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Understanding Our Environment

Chapter 1
Summary Outline:
• Environmental Science
• Science As a Way of Knowing
 Scientific Design

 Reasoning

 Scientific Theory

• Approaches to Thinking
• History of Environmentalism
• Human Dimensions
 Rich and Poor Countries

Environmental Science
• Environment
 French Environner to encircle or surround

 Circumstances and conditions that surround an organism or

group of organisms.
 Social and cultural conditions that affect an individual or

Environmental Science
• Environmental Science is the systematic study of our
environment and our place in it.
 Highly Interdisciplinary

 Inclusive

 Holistic

 Mission-Oriented

Environmental Science
• Latin – scire - to Know
• Science rests on the assumptions the world is knowable
through empirical study and logical analysis.
- Searches for testable evidence.

 Explanations are considered provisional.

 Additional evidence may disprove current theories.

Table 1.1
Science As a Way of Knowing
• Scientists collaborate
• Many people often work on different aspects of a problem.
• Creativity, insight, aesthetics and even luck play roles in
scientific research.
Scientific Design
• Reproducibility
 Experiments must be designed and recorded so they can be

reproduced exactly by other researchers.

• Controlled Studies
 Comparisons are made between experimental and control

- Every variable except the one being studied is held

Scientific Design
• Blind Experiment
 Conducted so investigators do not know which is the control

and which is the experimental group, until after data have

been gathered and analyzed.
• Double-Blind
 Neither the subject nor the investigators know which

participants are receiving an experimental treatment.

• Deductive
 Reasoned conclusion

 Starting with a general principle and deriving a testable predication

about a specific case.

 Premise: All dogs have four legs.
 Premise: Rover is a dog,
 Conclusion: Rover has four legs.

• Inductive
 Specific examples are examined to locate patterns and derive general
explanations from collected observations.
 Reasoning from particular instances to a general conclusion
 if all the people you've ever met from a particular town have been very strange, you might then say "all the
residents of this town are strange"
Hypotheses and Theories
• Hypothesis
 Conditional explanation that can be tested by further

observation or experiment.
- Logically, an hypothesis is based on inductive reasoning,

can be shown to be wrong, but can almost never be shown

to be unquestionably true.
 Evidence is always provisional.

• Scientific Theory
Scientific Method
Modeling and Natural Experiments
• In some areas, historic evidence can be examined for support
or contradiction of an idea.
• Another method of investigation is using a model simulating the
phenomenon under study.
 Models represents researchers’ assumptions about how a

system works.
- Can produce contradictory results.

Statistics and Probability

• Probability
 An attempt to measure and predict the likelihood of an event.

• Sample Size
 A critical experimental variable is the number of observations

necessary in order to have a reliable representation of a

Paradigms and Scientific Consensus
• Paradigms
 Overarching model of the world that guides our

interpretations of events.
- Tend to guide the types of questions asked by

 Paradigm shifts occur when a majority of scientists agree the

older general explanations no longer fit the observations.

Approaches to Knowledge and Thinking
• Analytical Thinking
 How can I break this problem into parts ?

• Creative Thinking
 How can I approach this differently ?

• Logical Thinking
 How can deductive reasoning help ?

• Critical Thinking
 What am I trying to do ?

• Reflective Thinking
 What does it all mean ?

Steps in Critical Thinking

• Identify and evaluate premises and conclusions in an argument.
• Acknowledge and clarify uncertainties, vagueness,
equivocation, and contradictions.
• Distinguish between facts and values.
• Recognize and assess assumptions.
• Distinguish source reliability or unreliability.
• Recognize and understand conceptual frameworks.
History of Conservation and Environmentalism
• Four Distinct Stages:
 Pragmatic Resource Conservation

 Moral and Aesthetic Nature Preservation

 Modern Environmentalism

 Global Environmental Citizenship

Pragmatic Resource Conservation

• President Theodore Roosevelt and his chief conservation
advisor, Gifford Pinchot, believed in utilitarian conservation.
 Forests should be saved so they can be used to provide

homes and jobs.

- Should be used for “the greatest good for the greatest

number, for the longest time.”

