SOCS 325 Discussion Environmental Stresses and Conservation of Natural Populations

March 8, 2022
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SOCS 325 Discussion Environmental Stresses and Conservation of Natural Populations

SOCS 325 Discussion Environmental Stresses and Conservation of Natural Populations

Students are required to include one Video Media Upload
(Record/Upload Media) for each graded topic, each week.

For Video-Media Upload instructions, refer to Resources in
Introduction and Resources

Define “externalities” as they relate to the price
of goods and services, and examine how they can distort market forces of supply
and demand, detailing both positive and negative effects.

DQ2 ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY

Students are required to include one Video Media Upload
(Record/Upload Media) for each graded topic, each week.

For Video-Media Upload instructions, refer to Resources in
Introduction and Resources

Describe and explain the relationship between the advances
in technology and such goals as reduced human workloads, environmental and
resource stresses, free time, and contentment.

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SOCS 325 Discussion Environmental Stresses and Conservation of Natural Populations

SOCS 325 Discussion Environmental Stresses and Conservation of Natural Populations

Many populations of endangered species have to cope both with stressful and deteriorating environmental conditions (mostly the primary cause of the endangerment) and with an increase in homozygosity due to genetic drift and/or inbreeding in small isolated populations. The latter will result in genetic stress often accompanied by a decrease in fitness (inbreeding depression). We have studied the consequences of genetic stress, under optimal as well as stressful environmental conditions, for the fitness and persistence of small populations using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. The results show that, already under optimal environmental conditions, an increase in homozygosity or inbreeding both impairs fitness and increases the extinction risk of populations significantly. Under environmental stress, however, these effects become greatly enhanced. More important, the results show that the impact of environmental stress becomes significantly greater for higher inbreeding levels. This explicitly demonstrates that genetic and environmental stress are not independent but can act synergistically. This apparent interaction may have important consequences for the conservation of endangered species.

Stresses from pollution, climatic changes, disease etc. may affect population persistence. Further, stress typically occurs when species are placed in captivity. Threatened species are usually managed to conserve their ability to adapt to environmental changes, whilst species in captivity undergo adaptations that are deleterious upon reintroduction into the wild.

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