UCT Question and Answer for Ecology and Environment

1.   Living organisms provide many ecological services free of cost that are responsible for maintaining ecosystem health. Which of the following can be characterized as ecosystem services?

1. Biodiversity helps in regulating and stabilizing water run-off.

2. Wetlands and forests act as water purifying systems.

3. Biodiversity helps in recycling of nutrients found in the atmosphere.

4. Biodiversity helps in climate stability.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(b)                   2, 3 and 4 only

(c)                   1 and 3 only

(d)                   All of the above

2.   What is a keystone species?

(a)                   A species which makes up only a small  proportion of the total biomass of a community, yet has a huge impact on community’s organization.

(b)                   A common species that has plenty of biomass yet has a fairly low impact on the community organization.

(c)                   A rare species that has minimal impact on the biomass and on the other species in the community.

(d)                   A dominant species that constitute a large proportion of the biomass and which affects many other species.

3.   Which among the following ecosystems have an inverted pyramid of biomass?

1. Grassland

2. Pond

3. Forest

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 and 2 only

(b)                   2 and 3 only

(c)                   3 only

(d)                   2 only

4.   Which of the following bioremediation process discussed below is/are correct?

1. Phytoremediation – It is an in-situ remediation technology that uses micro-organisms to biodegrade organic constituents in the groundwater system.

2. Mycoremediation – It is a method that use living plants to clean up soil air and water contaminated with hazardous contaminants.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 only        (b)       2 only

(c)                   Both 1 and 2        (d)       Neither 1 nor 2

5.   Which of the following factors influence the Ecological Succession process?

1. Landslides and mudslides.

2. Type of soil.

3. Type of topographic structure.

4. Methodology of Species interaction.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   2 and 3 only

(b)                   2 only

(c)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(d)                   All of the above

6.   Which of the following forms of species interaction has/have been characterized as ‘Ecological facilitation interaction’?

1. Neutralism.

2. Commensalism.

3. Symbiosis.

4. Mutualism.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 3 and 4 only

(b)                   2 only

(c)                   2 and 4 only

(d)                   All of the above

7.   Which of the following are the geo-engineering methods used for climate change mitigation?

1. Placing mirrors in space

2. Injecting sulphur in atmosphere

3. Artificial trees

4. White washing building roofs.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 and 2

(b)                   1, 2 and 4

(c)                   1, 3 and 4

(d)                   1, 2, 3 and 4

8.   Which of the following statements related to food chain is/are correct?

1. Photosynthesis is the first step of each food chain.

2. Food chains remains short if the primary consumer is a very large animal with few predators.

3. The scavengers and decomposers help in  moving energy through the food chain.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   3 only

(b)                   1 and 2

(c)                   2 and 3

(d)                   All of the above

9.   Which among the following is key faunal species that is being conserved and monitored in ‘Dachigam National Park’?

(a)                   Musk Deer

(b)                   Golden Oriole

(c)                   Yellow-throated Marten

(d)                   Hangul or Kashmir Stag

10. Which among the following are the ideal conditions for the development of mangroves?

1. Mix of saline and fresh water.

2. Fine-gained substrate.

3. Free from strong wave action and tidal current.

4. Low seasonal variation in temperature.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 2, 3 and 4

(b)                   1, 2 and 3

(c)                   1 and 3

(d)                   2 and 3

11. With respect to “Importance of Genetic Diversity”, consider the following statements:

1. It is useful for adaption in environmental conditions.

2. It helps in speciation or evolution of new species.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a)                   1 only

(b)                   1 and 2 only

(c)                   Both 1 and 2

(d)                   Neither 1 nor 2

12. Which of the following is/are the example of pioneer species?

1. Green Algae

2. Lichens

3. Orchids

4. Scutch Grass

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 2 and 3

(b)                   1, 3 and 4

(c)                   2, 3 and 4

(d)                   All of the above

13. Consider the following statements regarding to National Green Tribunal:

1. It has been established under Biodiversity Act, 2002.

2. It deals with enforcement of any legal right related to environment and giving relief and compensation.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a)                   1 only

