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UNIT - 1 ENVIRONMENT, ECOSYSTEM AND BIODIVERSITY

Unit - I

1.1

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Department of ECE

CONTENTS

1.1

Definition, Scope and Importance 1.1.1 Definition 1.1.2 Scope 1.1.3 Importance

1.2 1.3 1.4

Need for Public Awareness Concept of Ecosystem Structure and Functions of Ecosystem 1.4.1 Structure of Ecosystem 1.4.2 Functions of Ecosystem

1.5 1.6 1.7

Producers, Consumers and Decomposers Energy Flow in Ecosystem Ecological Succession 1.7.1 Primary succession 1.7.2 Secondary succession

1.8 1.9 1.10

Food Chain Food Web Ecological Pyramids 1.10.1 Pyramid of Numbers 1.10.2 Pyramid of Biomass 1.10.3 Pyramid of Energy

1.11

Forest Ecosystem 1.11.1 Introduction

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1.11.2 Types 1.11.3 Characteristics

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1.11.4 Structure and Functions of Forest Ecosystem 1.12 Grassland Ecosystem (Terrestrial Ecosystem) 1.12.1 Introduction 1.12.2 Types 1.12.3 Characteristics 1.12.4 Structure and Functions of Forest Ecosystem 1.13 Desert Ecosystem 1.13.1 Introduction 1.13.2 Types 1.13.3 Characteristics 1.13.4 Structure and Functions of Forest Ecosystem 1.14 Aquatic Ecosystems 1.14.1 Introduction 1.14.2 Freshwater Ecosystem 1.14.2.1 Lake and Pond Ecosystem 1.14.2.2 Stream Ecosystem 1.14.2.3 River Ecosystem 1.14.3 Marine or Ocean Ecosystem 1.14.4 Estuary 1.15 Biodiversity 1.15.1 Genetic diversity 1.15.2 Species diversity 1.15.3 Ecosystem diversity 1.16
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Biogeographical Classification of India


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1.16.1 Indias biogeographical zones 1.17 Values of biodiversity 1.17.1 Consumptive use 1.17.2 Productive use 1.17.3 Social value 1.17.4 Ethical and Moral value 1.17.5 Aesthetic value 1.17.6 Option value 1.18 1.19 1.20

Department of ECE

Biodiversity at global, national and local levels India as a Mega diversity nation Hotspots of biodiversity 1.20.1 Criteria for Determining Hotspots

1.21

Threats to Biodiversity 1.21.1 Habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation 1.21.2 Poaching of Wildlife 1.21.3 Human Caused Reduction 1.21.4 Hunting

1.22 1.23 1.24

Man - Wildlife Conflicts Endangered and Endemic Species of India Conservation of Biodiversity 1.24.1 In-situ conservation 1.24.2 Ex-situ conservation

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TECHNICAL TERMS

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1. Environment: Sum total of water, air, and land, inter-relationships among themselves and also with the human beings, other living organisms and property. 2. Abiotic Environment: Physical environment consisting of air, water and soil or sediment 3. Biotic Environment: Biological environment consists of flora, fauna and microorganisms. 4. Biosphere: The part of lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere in which living organisms live and interact with one another is called biosphere 5. Ecosystem: A group of organisms interacting among themselves and with environment. 6. Ecology: Study of the distribution and abundance of organisms, the flows of energy and materials between abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems. 7. Energy flow: The flow of energy from producer level to top consumer level. 8. Ecological succession: The gradual change in species composition of a given area. 9. Food chain: Sequence of eating and being eaten in an ecosystem. 10. Food web: Most consumers feed on more than one type of organism, and most organisms are eaten by more than one type of consumer. This interrelated food chains form food web. 11. Ecological pyramid: The trophic structure and function at successive trophic levels 12. Producers: Biotic component which can manufacture food. 13. Consumers: Organisms which cannot prepare its own food. 14. Decomposers: Bacteria and fungi that attack the dead bodies of producers and consumers and decompose them into simpler compounds. 15. Bio diversity or Biological diversity: The total variety of life on our planet, total number of races, varieties of species, the sum of the various types of microbes, plants and animals present in a system.
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16. Ecological diversity: The richness and complexity of a biological community, including tropic levels, ecological processes (which capture energy), food webs and material recycling. 17. Species diversity: The number of kinds of organisms within individual communities or ecosystems. 18. Genetic diversity: The total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. 19. Bio diversity hotspots: Biogeographic region with a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction. 20. Ex-situ conservation: Flora and fauna are preserved outside natural habitats. 21. In- situ conservation: Flora and fauna are preserved with in natural habitat.

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UNIT - 1

Department of ECE

ENVIRONMENT, ECOSYSTEM AND BIODIVERSITY


1.1 DEFINITION, SCOPE AND IMPORTANCE 1.1.1 Definition Environment is derived from the French word Environ which means to encircle or surround. It is the total of water, air, and land, inter-relationships among themselves and also with the human beings, other living organisms and property.

Figure 1.1: Concept of Environment Environmental science is the study of nature and the facts about environment.

Figure 1.2: Types of Environment

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1.1.2 Scope

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Scope of environmental science is broad. Some of the aspects of scope of environmental science are: Studying the interrelationships among biotic and abiotic components for sustainable human ecosystem, Carrying out impact analysis and environmental auditing for the further catastrophic activities Developing and curbing the pollution from existing and new industries. Stopping the use of biological and nuclear weapons for destruction of human race, Managing the unpredictable disasters and so on. There are some major issues like global warming, depletion of ozone layer, dwindling forests and energy resources, loss of global biodiversity etc., that are going to affect the mankind as a whole and for that we have to think globally. 1.1.3 Importance According to ancient man the environment was the Panchaboodhas (i.e) air, water, land, sky and energy. The human were disciples of nature. They were able to protect themselves from harmful one and protect the others. But according to modern man the environment. is only air land and water. Exploitation of various earth resources to satisfy the increasing needs of human population has resulted in 1) depletion of various resources of earth 2) pollution. Principles of environmental education: Examine the major environmental issues Discover the root cause Develop problem solving skills Promote co-operation in solving problems Emphasis active participation in prevention and solution to problems

1.2 NEED FOR PUBLIC AWARENESS Public awareness is very essential to help understand pros and cons of environmental problems.
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The United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janerio in 1992 and popularly known as Earth summit followed by the world summit on sustainable Development in 2002, have highlighted key issues of global environmental concern. Environmental pollution cannot be removed by laws alone. The proper implementation and especially public participation are important aspects. Public participation is possible only when the public is aware about the ecological and environmental issues. A drive by the government to ban the littering of polythene cannot be successful until the public understands the environmental implications of the same. The public has to be educated about the fact that if we are degrading our environment we are actually harming ourselves.

