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IAS Prelims Exam: Environment and Ecology NIOS Questions: BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION

Jun 17, 2016 15:42 IST

    In UPSC IAS Prelims Exam, Environment and Ecology considered as the one of the most important sections among all the subjects of UPSC IAS Exam syllabus. The UPSC IAS aspirants required to prepare this subject very well because of growing importance of this subject at global level. So, here we have created Multiple Choice Questions of Environment and Ecology based on the NIOS Study Material for UPSC IAS Prelims Exam Preparation.

    1.    Consider the following statements regarding the concept of Biological Diversity:
    I.    Sum total of all the variety of living organisms on earth constitute biodiversity.
    II.    Biological Diversity is usually considered at three different levels i.e. at genetic level, at the level of species, and at the level of ecosystem.
    III.    Each species, varying from bacteria to higher plants and animals, stores an immense amount of genetic information.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?

    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Sum total of all the variety of living organisms on earth constitute biodiversity. Biological diversity is usually considered at three different levels – a) genetic diversity i.e. at genetic level, b) species diversity i.e. at the level of species, and c) ecosystem diversity i.e. at the level of ecosystem. Each species, varying from bacteria to higher plants and animals, stores an immense amount of genetic information.

    2.    Consider the following statements regarding Ecosystem diversity:
    I.    It refers to the presence of different types of ecosystems.
    II.    Ecosystem diversity encompasses the broad differences between ecosystem, and the diversity of the habitats and ecological processes occurring within each ecosystem type.
    III.    India has very weak diverse terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems ranging from ice-capped Himalayas to deserts, from arid scrub to grassland to wetlands and tropical rainforests, from coral reefs to the deep sea.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: b

    Explanation:

    Ecosystem diversity refers to the presence of different types of ecosystems. For instance, the tropical south India with rich species diversity will have altogether different structure compared to the desert ecosystem which has far less number of plant and animal species.

    Likewise, the marine ecosystem although has many types of fishes, yet it differs from the freshwater ecosystem of rivers and lakes in terms of its characteristics. So such variations at ecosystem level are termed as ecosystem diversity.

    As stated above, ecosystem diversity encompasses the broad differences between ecosystem, and the diversity of the habitats and ecological processes occurring within each ecosystem type.

    India has very diverse terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems ranging from ice-capped Himalayas to deserts, from arid scrub to grassland to wetlands and tropical rainforests, from coral reefs to the deep sea. Each of these comprises a great variety of habitats and interactions between and within biotic and abiotic components.

    3.    Consider the following statements regarding the endemic species found in India:
    I.    A very large number of species found in western-ghats and the north-eastern region are endemic or found in these areas only in India.
    II.    The endemics are concentrated mainly in north-east, western-Ghats, and north-west Himalaya, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    Only II
    c.    Both I and II
    d.    Neither I nor II

    Answer: c

    Explanation:

    The most diversity-rich are western-ghats and the north-eastern region. A very large number of species found in these ecosystems are endemic or found in these areas only in India i.e. they are found nowhere else except in India.

    The endemics are concentrated mainly in north-east, western-Ghats, and north-west Himalaya, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. About 33% of the flowering plants recorded in India are endemic to our country. Indian region is also notable for endemic fauna. For example, out of recorded vertebrates, 53% freshwater fish, 60% amphibians, 36% reptiles and 10% mammalian fauna are endemic.

    4.    Consider the following statements regarding the hot spots of biodiversity:
    I.    Norman Myers, a British Ecologist, developed the concept of hot spots in 1988 to designate priority areas for in situ conservation.
    II.    According to Norman Myers, the hot spots are the richest and the most threatened reservoirs of biodiversity on the earth.
    III.    Twenty-five biodiversity hot spots have been identified in the world and which are characterized by posing exceptionally high biodiversity.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Norman Myers, a British Ecologist, developed the concept of hot spots in 1988 to designate priority areas for in situ conservation. According to him, the hot spots are the richest and the most threatened reservoirs of biodiversity on the earth.

    Twenty-five biodiversity hot spots have been identified in the world. These hot spots are characterized by posing exceptionally high biodiversity. For example the total area of these 25 hot spots cover 1.4% of the total land area, support 44% of plant and 35% terrestrial vertebrates.

    5.    Out of 25, how many hot spots are found in India?
    a.    2
    b.    5
    c.    8
    d.    10

    Answer: a

    Explanation:


    Among the 25 hot spots of the world, 2 are found in India namely Western Ghats and the eastern Himalayas. These two areas of the country are exceptionally rich in flowering plants, reptiles, amphibians, butterflies and some species of mammals.

    6.    Consider the following statements regarding the stretch hot spots in India:
    I.    The eastern Himalayan hot spot extends to the north – eastern India and Bhutan.
    II.    The temperate forests are found at an altitude of 1780 to 3500 m in the eastern Himalayan hot spot.
    III.    The Western Ghat region lies parallel to the western coast of Indian peninsula for almost 1600 km, in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    The eastern Himalayan hot spot extends to the north – eastern India and Bhutan. The temperate forests are found at an altitude of 1780 to 3500 m. Many deep and semi-isolated valleys are exceptionally rich in endemic plant species.