Moral and Aesthetic Nature Preservation
• John Muir, first president of the Sierra Club, opposed Pinchot’s
utilitarian policies.
 Biocentric Preservation
- Emphasizes the fundamental right of all organisms to
pursue their own interests.
Modern Environmentalism
• Rachel Carson, Silent Spring.
 Awakened the public to threats of pollution and toxic

chemicals to humans as well as other species.

- Modern environmentalism extends concerns to include

both natural resources and environmental pollution.

Global Concerns
• Increased travel and communication enables people to know
about daily events in places unknown in previous generations.
 Common environment shared on a global scale.

- Global Environmentalism


• Causes of Environmental Degradation
 More than 6 billion people now occupy the earth, and we add

about 85 million more each year.

- Most growth will be in poorer countries where present

populations already strain resources and services.

Human Dimensions of Environmental Science
• A small fraction of the world’s population live in increasing
luxury, while a more than 1.3 billion people live in acute poverty.
 Seventy percent are women and children.

 Often meet short-term survival needs at the cost of long-term

 Cycle of poverty, illness and limited opportunities become

Fig. 1.15
Rich and Poor Countries
• About 20% of the worlds population lives in the twenty richest
 Average per capita income above $25,000.

• Other 80% live in middle or low-income countries.

 Ten poorest countries each have average per capita income

of less than $200.00.

• Richest 200 people in the world have have a combined wealth
of $1 trillion.
 More than total owned by poorest half of the world population

(3 billion).
Table 1.4

• Sustainable Development
 “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the

ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”

Indigenous Peoples
• Indigenous peoples are generally among the least powerful,
most neglected groups.
 In many countries, traditional caste systems, discriminatory

laws, economics, or prejudices repress indigenous peoples.

 In many places, indigenous people in traditional homelands

guard undisturbed habitats and rare species.

- Recognizing native land rights may safeguard ecological


• Environmental Science
• Science As a Way of Knowing
 Scientific Design

 Reasoning

 Scientific Theory

• Approaches to Thinking
• History of Environmentalism
• Human Dimensions
 Rich and Poor Countries

Energy, Matter and Life

Chapter 2
• Matter
– Conservation of Matter
• Atoms
– Sub-atomic particles
– Atomic number
– Atomic mass
– Ions
Chemical Bonding
• Covalent
• Ionic
• Molecule
• Compound
• Inorganic
– CO2, O2, N2, H2O
• Organic
Chemical Reactions
• Oxidation – Reduction
• Hydration
• Reaction with Acid or base
– pH
• Potential
• Kinetic
– Heat
– Specific Heat – amount of heat to warm 1 kg 1o C.
Energy Transfers = Thermodynamics
• First Law of Thermodynamics = energy is conserved, neither created
or destroyed, transferred or transformed
• Second Law of Thermodynamics = with each successive energy
transfer or transformation in a system, less energy is available to do
• Cell
– Nucleus
– Cytoplasm
– Organelles
• Metabolism- enzymatic reactions
– Cell Wall
Water of Life
• 60 to 70 of organisms by weight
• Salt and other compounds dissolve easily
– Electrolytes
• Water molecules are cohesive
– Capillary action
– Surface tension
• Exists as liquid over a wide temperature range
• Expands when crystallizes = solid
• Has high specific heat – absorbs or loses a great deal of energy as it changes
Energy of Life
• The Sun
– Electromagnetic Spectrum
Metabolism Chemistry
• Photosynthesis - captures
6 H2O + 6 CO2 + solar energy  C6H12O6 + 6 O2
• Cellular respiration – releases
C6H12O6 + 6 O2  6 H2O + 6 CO2 + energy released
Biogeochemical Cycles
• Hydrologic cycle = Water Cycle
• Carbon Cycle
• Nitrogen Cycle
– Nitrogen-fixing bacteria
– Nitrites – NO2
– Nitrates – NO3
– Ammonia – NH3
– Ammonium – NH4
– Denitrifying bacteria

Mineral cycles
• Phosphorus
• Sulfur
• Ecological System
– Biological Community
– Populations
– Species
• Energy of an ecosystem
– Open system – exchange of energy, matter across boundaries
– Closed system
Trophic Level
• Primary producers
• Consumers
– Herbivores
– Carnivores
– Omnivores
– Detritivores
– Decomposers
• Food Chain
• Food Web
Energy exchange in Ecosystems

