught on fire. This river was a part of the “commons.” - What needs to be regulated? How do we decide? Ecosystems can benefit us by providing things we need and use such as water, fiber and fuel. Parts of ecosystems, particularly trees, can also serve as filter systems. In order for ecosystems to last, they must retain their biodiversity. Threats to ecosystems: - Deforestation- Cutting down trees has the potential both to cause flooding and to make the land dry and unusable (desertification). The loss of trees also leads to an increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. - Overharvesting - Non-native species- When species that are not natural to an ecosystem are introduced, they can threaten the survival of native species. - Habitat destruction- This is the biggest way that we threaten ecosystems. - Pollution TED talk - Problem: “Our economy is bigger than our planet.” - We rely on economic growth. The problem is that our economy cannot grow an unlimited amount. If we keep doing what we are doing, it is likely that we will run out of resources which will lead to all kinds of other problems. We need to understand how important this is and be willing to actually change the way we do things. DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid): Molecules which are blueprints for all the traits that we possess - There are 46 DNA molecules in the nucleus of every one of our cells. All together the DNA in one cell can stretch to about 3 feet. - DNA code tells ribosomes which protein to build - DNA => RNA (partial copies of a part of DNA) => protein (built in ribosomes, must be the correct shape to work) => growth - Made up of 4 nucleotides (A, T, C and G). A and T pair together and C and G pair together. Genes - A piece of DNA which codes for a trait. - Organisms share similarities in their genetic makeups. Half of the genes between us and fruit flies are the same. Evolution - According the video viewed in class, evolution is “Any change in heritable traits within a population across generations.” - Evidence suggests that all life on earth shares a common ancestor. - All creatures copy their DNA through reproduction, but not perfectly. o Some creatures make exact copies of themselves. However, slight differences in the DNA code often occur (mutations) which can then be passed down further. o Other creatures combine their DNA with a partner to reproduce. The offspring’s DNA is then made up of traits passed down from the mother and the father as well as mutations. - Wallace and Darwin both discovered natural selection, which explains how evolution can occur on its own in nature.
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