[ENVI 101] - Midterm Exam Guide - Comprehensive Notes for the exam (20 pages long!)

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Binghamton
ENVI 101
MIDTERM EXAM
STUDY GUIDE
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Dr. Andrus Guest Lectures
How has the availability of sugars, fats, and salts to the human diet
changed over time, from 200,000 years ago (when humans were
hunter gatherers) to now? How has this contributed to health
problems in the U.S.A.?
o Sugars, fats, and salts have become more available due to mass
produced foods and monoculture crops. This has increased
health problems in the USA because our bodies are not meant
to have such high content of these nutrients.
Why do so many processed foods contain high levels of sugars and fats?
o Because when humans were hunter gatherers, these things were rare
and we biologically crave them, so the industry produces foods with
lots of sugars and fats.
What are food deserts?
o An urban area where people have little or no easy access to nutritious
food without traveling long distances.
Why did modern agriculture create a divide between people and the
environment?
o Agriculture was used to create civilizations and now we have
technology, there is no connection to the crops grown and the people
who eat it. Mass production has taken away that connection with the
land.
What was the most significant development, technologically, of modern
agriculture?
o The Haber Bosch process allowed us to add man made nitrogen into
the natural system as synthetic fertilizers, allowing crops to grow
more and faster.
How far does food travel, on average, to reach your plate?
o About 1500 miles.
For people born after 1960, life expectancy for those in the top 20% in
terms of income live 13-14 years longer than those in the bottom
20%. Why do wealthy Americans tend to live longer than poor
Americans?
o Healthier foods and diets are more expensive, education about
health is usually given to those who can afford to go to school,
and areas that are wealthy have more access to healthy, whole
foods.
What is the ideal diet for humans? I.e., should our diets be mostly
whole foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains), animal protein,
processed foods, etc.?
o The ideal diet is a lot of vegetables, little meat, and a lot of
fiber. Including a variety of whole and organic food (no
processed food).
Why is dietary fiber (e.g., indigestible cellulose) important for a
human diet? Do Americans tend to eat too much or too little fiber?
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o Fiber can help prevent diseases and maintain good health in
the bodily functions. Americans do not eat enough fiber.
Pollination Lectures
What is the difference between pollination and fertilization?
o Pollination is the transfer of pollen from the anther (male organ of
the flower) to the stigma (female organ of the flower) of the same or
different flower. Fertilization occurs once the pollen grain reaches
the stigma, it produces a pollen tube, which grows down through the
style to the ovary.
How are honey bees different from most other bee species (~25,000 spp of
bees worldwide)?
o Honey bees are social and have stingers, due to their tendencies to
interact with others. Other bees tend to be solitary and have no need
for stingers.
Where do bees carry pollen on their bodies?
o Honey/bumble bees collect pollen on their hind legs in balls pollen
baskets (corbiculae). Other bees have specialized hair scopae
that bees use to collect pollen.
Why are pollinators considered keystone species?
o Pollinators make sure a large amount of plant species can transfer
DNA and reproduce, which in result feeds herbivores, which feed
carnivores, etc.
Why are pollinators economically important, i.e. how much of our food is
dependent on biotic pollination?
o 75% of our crops are dependent on biotic pollination.
Is pollination always a mutualism? Why or why not?
o Pollination is always a mutualism act (food for sex), but it is not
always altruistic.
What threats are pollinators, both honey bees and wild pollinators, facing
today?
o Honey Bees:
Introduced mites (varroa destructor) an external parasite,
sucks blood and transfers pathogens, introduced late 1980s in
USA, now worldwide.
Pesticides (including neonicotinoids) can kill or paralyze bees,
keeping them confused and unable to find their way home. Can
be sprayed on flower and leaks into pollen/soil.
o Wild Bees:
Climate change can lead to a decrease in species the bees
depend on and create phenological mismatching.
Human land use/habitat fragmentation separates bees from
their usual homes.
Environmental contaminants (pesticides and metals) can cause
disease in bees.
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