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“Biomes, Biodiversity, and Conservation”  Note: Online students please respond to one (1) of the following three (3) bulleted options:

  • Terrestrial biomes are largely shaped by their climate. Consider the area in which you live; and then, based on the temperature and precipitation of your area, propose what kind of biome you believe would occupy your area if it weren’t for human intervention. Next, suggest two (2) kinds of plants you would expect to dominate your area if not for human activity. Lastly, state whether or not you believe that human intervention has had a positive or negative effect on your area. Justify your response.
  • Biodiversity is an important characteristic of communities and biomes. Efforts to preserve biodiversity, though intended to reduce human influence on the environment, might interfere with the natural process of change and evolution. Do you agree with this statement? Why or why not? Provide at least two (2) examples to support your arguments.
  • In order to protect the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina) population, logging was greatly reduced in 1994, even though it was projected to cause the loss of over 30,000 jobs in the rural communities of the Pacific Northwest. After the plan was implemented, jobs were lost (although there is some debate as to whether the recovery plan was wholly responsible) but the owl population continued to decline. Based on the information provided, please answer the following questions:
    • In your opinion, do you think the job loss was worth the attempt to save the owl population, even though it seems to have been unsuccessful? Justify your rationale.
    • Suggest whether or not you would support further reduction in logging, along with its inevitable loss of jobs, in order to try to save the northern spotted owl.
    • Hypothesize whether or not you believe it is possible to have both a healthy environment and a healthy economy. If you believe it is possible, suggest one (1) way this could be feasible. If you don’t believe it is possible, suggest one (1) factor that would have to change to foster a healthy environment and economy.
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