(b)                   2 only

(c)                   1 and 2 only

(d)                   All of the above

14. Which of the following is/are the effect of global warming?

1. It may lead to increase in pathogenic diseases.

2. It may lead to rise in transpiration rates in plants.

3. It may lead to poleward shifting of vegetation.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 only

(b)                   2 and 3

(c)                   1 and 3

(d)                   1, 2 and 3

15. Which of the following techniques are used in Ex-situ conservation?

1. Botanical Gardens

2. Zoo’s

3. Seed gene bank

4. Germplasm bank

5. Field gene bank

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

(a)                   1, 2 and 3

(b)                   2, 3 and 5

(c)                   1 and 2

(d)                   1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

16. Which of the following types of population interactions between species is/are correctly matched?

1. Competition – It is a condition in which there is suppression of one organism as the two species struggle for limited resources.

2. Predation – It is an interaction between organisms or species in which both the organisms derive benefit.

3. Mutualism – It is a form of interspecies cooperation in which one individual benefits while the other is unaffected.

4. Commensalism – One organism benefits and other is killed.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 and 4 only

(b)                   2 and 3 only

(c)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(d)                   All of the above

17. Which of the following is the objective of Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund?

(a)                   It provides grants to organizations around the world that are working to help protect biodiversity hotspots.

(b)                   It provides funding to cover the “incremental” or additional costs associated with transforming a project with national benefits into one with global environmental benefits.

(c)                   It is created out of “polluter pays” principle for the purposes of financing and promoting clean energy initiatives.

(d)                   None of the above

18. Which of the following statement correctly describe the term ‘Edge Effect’?

(a)                   Changes in the population or community structures that occur at the boundary of two biomes.

(b)                   The transition zone between two or more different biomes.

(c)                   The range of environmental factors over which an individual species can have a positive impact.

(d)                   Species that are very important in order to maintain a balance in the ecosystem.

19. Which of the following ecosystems are known as keystone ecosystems?

1. Wetland ecosystem

2. Estuary ecosystem

3. Mediterranean ecosystem

4. Grassland ecosystem

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(b)                   2, 3 and 4 only

(c)                   1 and 2 only

(d)                   3 and 4 only

20. Which among the following statement correctly defines the term ‘Red Tide’?

(a)                   Red Tide is a phenomena where certain phytoplankton species containing pigments, bloom over water body due to warm ocean surface temperature.

(b)                   Red tide is a phenomenon that occurs especially when moon appears red and it causes high tides in coastal regions.

(c)                   Red tides are algal blooms over water bodies due to eutrophication and is red in color only.

(d)                   Red tide occurs due to excessive oil spill over the water body that creates thick oil sludge of red color.

21. Which of the following statement define the term Species endemism?

(a)                   When species richness and species evenness occur.

(b)                   When a species is confined entirely to a particular area.

(c)                   When in a given area the assemblage and interaction of species living together and the physical environment occur.

(d)                   When species adapt to the changing environmental conditions.

22. Consider the following statements related to chemoautotrophs:

1. It is the conversion of carbon into organic matter by organisms using oxygen as an energy source.

2. These organisms are found in petroleum deposits, ice caps, lava mud animal gut, hot springs and hydrothermal vents.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a)                   1 only

(b)                   2 only

(c)                   Both 1 and 2

(d)                   Neither 1 nor 2

23. Which of the following statement best describes biotic potential?

(a)                   It refers to the population biomass of a population measured as dry weight per unit area.

(b)                   It refers to the possible functional roles a species can play in an ecosystem.

(c)                   It refers to the maximum reproductive capacity of an organism under optimum environmental condition.

(d)                   It refers to the minimum population of a species required to sustain a food web.

24. Which of the following is/are the sources of pollution in phosphate cycle?

1. Pollution from agricultural run-off.

2. Domestic sewage

3. Climate Change

4. Deforestation

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(b)                   2, 3 and 4 only

(c)                   1, 2 and 4 only

(d)                   All of the above

25. Which of the following ecosystem are likely to face the impact of global warming more than the others?

(a)                   Monsoon forest

(b)                   Grassland

(c)                   Tundra forests

(d)                   Desert ecosystems

26. Which of the following is a characteristic of Eurythermal organisms?

(a)                   They can tolerate and thrive in a wide range of temperatures.