Figure 1.3: Nobel prize for Environmentalists

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1.3 CONCEPT OF ECOSYSTEM

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Living organisms cannot be isolated from their non-living environment because the later provides materials and energy for the survival of the farmer. An ecosystem is therefore defined as a natural functional ecological unit comprising of living organisms and their non-living environment that interact to form a stable self supporting system . Eg. Pond, lake, desert, grassland, forest, etc. Ecology - Study of the distribution and abundance of organisms, the flows of energy and materials between abiotic and biotic components of ecosystems. 1.4 STRUCTURE AND FUNCTIONS OF ECOSYSTEM 1.4.1 Structure of Ecosystem Abiotic or non-living components or physical components. Biotic or Living components : Plants , animals and microorganisms Energy components. Abiotic Components: Abiotic components enter the body of living directly or indirectly take part in metabolic activities and return to environment. Abiotic components are as follows Atmosphere The cover of air that envelopes the earth is known as atmosphere. Compostion Nitrogen-78%, oxygen- 2%, other gases- 1% Lithosphere or Interior of Earth Solid Earth Radius 6371- density -5.5 Hydrosphere 97% earths water is in oceans Fresh water 3%. 1.4.2 Functions of Ecosystems: I. Primary Function Its primary function of all ecosystems is manufacture of starch. In the presence of sunlight, chlorophyll containing plants use use carbon dioxide and water to manufacture starch through a process called photosynthesis.
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All aspects of production in ecosystems form the subject matter of productivity in ecosystems. II. Secondary Function The secondary function of all ecosystems is distributing energy in the form of food to all consumers. All aspects concerning this function form the subject matter of energy flow through ecological pyramids. The living components are not immortal. All living systems die at a particular stage. These dead systems are acted upon by decomposers to initiate the third function of ecosystems namely material cycling. 1.5 PRODUCERS, CONSUMERS AND DECOMPOSERS Producers : They are the only biotic component which can manufacture food. So, without producers, life system will complete collapse. Consumers : They are the organisms that cannot prepare their own food and depends directly or indirectly on the producers they feed upon other organisms Types : Herbivores Plant eating animals primary consumers Eg ; rabbit Carnivores : Feed on consumers Secondary Consumers - feed on other carnivores Tertiary / Consumers. Omnivores : Feed on both plants and animals eg. Humans, rat, fox. Detritivores : (Detritus feeder or Saprotrophs ) feed on dead on organisms or decomposed matter eg; beetles, termites,ants , crabs, earthworms. Decomposers: These include microorganisms like bacteria and fungi which attack the dead bodies of producers and consumers and decompose them in to simpler compounds. During the decomposition inorganic nutrients are released. These substances, together with other organic substances are then utilized by the producers for the synthesis of their own food. 1.6 ENERGY FLOW IN ECOSYSTEM All organisms must obtain a supply of energy and nutrients from their environment in order to survive.
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The transformations of energy in an ecosystem begin first with the input of energy from the sun. Because, it is the first step in the production of energy for living things, it is called Primary production. Photosynthesis -- Chemical reaction where green plants use water & carbon dioxide to store the suns energy in glucose. ENERGY is stored in glucose. Glucose is stored as starch in plants The majority of autotrophs are photoautotrophs that harness the energy of the sun and pass some of this energy onto consumers through feeding pathways. The energy contained within producers and consumers is ultimately passed to the decomposers that are responsible for the constant recycling of nutrients. Thus, there is a one-way flow of energy through the biotic community and a cycling of nutrients between the biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem Energy flow cannot occur in reverse direction. Starts from autotrophs (the producer level, i.e., first trophic level) to Heterotrophs including plant eaters or Herbivores (second trophic level) and so on. The amount of energy decreases with successive trophic levels. Only About 1% of energy from the sun is used by green plants & rest remains unutilized. Similarly, there is loss of energy in each trophic level. The transfer of food energy between the organisms in an ecosystem can be tracked by constructing food chains, food webs, pyramids of numbers, biomass and energy and energy flow diagrams.

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Figure 1.4: Energy Flow 1.7 ECOLOGICAL SUCCESSION Ecological succession is defined as, A change in the community in which new populations of organisms gradually replace existing ones. There are two types of ecological succession: 1.7.1 Primary Succession Occurs where there is no soil, e.g. after a volcanic eruption or a glacial retreat. Pioneer organisms Simple plants first no or shallow roots. Gradual influx of more complicated and larger plants as the habitat changes Unfavorable for life at first. Ends with a climax community ecosystem stays constant, provided there are no changes in abiotic influences. 1.7.2 Secondary Succession Community development in the areas that were previously occupied by a other community.
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Occurs after a disturbance. E.g., loss of trees after disease, Fire or wind, deforestation etc. Conditions are favorable for as soil and nutrients are already present. More rapid than primary succession.

Table 1.1: Primary Succession Vs Secondary Succession

Primary No soil. Pioneer species. Weathering & decomposition Humus and sand increase over time. End = Climax community.

Secondary Soil already exists. Seeds have suitable soil conditions. Occurs much faster. Climax community.

1.8 FOOD CHAIN A food chain may be defined as, the transfer of energy and nutrients through a series of organisms with repeated process of eating and being eaten. In an ecosystem, all the organisms are linked together with one another by food relationship. Each organism living or dead is potential food for some other organism.

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Figure 1.5: Food Chain 1.9 FOOD WEB Under natural conditions, the linear arrangement of food chains hardly occurs & these remains connected interconnected with each other through different types of organisms. Interlocking pattern of several interlinked food chains is termed as FOOD WEB.

