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LOSSES OF BIODIVERSITY

Extinction is a fact of life. Species have been evolving and dying out ever since the origin of life. One only has to look at the fossil record to appreciate this. It has been estimated that surviving species constitute about 1% of the species that have ever lived.

However, species are now becoming extinct at an alarming rate, almost entirely as a direct result of human activities. Previous mass extinctions evident in the geological record are thought to have been brought about mainly by massive climatic or environmental shifts. Mass extinctions as a direct consequence of the activities of a single species are unprecedented in geological history. The loss of species in tropical ecosystems such as the rain forests, is extremely well-publicised and of great concern. However, equally worrying is the loss of habitat and species closer to home.

● How do you pronounce: origin, appreciate, entirely, direct, previous, evident, geological?

● What part of speech is record? What syllable is stressed?

● Which words in the text have the same meaning as: very, completely, early, not far, frightening, in most cases?

● Are the words evolve and develop synonyms or opposites?

● To die out is a phrasal verb meaning to disappear completely. What part of speech is dying out?

● Does unprecedented mean often having happened before or never having happened before?

● Does rate mean level or speed?

● Explain the words: to survive, fossil, shift, concern, habitat.

However is a compound word. Find other compounds in the text.

● What is the difference between to appreciate and to estimate?

● Fill in the chart with the family words and translate them. Use a dictionary if necessary.

noun verb adjective adverb
extinction      
    evident  
mass      
consequence      
activity      
      equally
    direct  
  constitute    

 

6.4. The formation of plural nouns may be different. Study some of them below and fill the gaps in the sentences, choosing the correct form.

Singular Plural   Singular Plural
species species   vertebra vertebrae
bacterium bacteria   thesis theses
datum data   hypothesis hypotheses
analysis analyses   basis bases
crisis crises      

1. The …….. was based on …….. collected in the field.

2. …….. with little genetic diversity have limited ability to adaptation.

3. Darvin offered a working …….. for the mechanism of evolution.

4. Some types of …….. cause disease.

5. A Leopold’s work forms the …….. of modern environmental ethics.



6. A period of economic …….. is difficult for any country.

7. Last year he wrote a doctoral …….. .

8. An animal with …….. is called a vertebrate.

 

6.5. Are these statements true (T) or false (F)?

1. Large carnivoures are at the top of food chains.

2. Fish are cold-blooded vertebrates.

3. Frogs are amphibians and they live only on land.

4. Dinosaurs were reptiles.

5. Birds have feathers and wings and lay eggs.

6. Mammals are warm-blooded vertebrates without hair.

7. Algae are very simple plants with roots and leaves.

8. Mushrooms refer to fungi.

9. Mosses grow close to the ground in wet areas.

10. Ferns don’t have flowers.

 

6.6. Classify the following animals as either carnivores or herbivores.

cow / rabbit / dog / shark / deer / lion / eagle / giraffe / seal / grass snake / horse

 

6.7. Classify the following as producers, primary consumers or secondary consumers.

caterpillar / falcon / mouse / tree / phytoplankton / pike / cat / grass / locust / goat / otter / wheat

 

6.8. Fill in the gaps with the word(s) from the box:

biomass / trophic level / energy (2)/ producers / consumers (2)

In a food chain, …….. passes from one …….. to another. The …….. of the …….. is always less than that of the …….. because most of the food eaten by the …….. is used to produce …….. rather than new growth.

6.9. Distinguish between the terms ‘pesticide’, ‘insecticide’ and ‘herbicide’. Put the following events in the most probable order.