• Ecological pyramids
Energy pyramid related to biomass period
Populations, Communities and Species Interaction
Chapter 3
Principle of Limiting Factors
• Tolerance limits
– Minimum limits
– Maximum limits
• Limiting factors in Mineral cycles
– Phosphorus
– Sulfur
• Natural Selection
– Selection pressure
• Physiological stress
• Predation
• Competition
• Luck
• Adaptation

• Speciation
• Modes of Evolution
– Divergent evolution
– Convergent evolution
• Geographic isolation
• Reproductive isolation - divergence
Naming of things
• Kingdom
• Phylum
• Class
• Order
• Family
• Genus
• Species
Ecological Niche
• A species way of life or functional role in the ecosystem = occupation
– Range of tolerance
– Types of resources used
– How it interacts in the ecosystem
– How it affects the flow of energy
• Habitat = location where a species lives
• Generalist species = Eurytopic species
• Specialist species = Stenotopic species
Resource Partitioning
Species interactions
• Interspecific competition = competition among species – overlap of
fundamental niches
Predator – Prey Relationship
• Native Species
• Non-native species
– Exotic species
– Alien species
• Killer bees
• Zebra mussels
• Kudzo

• Indicator species
– Early warning that ecosystem is being damaged
• Keystone species
– Role of species is important for ecosystem health.
• Sea otters

• Sym = together
• Bios = life
• An intimate and mutually advantageous partnership of dissimilar
• Benefits one species
• Neither harms or helps the other species
– Epiphyte plants – Air plants
Defensive Mechanisms
• Batesian mimicry – look like a dangerous predator
• Mullerian mimicry – two dangerous organisms look alike so both
Exponential Growth
Carrying Capacity (K)
• The number of individuals of a given species that can be sustained indefinitely
in a given space (area or volume)
– Often in populations it is the number of organisms that the environment will sustain.
• When will a population of 5 million organisms reach its carrying capacity if the
population doubles every 10 years, the environmental increase of food
production is 1 million individuals able to be feed per year, and the initial
environment can sustain a population of 10 million?

Logistic Growth
Fig. 3.18
Logistic growth
Fig. 3.19

Population density controls

• Density-independent population controls
– Floods, hurricanes, severe drought
– Not dependent on the density of the population
• Density-dependent population controls
– Competition for resources, predation, parasitism or disease.
– Density plays a part in how these affect the population
– Potential epidemics, Bubonic plague

Environmental resistance
Reproductive Strategies
Table 3.2
Primary Productivity
• The rate of biomass production or the conversion of solar energy into
chemical energy stored in living (or once-living) organisms.
• Net primary productivity = after respiration
Fig. 3.21
Fig. 3.22
Boundaries of communities
• Ecotones – boundary between adjacent communities
• Edge effect – environmental and biotic conditions on the edges
Fig. 3.26
Fig. 3.23
Primary Succession
Secondary Succession
Fig. 3.28
Climax community
• End of succession?
• Old age forests?
• Stable climax

Environmental Science

Test 1 Review Sheet

This Review sheet is produced as a study aid. This sheet may or may not be all inclusive of the
material you are held responsible for the test. If the material was covered in class and/or it is in
your textbook you should know it.

Chapter 1

Terms to know:
Environment, Environmental Science, science, hypothesis, theory, controlled study, deductive
reasoning, inductive reasoning, blind experiment, significant numbers, reproducibility, model,
probability, paradigm, analytical thinking, creative thinking, critical thinking, reflective thinking,
environmentalism, utilitarian conservation, biocentric preservation, modern environmentalism,
global environmentalism, environmental degradation, sustainability, resources, indigenous

Concepts and questions to know:

1. What is the problems with rich and poor countries as they deal with environmental
2. Why do we need to live sustainable as well as have sustainable development?
3. Who are these people of Environmental Science? Rachel Carson, John Muir, Gifford
Pinchot, Pierre Poivre, Theodore Roosevelt, David Brower, Barry Commoner, and
Marshall McLuhan.
4. What are the steps in critical thinking?
5. How can you detect the “Baloney” of science?
6. What advantages does modeling have for environmental science?
7. Within a scientific investigation a scientist will follow what series of logical steps to
investigate a problem?
8. Compare and contrast deductive reasoning from inductive reasoning.
9. Why is it important that scientific studies be reproducible?
10. Compare and contrast controlled studies to blind experiments to double-blind design.
11. What is the interaction of the various disciplines that are involved in environmental
12. What is environmental science?

