- Species richness is difficult to quantify. Explain the reasons why this is true, and then present one example of how species richness can be measured. Your example should cite a specific ecosystem. Please use the terms gamma diversity and alpha diversity in your essay in a manner that clearly indicates your comprehension of the terms; do not define the terms, or include them in a list of items. You need to demonstrate that you can apply the terms.
- Give examples of two human activities that have depleted specific habitat, discuss the species that have been affected, the benefits derived by humans while engaging in these activities, and explain why ecologists believe these activities should be curtailed or limited. Use the following terms in your essay: minimum viable population size and environmental stochasticity, in a manner that clearly indicates your comprehension of the terms; do not define the terms, or include them in a list of items. You need to demonstrate that you can apply the terms.
- Discuss the evidence for and the presumed effects of climate change in one particular ecosystem. Make sure to describe the ecosystem clearly. What are the predictions for the next 50 years and how were they derived? How will the climate changes effect living things (not just humans)? In addition to humans, you should address the changes, as specifically as possible on both the animal and plant communities. Use the following terms in your essay: greenhouse gases, greenhouse effect, fertilization effect, in a manner that clearly indicates your comprehension of the terms; do not define the terms, or include them in a list of items. You need to demonstrate that you can apply the terms.
- Proofread for spelling/grammar/organization. A borderline paper will be scored down if there are noticeable errors.
- Put as much information from the chapter readings as possible and cite the text with page numbers.
- If you provide facts that are not from personal observation, you probably need a citation. You will lose points for providing information without a reference if a reference is needed.
- Fully developed answers will have examples. Both real and hypothetical examples will demonstrate your ability to apply and analyze the concepts.
A paper in the 90-100% range will go beyond merely reproducing facts from the textbook. You should consider drawing on relevant information from the discussion board and the field projects. You should bring originality to the information by augmenting the facts from the textbook with your own specific examples, either real or hypothetical, and with insight. Insight can be demonstrated by the quantity and quality of the examples you present and/or by increasing the complexity of your response. Complexity is added by qualifying your statements, drawing relationships between concepts, and other analysis such as discussing applications and importance of the concepts.
Your answers should include citations from the textbook (Elements of Ecology). You are not encouraged to use any web sources. You are not encouraged to cite any sources other than the textbook and the discussion boards. There is no minimum length, since your individual writing ability and style influences how efficiently you can answer the questions. All your answers should include examples, either hypothetical or real.