1. Predatory birds poisoned by insecticide.

2. Trees sprayed with insecticide.

3. Earthworms eat leaves which fall from trees.

4. Predatory birds eat small birds.

5. Beetles damage trees by spreading a virus.

6. Insecticide absorbed by tree leaves.

7. Small birds eat earthworms.

 

6.10. Choose the correct item.

1. Zoologists work hard to …….. endangered species.

a) protect b) shelter c) cover d) support

2. Greenpeace is going to release a(n) …….. on water pollution.

a) edition b) issue c) publicity d) report

3. The tropical …….. of Africa need to be protected from destruction.

a) regions b) states c) places d) sites

4. To improve the …….. of the water, use a water-purification tablet.

a) standard b) amount c) quantity d) quality

5. Acid rain has caused a lot of …….. to Europe’s trees.

a) wreck b) ruin c) damage d) disaster

6. Five world leaders are due to attend the …….. meeting in London.

a) tip b) top c) summit d) peak

7. Trees and vegetation help …….. a healthy climate locally and globally by absorbing pollutants and greenhouse gases.

a) follow b) ensure c) entail d) enlarge

8. Biogeography studies the …….. distribution of organisms on the Earth.

a) environmental b) various c) spatial d) vital

9. Flowering plants reproduce themselves from …….. .

a) stems b) pistils c) buds d) seeds

10. Parkland and gardens are two examples of …….. ecosystems.

a) artificial b) natural c) marine d) sensitive

6.11. Which of the following are likely to help conserve soil and prevent erosion? Fill in the table.

conserve soil prevent erosion
   

 

1. Ploughing slopes. 2. Planting trees on steep slopes. 3. Using chemical fertilisers. 4. Terracing hillsides. 5. Removing trees from hillsides. 6. Growing the same crops each year. 7. Keeping as many animals as possible on grassland. 8. Using organic manure.

 

6.12. Fill in the gaps with the word from the box:

branches / bark / twig / trunk / roots / leaves

 

I loved the old oak treeσ in our garden, especially the sound of the …….. rustling in the breeze. I remember standing, pressed against the …….. , trying to embrace the huge …….. , but not being able to. Once while climbing it, a …….. snapped off beneath my feet, but luckily wasn’t hurt. We used to love swinging on the …….. . When I was a child, I used to imagine that the …….. reached right down to Australia.

 

6.13. Fill in the gaps with the word from the box:

cage / peck / claws / beak / feathers / wings

 

My aunt Mary has a beautiful parrot called Percy. He has brightly coloured …….. and sharp …….. . When you open the door of his golden …….. , he comes out, spreads his …….. and flies round the room. You have to be careful not to put your fingers too near him because he may …….. at them. Percy enjoys eating sunflower seeds with his hooked …….. , and wakes my aunt up every morning with his continuous squawking.


6.14. Fill in the correct word derived from the word in bold.

Plants and flowers are not only (1)…….. BEAUTY
they are also (2)…….. both to humans and animals. USE
Many (3)…….. substances VALUE
can be (4)…….. in even the most common plants. FIND
A chemical which fights (5)…….. growths is derived from CANCER
the yew plant, and (6)…… are doing RESEARCH
(7)…….. tests on EXPERIMENT
a (8)…….. of plants which may combat the AIDS virus. VARY
Of course, plants do not only have (9)…….. uses. MEDICINE
Apart from providing food, the (10)…….. of oxygen is another important role that plants play. PRODUCE
For this reason, it is vital that we protect (11)…….. species of plants DANGER
and ensure the (12)…….. of our forests and woodlands. SURVIVE

 

6.15. Biology has many branches, for example, Anatomy, Biochemistry, etc. Match the branches with their definitions.

1. Biogeography a) the study of the preservation, protection, or restoration of the natural environment, natural ecosystems, vegetation, and wildlife
2. Botany b) the study of the natural world, as a whole or in a particular area, especially as affected by human activity
3. Conservation Biology c) the study of fish
4. Ecology d) the study of the ocean, including ocean life, environment, geography, weather, and other aspects influencing the ocean
5. Environmental Biology e) the study of the distribution of species spatially and temporally
6. Ichthyology f) the study of animals, including classification, physiology, development, and behavior
7. Mammalogy g) the study of plants
8. Marine Biology h) the study of birds
9. Oceanography i) the study of ocean ecosystems, plants, animals, and other living beings
10. Ornithology j) the study of mammals
11. Zoology k) the study of the interactions of living organisms with one another and with the non-living elements of their environment

 

6.16. Read the text Ecology: Organisms and Their Interaction and do the exercises after it.


Date: 2016-04-22; view: 1086


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