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Q 1.D
1 is correct. Corals need to grow in shallow water where sunlight can reach them. Corals depend on the
zooxanthellae (algae) that grow inside of them for oxygen and other things, and since these algae needs
sunlight to survive, corals also need sunlight to survive. Corals rarely develop in water deeper than 50
2 is incorrect. Corals need clear water that lets sunlight through; they don't thrive well when the water is
opaque. Sediment and plankton can cloud water, which decreases the amount of sunlight that reaches the
3 is incorrect. Corals need saltwater to survive and require a certain balance in the ratio of salt to water.
This is why corals don't live in areas where rivers drain fresh water into the ocean.
4 is correct. Reef-building corals require warm water conditions to survive. Different corals living in
different regions can withstand various temperature fluctuations. However, corals generally live in water
temperatures of 2032 C.

Q 2.C
All the microbes mentioned can be used as pesticides. Single cell organisms, such as bacteria, fungi and
protozoa, and viruses, have been mass produced and formulated for use in a manner similar to
insecticides. Eg - Bacillus Thuringiensis.
Several fungi have been studied as potential microbial insecticides. Beauveria bassiana can affect a wide
variety of arthropods.
Virus can also be used as insecticide. Baculoviruses are a family of naturally-occurring viruses known to
infect only insects and some related arthropods. Most are so specific in their action that they infect and
kill only one or a few species of Lepidoptera larvae (caterpillars), making them good candidates for
management of crop pests with minimal off-target effects.

Q 3.D
Mulch is a layer of decaying organic matter on the ground.
All the given statements are correct. The advantages of mulching are: to conserve soil moisture, to reduce
weed growth, to improve fertility of the soil, to improve the visual appeal of the area. Mulching improves
nutrient and water retention in the soil, encourages favourable soil microbial activity and worms,
suppresses weed growth, helps to retain moisture, prevent soil erosion, control weeds and it adds nutrients
to the soil.

Q 4.C
o Biotic potential, the maximum reproductive capacity of an organism under optimum environmental
conditions. It is often expressed as a proportional or percentage increase per year, as in the statement "The
human population increased by 3 percent last year." It can also be expressed as the time it takes for a
population to double in size (doubling time).
o Full expression of the biotic potential of an organism is restricted by environmental resistance, any factor
that inhibits the increase in number of the population. These factors include unfavourable climatic
conditions; lack of space, light, or a suitable substrate; deficiencies of necessary chemical compounds or

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minerals; and the inhibiting effects of predators, parasites, disease organisms, or unfavourable genetic

Q 5.C
o Thermal Pollution:When the discharged water that is released back into the water body is around 10
degrees celcius higher than the temperature of the water body it is termed as thermal pollution.
o The rise in temperature reduces the oxygen holding capacity of the water body, as oxygen carrying
capacity of warm water is less than cold water.
o This causes deaths or migration of several fish species like trout etc
o However, blue green algae growth enhances in the warm water. They produce a toxin which further
hampers the biodiversity.

Q 6.B
Statement 1 is incorrect. Carbon Monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas.
Statement 2 is correct. It is produced as a result of incomplete combustion of carbon.
Statement 3 is incorrect. Paddy field is an important source of Methane and not Carbon Monoxide.

Q 7.D
Desertification is the process of sustained land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. All
the given human activities can lead to desertification:
1. Overgrazing of land exposes soil to forces of erosion and transforms land into barren landscape and
finally into a wasteland.
2. Mining activities for extracting natural resources adversely affect the local landscape due to large scale
digging up process using most sophisticated mining excavators. These activities affect the moisture
content of the soil leading to desertification.
3. Unscientific Irrigation of arid lands for a considerably long period contributes to desertification.
4. Desertification of an area takes place from uncontrolled exploitation of groundwater, mismanagement
of watersheds, siltation and drying up of rivers.

Q 8.A
Mutualism is the interaction in which both the interacting species benefit, for example, the association
between fungi and the roots of higher plants. The fungi help the plant in the absorption of essential
nutrients from the soil while the plant in turn provides the fungi with energy-yielding carbohydrates. This
pair is correctly matched.
Competition is the interaction in which species compete with each other to utilise the limited available
resource. In this interaction both the species lose as they try to outdo each other, for example, the
herbivores animals compete with each other to access limited grazing resources. This pair is correctly
Commensalism is the interaction among species in which one species benefits and the other is neither
harmed nor benefited, for example, an orchid growing as an epiphyte on a mango branch. In this
interaction while orchid benefits, the mango tree remains unaffected. This pair is not correctly matched.
Amensalism is the interaction in which one species is harmed while the other is unaffected, for example,
some higher plants like black walnut secrete substances that inhibit the growth of or kill the nearby
competing plants. This pair is not correctly matched.

Q 9.D
Habitat deterioration and destruction is the main cause of threat to many wild plant species and plant
communities. Habitat destruction could be caused as a result of:
o Clearing of forest areas for settlement or agricultural expansion, commercial lodgings, large hydel
schemes, fire, human and livestock pressure, etc.
o Pollution (both air and water) stresses ecosystem, mismanagement of industrial and agriculture wastes
threaten both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem.
o Over exploitation, mainly for commercial purposes like meat, fur, hides, body organs, medicine, etc.
o Accidental or deliberate introduction of exotic species which can threaten native flora and fauna
directly by predation or by competition and also indirectly by altering the natural habitat or
introducing diseases.
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o Fragmentation of forests into subdivisions destroys habitat for wildlife. Including rare species such as
the Florida black bear and the red-cockade woodpecker. Some wild animals like bears, bobcats and
foxes are unable to adapt to changes In the forest.
o Critical natural habitat and its associated biodiversity are diminished in wars around the world.
Similarly, actions such as deforestation, habitat destruction and degraded human waste disposals all
associated with war and its aftermaths can affect other key ecosystem services such as erosion
control, water quality and food production.
o Destruction of habitats is caused on account of land being taken by new roads. This prevents free
movement of animals or birds from their habitats either in search of food or for the purpose of
migration from one place to another.
o Wounding and killing of animals hit by motor vehicles and trains, or victims from drowning when
tailing into steep-sided canals.
o Fish are also affected. Salmon, for instance, are frequently indirectly affected by roads. Impervious
edges to roads, such as concrete, increase the flow of water from the road Into streams, leading to a
build up of sediment, increased water temperature and pollution. Water running off from roads is the
biggest hazard, as salmon are very sensitive to these irregular "flash flows".
o Roads also fragment habitats and divide large populations of animals into smaller and less viable
units. This can lead to inbreeding and population instability, and frequently results in local
o there is an increased risk of extinction in cases of small species population from threats such as
natural disasters (e.g. volcanoes, cyclones and drought) or changes in native species dynamics (e.g.
increases in competition) that are difficult to combat.

