GEOG 2210 Study Guide - Final Guide: Seed Saving, Water Scarcity, Chromosome

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14 Apr 2012

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WEEK 7 Tues Feb 28
Changing Nature of Canadian Agri
- Similar to Western countries- constant change
- Industrialization of Agri
o Larger/fewer farms, rise of corporations power, specialization, artificial inputs, increased productivity,
- Specialization: Monoculture- cultivation of one crop species (or one strain) on a large plot of land (increase
susceptibility to pests/disease)
Soil salinization: excess of salts in soils, reduces capacity of soil to produce crops (salt interferes w moisture), natural but
exaggerated through use of irrigation in dry land areas
Water Contamination: waste/fertilizers spread on fields, nutrients not assimilated end up in surface and ground water
Agri-Enviro Stewardship- Improve enviro performance can be achieved by...
- Improved agri-enviro stewardship within conventional agri
- Increase adoption of alternative forms of agri
- Encouraging conventional farmers to improve easy when practices are profitable
o ex. conservation tillage: new plats growing among last year’s crop residue
o OR zero-tillage: pulling a large planter to deposit seeds barely disturb the soil
Tuesday March 6
Carbon Dioxide (c.9)
Greenhouse Effect:
- Natural: incoming and re-radiating solar radiation trapped by GHGs without which we would freeze
- Enhanced: industrial revolution increased levels of
- Future: w/o reduction in GHGs the temp will increase, small changes in temp have huge impacts (ice caps melt,
flooding, climate zone boundary shifts), greater temp extremes, more natural disasters
Kyoto Protocol: first international voluntary agreement limiting GHG emissions (167 countries signed)
From view of....
1. Institutions
- Tragedy of the Commons: open access to atmosphere, no rules about emissions each country benefits more from
adding pollution than they lose from climate change
- Free riders: impacts not necessarily felt most where most CO2 emitted, even if benefit from reduction- those that
pay w cuts (assume cuts in emission create economic disadvantages) will pay more than benefit
2. Political Economy
- Uneven devt: wealthiest produce most but least affected by impacts, those affected can’t afford to take action and
have limited political power
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- Growth- 2nd contradiction of capitalism: capital accumulation requires consumption, consumption uses
resources/produces waste/degrades enviro
- Cost shifting:
o Homo economicus is an externalizing machine: producers encouraged to shift (externalize)costs of
production to govts/taxpayers/workers/enviro
Especially in competitive sectors where low profit margins put pressure on producers to
externalize as many costs as possible
- Co-opting of govt: state has incompatible goals (economic growth and enviro stewardship), in hard economic
times the enviro isn’t the focus
Thursday March 8
Trees (c.10)
- Differing appreciation of “climax vegetation” (avg. vegetation of a place determined by climate/physiographic
conditions) and the role of “disturbance” (event that usually temporarily alters the vegetation of an ecosystem-
then species invade until the ecosystem returns to before)
- Forest types: Tropical temperate boreal
- 30.3% of land (little is old growth), 10% of is in Canada
- Forestry mainly in softwoods
Reforestation via Silviculture
- Theory and practice of controlling the establishment, composition, growth, and quality of forest stands
- Extreme form of manages forestry
- After harvest: slash burning, replant w 1-2 species, brush removal
Forest Transition Theory
- Initial popn growth and devt in an area will cause deforestation
- As economy changes, wealth increases, ppl migrate to urban areas, pressures on the forest will decline and/or
more planting will be done
- Forest cover over time consistent w enviro Kuznets curve
Anthropocentric Ethics
- Trees do not have rights, just seen as source of timber/pulp little concern for forests other purposes
- This ethical stance reflected in management systems
Forest Management in Canada
- Over 20th cent govts granted rights (licenses) to crown land to even fewer large companies (94& publicly owned
Crown Land, 6% private)
- Licenses last 15-20 yrs w non-competitive replacement options approx. every 5 yrs
- Govts view this as a good deal b/c only larger companies would generate steady flows of timber production which
would stabilize forest-based communities
- Harvesting based on sustained yield
o Cut no faster than new trees can grow even flow of timber can be maintained, based on rotation period
(time for species to reach maturity) but economic maturity not the same as biological maturity
Clear Cutting
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- Dominant method in Canada, most cost-effective, minimizes road construction, safest for loggers, easiest to re-
plant, in some cases best mimics natural disturbances
- Alternatives
o Selective Logging: expensive (use helicopters), less safe
o Patch-Cutting: increased road construction which can be more ecologically damaging
o Alternatives may not provide sufficient quantity
Ecological importance of forests: ecosystem connectivity, nutrient cycling, carbon storage, biological diversity
Forest Stewardship Council: issued to Canadian forestry operations, get b/c of threats from NGOs, price premiums
Tuesday March 13
Wolves (c.11)
- Eliminated from US Northern Rockies in 1930s, Canada re-colonized early 1980s, livestock industry not happy
Ecology of Wolves
- Common because can adapt to ecosystems and benefit from pack operation
- Apex predator: at the highest trophic level (no natural predators)
- Fill an important ecological niche: removal from ecosystem changes the lower trophic levels
History of Wolves
- 1958 eradicated in US and Mexico: govt paid for wolf kills, hunted to protect livestock
- Eventually scientists/conservationists became advocates for wolves- part of the ecosystem, restrictions on selling
wolf products,
Ethics: eradication based on anthropocentric ethics
Defining Biodiversity
- Types of biodiversity:
o Genetic diversity within a popn
o Species diversity within a community
o Ecological/habitat diversity within a region
- A measure of the number of diff species of plants/animals in a given area
Species at Risk
- Background extinction: historical, continuous, low level elimination of species (usually replaced w evolution of new
- Mass extinction: high-level elimination of species over a short period of time: 5 periods of naturally induced (ex.
dinosaurs), human induced species loss augmenting natural rates evolution of new species can’t keep pace
o Most pressing enviro issue
Amphibians are enviro indicators, declining popn indicates problems
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