Chapter 2

Terms to know:
Ecology, matter, energy, kinetic energy, potential energy, heat, thermodynamics, atom, atomic
number, atomic mass, proton, neutron, electron, ion, cation, anion, isotope, metal, nonmetal,
metalloid, molecule, compound, ionic bond, covalent bond, chemical reaction, acid, base, pH,
organic compound, inorganic compound, cell, metabolism, wavelength, photosynthesis, cellular
respiration, population, biological community, ecosystem, productivity, biomass, autotrophs,
primary producers, consumers, heterotrophs, food web, trophic level, herbivores, carnivores,
omnivores, detritivores, decomposers, ecological pyramid, biogeochemical cycle, chemical
cycle, carbon sink, nitrogen fixing, nitrite, nitrate, de-nitrification, ammonia, ammonium ion,

Concepts and questions to know:

1. What is the conservation of matter?
2. Compare and contrast kinetic and potential energy.
3. How is heat involved in the two laws of thermodynamics studied in class?
4. Explain the first law of thermodynamics.
5. Explain the second law of thermodynamics.
6. Compare and contrast oxidation and reduction chemical reactions.
7. What is the miracle of water?
8. What are the four major classes of biologically important organic compounds?
9. What is the source of energy for life?
10. Explain the various types of electromagnetic radiation or spectrum.
11. Compare and contrast photosynthesis to cellular respiration.
12. Compare and contrast a closed system versus an open system.
13. What are the basic components needed for a functioning ecosystem?
14. What are the various ways of observing the various ecological pyramids?
15. Explain the hydrologic cycle
16. Explain the carbon cycle
17. Explain the nitrogen cycle.
18. Explain the phosphorus cycle
19. Explain the sulfur cycle.

Chapter 3
Terms to know:
Evolution, critical factors, tolerance limits, natural selection, adaptation, adapt, selection
pressure, habitat, ecological niche, competition, predation, predator, symbiosis, commensalisms,
mutualism, Batesian mimicry, Mullerian mimicry, keystone species, exponential growth, biotic
potential, carrying capacity, overhoots, dieback, primary productivity, diversity, resilience,
stability, community structure, edge effect, ecotones, pioneer species, ecological development,
climax communities, community change

Concepts and questions to know:

1. Explain what the tolerance limits for species.
2. What are the factors that cause selection pressure?
3. Compare and contrast divergent evolution from convergent evolution.
4. What are the major taxonomic categories naming organisms?
5. What is resource partitioning for organisms?
6. What are the types of species interactions?
7. What are the various types of defensive mechanisms for organisms?
8. What is the function of keystone species?
9. What is the shape of an exponential growth curve versus logistical growth curve?
10. What are some of the limiting factors for populations? How does environmental
resistance relate to limiting factors?
11. What are the characteristics of a r-adapted species?
12. What are the characteristics of a k-adapted species?
13. What is the edge effects for environmental and biotic communities?
14. Explain primary succession for a community?
15. Explain secondary succession for a community?
Human Population
Bomb or Bust?
Chapter 4
Population Growth
• 4 to 5 children born every second
• 2 people die every second
• Net growth 2.5 children per second
– 150 per minute
– 9000 per hour (11,250 in a class period)
• Overpopulation?
– Resource depletion
– Environmental degradation

World Population Growth and Doubling Times

What type of Growth?

• Logistic or Exponential?
Doubling Time
• Rule of 70
70 = doubling time in years
Percent growth
World Population and History
Malthusian Principle
• Reverend Thomas Malthus, 1798
• An Essay on the Principle of Population
• Refute egalitarian principle of utopia (believing in human equality in a place of
ideal perfection)
• Human population increasing at exponential or compound rate, food production
remained stable or increases only slowly.
• Human population will out strip food supply, collapse into starvation, crime,
and misery
Malthus vs. Karl Marx
• Malthusian view = we have reached the carrying capacity of the earth
• David Pimentel
– 2100, 12 billion people, sick and dying
– optimum 2 billion – population at the beginning of WWII
• Mohandas Gandhi
– “There is enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for anyone’s greed”

Can Technology save us?