Q 10.B
Renewable source of energy: Renewable sources are those which can be generated continuously in nature
and are inexhaustible. Following are the renewable sources:
o solar energy
o Geo-thermal energy (statement 1 correct)
o Tidal energy
o Wind energy
o Hydropower
o Biomass energy (statement 3 correct)
o Bio-fuels (statement 2 correct)
o Hydrogen
Following are the non-renewable sources
o fossil fuels (coal, petroleum etc)
o Uranium (statement 4 incorrect)
o Thorium

Q 11.B
Statement 1 is correct. Acidified soils resulting from acid rain tend to have cadmium, which when
absorbed by plants, increases the toxicity in them. High levels of cadmium in plants are injurious for
animals and human beings.
Statement 2 is incorrect. Acid fog and mist are found on mountain tops, thus increasing the exposure of
the mountainous plants to acidity. Also, the precipitation on mountain tops is more as compared to
lowlands, so they are more exposed to acidic preparation.
Statement 3 is correct. Nutrients like calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron, which are essential for
plant growth, are leached away from the soil by acid rains, thus making it nutrient deficient.

Q 12.D
Depletion of the Ozone layer will lead to an increase in the Ultraviolet radiations received by the Earth.
This is likely to cause both direct and indirect harmful effects.
Direct effects: The temperature in the stratosphere increases due to absorption of the UV-rays by the
Ozone layer. Depletion of the layer will cause temperature changes and rainfall failures on the earth;
increased harmful radiations will lead to reduction in the immunity and increased susceptibility to diseases

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in plants and animals, increased incidence of cataracts and cancers, genetic disorders which will
ultimately affect the heredity.
Indirect effects: Reduction in growth of plants, reduction in chlorophyll content, increase in mutations due
to exposure to UV-radiation, the UV-rays have the potential to disturb the ecological balance in marine
ecosystems. Young cells and larvae, green algae, fish and other animals in the continental shelves get
affected due to increased exposure to UV radiation.
All the statements are correct.

Q 13.B
Coral reefs are also called rainforests of ocean. About 1,000,000 species inhabits the corals reefs which is
more diverse than rainforests.

Q 14.C
Statement 1 is incorrect. Eutrophication arises from the oversupply of nutrients (mainly phosphates),
which leads to over growth of plants and algae. After such organisms die, the bacterial degradation of
their biomass consumes the oxygen in the water.
Statement 2 is correct. Eutrophication occurs both naturally and man-made. It is the response to the
addition of nutrients such as nitrates and phosphates through discharge of domestic sewage, industrial
effluents and fertilizers from agriculture fields or naturally. This process decreases the dissolved oxygen
in the water body.
Statement 3 is correct. The nutrients serve as rich food for algae leading to algal blooms.

Q 15.C
Allen's rule states that the mammals from colder climates generally have shorter ears and limbs to
minimise heat loss. Liebig's law of the minimum states that the rate of growth of a plant, the size to which
it grows, and its overall health depend on the amount of the scarcest of its essential nutrients that is
available to it. Competitive exclusion principle, sometimes referred to as Gause's law of competitive
exclusion, is a proposition that states that two species competing for the same resource cannot coexist at
constant population values, if other ecological factors remain constant.

Q 16.D
All the by-products mentioned above are part of exhaust emissions produced by motor vehicles. Passenger
vehicles are a major pollution contributor, producing significant amounts of nitrogen oxides, carbon
monoxide, and other pollution. In 2013, transportation contributed more than half of the carbon monoxide
and nitrogen oxides, and almost a quarter of the hydrocarbons emitted into our air.
An exhaust gas is a gas emitted through a combustion process. The exhaust gas is actually a combination
of many different gases: N2, CO2, H2O and O2. Though some are harmless, there are few that are harmful
and are considered major pollutants. One of the most dangerous of these is CO (carbon monoxide).

Q 17.A
Acid rain results when sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) are emitted into the atmosphere
and transported by wind and air currents. The SO2 and NOX react with water, oxygen and other
chemicals to form sulfuric and nitric acids. These then mix with water and other materials before falling
to the ground. While a small portion of the SO2 and NOX that cause acid rain is from natural sources such
as volcanoes, most of it comes from the burning of fossil fuels.

Q 18.A
o The UNFCCC is a "Rio Convention", one of three adopted at the "Rio Earth Summit" in 1992. Its sister
Rio Conventions are the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat
o The treaty itself is not legally binding as it does not set mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for
individual countries and doesn't contain any enforcement mechanisms.
o The ultimate objective of the Convention is to "stabilise (and not eliminate) greenhouse gas
concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous human interference with the
climate system." It states that "such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow

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ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to
enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner."

Q 19.A
Statement 1 is correct Biochemical oxygen demand is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed (i. e.,
demanded) by aerobic micro organisms to break down organic material present in a given water sample at
certain temperature over a specific time period.
Statement 2 is incorrect. Higher the BOD, higher is the pollution level in the water. The amount of BOD
in the water is an indicator of the level of pollution. If too much organic matter is added to the water all
the available oxygen is used up. This causes fish and other forms of oxygen dependent aquatic life to die.

Q 20.C
Statement 1 is correct: Pyramid of number and biomass can be both upright and inverted. For example
Pyramid of numbers in forest and parasitic food chain is upright and inverted respectively. Pyramid of
biomass is upright in forest ecosystem because the biomass of producer is much more than herbivores or
consumer which outweigh the biomass of upcoming tropic level (carnivores). However in pond
ecosystem, pyramid of biomass is inverted since the producer biomass is less than primary and secondary
consumer (biomass of large fish is more than phytoplankton or small producers).
Statement 2 is correct: Pyramid of energy is always upright, can never be inverted, because when energy
flows from a particular trophic level to the next trophic level, some energy is always lost as heat at each
step. Each bar in the energy pyramid indicates the amount of energy present at each trophic level in a
given time or annually per unit area.

Q 21.D
Biosphere reserves are areas of terrestrial and coastal ecosystems promoting solutions to reconcile the
conservation of biodiversity with its sustainable use. It is divided into core, buffer and transition zone. The
human intervention is limited to buffer zone only. The transition zone is a zone of active cooperation
between management and local people.
Statement 1 is not correct. Unlike national parks and sanctuaries which focus on the habitat of some
species or on a single species, the biosphere reserve takes into consideration the entire ecosystem.
Statement 2 is not correct. Biosphere reserves are demarcated into following 3 inter-related zones:
Core Zone: Core zone must contain suitable habitat for numerous plant and animal species, including
higher order predators and may contain centres of endemism. Core areas often conserve the wild relatives
of economic species and also represent important genetic reservoirs having exceptional scientific interest.
A core zone being National Park or Sanctuary/protected/regulated mostly under the Wildlife (Protection)
Act, 1972. Whilst realizing that perturbation is an ingredient of ecosystem functioning, the core zone is to
be kept free from human pressures external to the system.
Buffer Zone: The buffer zone, adjoins or surrounds core zone, uses and activities are managed in this
area in the ways that help in protection of core zone in its natural condition. These uses and activities
include restoration, demonstration sites for enhancing value addition to the resources, limited recreation,
tourism, fishing, grazing, etc; which are permitted to reduce its effect on core zone. Research and
educational activities are to be encouraged. Human activities, if natural within BR, are likely to continue
if these do not adversely affect the ecological diversity.
Transition Zone:The transition area is the outermost part of a biosphere reserve. This is usually not
delimited one and is a zone of cooperation where conservation knowledge and management skills are
applied and uses are managed in harmony with the purpose of the biosphere reserve. This includes
settlements, crop lands, managed forests and area for intensive recreation and other economic uses
characteristics of the region.