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Figure 1.6 Food web in grassland ecosystem

1.10 ECOLOGICAL PYRAMIDS AnEcological pyramid is a graphical representation that shows the relative amounts of energy or matter contained within each tropic level in a food chain or food web.

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Department of ECE

An ecological pyramid shows the relationship between consumers and producers at different tropic levels in an ecosystem There are three ecological pyramids recognized by ecologists: 1.10.1 Pyramid of Numbers Shows the relative number of individual organisms at each tropic level.

Figure 1.7 Pyramid of Numbers 1.10.2 Pyramid of Biomass A pyramid of biomass represents the total dry mass (in grams per square meter of area) of all the organisms in each tropic level at a particular time.

Figure 1.8 Pyramid of Biomass

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1.10.3 Pyramid of Energy

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A pyramid of biomass represents the rate of energy flow and/or productivity at successive tropic levels. The pyramids of energy are always upright.

Figure 1.9 Pyramid of Biomass 1.11 FOREST ECOSYSTEM (TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM) 1.11.1 Introduction A forest is an area with a high density of trees. Worlds total land area is 13,076 million hectares - (Source: FAO; 1989) Of which total forests account for about 31% of the worlds land area. In India, the forest cover is roughly 19% of the total land area. The forest ecosystems are of great concern from the environmental point of view. It provides numerous environmental services like; Nutrient cycling, Maintaining biodiversity Providing wildlife habitat Affecting rainfall patterns Regulating stream flow Storing water Reducing flooding
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Preventing soil erosion

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Reclaiming degraded land & many more. Apart from environmental values, forest ecosystems have some traditional values as well. Examples are: Fire Wood & Timber. Fruits. Gums. Herbs & drugs. 1.11.2 Types Tropical deciduous, Evergreen, Wet green, Littoral and Swamps 1.11.3 Characteristics Abiotic : Soil, Sunlight and Temperature etc.. Biotic : Trees, Shrubs and Animals. 1.11.4 Structure and Function of Forest Ecosystem I. Biotic components The various biotic components, representatives from the three functional groups, of a forest ecosystem are: 1) Producer Organisms In a forest, the producers are mainly trees. Trees are of different kinds depending upon the type of forest developed in that climate. Apart from trees, climbers, epiphytes, shrubs and ground vegetation. Dominant species of trees in major types of forest ecosystems are: Tectona grandis, Acer, Betula, Picea, Pine, Cedrus.
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2) Consumers In a forest, consumers are of three main types; a) Primary Consumers

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These are Herbivores which feed directly on producers. Eg: Ants, Beetles, Bugs, spiders etc. feeding on tree leaves. Larger animals such as Elephants, Deer, giraffe etc. grazing on shoots and/or fruits of trees. b) Secondary Consumers These are carnivores and feed on primary consumers. Eg: Birds, Lizards, Frogs, Snakes and Foxes. c) Tertiary Consumers These are secondary carnivores and feed on secondary consumers These include top carnivores like Lion, Tiger. 3) Decomposers These include wide variety of saprotrophic micro- organism like; Bacteria (Bacillus Sp., Clostridium sp., pseudomonas. Fungi (Aspergillus sp., Ganoderma sp., Fusarium. Actinomycetes (Streptomyces). They attract the dead or decayed bodies of organisms & thus decomposition takes place. Therefore, nutrients are released for reuse. II. Abiotic components These include basic inorganic & organic compounds present in the soil & atmosphere. In addition dead organic debris is also found littered in forests.

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Figure 2.0 Forest Ecosystem 1.12 GRASSLAND ECOSYSTEM (TERRESTRIAL ECOSYSTEM) 1.12.1 Introduction Grasslands (also called Greenswards) are areas where the vegetation is dominated by grasses and other herbaceous (non-woody) plants. Grasslands occupy about 24% of the earths surface. Grasslands occur in regions too dry for forests and too moist for deserts The annual rainfall ranges between 25- 75 cm, Usually seasonal The principal grasslands include: Prairies (Canada, USA),Pampas (South America),Steppes (Europe & Asia) Veldts (Africa) The highest abundance & greatest diversity of large mammals are found in these ecosystems.

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1.12.2 Types

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Tropical grass lands found near the boarders of tropical rain forests. Eg. Savannas in Africa. Animals Zebra, giraffes etc. fires are common in dry seasons termite mounds produce methane leads to fire high in photosynthesis deliberate burning leads to release of high CO2 global warming. Temperate grasslands flat and gentle slopes of hills. Very cold winter and very hot summer - dry summer fires do not allow shrubs and trees to grow soil is quite fertile cleaned for agriculture. Polar grasslands found in arctic polar region organism arctic wolf, fox, etc. A thick layer of ice remains frozen under the soil surface throughout the year known as permafrost summer insects and birds appear.

1.12.3 Characteristics The dominant animal species include Wild horses, asses & antelope of Eurasia, Herds of Bison of America; and The antelope & other large herbivores of Africa. 1.12.4 Structure and Functions of Grassland Ecosystems I. Biotic components 1) Producer Organisms In grassland, producers are mainly grasses; though, a few herbs & shrubs also contribute to primary production of biomass. Some of the most common species of grasses are: Brachiaria sp., Cynodon sp., Desmodium sp., Digitaria sp. 2) Consumers In a grassland, consumers are of three main types;

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a) Primary Consumers

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The primary consumers are herbivores feeding directly on grasses. These are grazing animals such as Cows, Buffaloes, Sheep, Goats, Deer, Rabbits etc. Besides them, numerous species of insects, termites, etc are also present. b) Secondary Consumers These are carnivores that feed on primary consumers (Herbivores) These include;-Frogs, Snakes, Lizards, Birds, Foxes, Jackals etc. c) Tertiary Consumers These include hawks etc. which feed on secondary consumers. 3) Decomposers These include wide variety of saprotrophic micro- organism like: Fungi; Actinomycetes They attract the dead or decayed bodies of organisms & thus decomposition takes place. Therefore, nutrients are released for reuse by producers. II. Abiotic components These include basic inorganic & organic compounds present in the soil & aerial environment. The essential elements like C, H, N, O, P, S etc. are supplied by water, nitrogen, nitrates, sulphates, phosphates present in soil & atmosphere. Bacteria;

