FREE Bachelor of Science in Forestry: Soil Science and Forest Health Questions and Answers

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What is the term used to describe the practice of watering crops using man-made methods?

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Irrigation is the process of supplying water to crops using artificial methods such as canals, pipes, sprinklers, or other systems. It is used to supplement natural rainfall and ensure that crops receive adequate water for optimal growth and production. This practice is essential in regions where rainfall is insufficient or unpredictable to support agricultural needs.

What is the term for the practice of using a combination of different techniques, including biological pest control, crop rotations, and chemical pesticides, to achieve the most effective and sustainable reduction in pest populations?

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Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an approach that combines various strategies to manage pests in agriculture while minimizing the negative impact on the environment. It involves using biological, cultural, physical, and chemical methods in a holistic manner.

When you eat a lot of meat, you waste a lot of heat because heat is lost between trophic levels.

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The inefficiency of energy transfer between trophic levels is a fundamental concept in ecology. As organisms consume each other in a food chain, energy is transferred from one trophic level to the next. However, only a fraction of the energy is passed on, and the rest is lost as heat during various metabolic processes. Approximately 90% of the energy is lost as heat when moving from one trophic level to the next. This inefficiency is why consuming higher trophic level organisms, like carnivores, requires more energy input compared to consuming lower trophic level organisms, like plants. Therefore, eating a lot of meat is considered inefficient in terms of energy transfer and resource utilization.

What is the term used to describe the accumulation of salts in the uppermost layers of soil?

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Salinization is the process by which salts accumulate in the upper layers of soil, often due to excessive irrigation in arid regions. As water evaporates from the soil surface, salts are left behind, leading to reduced soil fertility and impaired plant growth. Erosion (choice a) is the removal of topsoil by wind or water, leaching (choice b) is the downward movement of nutrients in soil due to excessive rainfall, and compaction (choice c) is the compression of soil particles resulting in reduced pore space and aeration.

What is the term used to describe the deterioration of soil characteristics necessary for plant growth or other ecosystem services?

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Soil degradation refers to the process where the quality and productivity of soil decline due to various factors such as erosion, compaction, nutrient depletion, and pollution. This can lead to a reduction in its ability to support plant growth and other essential ecosystem functions.

What is the term for the situation when more than 10% of soil productivity is lost, often resulting in arid conditions and decreased vegetation cover?

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Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert or arid due to various factors such as climate change, improper land use, and human activities. It results in the loss of soil productivity and vegetation cover, leading to desert-like conditions.

Genetic engineering works by putting a gene that codes for a trait that is wanted into the nucleus of an organism that is not the same as the organism from which the gene was taken.

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Genetic engineering involves transferring a gene that codes for a desired trait from one organism to another. The gene is inserted into the genome of the recipient organism, which refers to the complete set of genetic material within its cells. This allows the recipient organism to express the desired trait encoded by the inserted gene.

Herbicides kill plants, but GM foods are made to be resistant to them.

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GM (genetically modified) foods that are engineered to resist herbicides allow farmers to apply heavier doses of herbicides or pesticides specifically targeting weeds without harming the genetically modified crops. This trait helps manage weed populations more effectively, contributing to improved crop yields.

If a farmer wants to grow healthy crops, what should he look for?

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Dark, clumpy soil indicates the presence of organic matter and good soil structure, which are essential for healthy crop growth. Organic matter contributes to nutrient availability and moisture retention, while proper soil structure promotes root growth and aeration. Additionally, a neutral pH (around 6.5 to 7) is important as it allows for optimal nutrient uptake by plants. Sandy soil (choice a) lacks good water and nutrient retention, compacted soil (choice b) hinders root development, and rocky soil (choice d) may impede root growth and nutrient availability.

After a disaster, the first step is for the soil to form.

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Primary succession is the process of ecological succession that occurs in an area that has been completely devoid of life due to a catastrophic event, such as volcanic eruptions, glacial retreats, or newly formed rock surfaces. In primary succession, the first step involves the gradual formation of soil from bare rock or other substrates. Pioneer species, such as lichens and mosses, begin to colonize these barren surfaces, breaking down the rocks and contributing to soil development through their decomposition. As soil forms and becomes more suitable for plant growth, more complex plant communities establish themselves, followed by a succession of different plant and animal species. Secondary succession, on the other hand, occurs in areas that have been disturbed but still retain some soil and remnants of the previous community. Tertiary succession is not a commonly used term, and ecological succession is the broader concept that encompasses the orderly process of change in ecosystems over time.

Where do most of the soil's nutrients come from?

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Most of the nutrients in the soil come from the process of decomposition. Organic matter, such as dead plant material and animal waste, breaks down over time through microbial activity, releasing essential nutrients into the soil. These nutrients are then taken up by plants to support their growth and development.

Why is Soil Agriculture important for addressing the challenges of a growing human population?

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Soil agriculture is crucial to provide the necessary land and food resources for a growing human population. As the population increases, the demand for land to cultivate crops and produce food will also rise. Soil agriculture is essential to meet this demand and ensure a sustainable supply of food to feed the expanding population.

What do you call the loss of fertility and ability of the soil to provide economic services?

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Soil degradation refers to the deterioration of the soil's quality, fertility, and its ability to support healthy plant growth and provide economic services. This can be caused by various factors, including erosion, nutrient depletion, pollution, and improper land use practices, leading to reduced agricultural productivity and environmental problems.

What is the term for the agricultural practice of cultivating a single type of crop in a field?

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Monoculture refers to the practice of growing only one type of crop in a field. This approach is often used in large-scale agriculture for its efficiency in planting, maintenance, and harvesting. However, it can lead to increased susceptibility to pests, diseases, and soil depletion due to the lack of crop diversity.

Because soil is porous, what can seep through the ground and pollute ground water?

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The porous nature of soil allows liquids to percolate through it. When chemicals, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and pollutants, are present on the surface of the soil, they can dissolve in water and seep through the soil, potentially contaminating groundwater. This process is known as leaching, and it can lead to groundwater pollution, affecting the quality of water that is a vital resource for drinking and various human activities. Proper soil management practices are important to minimize the leaching of harmful substances into groundwater.

From which materials do soils originate?

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Soils originate from a variety of materials, including peat and clay. Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed organic matter in waterlogged environments, while clay particles are one of the mineral components that contribute to soil formation. Although decomposed plant material and microorganisms play a role in soil development, they are not primary sources of soil parent materials. Topsoil and subsoil are soil layers that form over time due to the interactions between parent materials, climate, organisms, and topography.

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