Q 22.D
Adaptation is any attribute of the organism (morphological, physiological, behavioural) that enables the
organism to survive and reproduce in its habitat.
Statement 1 is correct. Some organisms show behavioural responses to cope with variations in their
environment. Desert lizards lack the physiological ability that mammals have to deal with the high
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temperatures of their habitat, but manage to keep their body temperature fairly constant by behavioural
means. They bask in the sun and absorb heat when their body temperature drops below the comfort zone,
but move into shade when the ambient temperature starts increasing. Some species are capable of
burrowing into the soil to hide and escape from the above-ground heat.
Statement 2 is correct. Mammals from colder climates generally have shorter ears and limbs to minimise
heat loss. (This is called the Allen's Rule.) In the polar seas aquatic mammals like seals have a thick layer
of fat (blubber) below their skin that acts as an insulator and reduces loss of body heat.
Statement 3 is correct. Many desert plants have a thick cuticle on their leaf surfaces and have their
stomata arranged in deep pits to minimise water loss through transpiration. They also have a special
photosynthetic pathway (CAM) that enables their stomata to remain closed during day time. Some desert
plants like Opuntia, have no leaves they are reduced to spines and the photosynthetic function is taken
over by the flattened stems.

Q 23.A
1 is correct. The Infra red part of electromagnetic spectrum of sunlight is responsible for heating up the
solar cooker as well as in solar water heater. A solar cooker lets the UV light rays in and then converts
them to longer infrared light rays that cannot escape, that infrared radiation has the right energy to make
the water, fat and protein molecules in food vibrate vigorously and heat up.
2 is incorrect. UV-C is the part of sun rays which is the most deadliest and is absorbed by the ozone layer.
3 and 4 are incorrect. UV-B and UV-A are mild in comparison to UV-C but they are not absorbed by
ozone layer

Q 24.A
Statement 1 is incorrect, because humus is highly resistant to microbial action and undergoes
decomposition at an extremely slow rate.
Statement 2 is incorrect, because Decomposition is faster if detritus is rich in nitrogen.
Statement 3 is correct, because low temperature and anaerobiosis inhibit the decomposition. Cold
Storages are used to preserve the perishable product, by slowing the growth of decomposer micro

Q 25.B
o When carbon dioxide dissolves in this ocean, carbonic acid is formed. This leads to higher acidity, mainly
near the surface, which has been proven to inhibit shell growth in marine animals and is suspected as a
cause of reproductive disorders in some fish.
o As human activities pump ever-greater quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, our ocean waters
absorb that gas, which results in ocean acidification.
o Shell-forming animals including corals, oysters, shrimp, lobster, many planktonic organisms, and even
some fish species could be gravely affected. This is because numerous marine organisms such as corals,
mollusks, crustaceans and seaurchins rely on carbonate ions to form their calcareous shells or skeletons in
a process known as calcification.
o Ocean acidification is expected to impact ocean species to varying degrees. Photosynthetic algae and
seagrasses may benefit from higher CO2 conditions in the ocean, as they require CO2 to live just like
plants on land.
o Solution to reduce acidification: Seagrass, an organism with amazing properties: this plant absorbs
carbon dioxide, uses it to produce more seagrass and changes the very chemistry of the water around it,
reducing the impact of ocean acidification.

Q 26.B
CNG is an acronym for Compressed Natural Gas. It is a mixture of hydrocarbons consisting of
approximately 80 to 90 per cent methane in gaseous form.
1 is correct. CNG is lead free and reduces harmful emissions. Another advantage of CNG is the extension
of life of lubricating oils as the fuel does not contaminate and dilute the crankcase oil.
2 is incorrect. It is not a liquid fuel and is not the same as LPG (Liquified Petroleum Gas).
3 is correct. Compared to petrol or diesel CNG vehicles emit 40% less of nitrous oxide, 80% less of
Carbon monoxide and 25% less of Carbon dioxide.
4 is incorrect. Noise level of a CNG engine is much lower than that of a diesel engine.
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Q 27.D
Name of the food
Adulterant Method for detection of common adulterants
Oil is taken in a test tube and equal quantity of
Oils and Fats concentrated Nitric acid is added to it. A red to reddish
Argemone oil
(including mustard oil) brown colour in lower (acid) layer would indicate the
presence of Argemone oil.
A few drops of tincture of Iodine or Iodine solution
Milk Starch are added to the milk. Formation of blue colour
indicates the presence of starch.
Soybean or arhar powder is added to milk, taken in a
test tube. The contents are mixed thoroughly by
Milk Urea shaking the test tube and after 5 minutes, a red litmus
paper is dipped in it. A change in colour from red to
blue indicates the presence of urea in the milk.
Any grittiness that may be felt on rubbing the
sediment at the bottom of glass confirms the presence
of brick powder/sand, soapy and smooth touch of the
white residue at the bottom indicates the presence of
Brick powder, salt soap stone. To a little powder of chilli, small amount
Chillies powder
powder or talc powder of conc. HCl is added and it is mixed to the
consistency of paste, the rear end of the match stick is
dipped into the paste and held over the flame, a brick
red flame colour is observed due to the presence of
calcium slats in brick powder.
Appearance of magenta colour on the addition of
Turmeric Metanil yellow colour
concentrated Hydrochloric acid.
Papaya seeds can be separated out from pepper as they
Black pepper Papaya seeds are shrunken, oval in shape and greenish brown or
brownish black in colour.
A cotton piece soaked in liquid paraffin is taken and
the outer green surface of a small part of green
Green chilli and green
Malachite green vegetable is rubbed. If the cotton turns, green, we can
say that the vegetable is adulterated with malachite

Q 28.B
In order for biomagnification to occur, the pollutant must be:
3. soluble in fats
4. biologically active
If a pollutant is short-lived, it will be broken down before it can become dangerous. If it is not mobile, it
will stay in one place and is unlikely to be taken up by organisms. If the pollutant is soluble in water it
will be excreted by the organism. Pollutants that dissolve in fats, however, may be retained for a long
time. It is traditional to measure the amount of pollutants in fatty tissues of organisms such as fish. In
mammals, we often test the milk produced by females, since the milk has a lot of fat in it and because the
very young are often more susceptible to damage from toxins (poisons).

Q 29.C
o Point sources: These are organized sources of pollution where the pollution load can be measured, e.g.
surface drains carrying municipal sewage or industrial effluents, sewage pumping stations and sewerage
systems, trade effluents from industries, etc. Pollution loads due to untreated sewage is one of the main
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reasons threatening the ecological health of rivers. Most of the urban lakes in the country are also facing
similar challenges.
o Non-point sources: These are non-measurable sources of pollution such as run-off from agricultural
fields carrying chemicals and fertilizers, run-off from solid waste dumps and areas used for open
defecation, dumping of un-burnt/half-burnt dead bodies and animal carcasses, dhobi ghats, cattle
wallowing, etc.
o Out of the total measurable pollution in the rivers from various point sources, around 75% is contributed
by municipal sewage from towns located along the banks of rivers and remaining 25% by industrial

Q 30.D
Global warming and the resulting change in climatic conditions have the potential to affect the agro
ecosystems in the following areas:
o Increase in temperature will increase evaporation.
o Cultivable areas will be enlarged.
o Soil water will become insufficient because of excessive evaporation and transpiration.
o Water and soil temperatures will rise.
o Sowing period will shorten.
o The incidence of insect pests, diseases and weeds will become higher. The activities of micro-
organisms will increase. The decomposition of organic matter and fertilizers will be promoted.
o The deterioration of soil quality will be quickened.