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Figure 2.1: Grassland Ecosystem 1.13 DESERT ECOSYSTEM 1.13.1 Introduction A desert is a landscape or region that receives almost no precipitation. Deserts are defined as areas with an average annual precipitation of less than 250 millimeters per year. It occupies about 17% of the earths surface. Deserts are characterized by hot days & cold nights. The deserts of the world are mainly located in the South- western United States, Mexico, North America, Asia (Thar, Gobi, Tibet) & west Asia. Deserts are characterized by scanty flora & fauna. Soils of deserts often have abundant nutrients but little or no organic matter. 1.13.2 Types Tropical desert-found in Africa-Sahara and Rajasthan Thar Temperate desert-south California-Majave Cold desert-China-Gobi desert
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1.13.3 Characteristics Air is dry Climate is hot Annual rainfall is less than 25 cm Vegetation is poor 1.13.4 Structure and Functions of Desert Ecosystems I. Biotic Components 1) Producer Organisms

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In a desert, producers are mainly shrubs/bushes; some grasses & a few trees. Dominant plant species include: Succulents (water - retaining plants adapted to arid climate or soil conditions) & hardy grasses. Besides some lower plants such as lichens & xerophytic mosses are also present. 2) Consumer Organisms These include animals such as insects, reptiles which are capable of living in xeric conditions Besides some nocturnal rodents, birds & some mammalians like camel etc are also found. 3) Decomposers Due to poor vegetation with very low amount of dead organic matter, decomposers are poor in desert ecosystem. The common decomposers are some bacteria & fungi, most of which are thermophillic. II. Abiotic components Due to high temperature & very low rainfall, the organic substances are poorly present in the soil.

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Figure 2.2: Desert Ecosystem 1.14 AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS 1.14.1 Introduction Aquatic ecosystems deal with biotic community present in water bodies. In terrestrial ecosystem, carbon dioxide & oxygen are present in gaseous form whereas in aquatic ecosystem, these are available in dissolved state. Depending upon the quality and nature of water, the aquatic ecosystem are categorized into: Freshwater Ecosystem and Marine Ecosystem. 1.14.2 Freshwater Ecosystems Freshwater ecosystems cover 0.8% of the Earth's surface and contain 0.009% of its total water. Freshwater ecosystems contain 41% of the world's known fish species. Aquatic ecosystems perform many important environmental functions. They recycle nutrients, purify water, attenuate floods, recharge ground water and provide habitats for wildlife.
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Aquatic ecosystems are also used for human recreation, and are very important to the tourism industry, especially in coastal region. There are three basic types of freshwater ecosystems: Lentic: slow-moving water, including Pools, Ponds, and Lakes. Lotic: rapidly-moving water, for example Streams and Rivers. Wetlands: areas where the soil is saturated with water or inundated for at least part of the time 1.14.2.1 Lakes & Pond Ecosystem (A Type of freshwater Ecosystem) A pond is a place where living organisms not only live but interact with biotic & abiotic components. Ponds are often exposed to tremendous anthropogenic pressure which significantly affects the system. Lakes are usually big standing freshwater bodies. They have a shallow water zone called Littoral zone; an open water zone where effective penetration of solar light takes place, called limnetic zone and a deep water zone where light penetration is negligible, called Profoundal zone. 1.14.2.2 Stream Ecosystem (A Type of freshwater Ecosystem) Its a fresh water ecosystem where water current plays a major role. Oxygen and nutrient content are uniform. Stream organisms have to face extreme difference in climatic conditions but they do not suffer from oxygen deficiency as pond and lake organisms. This is because large surface area of running water provides more oxygen supply. The animals have very narrow range of tolerance towards oxygen deficiency. Thus stream are worst victims of industrial pollution.

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1.14.2.3 River ecosystem

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Large streams flowing from mountain highlands are rivers. Mountain highlands rushing down water fall of water large quantity of dissolved oxygen plants attached to rocks and fishes that require more oxygen are found. Gentle slopes of hills warmer supports the growth of plants and fishes that require less oxygen are seen. River shapes the land lots of silts, nutrients are brought deposited in plains and delta very rich in biodiversity. Biotic Components: 1) Producer Organisms It includes submerged, free floating and amphibious macrophytes (like; Hydrilla, Utricularia, Wolfia, Azolla, Typha etc.) and minute floating and suspended lower phytoplanktons (like; Ulothrix, Spirogyra, Oedogonium etc.) 2) Consumer Organisms Primary consumers:These are zooplanktons (ciliates, flagellates, other protozoan, small crustaceans) and benthos. Secondary consumers: These are carnivores like insects and fishes feeding on herbivores Tertiary consumers: These are the large fishes feeding on small fishes. 3) Decomposers Micro organisms like bacteria, fungi and actinomyctes.

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Abiotic Components:

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These are the inorganic as well as organic substances present in the bottom soil or dissolved in water. In addition, to the minerals, some dead organic matter is also present.

Figure 2.3: Zonation in a lake ecosystem 1.14.3 Marine or Ocean Ecosystem Marine ecosystems are among the Earth's aquatic ecosystems. They include: Oceans, Estuaries and Lagoons, Mangroves and Coral reefs, the Deep sea and the Sea floor. These are the gigantic reservoirs of water covering approximately 71% of the Earth's surface (an area of some 361 million square kilometers). These ecosystems are different from freshwater ecosystem mainly because of its salty water. The salt concentration in an open sea is usually 3.5% (35 parts per thousand (ppt)). Dominant ions are sodium & chloride. Average temperature of Marine ecosystem is 2-3 degree centigrade, devoid of light. Biotic Components 1) Producers : It includes phytoplanktons (diatoms, dinoflagillates), large seaweeds (mainly algae like chlorophyceae, phaeophyceae & rhodophyceae; angiosperms like Ruppia, Zostera, posidonia ), and mangrove vegetation (like Rhizophora, Carapa etc.)
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2) Consumers

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Primary consumers: These are herbivores and feed directly on producers (Crustaceans, Mollusks, fish etc.) Secondary consumers: These are carnivorous fishes (Herring, Sahd and Mackerel) Tertiary consumers: These are top carnivorous fishes (Cod, Haddock, etc.) 3) Decomposers These are micro organisms like bacteria, fungi Abiotic components High Na, Ca, Mg and K salt concentration, variable dissolved oxygen content, light & temperature make a unique physiochemical conditions in marine water.