(b)                   They can only live in places with extremely low temperatures.

(c)                   They can tolerate a very narrow range of temperatures

(d)                   They go into hibernation during winters.

27. Which of the following correctly describes Homeostasis?

(a)                   It refers to the gradual process by which communities in the ecosystems change and develop over time.

(b)                   It is the process of transfer of energy from one trophic level to another in a detritus food chain.

(c)                   It is the process by which an organism maintains a stable internal environment despite changes in external conditions.

(d)                   None of the above.

28. Which of the following processes is/are the examples of ex-situ bio-remediation?

1. Composting

2. Bioventing

3. Slurry base bioremediation

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a)                   1 and 3 only

(b)                   2 and 3 only

(c)                   2 only

(d)                   All of the above

29. Which of the following is known as the rain forest of the oceans?

(a)                   Mangroves

(b)                   Coral reefs

(c)                   Sea grass

(d)                   Oysters

30. As per the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 the chief wildlife warden may permit hunting of wildlife animals under which of the following conditions?

1. A wild animal has become dangerous to human life.

2. A wild animal has become diseased beyond recovery.

3. Hunting of snakes for collecting venom to prepare life saving drugs.

Select the correct answer using codes given below.

(a)                   1 and 3 only

(b)                   1 only

(c)                   2 and 3 only

(d)                   All of the above

31. The term Acid shocks is related to which of the following?

(a)                   The infusion of sulphuric acid into lakes and rivers in spring due to melting of snow.

(b)                   The sudden impact of acid rain on the plankton in the oceans due to acid rains

(c)                   The sudden infusion of sulphuric acid into the soil when dry acid depositions are washed down by rain water.

(d)                   Change in the texture and color of monuments due to acid rain

32. Edaphic factors are included in:

(a)                   Abiotic components

(b)                   Biotic components

(c)                   Consumers

(d)                   Producers

33. Which of the following statement correctly explains the phenomenon of Antibiosis?

(a)                   A relationship in which one species kills to feed on the other species.

(b)                   An organism benefiting from the relationship with the other organism.

(c)                   It is an association between organisms that is detrimental to one or more of them.

(d)                   It is competition between organisms of the same species.

34. Consider the following statements about estuaries:

1. Estuaries are a form of Ecotone.

2. They are lined with marshes and seagrasses that filter the water flowing to the ocean.

3. They act as buffer protecting us from coastal storms.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

(a)                   1 and 2 only

(b)                   2 and 3 only

(c)                   1 and 3 only

(d)                   All of the above

35. Which among the following are considered as threats to coral reefs?

1. Sunscreen

2. Blast fishing

3. Global warming

4. Ocean acidification

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   2, 3 and 4 only

(b)                   1, 3 and 4 only

(c)                   3 and 4 only

(d)                   All of the above

36. Which among the following is not a constituent of Air Quality Index (AQI)?

(a)                   NO2            (b)       PM 10, PM 2.5

(c)                   CO  (d)       CO2

37. Which of the following statements define the negative impacts of Tourism sector on the Environment?

1. Depletion of ozone.

2. Change in species composition by introduction of invasive species.

3. Decrease in air and water permeability.

4. Decreases financial support for environmental conservation

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(b)                   1 and 2 only

(c)                   1, 2 and 4 only

(d)                   All of the above

38. Which of the following is/are the applications of Chlorofluoro Carbons?

1. Pressurizing agent in aerosol cans.

2. For the production of tubeless tyres

3. Uses as coolant and propellants.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 and 2 only         (b)       2 and 3 only

(c)                   1 and 3 only         (d)       None of the above

39. Which of the following statement related to the Green House Gas Bulletin Report is correct?

(a)                   It provides information about the trends and atmospheric burden of the carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O).

(b)                   It has been released by IPCC.

(c)                   It has highlighted that CO2 has decreased but nitrous oxide, methane and CFC-11 has increased sharply.