Q 31.D
There are many sources which are responsible for the emission of Methane, a major GHG. According to
the annual release rates from the different sources at the global level, they can be arranged as follows:
S. No. Source Methane release rate Per cent
1 Natural wetlands 21.3
2 Rice fields 20.4
3 Biomass burning 10.2
4 Enteric fermentation 14.8
5 Termites 7.4
6 Landfills 7.4
7 Gas drilling 8.3
8 Coal mining 6.5
9 Oceans 1.9
10 Other sources (permafrost) 1.8
Total 100.0
Permafrost is permanently frozen soil, and occurs mostly in high latitudes. Permafrost comprises 24% of
the land in the Northern Hemisphere, and stores massive amounts of carbon. As a result of climate
change, permafrost is at risk of melting, releasing the stored carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and
methane, which are powerful heat-trapping gases.

Q 32.C
According to Conservation international, to qualify as a hotspot a region must meet two strict criteria: it
must contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants (> 0.5% of the world's total) as endemics, and it has
to have lost at least 70% of its original habitat.
BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOTS IN INDIA Of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots, four are present in India,
represented by the Himalaya, the Western Ghats, the North-east, and the Nicobar Islands.

Q 33.A
The 'Aichi Target' were adopted by the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at its Nagoya
The 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets (Aichi Targets), which are included in the Strategic Plan, are organized
under five Strategic Goals, and provide coherent guidance on how to achieve it.
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o Strategic Goal A: Address the underlying causes of biodiversity loss by mainstreaming biodiversity
across government and society
o Strategic Goal B: Reduce the direct pressures on biodiversity and promote sustainable use
o Strategic Goal C: To improve the status of biodiversity by safeguarding ecosystems, species and
genetic diversity
o Strategic Goal D: Enhance the benefits to all from biodiversity and ecosystem services
o Strategic Goal E: Enhance implementation through participatory planning, knowledge management
and capacity building.

Q 34.C
Leeches feeding on cattle is an example of Parasitism i.e. association between two different species where
the symbiont benefits and the host is harmed. All the others are examples of Mutualism in which both the
organisms benefit.
Algae provides food and seeks water and protection from lichens.
Rhizobium bacteria receives carbohydrates from plants and in reverse plants get nitrogen fixed by bacteria
Coral polyps provide protection and supply raw materials and Zooxanthellae provides food to host.

Q 35.C
The Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), a subordinate organization of the Ministry of Environment and
Forests was established in 1916 as a national centre for faunistic survey and exploration of the resources
leading to the advancement of knowledge on the exceptionally rich faunal diversity of the country. ZSI
has its headquarters at Kolkata.
It has not been established under any act. Hence, it is not a statutory body.
Its activities include:
o Study of the fauna of states
o Fauna of conservation areas
o Fauna of important ecosystems
o Status survey of endangered species
o Fauna of India and
o Ecological Studies & Environmental impact assessments.
One of its primary objectives is: Preparation of Red Data Book, Fauna of India and Fauna of
ZSI undertakes Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) with special reference to ecology and
wildlife, and provides necessary services to assess possible impact and also on mitigating measures. ZSI
assists development agencies in advising alternatives to minimize ecological damage both In short and
long time frame perspectives.

Q 36.B
Statement 1 is incorrect. The marine waters are divided into Photic and Aphotic zones based on the
availability of sunlight. Photic zone is the surface layer of the ocean that receives sunlight. The uppermost
80 m (260 feet) or more of the ocean, which is sufficiently illuminated to permit photosynthesis by
phytoplankton and plants, is called the euphotic zone. Sunlight insufficient for photosynthesis illuminates
the disphotic zone, which extends from the base of the euphotic zone to about 200 m. The thicknesses of
the photic and euphotic zones vary with the intensity of sunlight as a function of season and latitude and
with the degree of water turbidity. Presence of sunlight supports growth of plants and animals. Green
plants are found only in photic zones since they need sunlight for photosynthesis. Hence statement 2 is
Statement 3 is incorrect. Though the bottom most, or aphotic, zone is the region of perpetual darkness that
lies beneath the photic zone and includes most of the ocean waters, it does have non-photosynthetic
plants, bacteria and fungi.

Q 37.B
Hibernation, aestivation and diapause are the forms of Suspend response of organisms to the abiotic
components of the environment.
Statement 1 is not correct. Hibernation and Aestivation are not related to movement of organisms from
one place to another; rather they are escape in time. Bears go into hibernation during winter while some

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snails and fish go into aestivation to avoid summer related problems like heat. These are not forms of
migration of the organisms.
Statement 2 is correct. Under unfavourable environmental conditions certain organisms like insects and
many zooplanktons enter in the phase of diapause which sees diminished physiological activity by these
organism as well as suspended development.

Q 38.D
o Fly ash: also know as Pulverised fuel ash is the light weight substance which tend to fly around in hot flue
o It includes black soot occurring due to combustion of coal, vapourised particles of lead, cadmium, nickel
o Fly ash is actively being used in concrete to enhance its strength. However, it negatively impacts the
environment by depositing over snow, thus reducing the albedo and initiating melting. Himalayan ecology
in particular is negatively impacted by fly ash.

Q 39.D
Statement 1 is correct. While stratospheric ozone shields human beings from ultraviolet radiation, the
tropospheric ozone is harmful. This irritating, reactive molecule damages forests and crops; destroys
nylon, rubber, and other materials; and injures or destroys living tissue.
Statement 2 is correct. Nitrogen is largely used as nitrogen fertilizers in agriculture. Nitrogen fertilizers
are manufactured on a large scale from the nitrogen contained in the atmosphere.
Statement 3 is correct. Carbon dioxide present in the air absorbs the infrared rays and keeps the earth
warm. If carbon dioxide is absent in the air, these infrared rays would escape into the atmosphere and the
earth would cool down very rapidly to a very low temperature.
Carbon dioxide, the quantity of which is small in the atmosphere is important for plants. Plants use carbon
dioxide as a raw material for the manufacture of food by the process of photosynthesis and release oxygen
as a by-product.

Q 40.A
Statement 1 is correct. Decomposition of limestone during the manufacture of cement releases CO2 in the
Statement 2 is incorrect. Photosynthesis by plants releases oxygen to the atmosphere and absorbs CO2.
Statement 3 is correct. Volcanic eruption releases CO2 to the atmosphere.
Statement 4 is correct. Deforestation increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Q 41.D
Freshwater ecosystems can be divided into two types:
1. Standing water or lentic (lenis, meaning calm) ecosystems like a lake, pond, marshes, or swamps. These
are also known as pond ecosystems.
2. Running water or lotic ecosystems are that of a river or Spring.
Hence statement 1 is incorrect.
Statement 2 is incorrect. Thermocline is the zone of aquatic ecosystem in which temperature of the water
changes rapidly.