Figure 2.4: Ocean Ecosystem

Characteristics: Structural Components: Abiotic: pH, nutrients, D.O, temp, climatic conditions, etc. Biotic: Phytoplankton, fishes, snails insects, birds, etc. Functional components: Ecological pyramid

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1.14.4 Estuary

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Coastal area where river meet ocean strongly affected by tidal actions very rich in nutrients very rich in biodiversity also organisms are highly tolerant many species are endemic high food productivity however to be protected from pollution. Characteristics: Structural Components: Abiotic: pH, nutrients, D.O, temp, climatic conditions, etc. Biotic: Phytoplankton, fishes, snails insects, birds, etc.

1.15 BIODIVERSITY Biodiversity is the variety and differences among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part. It is virtually synonymous with Life on earth. Biologists most often define "biological diversity" or "biodiversity" as the "totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region". The biodiversity found on Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species, which is the product of nearly 3.5 billion years of evolution. Its various levels are as follows, 1.15.1. Genetic diversity It is a level of biodiversity that refers to the total number

of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary. 1.15.2 Species diversity It refers to the variety of species within a region. Species diversity is an index that incorporates the number of species in an area and also their relative abundance.

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It is generally a much more useful value than species richness. 1.15.3 Community and Ecosystem diversity Ecosystem diversity refers to the diversity of a place at the level of ecosystems. This has 3 perspective: Alpha Diversity: Within community diversity. Alpha diversity refers to the diversity of organisms sharing the same Community/Habitat. Beta Diversity: Between community diversity. It refers to the diversity of organisms sharing two habitats. Gamma Diversity: Diversity of the habitat over the total landscape or geographical area is called gamma diversity. 1.16 BIOGEOGRAPHIC CLASSIFICATION OF INDIA Our country can be conveniently divided into ten major regions, based on the geography, climate and pattern of vegetation seen and the communities of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibia, insects and other invertebrates that live in them. Each of these regions contains a variety of ecosystems such as forests, grasslands, lakes, rivers, wetlands, mountains and hills, which have specific plant and animal species. 1.16.1 Indias Biogeographic Zones The cold mountainous snow covered Trans Himalayan region of Ladakh.

The Himalayan ranges and valleys of Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Assam and other North Eastern States. The Terai, the lowland where the Himalayan rivers flow into the plains. The Gangetic and Bhramaputra plains. The Thar Desert of Rajasthan. The semi arid grassland region of the Deccan plateau Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

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The Northeast States of India,

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The Western Ghats in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. The Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The long western and eastern coastal belt with sandy beaches, forests and mangroves. 1.17 VALUES OF BIODIVERSITY

Food: About 80,000 edible plants and about 90% of present day food crops have been domesticated from wild. Drugs & Medicines: About 75% of worlds population depends on plants or plant extracts. Fuel: Forests have been used since ages for fuel wood. Fossil fuels are also products of Biodiversity. About 2.1 million species have been identified till date, while many more species are believed to exist. According to UNEP estimate, approximately 9.0 52 million of species exist on Earth Indias position is 10th in the world & 4th in Asia in terms of Plant diversity. 1.17.1 Consumptive use The direct utilisation of timber, food, fuelwood, fodder by local communities.

The biodiversity held in the ecosystem provides forest dwellers with all their daily needs, food, building material, fodder, medicines and a variety of other products. They know the qualities and different uses of wood from different species of trees, and collect a large number of local fruits, roots and plant material that they use as food, construction material or medicines. Fisherfolk are highly dependent on fish and know where and how to catch fish and other edible aquatic animals and plants.

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1.17.2 Productive use

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Marketable goods. The biotechnologist uses biorich areas to prospect and search for potential genetic properties in plants or animals that can be used to develop better varieties of crops that are used in farming and plantation programs or to develop better livestock. To the pharmacist, biological diversity is the raw material from which new drugs can be identified from plant or animal products. To industrialists, biodiversity is a rich store-house from which to develop new products. For the agricultural scientist the biodiversity in the wild relatives of crop plants is the basis for developing better crops. Genetic diversity enables scientists and farmers to develop better crops and domestic animals through careful breeding. Originally this was done by selecting or pollinating crops artificially to get a more productive or disease resistant strain. Today this is increasingly being done by genetic engineering, selecting genes from one plant and introducing them into another. New crop varieties (cultivars) are being developed using the genetic material found in wild relatives of crop plants through biotechnology. Even today, species of plants and animals are being constantly discovered in the wild. Thus these wild species are the building blocks for the betterment of human life and their loss is a great economic loss to mankind. Among the known species, only a tiny fraction has been investigated for their value in terms of food, or their medicinal or industrial potential. Preservation of biodiversity has now become essential for industrial growth and economic development. A variety of industries such as pharmaceuticals are highly dependent on identifying compounds of great economic value from the wide variety of wild species of plants located in undisturbed natural forests. This is called biological prospecting.