(d)                   None of the above

40. Which of the following forestation schemes and their objectives is/are correctly matched?

1. National Afforestation Programme scheme: for afforestation of degraded forest lands.

2. National Mission for Green India: for encouraging efficient utilization of forest produce.

3. National Forest Policy of 1988: for maintenance of environmental stability through preservation and restoration of ecological balance.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 only

(b)                   1 and 3 only

(c)                   1 and 2 only

(d)                   All of the above

41. In agriculture “biological control” of the pests involves the use of:

(a)                   Antibiotics

(b)                   Bio-fertilizers

(c)                   Pesticides

(d)                   Natural enemies of pests

42. Which of the following is/are the benefits of removing Bamboo from the category of “tree”?

1. It would promote bamboo cultivation by farmers resulting in the enhancement of their income from agricultural fields.

2. It will allow transit of bamboo grown in non-forest areas.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 only        (b)       2 only

(c)                   Both 1 and 2        (d)       Neither 1 nor 2

43. What are tropical secondary forests?

(a)                   Forests that grow in the outer periphery of rainforests

(b)                   Forests that grow after deforestation of rainforests.

(c)                   Moist deciduous forests growing in subtropical region

(d)                   Reforested and grassland areas in semi-arid sub-tropical climate

44. Which of the following river is called ‘biological desert on account of its pollutants?

(a) Yamuna river (b) Periyar river

(c) Damodar river            (d) Mahanadi river

45. Which of the following is/are the impacts of warmer oceans?

1. It will affect weather pattern.

2. It can cause more powerful tropical storms.

3. It can impact sea life.

4. It causes rise in sea level.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(b)                   2, 3 and 4 only

(c)                   2 and 3 only

(d)                   All of the above

46. Which of the following organisation declare Eco-Sensitive Zone?

(a)                   Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC)

(b)                   Indian Board for Wildlife

(c)                   Wildlife Institute of India

(d)                   National Green Tribunal

47. Which of the following is/are the benefits of habitat corridor?

1. It helps in increasing genetic diversity.

2. It helps in seasonal migration.

3. It may reduce human-animal conflict during disasters such as wildfires or floods.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

(a)                   1 and 2 only

(b)                   2 only

(c)                   2 and 3 only

(d)                   All of the above

48. The Ramsar Convention works closely with which of the following organizations known as International Organisation Partners?

1. Birdlife International

2. International Water Management Institute (IWMI)

3. World Wildlife Fund (WWF)

4. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals

Select the correct answer using the codes the given below:

(a)                   1, 2 and 3 only

(b)                   1 and 2 only

(c)                   2, 3 and 4 only

(d)                   All of the above

49. What is Tx2 campaign related to tiger conservation?

(a)                   It denotes the global alliance of governments, international organizations, civil society, the with the aim of working together to save wild tigers from extinction.

(b)                   It denotes the International Tiger Coalition representing more than 40 non-government organizations.

(c)                   It denotes the software-based monitoring system launched across Indian tiger reserves.

(d)                   It is a global commitment to double the number of wild tigers made by the governments of 13 tiger range countries.

50. Which of the following biodiversity conservation programmes and their objectives is/are correct?

(a)                   MIKE: to strengthen patrolling and surveillance of the Endangered Bengal tiger

(b)                   M-STrIPES: to conserve elephants and reduce human-elephant conflict.

(c)                   OPERATION THUNDERBIRD: to conserve urban sparrow

(d)                 CA|TS: set standards for the tiger conservation regions.



Ecology and Environment final

  1. Ans: D

Exp: Ecosystem services are the direct and indirect contributions of ecosystems to human well-being which determine the quality of life.

Ecosystem services can be categorized in four main types:

    Provisioning services are the products obtained from ecosystems such as food, fresh water, wood, fiber, genetic resources and medicines.

    Regulating services are defined as the benefits obtained from the regulation of ecosystem processes such as climate regulation, natural hazard regulation, water purification and waste management, pollination or pest control.

    Habitat services highlight the importance of ecosystems to provide habitat for migratory species and to maintain the viability of gene-pools.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: Types of Species

  • Keystone species: Keystone species is a species whose addition to or loss from an ecosystem leads to major changes in occurrence of at least one other species. Ex. Tiger, Lion, etc.

      Foundation Species: Foundation species play a major role in creating or maintaining a habitat that supports other species. Ex. Corals

      Critical Link Species: These Species play an important role in supporting network species as pollinators, dispersal agents, absorption or circulation of nutrients

      Sentinel Species: They are sensitive indicators of environmental problem. For example, frogs, toads, salamander.