• Advances in Agriculture has increase food production
• Famines now are not natural but political
• Availability of food based on easily acquired natural resources, cheap
fossil fuels. Alternative fuels or starvation?
Human Demography
• Demography – Greek demos = people and graphein = to write or to
• Vital Statistics
– Birth
– Deaths
– Where people live
World population distribution
World population distribution 2
Population Measures
• Crude birth rate = number of births in a year per 1000 persons
– Crude because it is not adjusted for the number of women of reproductive age

• Total fertility rate = the number of children born to an average woman

in the population during her entire reproductive life.

• Zero population growth – ZPG

• China’s one-child-per-family policy
– Fertility rate 1970 = 6
– Fertility rate 1990 = 1.8
– Human rights violation?
• Forced abortions
• Forced sterilizations
• Infanticide – boys for the Family name sake
• Social/Cultural shift for China
– Dr. A’s prediction = China will be transformed as Chinese women shortage brings back the
unwanted Chinese girls.
– Adoption of Chinese girls to parents in other countries.

• Crude death rate – crude mortality rate = number of deaths per 1000 persons
• Net population growth – the difference between the crude birth rate and the
crude death rate.
What is the net population growth of country X which has a crude birth rate of
40/1000 and the crude death rate of 25/1000?
What is the percent growth rate for this population?
What is the doubling time for this population?

What is the net population growth of country X which has a crude birth
rate of 40/1000 and the crude death rate of 25/1000?
40 – 25 = 15/1000
What is the percent growth rate for this population?
15/1000 = 0.015 x 100 = 1.5%
What is the doubling time for this population?
70/1.5 = 46.7 years

• Life span = the oldest age to which a species is known to survive.

• Life expectancy = the average age that a newborn infant can expect to attain in any given
society. The average age at death.
– Early societies = 35 to 40 years
U.S. Life Expectancy
Income and life expectancy
Age Structure
More population measures
• Dependency ratio = the number of non-working compared to working
individuals in a population
– Developing countries workers are supporting high numbers of children
– Developed countries workers are supporting higher numbers of retired
• If you retire at age 65, you will be retired 35 to 40 years.
Changing age structure of the world
Population Growth – Opposing factors
• Pronatalist pressures – factors that increase people’s desires to have
– Joy of babies
– Support for elderly parents
– Children help the family, tend livestock, etc.
– High infant mortality
– Male pride – big families (11 to 12 children)

• Birth reduction pressure

– Higher education
– Personal freedom
– Spend time, goods, money than children
– Education and socioeconomic status inversely related to fertility in rich
– Education and socioeconomic status in developing countries can increase
fertility because they can afford to have more children
U.S. Demographic Transition
Demographic Transition

• Optimistic View
– Demographic transition already has occurred in developing countries.
• Population controls already happening
– Factors to help stabilize populations
• Growing prosperity and social reforms
• Technology
• History of developed countries teach developing countries
• Modern communications

• Pessimistic View
– Lester Brown, Worldwatch Institute
• Demographic trap – prevents developing countries from escaping the middle phase of
• Human demands exceed the sustainable yield of resources
• Environmental deterioration, economic decline, political instability – prevent
• Population grows until catastrophe intervenes
• Need for birth control education and national encouragement for lower birth rates

• Social Justice View

– Fair share of social benefits for everyone
– Enough resources for all, maldistribution of resources right now
– Stressing overpopulation encourages racism and hatred of the poor
1994 International Conference on Population and
• 180 participating countries
• To slow population growth
– Responsible economic development
– Education and empowerment of women
– High-quality health care (including family-planning services) must be
accessible to everyone (this will lower infant mortality rate)
Family planning
• Couples determine the number and spacing of their children, plan
when children are born.
• Birth Control become essential part of family planning
Fertility Controls
• Traditional controls
– Breast feeding 3 to 4 years – suppresses ovulation, (does not suppress in well
fed women)
– Taboos against intercourse while breast-feeding
– Celibacy
– Abortions
– Infanticide

• Current Fertility controls

– Avoidance of intercourse during fertile periods
• Celibacy, rhythm method, body temperature, etc.
– Mechanical barriers
• Condoms, spermicides, diaphragms, cervical caps, vaginal sponges
– Surgical methods to prevent sperm and/or egg release
• Tubal ligation in females, vasectomies in males
– Chemicals that prevent maturation or release of sperm or egg or prevent embryo
implantation in the uterus
• Estrogen plus progesterone for females, gossypol for males
• Birth control pills
• RU486
• The “Patch” progesterone released through the skin

What is being used?