Q 42.A
The limits to growth theory, is a 1972 book about the computer simulation of
exponential economic and population growth with finite resource supplies. It was funded by
the Volkswagon Foundation and commissioned by the Club of Rome. It suggests that the environment
cannot support rising resource utilisation beyond its carrying capacity.

Q 43.C
Bioremediation: It is the process of treatment of waste using micro-organisms. It is of two types: In-situ
(treatment of waste at the in the place of its origin), ex-situ (treatment of wast at the place outside its
10 Vision IAS
o Treatment of subsurface water is an example for in-situ bioremediation.
o Ex-situ bioremediation includes: composting, vermicomposting, solidwaste treatment etc.

Q 44.D
Both the statements are incorrect. The definitions are inter-changed. Rainwater harvesting potential is the
amount of water that can be effectively harvested out of total water received in an area. While
the rainwater endowment is the total amount of water received in the form of rainfall over an area.

Q 45.C
o The species having much greater influence on community characteristics, relative to their low abundance
or biomass, are called keystone species. These species play a vital role in controlling the relative
abundance of other species. Removal of keystone species causes serious disruption in the functioning of
the community. For example, in the tropical rainforests, the different species of figs are the keystone
species as these produce large quantity of fruits. During time of food scarcity, these fruits are eaten by
monkeys, birds, bats and other vertebrates. Thus, by protecting the fig trees, the animals dependent on
them are also conserved.

Q 46.C
Statement 1 is incorrect: Tidal energy uses the periodic rise and fall of waters of the ocean for generation
of electricity and not run of the river system.
Statement 2 is correct: Small-scale hydro project: The flow of river water is harnessed by channelising it
through a narrow canal without any creation of artificial reservoir, this type of system is called as 'run of
the river systems'. It produces small amount of electricity which can be utilized on a small scale.
Statement 3 is incorrect: Large reservoir based hydro project: It involves creation of artificial reservoir of
water to produce a huge amount of electricity. Run-of-river systems do not rely on large storage
reservoirs, but rather on the diverted river water to drive turbines, and then discharge the water back into
the river system.

Q 47.D
Pair 1 is correct. Chlorine is used as a bleaching agent in the paper industry for whitening of the paper. It
reacts with the organic content in the cellulose and produces organo-chlorine, which is a toxic compound
and causes water-pollution. Bleaching with Oxygen or peroxide is a cleaner alternative to chlorine.
Pair 2 is correct. The most common sources of lead pollution in environment, are manufacturing plants
and industries that make wide use of lead in the production of paint, batteries, bearings, solders, seals and
a wide range of electronic appliances such as TV glass, TV tubes, ballasts, weights, foils, wires, crystal
glass etc.
Pair 3 is correct. Burning of Sulphur in coal or heavy oil in thermal power plants release SO2 in the air.
SO2 combines with oxygen and water to form Sulphuric acid.

Q 48.A
The oxides of sulphur produced by combustion of fossil fuels are transported thousands of kilometres
from their place of release and get dissolved in water vapour. Snow and ice formed over lakes and rivers
will have sulphuric acid due to this water vapour. In spring, when the snow melts, water enters lakes and
rivers; the sulphuric acid gets mingled into the water bodies, making them highly acidic. This condition is
commonly referred to as Spring Shock or Acid Shock.

Q 49.A
Only 1 and 2 are the methods of in-situ conservation.
Under In situ (on site) conservation, threatened animals and plants are protected and given special care in
their natural habitat. It includes Biodiversity hotspots, Sacred Groves, National parks, wildlife sanctuary,
biosphere reserve etc.
Under Ex situ Conservation threatened animals and plants are taken out from their natural habitat and
placed in special setting where they can be protected and given special care. It includes Zoological parks,
botanical gardens, in-vitro fertilization, tissue culture, seed bank etc.

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Q 50.D
The IUCN Red List (2004) documented the extinction of 784 species (including 338 vertebrates, 359
invertebrates and 87 plants) in the last 500 years. Some examples of recent extinctions include the dodo
(Mauritius), quagga (Africa), thylacine (Australia), Steller's Sea Cow (Russia) and three subspecies (Bali,
Javan, Caspian) of tiger.

Q 51.C
Statement 1 correct - Speciation is generally a function of time. Since temperate regions were subjected to
frequent glaciations in the past they have less specie diversity. Whereas tropical latitudes have remained
relatively undisturbed for millions of years and thus, had a long evolutionary time for species
Statement 2 correct - Constant environments promote niche specialisation and lead to a greater species
diversity. Inclined axis of earth's rotation leads to more seasonal variation in Temperate areas and less
seasonal variations in Equatorial areas and hence greater species diversity in Equatorial areas as compared
to Temperate areas. There is more solar energy available in the tropics, which contributes to higher
productivity; this in turn might contribute indirectly to greater diversity.

Q 52.D
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) has the following advantages:
It provides better understanding of the impacts of a project.
It identifies the issues that are contentious and helps in resolving those issues.
It ensures cooperation of the local people and transparency for the implementation of the project.
It helps in identifying alternative sites, designs etc.
It reduces disputes and confrontation.
It creates a sense of local ownership among the people residing in and around the project area.

Q 53.D
All the given factors are responsible for riverine floods. The meandering course of a river is one of the
natural factors that are responsible for riverine floods. The other natural causes include the nature of the
river valley and the channel, prolonged high intensity rainfall, blocking of the riverine channel due to
debris from landslides and volcanic eruptions. The manmade causes include deforestation, construction
activities such as building bridges and reservoirs across rivers, massive erosion along the river banks
causing large-scale land decay etc.

Q 54.B
The National Board for Wildlife is chaired by India's Prime Minister and its vice chairman is Minister for
Environment, Forest and Climate Change. Further, the board is mammoth body with 47-members
including Parliament Members, NGOs, eminent conservationists, ecologists and environmentalists,
Government secretaries of various departments.
National Board for Wild Life is a Statutory Organization constituted under the Wildlife Protection Act,
1972. Theoretically, the board is advisory in nature and advises the Central Government on framing
policies and measures for conservation of wildlife in the country. However, it is a very important body
because it serves as apex body to review all wildlife-related matters and approve projects in and around
national parks and sanctuaries.

Q 55.D
Photoperiod refers to the time period during which an organism receives light daily.
Living organisms receive light by light receptors (e.g. eye, photoreceptors, stigma, ocelli, etc.) Thus light
is used as a stimulus for activity cycles. The timing of light received daily and seasonally is called
photoperiod. For example, when the duration of daylight reduces, animals go into hibernation.
Photoperiod causes programming of life-cycles, coordination of opening of buds and flowers in plants and
migration in animals. Hence all the given options are correct.

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Q 56.C
o Statement 1 is correct. IUCN is the world's oldest and largest global environmental organisation. It has
more than 1,200 member organizations including 200+ government and 900+ non-government
o IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature
and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable."
o Over the past decades, IUCN has widened its focus beyond conservation ecology and now incorporates
issues related to gender equality, poverty alleviation and sustainable business in its projects.
o Statement 2 is correct. IUCN has observer and consultative status at the United Nations, and plays a role
in the implementation of several international conventions on nature conservation and biodiversity.
o It is funded by governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, foundations, member organisations and

Q 57.D
All the given pairs are correctly matched.
1. Gasification refers to the technique of converting biomass into a combustible gas. Ipomoea plants
(creeping plants) are grown around water bodies. A new technique of Biomass gasification for
generating electricity from Ipomoea has been developed in Madhya Pradesh.
2. The most common method of energy generation from Municipal solid waste is Incineration. In simple
terms it stands for a type of waste treatment process, where the waste collected are burnt at high
3. The Centre of Biochemical Technology (CBT), New Delhi has developed a method of generating fuel
from the banana leaves. This method is known as pellitisation. Banana leaves are crushed into
powder. Then clay or cowdung is added to the powder to bind the mixture. This mixture is then
converted into pellets. These pellets can be used as fuel and have a good calorific value.