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1.17.3 Social values

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While traditional societies which had a small population and required less resources had preserved their biodiversity as a life supporting resource, modern man has rapidly depleted it even to the extent of leading to the irrecoverable loss due to extinction of several species. Thus apart from the local use or sale of products of biodiversity there is the social aspect in which more and more resources are used by affluent societies. The biodiversity has to a great extent been preserved by traditional societies that valued it as a resource and appreciated that its depletion would be a great loss to their society. The consumptive and productive value of biodiversity is closely linked to social concerns in traditional communities. Ecosystem people value biodiversity as a part of their livelihood as well as through cultural and religious sentiments. A great variety of crops have been cultivated in traditional agricultural systems and this permitted a wide range of produce to be grown and marketed throughout the year and acted as an insurance against the failure of one crop. In recent years farmers have begun to receive economic incentives to grow cash crops for national or international markets, rather than to supply local needs. This has resulted in local food shortages, unemployment (cash crops are usually mechanised), landlessness and increased vulnerability to drought and floods. Table 1.2 Drugs from plant sources

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1.17.4 Ethical and Moral Values

Department of ECE

Ethical values related to biodiversity conservation are based on the importance of protecting all forms of life. All forms of life have the right to exist on earth. Man is only a small part of the Earths great family of species. Dont plants and animals have an equal right to live and exist on our planet which is like an inhabited spaceship? We do not know if life as we know it exists elsewhere in the universe. Do we have the right to destroy life forms or do we have a duty to protect them? Apart from the economic importance of conserving biodiversity, there are several cultural, moral and ethical values which are associated with the sanctity of all forms of life. Indian civilization has over several generations preserved nature through local traditions. This has been an important part of the ancient philosophy of many of our cultures. We have in our country a large number of sacred groves or deorais preserved by tribal people in several States. These sacred groves around ancient sacred sites and temples act as gene banks of wild plants. 1.17.5 Aesthetic Value Knowledge and an appreciation of the presence of biodiversity for its own sake is another reason to preserve it. Quite apart from killing wildlife for food, it is important as a tourist attraction. Biodiversity is a beautiful and wonderful aspect of nature. Sit in a forest and listen to the birds. Watch a spider weave its complex web. Observe a fish feeding. It is magnificent and fascinating. Symbols from wild species such as the lion of Hinduism, the elephant of Buddhism and deities such as Lord Ganesh, and the vehicles of several deities that are animals, have been venerated for thousands of years. Valmiki begins his epic story with a couplet on the unfortunate killing of a crane by a hunter. The Tulsi has been placed at our doorsteps for centuries.

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1.17.6 Option Value

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Keeping future possibilities open for their use is called option value. It is impossible to predict which of our species or traditional varieties of crops and domestic animals will be of great use in the future. To continue to improve cultivars and domestic livestock, we need to return to wild relatives of crop plants and animals. Thus the preservation of biodiversity must also include traditionally used strains already in existence in crops and domestic animals. 1.18 BIODIVERSITY AT GLOBAL, NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS There are at present 1.8 million species known and documented by scientists in the world. However, scientists have estimated that the number of species of plants and animals on earth could vary from 1.5 to 20 billion! Thus the majority of species are yet to be discovered. Most of the worlds bio-rich nations are in the South, which are the developing nations. In contrast, the majority of the countries capable of exploiting biodiversity are Northern nations, in the economically developed world. These nations however have low levels of biodiversity. Thus the developed world has come to support the concept that biodiversity must be considered to be a global resource. However, if biodiversity should form a common property resource to be shared by all nations, there is no reason to exclude oil, or uranium, or even intellectual and technological expertise as global assets. Indias sovereignty over its biological diversity cannot be compromised without a revolutionary change in world thinking about sharing of all types of natural resources. Countries with diversities higher than India are located in South America such as Brazil, and South East Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia. The species found in these countries, however, are different from our own. This makes it imperative to preserve our own biodiversity as a major economic resource.
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While few of the other megadiversity nations have developed the technology to exploit their species for biotechnology and genetic engineering, India is capable of doing so. Throughout the world, the value of biologically rich natural areas is now being increasingly appreciated as being of unimaginable value. International agreements such as the World Heritage Convention attempt to protect and support such areas. India is a signatory to the convention and has included several protected Areas as World Heritage sites. These include Manas on the border between Bhutan and India, Kaziranga in Assam, Bharatpur in U.P., Nandadevi in the Himalayas, and the Sunderbans in the Ganges delta in West Bengal. India has also signed the Convention in the Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) which is intended to reduce the utilization of endangered plants and animals by controlling trade in their products and in the pet trade. 1.19 INDIA AS A MEGA DIVERSITY NATION Geological events in the landmass of India have provided conditions for high levels of biological diversity. A split in the single giant continent around 70 million years ago, led to the formation of northern and southern continents, with India a part of Gondwanaland - the southern landmass, together with Africa, Australia and the Antarctic. Later tectonic movements shifted India northward across the equator to join the Northern Eurasian continent. As the intervening shallow Tethis Sea closed down, plants and animals that had evolved both in Europe and in the Far East migrated into India before the Himalayas had formed. A final influx came from Africa with Ethiopian species, which, were adapted to the Savannas and semi-arid regions. Thus Indias special geographical position between three distinctive centres of biological evolution and radiation of species is responsible for our rich and varied biodiversity.
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Department of ECE

Among the biologically rich nations, India stands among the top 10 or 15 countries for its great variety of plants and animals, many of which are not found elsewhere. India has 350 different mammals (rated eight highest in the world), 1,200 species of birds (eighth in the world), 453 species of reptiles (fifth in the world) and 45,000 plant species, of which most are angiosperms, (fifteenth in the world). These include especially high species diversity of ferns (1022 species) and orchids (1082 species). India has 50,000 known species of insects, including 13,000 butterflies and moths. It is estimated that the number of unknown species could be several times higher. It is estimated that 18% of Indian plants are endemic to the country and found nowhere else in the world. Among the plant species the flowering plants have a much higher degree of endemism, a third of these are not found elsewhere in the world. Among amphibians found in India, 62% are unique to this country. Among lizards, of the 153 species recorded, 50% are endemic. High endemism has also been recorded for various groups of insects, marine worms, centipedes, mayflies and fresh water sponges. Apart from the high biodiversity of Indian wild plants and animals there is also a great diversity of cultivated crops and breeds of domestic livestock. This is a result of several thousand years during which civilizations have grown and flourished in the Indian subcontinent. The traditional cultivars included 30,000 to 50,000 varieties of rice and a number of cereals, vegetables and fruit. The highest diversity of cultivars is concentrated in the high rainfall areas of the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, Northern Himalayas and the North-Eastern hills. Gene-banks have collected over 34,000 cereals and 22,000 pulses grown in India. India has 27 indigenous breeds of cattle, 40 breeds of sheep, 22 breeds of goats and 8 breeds of buffaloes.