The future of the Human population
So do you even care?
• Should we be worried about population growth?
• Show the human population be controlled?
• How does human population affect the world’s environments?
The effect
• If every person in the U.S. produced 1 cup of urine each day that
would have been on January 1, 2003 (U.S. population on Jan. 1 was
281,489,436 persons) a total of 17,593,090 gallons. This would be
equivalent to filling a swimming pool the size of a football field to the
depth of 104 feet deep each day. This urine would weigh 281,489 tons
Biomes and Biodiversity
Chapter 5
• Life zones, environments with similar climatic, topographic, and soil
conditions, roughly comparable biological communities
Biomes and Climate conditions
Temperature vs. Precipitation
Latitude and Altitude on Climate/Biomes
• Tropical grasslands
• Savanna
• Grazing

• Browsing

• Temperate grasslands
• Prairies
• Tall-grass
• Short-grass
• Pampas
• Veldt
• Steppes
• Polar Grasslands
• Arctic tundra
• Permafrost
Climate and Plants
• Deserts – succulent plants
• Rain Forest – Broadleaf Evergreen plants
• Areas with winter – Broadleaf Deciduous plants
• Areas with short summer – Coniferous or Evergreen plants
• Tropical Rain Forest
• Tropical Deciduous Forest
• Tropical monsoon forest
• Tropical seasonal forest
• Tropical Scrub forests
• Temperate Deciduous forests
• Evergreen Coniferous Forests
• Boreal Forests

• Taigas
• Evergreen Scrub – Mediterranean
• Chaparral – thicket, California
• Thorn scrub - Africa
Ocean life zones
Coastal Wetlands
Salt Marsh
Sandy Beach – Barrier Island

Freshwater Lakes
Freshwater Streams
• Ecosystem in which the land surface is saturated or covered with standing water
at least part of the year.
• Swamps
• Marshes
• Genetic diversity – measure of the variety of genes in a species
• Species diversity – number of different kinds of organisms
• Ecological diversity – richness and complexity of community
How many species are there?
Biodiversity Hot Spots
How do we benefit from biodiversity?
• Food
• Drugs and Medicines
• Ecological Benefits
• Aesthetic and Cultural Benefits
Threat to Biodiversity
• Extinction
– Causes of:
• Continental drift
• Climate change
• Catastrophes
– Background extinction
– Mass extinction
• Adaptive radiation

Human-caused reduction in Biodiversity

• Habitat Destruction
• Fragmentation
• Island Biogeography
– R.H. MacArthur
– E.O. Wilson
• Hunting and Fishing
– Passenger Pigeons
• Commercial Products and Live Specimens
– Economic value
• Predator and Pest Control
• Introduction of Exotic Species
– Kudzu
– Zebra mussels
• Diseases
– Fungal blight – American chestnut
• Pollution
• Genetic Assimilation
– Crossbreeding
Protecting Biodiversity
• Hunting and Fishing laws
• Endangered Species Act
– World Conservation Union
– U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
– Endangered species
– Threatened species
– Vulnerable species
Threatened Species of the world
• 34% of world’s fish
• 25% of amphibians
• 25% of mammals
• 20% of reptiles
• 13% of plants
• 11% of birds

Protecting Biodiversity
• Recovery plans
– Reintroductions
– Minimum Viable population
• Founder effect – genetic diversity may not be viable
• Demographic bottleneck – genetic problems
• Genetic drift
• Inbreeding – genetic diseases
• Private land and Critical Habitat

Food and Agriculture

Will there be enough nutritious food for everyone?
Chapter 7
Golden Rice
• Genetically modified organisms
– Frankenfoods? Unnatural creations?
Overweight – Overfed = Underweight - Underfed
• Lower life expectancy
• Increased susceptibility to disease and illness
• Reduced productivity and life quality
Terms of nutrition
• Undernutrition = people who cannot grow or buy enough food to meet their
basic energy needs
– Proper amount of calories
– Proper amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals
– Chronically undernourished – less than 90% of minimum Caloric intake needed for
normal growth and development
• Malnutrition – nutritional imbalance, enough calories, lack of specific dietary