Q 58.B
Sacred Groves are relic forest patches traditionally protected by communities in reverence of a deity.
1 is correct. Forest dwelling tribes such as Bodo and Rabha inhabiting the plains and foothills of Western
Assam have the tradition of maintaining sacred groves which are locally called Than.
2 is correct. Kerala has about 240 sacred groves, known as kavus, where more than 3000 rare species of
plants are found. The largest grove, spread over more than 20 hectares, is in Ernakulam District.
3 is incorrect. Devara kadu is the sacred grove in Karnataka. The district of Kodagu has approximately
346 devara kadu.

Q 59.A
Statement 1 is correct. Grazing food chain begins with producers, present at the first trophic level. The
plant biomass is then consumed by herbivores, which in turn are consumed by a variety of carnivores. In
an aquatic ecosystem, grazing food chain is the major conduit for energy flow.
Statement 2 is correct. Detritus food chain begins with detritus such as dead bodies of animals or fallen
leaves, which are then broken down into simple, inorganic material by decomposers or detritivores. In a
terrestrial ecosystem, detritus food chain is the major conduit for energy flow. Unlike in grazing web, all
sub soil organisms are included in detritus food chain.
Statement 3 is incorrect because 90% of energy is lost in energy flow across different trophic levels. Only
10% is transferred to next tropic level.

Q 60.C
Statement 1 is Correct. The Basel Convention on the control of Transboundary movements of hazardous
wastes and their disposal first came into force in 1992. The Convention puts an onus on exporting
countries to ensure that hazardous wastes are managed in an environmentally sound manner in the country
of import.
Statement 2 is correct. India is a party and a signatory to the convention.

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Q 61.D
All the given acts are permissible under various provisions of the acts. According to Section 11 of
Wildlife Protection Act, 1972: the Chief Wildlife Warden may permit hunting of
o if he is satisfied that any wild animal specified in Sch. 1 has become dangerous to human life or is so
disabled or diseased as to be beyond recovery, by order in writing and stating the reasons therefor,
permit any person to hunt such animal or cause animal to be hunted.
o The killing or wounding in good faith of any wild animal in defence of oneself or of any other person
shall not be an offense.
Similarly Section 12 allows hunting snakes for collection of venoms for medical purposes.

Q 62.C
Statement 1 is correct. In the context of CBD, "Traditional knowledge" is employed to mean knowledge,
innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant
for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.
Each state must respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and
local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of
biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders
of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising
from the utilization of such knowledge innovations and practices.Therefore statement 2 is also correct.

Q 63.C
Species diversity is defined as the number and abundance of different species that occupy a location.
Species diversity increases the number of links in the food web.
There can be various reasons for the stability of the ecosystem because of species diversity:
o Increased food web diversity increases the resilience of the system to outside invasions of exotic
organisms and reduces the fluctuation in the population within a given ecosystem.
o A large number of interacting feeding links provides alternative channels for energy flow and thus is
generated a wide variety of adjustments of the population to environmental changes and stresses
within the ecosystem.
o Another reason is more stability of a natural ecosystem because as the community succession
operates, the homeostasis increases due to more protection available to the members of the
community against external environment change.

Q 64.C
Statement 1 is correct. Captive breeding is the conservation and breeding of wildlife species in restricted
areas such as zoo, national park, aquarium etc. It provides a means for conserving species that may not
survive in the wild.
Statement 2 is correct. Nandankanan zoo in Orissa is known for successful captive breeding of both White
tiger and Gharial. The first ever successful captive breeding of crocodile in India was done in
Nandankanan Zoo.

Q 65.C
Antibiosis is the production of secretions by an organism which is harmful to others. In this type of
relationship none of the population is benefited. For example some species of blue green algae that grow
in ponds produce toxic substances that kill fishes as well as cattle that drinks that water.
A relationship in which one species kills to feed on the other species. are called as predatory relationship.
An organism benefiting from the relationship with other organisms are known as exploitation.
Competition between organisms of the same species are known as intraspecific competition.

Q 66.C
Pair 1 is not matched correctly. Silviculture - replenish Forests - is the practice of controlling the
establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests to meet diverse needs and values.
Pair 2 is matched correctly. Apiculture - Bee-keeping - is the maintenance of honey bee colonies,
commonly in hives, by humans.

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Pair 3 is not matched correctly. Sericulture - production of Silk - is the rearing of silkworms for the
production of silk. The breeding, rearing, and transplantation of fish by artificial means is called

Q 67.D
The accelerated rates of species extinctions that the world is facing now are largely due to human
activities. There are four major causes ( The Evil Quartet ):
1. Habitat loss and fragmentation: This is the most important cause driving animals and plants to
extinction. The most dramatic examples of habitat loss come from tropical rain forests. The Amazon
rain forest (it is so huge that it is called the lungs of the planet) harbouring probably millions of
species is being cut and cleared for cultivating soya beans or for conversion to grasslands for raising
beef cattle.
2. Over-exploitation: Many species extinctions in the last 500 years (Stellers sea cow, passenger
pigeon) were due to overexploitation by humans. Presently many marine fish populations around the
world are over harvested, endangering the continued existence of some commercially important
3. Alien species invasions: When alien species are introduced unintentionally or deliberately for
whatever purpose, some of them turn invasive, and cause decline or extinction of indigenous species.
The environmental damage caused and threat posed to our native species by invasive weed species
like carrot grass (Parthenium), Lantana and water hyacinth (Eicchornia). The recent illegal
introduction of the African catfish Clarias gariepinus for aquaculture purposes is posing a threat to
the indigenous catfishes in our rivers.
4. Co-extinctions: When a species becomes extinct, the plant and animal species associated with it in an
obligatory way also become extinct. When a host fish species becomes extinct, its unique assemblage
of parasites also meets the same fate. Another example is the case of a coevolved plant-pollinator
mutualism where extinction of one invariably leads to the extinction of the other.

Q 68.A
Statement 1 is incorrect: Benthic zone refers to the floor of the ocean.
Production, in this zone, is limited by low nutrient supply thus 2nd statement is incorrect.
Statement 3 is correct. Most of the organisms found here are luminescent. Rooted organisms are sea lilies,
sea fan, sponges, etc. Snails and clams are embedded in the mud whereas star fish and sea urchins move
on the surface.
Other Zones of Ocean Ecosystem are: Littoral zone, Neritic Zone and Pelagic Zone.