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Table 1.3: Indias ranking at world level

1.20 HOT- SPOTS OF BIODIVERSITY A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction. An area is designated as a hot spot when it contains at least 0.5% of plant species as endemic. There are 25 such hot spots of biodiversity on a global level, out of which two are present in India. These are: Indo- Burma (earlier The Eastern Himalayas) ,The western Ghats & Sri Lanka.. These hot spots covering less than 2% of the worlds land area are found to have about 50% of the terrestrial biodiversity. 1.20.1 Criteria for determining hot-spots No. of Endemic Species i.e. the species which are found no where else. Degree of threat, which is measured in terms of Habitat loss. E.g. Indo- Burma (Eastern Himalayas) Hotspot The hotspot includes all of Cambodia, Vietnam & Laos, and nearly the entire areas of Thailand, Myanmar & Bhutan as well as part of Nepal, far eastern India and extreme southern China. In addition, it covers several offshore Islands including Mainan Islands in the south China Sea and Andaman & Nicobar Islands in Indian Ocean.
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Department of ECE

Indo-Burma is one of the most threatened biodiversity hotspots, due to the rate of resource exploitation and habitat loss. E.g. Western Ghats and Sri Lanka Western Ghats and Sri Lanka, also known as the Sahyadri Hills encompasses the montane forests in the southwestern parts of India and on the neighboring Islands of Sri Lanka. The entire extent of hotspot was originally about 1,82,500 square kms, but due to tremendous population pressure, now only 12,445 square Km or 6.8% is in pristine condition. The important populations include Asian elephant, Indian tigers and the endangered lion tailed macaque. 1.21 THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY Extinction is a natural event and, from a geological perspective, routine. In last century, human impact has been so severe that thousands of species and varieties are becoming extinct annually. Some of the main causes are: 1.21.1 Habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation Habitat loss & degradation are major causes of species extinction, affecting 89% of all threatened birds, 83% of mammals & 91% of all threatened plants assessed globally (IUCN, 2000) The main causes of habitat are agriculture activities, Mining, development of human settlement, industry etc. According to ICUN, UNEP report, more than 50% of wildlife habitat has been destroyed in 49 out of 61 old world tropical countries.

1.21.2 Poaching of wild life: Due to poaching, illegal trade and smuggling activities most of our valuable fauna are under threat organised crime has moved into illegal wild life smuggling because of huge profit Eg. Tiger, Deer for hides, Rhinoceros for horns, Elephant for ivory tusk, Sea Horse, Star turtle sold to foreign market.
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Department of ECE

(Extinction, the elimination of species, is a normal process of the natural world. Species die put and are replaced by others as part of evolutionary change. 1.21.3 Human Caused Reduction: The climate change caused by our release of green house gases in the atm. could have catastrophic effects. Human disturbance of natural habitat is the largest single cause pf loss of biological diversity. Woodlands and grasslands are converted now use about 10% of the worlds land surface for crop production and about twice the amount for pasture and grasslands.) 1.21.4 Hunting: Over harvesting is responsible for depletion or extinction of many species. Eg. The American passenger pigeon was the worlds most abundant bird. In spite of this vast population, market hunting and habitat destruction caused the entire population to crash with in 20 years. 1.22 MAN WILDLIFE CONFLICTS The conflict between man and wildlife started with the evolution of man, but intensity increased due to the activities of modern man Due to the lack of stable food and disruption of movement, wild animals came out of forest area and attack the agricultural field and humans and in turn got killed by the humans. Mangroves have been cleared for fuelwood and prawn farming, which has led to a decrease in the habitat essential for breeding of marine fish. Wetlands have been drained to increase agricultural land. These changes have grave economic implications in the longer term. The current destruction of the remaining large areas of wilderness habitats, especially in the super diverse tropical forests and coral reefs, is the most important threat worldwide to biodiversity. Scientists have estimated that human activities are likely to eliminate approximately 10 million species by the year 2050. There are about 1.8 million species of plants and animals, both large and microscopic, known to science in the world at present. The number of species however is likely to be greater by a factor of at least 10. Plants and insects as well as other forms of life
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Department of ECE

not known to science are continually being identified in the worlds hotspots of diversity. Unfortunately at the present rate of extinction about 25% of the worlds species will undergo extinction fairly rapidly. This may occur at the rate of 10 to 20 thousand species per year, a thousand to ten thousand times faster than the expected natural rate! Human actions could well exterminate 25% of the worlds species within the next twenty or thirty years. Much of this mega extinction spasm is related to human population growth, industrialization and changes in land-use patterns. A major part of these extinctions will occur in biorich areas such as tropical forests, wetlands, and coral reefs. The loss of wild habitats due to rapid human population growth and short term economic development are major contributors to the rapid global destruction of biodiversity. 1.23 ENDANGERED AND ENDEMIC SPECIES OF INDIA According to The International Union of Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), the species that considered in imminent danger of extinction and whose survival is unlikely, if factors causing their decline continue to operate are called endangered species. The endangered species in the country are categorised as Vulnerable, Rare,

Indeterminate and Threatened. Other species are found only in India and are thus endemic or restricted to our

country. Some of these may have very localized distribution and are considered highly endemic. Among the important endangered animals are charismatic species such as the

tiger, the elephant, the rhino, etc. There are also endangered bird species such as the Siberian crane, the Great

Indian Bustard, the Florican and several birds of prey. Out of about 47,000 species of plants in our country, 7000 are endemic India contains 172 species of animals considered globally threatened by IUCN, or 2.9% of the worlds total number of threatened species.
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Department of ECE