    The Western Ghat region lies parallel to the western coast of Indian peninsula for almost 1600 km, in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. These forests at low elevation (500 m above mean sea level) are mostly evergreen, while those at 500- 1500 m height are generally semi-evergreen forests.

    7.    Consider the following statements regarding Biological diversity which helps in maintaining the health of ecosystem:
    I.    Natural vegetation cover helps in maintaining hydrological cycles, regulating and stabilizing water run-off and acting as a buffer against extreme events such as floods and droughts.
    II.    Wetlands and forests act as water purifying systems, while mangroves trap silt thereby reducing impacts on marine ecosystems.
    III.    Biological diversity helps in the conservation of soil and retention of moisture and nutrients.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Natural vegetation cover helps in maintaining hydrological cycles, regulating and stabilizing water run-off and acting as a buffer against extreme events such as floods and droughts. Vegetation removal results in siltation of dams and waterways. Wetlands and forests act as water purifying systems, while mangroves trap silt thereby reducing impacts on marine ecosystems.

    Biological diversity helps in the conservation of soil and retention of moisture and nutrients.  Biological diversity helps in the conservation of soil and retention of moisture and nutrients. Clearing large areas of vegetation cover has been often seen to accelerate soil erosion, reduce its productivity and often result in flash floods. Root systems allow penetration of water to the sub soil layer. Root system also brings mineral nutrients to the surface by nutrient uptake.

    8.    Consider the following statements regarding the activities of storage and cycling of nutrients performed by ecosystem:
    I.    Ecosystem performs the vital function of recycling nutrients found in the atmosphere as well as in the soil.
    II.    Plants are able to take up nutrients, and these nutrients then can form the basis of food chains, to be used by a wide range of life forms.
    III.    Nutrients in the soil, is replenished by dead or waste matter which is transformed by micro-organisms

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Ecosystem performs the vital function of recycling nutrients found in the atmosphere as well as in the soil. Plants are able to take up nutrients, and these nutrients then can form the basis of food chains, to be used by a wide range of life forms.

    Nutrients in the soil, in turn, is replenished by dead or waste matter which is transformed by micro-organisms; this may then feed others such as earthworms which also mix and aerate the soil and make nutrients more readily available.

    9.    Consider the following statements regarding the ecosystem which helps in reducing the level of pollution in the atmosphere:
    I.    Ecosystems and ecological processes play an important role in maintenance of gaseous composition of the atmosphere, breakdown of wastes and removal of pollutants.
    II.    Some ecosystems, especially wetlands have the ability to breaking down and absorb pollutants.
    III.    Natural and artificial wetlands are being used to filter effluents to remove nutrients, heavy metals, suspended solids; reduce the BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and destroy harmful micro-organisms.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Ecosystems and ecological processes play an important role in maintenance of gaseous composition of the atmosphere, breakdown of wastes and removal of pollutants. Some ecosystems, especially wetlands have the ability to breaking down and absorb pollutants.

    Natural and artificial wetlands are being used to filter effluents to remove nutrients, heavy metals, suspended solids; reduce the BOD (Biological Oxygen Demand) and destroy harmful micro-organisms. Excessive quantities of pollutants, however, can be detrimental to the integrity of ecosystems and their biota.

    10.    Consider the following statements regarding the Biological resources of economic importance:
    I.    Presently about 20 species feed the majority of the world’s population and just 3 or 4 only are the major staple crops to majority of population in the world.
    II.    The usage of medicinal plants in India has an ancient history, dating back to the pre-vedic culture, at least 4000 years B. C.
    III.    It is estimated that at least 70 % of the country’ s population rely on herbal medicines and over 7000 species of plants are used for medicinal purposes.

    Which of the following statement(s) is/are correct?
    a.    Only I
    b.    I and II
    c.    II and III
    d.    All of the above

    Answer: d

    Explanation:

    Five thousand plant species are known to have been used as food by humans. Presently about 20 species feed the majority of the world’s population and just 3 or 4 only are the major staple crops to majority of population in the world.

    A large number of plants and animals materials are used for the treatment of various ailments. The usage of medicinal plants in India has an ancient history, dating back to the pre-vedic culture, at least 4000 years B. C. The therapeutic values of herbal medicines led to evolution of Ayurveda which means “science of life”. It is estimated that at least 70 % of the country’ s population rely on herbal medicines and over 7000 species of plants are used for medicinal purposes.

    Wood is a basic commodity used worldwide for making furniture and for building purposes. Fire wood is the primary source of fuel widely used in third world countries. Wood and bamboo are used for making paper. Plants are the traditional source of fibre such as coir, hemp, flax, cotton, jute.

    Click here for IAS Prelims: GS Environment and Ecology: Study Material

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