Q 69.D
Mercury is a heavy silvery-white metal that is liquid at room temperatures. It is commonly used in
thermometers, nano-meters and barometers, thus it is present in nearly every chemistry and physics lab.
Confined in such instruments mercury itself is not likely to cause health problems, but if there is a means
for mercury vapor to enter the environment, these highly toxic vapors present a health hazard.
A fluorescent lamp tube is filled with a gas containing low pressure mercury vapor and argon, xenon,
neon, or krypton.
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of mercury exposure include irritability, fits of anger, lack
of energy, fatigue, and low self-esteem drowsiness, decline of intellect, low self-control nervousness,
memory loss, depression, anxiety, shyness / timidity and insomnia.
When mercury enters bodies of water, biological processes transform it to methyl-mercury, a highly toxic
and bio accumulative form. Fish can absorb methyl mercury from their food and directly from water as it
passes over their gills.

Q 70.B
Autotrophs are the organisms, which produce their own food by fixing solar energy in the presence of
abiotic substances. Green plants and Blue green algae are considered as autotrophs because they produce
their own food whereas Human beings and cattle are considered as heterotrophic organism because they
consume the food which is produced by producers or autotrophs.

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Q 71.B
The Vienna conference was the first global conference on the depletion of the ozone layer, held in Vienna,
Austria in 1985. It was held after a hole as large as the size of the US was discovered in the ozone layer.
At this conference, Vienna convention for the protection of the Ozone layer was agreed.
Montreal protocol was a landmark convention where major steps were charted-out to be taken, to reduce
CFC production. While the developed countries decided to reduce CFC production step by step, some
relaxations were considered for developing countries like India and China. It was agreed that the extra
costs for developing alternatives for CFCs would be undertaken by the developed countries.
The Saving the Ozone Layer Conference was an international meet, which was organised jointly by
UNEP and the British Government in 1989, to draw attention to the global problem created by the
developed world, which was trying to dictate its terms to the developing countries for CFCs pollution. It
stressed upon the final withdrawal of all Ozone depleting CFCs and other chemicals.
The Helsinki conference was held in 1989, to revise the Montreal Protocol. As many as 80 countries
agreed to have a total ban by 2000 on chemicals that cause ozone depletion. The agreement for CFC
elimination is a major step towards environmental protection.

Q 72.B
While Stratospheric Ozone is not a Green house gas, Tropospheric Ozone is a Green house gas.
Water vapour traps radiation coming from land and thus increases temperature in the atmosphere therefore
it is a GHG.
Hydro-flouro Carbon and Methane are GHGs.

Q 73.D
Positive interactions are beneficial to both parties and not harmful to any one species. Examples are:
In Colonisation, animals demonstrate shades of mutualism and commensalism because they give
protection to one another from enemies and adverse conditions, involve in collective effort to gather food
Proto-cooperation or non obligatory mutualism are those interaction in which contact between two species
are for short period and the association is beneficial for both species.
Competition is considered as negative interaction of biotic communities in which each species is
adversely affected by the presence of the other species in respect of food, shelter, space, light etc.

Q 74.B
o No alteration of the boundaries of a National Park shall be made except on the resolution passed by the
legislature of the State. The same is true for a Wildlife Sanctuary. Therefore, statement 1 is not correct.
o While no human activity is allowed inside a national park, limited activities are permitted within the
sanctuary. Therefore, statement 2 is correct.

Q 75.B
The movement of nutrient elements through the various components of an ecosystem is called nutrient
cycling. Nutrient cycles are of two types: (a) gaseous and (b) sedimentary. The reservoir for gaseous type
of nutrient cycle exists in the atmosphere and for the sedimentary cycle the reservoir is located in Earth's
crust. Nitrogen cycle is a gaseous nutrient cycle. Phosphorus and Sulphur cycles are sedimentary nutrient

Q 76.A
The correct sequence of food chain in the given agroecosystem is: Mustard crop-aphid-beetle-bird.
Aphids, also known as plant lice (small sap-sucking insects) are dependent on Mustard crop. Aphids are
eaten by beetle and beetle is eaten by small birds.

Q 77.D
Statement A is correct. The Ozone layer absorbs the incident Ultraviolet Rays received by the sun, which
leads to the heating-up of the stratosphere and the resultant temperature inversion. Due to the temperature
inversion, it becomes difficult for the pollutants from the troposphere to escape to the stratosphere.

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However, some pollutants manage to escape and react with the Ozone and get converted to other products,
destroying the Ozone in the process.
Statement B is correct. The extremely cold (-400C) conditions in the South Pole facilitate the formation of
ice crystals in the Polar Stratospheric clouds. These ice crystals act as catalysts, facilitating the conversion
of Hydrogen Chloride gas into Chlorine and Hydrogen. The Chlorine radicals react with the Ozone,
freeing the Oxygen molecules and depleting the Ozone layer.
Statement C is correct. Nitrogen oxides produced by fertilizers are one of the major pollutants responsible
for the depletion of the Ozone layer.

Q 78.D
Statement 1 is incorrect. Net Primary Productivity is Gross Primary Productivity minus respiration losses.
Statement 2 is incorrect. The annual net primary productivity of the whole biosphere is approximately 170
billion tons. Of this, despite occupying about 70 per cent of the surface, the productivity of the oceans are
only 55 billion tons. Rest 115 biilion tons, is on land.

Q 79.C
The ecosystems that are most likely to be affected by global warming are those in the higher latitudes i.e.
the tundra forests. The Polar Regions will feel the impact of warming more than the others. Species that
live in the higher alpine zones, would be forced to move higher up to find a suitable habitat, thus, reducing
the area in which they can live. If the rate of climate change continues to accelerate, then the extinction of
some mountain plants and animals is certain.

Q 80.A
A seral community (or sere) is an intermediate stage found in ecological succession in an ecosystem
advancing towards its climax community. The final community in ecological succession that is in near
equilibrium with the environment is called a climax community.

Q 81.B
Statement 1 is incorrect. More than 70 per cent of all the species recorded are animals, while plants
(including algae, fungi, bryophytes, gymnosperms and angiosperms) comprise no more than 22 per cent
of the total. Among animals, insects are the most species-rich taxonomic group, making up more than 70
per cent of the total. That means, out of every 10 animals on this planet, 7 are insects.
Statement 2 is correct - Among animals, insects are the most species-rich taxonomic group, making up
more than 70 per cent of the total.

Q 82.A
Statement 1 is correct: saprophytes are not given any place in ecological pyramids even though they play
a vital role in the ecosystem.
Statement 2 is incorrect. Ecological pyramids do not accommodate a food web. It does not take into
account the same species belonging to two or more trophic levels. It assumes a simple food chain,
something that almost never exists in nature.

Q 83.D
Natality refers to the number of births during a given period in the population that are added to the initial
density. Natality contributes to an increase in population density.
Mortality is the number of deaths in the population during a given period. It contributes to a decrease in
population density.
Immigration is the number of individuals of the same species that have come into the habitat from
elsewhere during the time period under consideration. It contributes to an increase in population density.
Emigration is the number of individuals of the population who left the habitat and went elsewhere during
the time period under consideration. It contributes to decrease in population density.
So, option d is the correct answer.