These include 53 species of mammals, 69 birds, 23 reptiles and 3 amphibians As many as 3,000- 4,000 higher plants may be under high degree of threat in India Thus Indian subcontinent has about 62% endemic flora, restricted mainly to Himalayas, khasi Hills & Western Ghats. Sapria himalayana, Uvaria lurida, Napenthes khasians etc. are some endemic flora of our country. A large number out of a total of 81,000 species of animals in our country is endemic. About 62% amphibians and 50% lizards are endemic to western Ghats. Golden monkey, Niligiri Langur, Indian Wolf, Red Fox, Himalayan Brown Bear, Great Indian One Horned Rhinoceros, White Winged Wood Duck, Black Necked Crane, Indian Pea Fowl, Gharial, Indian egg eating Snake, Indian Salamandar etc. are some examples of endemic animal species of India. 1.24 CONSERVATION OF BIODIVERSITY The convention on Biological Diversity held in June, 1992 stressed the need of the conservation of Biodiversity for sustainable development and perpetuation of human beings on earth. Conservation is defined as the management of human use of the biosphere so that it may yield the greatest sustainable benefit to the present generation while maintaining its potential to meet the needs and aspirations of the future generations. The two basic approaches to wildlife conservation in protected habitats are: 1) In- situ conservation 2) Ex- situ conservation. 1.24.1 In- situ Conservation It simply means conservation of species in its natural ecosystem or even in man made ecosystems. This strategy emphasizes protection of total ecosystem through a network of protected area.
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Department of ECE

Protected Areas: an area of land and/or sea specially dedicated to the protection and maintenance of biological diversity and managed through legal effective means. There are different categories of protected areas which are managed with different objectives. These include; Biosphere reserves, National parks, Wild Life Sanctuaries etc. At present we have 11 major biosphere reserves, 80 National parks, 420 wildlife sanctuaries in our country covering 4% of the geographic area. The JIM CORBETT National Park was 1st national park established in India. Examples of Biosphere reserves of India: Nilgiri- 5,520 sq.km Nanda Devi- 5,860.69 sq. km Manas 2837 sq. km Gulf of Mannar 10,500 sq. km Great Nicobar 885 sq. km Panchmarhi 4,926.28 Sq Km Examples of some National park in India : Kaziranga- Assam, Gir National ParkGujarat, Periyar Kerala, Sariska Rajasthan Examples of some Wild Life Sanctuaries of India: Ghana Bird sanctuaries Hazaribagh sanctuaries Abohar wild life sanctuaries Jaldapara wild life sanctuaries Mudamalai wild life sanctuaries 1.24.2 Ex- situ Conservation It is defined as the conservation of component of biological diversity (Sample of genetic diversity, particularly of endangered species) outside their natural habitats.

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It involves maintenance and breeding of endangered plant and animal species under partially or wholly controlled conditions. E.g. Zoos, Botanical Gardens, Aquaria, Nurseries, DNA bank, Seed bank, Gene bank etc. There are more than 1500 Botanical gardens in the world containing more than 80,000 species. There are more than 800 zoos around the world with about 3,000 species of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.

QUESTION BANK Part-A (2 marks) 1. Define Environmental studies. 2. What are the principles of Environmental Education? 3. Mention the scope and importance of Environmental studies? 4. Define Ecology. 5. Define Ecosystem with example? 6. What are the components of an Ecosystem? 7. List any two characteristics of an Ecosystem. 8. What are autotrophs and Heterotrophs? 9. What is biotic and abiotic resources? 10. What is energy flow? 11. Explain producer, consumer and decomposer. 12. What are decomposers? 13. Name any four Ecosystems. 14. What are the Structural components of an Ecosystem? 15. Bring out the Functional features of an Ecosystem? 16. Define Food chain with an example.
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17. Define Food web with an example. 18. Differentiate between Food chain and Food web. 19. What are Ecological pyramids? Give examples. 20. Pyramid of energy is always upright. Explain. 21. What is the significance of Ecological pyramids? 22. What is Ecological succession. Mention its types.

Department of ECE

23. Discuss about the prime characteristics of a) Forest Ecosystem b) Grassland Ecosystem, c) Desert Ecosystem and d) Acquatic Ecosystem. 24. Define genetic diversity or Differentiate species and genera. 25. Differentiate between biodiversity and ecosystem biodiversity. 26. What are the hotspots of biodiversity? 27. Justify India to be a great spot of biodiversity. 28. Bring out the threats towards biodiversity. How poaching affects biodiversity? 29. Write a short note on Social Value of biodiversity. 30. Write a short note on Ethical Value of biodiversity. 31. Write a short note on Productive value of biodiversity. 32. Write a short note on Consumptive value of biodiversity. 33. Write a short note on Aesthetic Value of biodiversity. 34. What is Red Data Book? 35. Write the Hot-spot regions of India. 36. Define Endemism with an example. 37. What are Endangered species? Give examples. 38. What are the aesthetic values of biodiversity. 39. What are national parks? Name a few in India. 40. Explain the necessity to conserve biodiversity. 41. Bring few methods to conserve biodiversity.
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42. Explain ecolological pyramids with respect to pond ecosystem. 43. What is ecosystem diversity? 44. Bring out the Bio- geographical classification of India. 45. Comment on local or regional biodiversity. 46. Explain endemism with respect to india. 47. Bring out the order of distribution of biodiversity through out the world with reasons. 48. Explain biosphere 49. Explain threatened species. 50. What are Endemic and Endangered species? 51. India is a Mega Diversity Nation Account. 52. Enumerate the human activities which destroy the biodiversity. 53. What are coral reefs? 54. What is stratification? Part B (16 marks) 1. Explain the components, characteristics and biodiversity of Forest ecosystem. 2. Explain the structure and functional features of Aquatic ecosystem. 3. Discuss in detail about Ecological succession stating the various stages. 4. Explain the structure and function of Ecosystem with a neat sketch. 5. How does energy flow takes place in an Ecosystem. Explain briefly 6. Explain the two models of energy flow in an ecosystem. 7. Define Ecological pyramids and explain its different types; Describe the types, characteristic features, structure and function of forest and acquastic Ecosystem. 8. Discuss the value of biodiversity. 9. What are the threats faced by biodiversity. What are the solutions for the threats. 10. Explain In-situ and Ex-situ conservation of biodiversity.(or) What are the measures recommended for conservation of biodiversity. 11. i) What is the biodiversity? What are the reasons for decline for biodiversity? ii) Write short notes on 1)Producers 2)Consumers 3)Decomposer
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12. Explain biodiversity at national and global level ; India is a mega Bio-diversity nationjustify.

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