• Nutrient-deficiency diseases – mainly protein

– Marasmus – to waste away, low calories and proteins
• Thin and shriveled, tiny starving people
– Kwashiorkor – displaced child, protein deficiency, weaned children, enough calories, not
enough proteins
• Reddish-orange hair, puffy discolored skin, bloated belly
• Overnutrition –food energy intake exceeds energy use. Second leading cause of
premature death
– Obesity – 30 lbs. Above normal weight

Poverty Cycle
Systems that provide us with food.
• Croplands – produce grain
• Rangelands – produce meat, livestock
• Oceanic fisheries
What feeds us?
• 15 plants species
– Main grain crops = wheat, rice, corn
– Annual species
• 8 terrestrial animal species
– Developed countries – beef, pork, and chicken, eggs, milk, and cheese –
domestic livestock
• 90% of our food.
Major types of food production
High-input agriculture
– Industrialized agriculture
• Large amounts of fossil fuels, water, commercial fertilizers, and pesticides
• Monoculture – 25% of croplands
• Plantation agriculture
– Bananas, coffee, cacao
• Livestock farming
– feedlots
• Traditional subsistence agriculture
• Produce enough food for their own family
• Very little surplus
• Traditional intensive agriculture
• More human and animal power input, more water and fertilizers
• Farm to have surplus, mainly women labor
Food Production
Food Production
Food production - 2
Food outlooks
• We can provide the basic nutritional needs of every person on the
earth today. If distributed equally. Meatless subsistence
• Principle cause of hunger is poverty
Soil Profile
Factors of Soils
• Soil porosity – space between grains
• Soil permeability – ability of fluid to flow through it
• Soil structure – how soil particles are organized and clumped
Soil Types

Soil Erosion
Mechanical Erosion
• Sheet erosion
• Rill erosion
• Gully erosion
Soil erosion reduction
• Gully reclamation
• Windbreaks
• Shelterbelts
• PAM – polyacrylamide, added to irrigation water to reduce soil
Surface mining without reclamation
Irrigation techniques
Farming marginal soils
Soil compaction
Declining living standards
Increased refugees
Salt build up
• salinization
• waterlogging
Soil Conservation
• Conventional-tillage farming
• Conservation-tillage farming
– Minimum-tillage
– No-till farming

• Terracing
• Contour farming
• Strip cropping
• Ally cropping

Agrodiversity - interplanting
• Growing several crops on the same plot of land
– Polyvarietal cultivation – several varieties of the same crop
– Intercropping – two or more different crops grown
– Agroforestry – ally cropping – crops and trees grow together, fruit trees and grains,
fuelwood and other crops
– Polyculture – different plants which mature at different times are grown together. Year-
round plant cover to the soil
Soil Fertility
• Organic fertilizer
– Animal manure
– Green manure
• Compost
• Commercial Inorganic fertilizers
• Crop Rotation
Agriculture Environmental impact
• Agriculture has a greater harmful impact on air, soil, water and
biodiversity resources than any other human activity.
– Not included in the cost of food
Major environmental effects from food production
Green Revolution
• Farm more land
• Get higher yields per unit area
– Developing and planting monocultures, selectively breed or genetically
engineered – 3 grains
– Heavy fertilizer, pesticides, and water use
– Increase intensity and frequency of cropping
Green Revolutions
Effects from the Green Revolution
• Soil erosion
• Loss of fertility of the soil
• Salination and waterlogging
• Depletion of water resources – groundwater and surface water
• Increase of rapidly breeding pests, develop immunity to pesticides
Increasing crop yields
• Gene Revolution – Crops that:
• Are more resistant to insects and disease
• Thrive on less fertilizer
• Make their own nitrogen fertilizer
• Do well in slightly salty soils
• Can withstand drought
• Use solar energy more efficiently during photosynthesis

Are you willing to eat?

• Genetically modified organisms?
• New forms of vegetables?
• Insects? Microlivestock
• Mopani anyone? Emperor moth catepillars
Sustainable approaches
• Sustainable Agriculture
– Regenerative farming
• Low-Input sustainable agriculture
– Less mechanized farming