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Q 84.C
o Ecocline (ecological gradient) A gradation from one ecosystem to another when there is no sharp
boundary between the two. It is the joint expression of associated community (coenocline) and complex
environmental gradients.
o Ecotone: An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and
integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional
(the transition between forest and grassland ecosystems).
o Ecotype: In evolutionary ecology, an ecotype, sometimes called ecospecies, describes a genetically
distinct geographic variety, population or race within a species, which is adapted to specific
environmental conditions. They typically show morphological differences.
o An ecological niche is the role and position a species has in its environment; how it meets its needs for
food and shelter, how it survives, and how it reproduces. A species' niche includes all of its interactions
with the biotic and abiotic factors of its environment. No two species have identical niches

Q 85.C
o Biomining: Also known as Microbial Leaching and bioleaching, it refers to the process by which metals
are dissolved by micro-organisms from ore bearing rocks.
o It is used for extraction of important metallic minerals like nickel, lead and zinc from low grade ores.
Industrial extraction of these low grade ores are not financially viable, but, with biomining it become
cheap to extract ores from them.

Q 86.D
o E-waste or electronic waste, therefore, broadly describes loosely discarded, surplus, obsolete, broken,
electrical or electronic devices.
o The presence of elements like lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, selenium, hexavalent chromium, and
flame retardants beyond threshold quantities make e-waste hazardous in nature.

Q 87.D
Statement 1 is incorrect. Biomagnification refers to increase in concentration of a toxin at successive
trophic levels. The toxin gets accumulated in the body of an organism and is passed on to the next level.
Example: DDT and other heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, etc.
Statement 2 is incorrect. Bioaccumulation is the process by which certain toxic substances (such as heavy
metals and polychlorinated biphenyls) accumulate and keep on accumulating in living organisms, posing a
threat to health, life, and to the environment.

Q 88.A
1 is correct. Mixed farming is a system of farming which involves the growing of crops as well as the
raising of livestock. It maintains soil fertility by recycling soil nutrients and allowing the introduction and
use of rotations between various crops and forage legumes and trees, or for land to remain fallow and
grasses and shrubs to become reestablished.
2 is correct. Terrace farming helps in soil conservation in hilly area.
3 is correct. Organic farming also helps in conservation of soil by adopting method such as fertilizers of
organic origin such as compost, manure, green manure, and bone meal and places emphasis on techniques
such as crop rotation and companion planting etc.
4 is incorrect. Shifting cultivation is a traditional method of farming that works well where the ratio of
land to people is high. It is a system of cutting trees and shrubs and tall grasses, burning the litter, growing
crops for 2 to 5 years on the cleared land, and then allowing the natural cover to return to regenerate the
soil. The important thing is that the land be left fallow long enough for the tired soil to regain its former
fertility. Shifting cultivation can be the cause of excessive soil erosion. Immediately after land is cleared
and before a crop grows enough to provide some protection from rainstorms, the soil is extremely
susceptible to washing.

Q 89.B
Electrostatic Precipitator is a device that helps in pollution control by removing many chemicals from gas
exhaust. These chemicals include lime salts, activated charcoal, ordinary smoke and soot as well as
dioxins. It also removes particles of metals like lead, cadmium and nickel that are present in many
18 Vision IAS
consumer products. Electrostatic precipitator (ESP) removes these particles from smoke after combustion
takes place. In the removal process it imparts an electrical charge to the particles that makes them stick to
the metal plates inside the precipitator.

Q 90.B
1 is correct. Chemical pesticides contaminate the ground water thus polluting the primary source of
drinking water. Use of biopesticides prevents water pollution.
2 is correct. Use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers lead to deterioration of soil quality. Biopesticides
prevent this.
3 is incorrect. Slow action on pests is the main characteristic of biopesticides. It is one of the main
disadvantages of biopesticides.

Q 91.C
There are 7 essential plant nutrient elements defined as micronutrients: boron (B), zinc (Zn), manganese
(Mn), iron (Fe), copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo) and chlorine (Cl). They constitute in total less than 1%
of the dry weight of most plants.
Magnesium and Sulphur are examples of macronutrients.
All the inorganic substances are divided into two types:
Macronutrients (needed in large quantities) : Examples are carbon, hydrogen, Sulphur, calcium sodium,
magnesium, iron, phosphorus and oxygen
Micronutrients (needed in small quantities): Examples are Copper, Manganese, Selenium, Zinc,
Molybdenum, Boron and Silicon

Q 92.A
Statement 1: correct: Intercropping involves growing different crops simultaneously within the same plot
of land. This increases the yield and maximizes utilization of abiotic inputs, like efficient use of sunlight,
water etc.
Statement 2: incorrect: Mulches are generally waste plant materials. In mulching, these plant materials are
spread around the base of the crops. It protects the soil from erosion, reduces compaction from the impact
of heavy rains ,conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent waterings, maintains a more even soil
temperature and prevents weed growth.

Q 93.C
All the given statements are correct. Humus is formed by the decomposition of dead organic remains of
plants and animals.
The fertility of the soil is determined by the amount of humus present in it. Humus helps to retain water in
the soil. It is a source of excellent nutrients for the plants. Most of the nitrogen, sulphur and phosphorus
return to the soil through humus.

Q 94.D
Statement 1 is correct. The main components of the photochemical smog result from the action of sunlight
on unsaturated hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides produced by automobiles and factories
Statement 2 is correct: It is also called oxidising smog because it has high concentration of oxidising agent
like ozone.
Statement 3 is correct. Certain plants such as Pinus, Juniparus, Quercus, Pyrus and Vitis can metabolise
nitrogen oxide and therefore, their plantation could help in reducing effect of PCS.

Q 95.D
o Bioaccumulation : It refers to transfer of toxic substance from one oraganism to other along the food
o Biomagnification: It refers to the tendency of toxic material to concentrate as they moved along the food
o DDT through water bodies, Mercury through fishes and radioactive isotopes through contamination of soil
enters the food chain and accumulate along different organisms, thus , imapacting them negatively.

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o Cases of Minamata bay for Mercury hazard and death of birds in US over DDT is an example. Similarly,
Radioactive contamination of crops due to leeching from underneath rocks in Punjab causing cancer is
case in point.

Q 96.A
o Dust, Suspended Particulate Matter and Smoke are the air pollutant emitted by various sources like
combustion of fossil fuels, from Brick Kiln and other industries etc.
o In terms of increasing order of size, Smoke < Suspended Particulate Matter<dust
o Following are their sizes:
Smoke: 0.1 micrometer - 1 micrometer
SPM: 1 micrometer- 100micro meter
Dust 100 micrometer to 200 micrometer

Q 97.A
A few organisms can tolerate and thrive in a wide range of temperatures, they are called Eurythermal. A
vast majority of organisms are restricted to a narrow range of temperatures, such organisms are called
stenothermal. The levels of thermal tolerance of different species determine to a large extent their
geographical distribution.

Q 98.B
Baolis or Dighis is the traditional water harvesting technique of Gangetic plain while those practiced are
Rajasthan is called Kunds. Johad is the water harvesting system prevalent in Central India, Rajasthan and
surrounding areas.

Q 99.B
Only 2 and 3 are correct. A stable community should not show too much variation in productivity from
year to year; it must be either resistant or resilient to occasional disturbances (natural or man-made), and it
must also be resistant to invasions by alien species.

Q 100.B
Homeostatis is the process by which an organism maintains the constancy of its internal environment
despite varying external environmental conditions.

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