  • Umbrella Species: Umbrella species are species that are selected for conservation-related decisions because the conservation and protection of these species indirectly affects the conservation and protection of other species within their ecosystem. Umbrella species help in the selection of potential reserve locations, as well as the determination of the composition of the reserve.
  1. Ans: D
    Exp :

    Biomass pyramids show how much biomass (the amount of living or organic matter present in an organism) is present in the organisms at each trophic level, while productivity pyramids show the procroation or turnover in biomass.

    There is also pyramid of numbers which represent the number of organisms in each trophic level. They may be upright (e.g. Grassland ecosystem), inverted (parasitic ecosystem) or dumbbell shaped (forest ecosystem). In aquatic ecosystems, the producers are small organisms with least biomass and the biomass gradually increases. Thus inverted in shape.

  1. Ans: D

Exp: Phytoremediation is a cost-effective plant-based approach of remediation that takes advantage of the ability of plants to concentrate elements and compounds from the environment and to metabolize various molecules in their tissues. It refers to the natural ability of certain plants called hyperaccumulators to bioaccumulate, degrade, or render harmless contaminants in soils, water, or air. Toxic heavy metals and organic pollutants are the major targets for phytoremediation.

Mycoremediation is a form of bioremediation in which fungi-based technology is used to decontaminate the environment. Fungi have been proven to be a very cheap, effective and environmentally sound way for helping to remove a wide array of toxins from damaged environments or wastewater. The toxins include heavy metals, persistent organic pollutants, textile dyes, leather tanning industry chemicals and wastewater, petroleum fuels, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, pesticides and herbicide, in land, sweet water and marine environments.

  1. Ans: D

Exp: Ecological succession is the process by which an environment changes structure, in terms of resident species, over a period of time. Ecological succession falls under two categories, primary and secondary, which determine the types of factors that are involved. The factors involved in ecological succession are either biotic or abiotic. Biotic factors are those that involve life and its aspects. Abiotic factors are those that involve aspects external to life but are still indirectly involved.

  1. Ans: C

Exp: Facilitation describes species interactions that benefit at least one of the participants and cause no harm to either. Facilitations can be categorized as mutualisms, in which both species benefit or commensalisms, in which one species benefits and the other is unaffected.

Neutralism describes the relationship between two species that interact but do not affect each other.

Symbiosis can be used to describe relationships where one organism lives on or in another, or it can be used to describe cases where organisms are related by mutual stereotypic behaviors.

  1. Ans: D

Exp: In order to slow down climate changes likely caused by the increase in human-generated greenhouse gases, some scientists and policymakers are exploring ways in which to cool the planet.

The main categories of geo-engineering techniques are:

      SOLAR RADIATION MANAGEMENT: SRM techniques attempt to reflect sunlight back into space, and include a range of ideas, from orbiting mirrors, tonnes of sulphates sprayed into the stratosphere, and modifying clouds, plants and ice to make them more reflect more sunlight.

      CARBON DIOXIDE REMOVAL: These proposals posit that it’s possible to suck carbon out of the atmosphere on a massive scale, using a combination of biological and mechanical methods, from seeding the ocean with iron pellets to create plankton blooms to creating forests of mechanical “artificial trees”.

  1. Ans: C

Exp: A food chain is a chain that shows the relationship between species based upon their feeding. A grazing food chain often begins with a plant because it is able to make its own food. This type of link on the food chain is referred to as a producer. The first animal to eat the producer is referred to as the primary consumer. An animal that eats the primary consumer is referred to as a secondary consumer. This continues with third consumer, fourth consumer, fifth consumer, etc… Eventually the energy transfer ends when decomposers feed from the dead animal.

In Detritus food chain Primary source of energy is dead organic matter called ‘detritus’ which are fallen leaves, plant parts or dead animal bodies. Primary consumers are ‘detritivores’ including protozoans, bacteria, fungi, etc which feed upon the detritus saprophytically. Detritivores are in turn eaten by secondary consumers such as insect larvae, nematodes, etc. Detritus food chains are generally shorter than grazing food chains

  1. Ans: D

Dachigam National Park is located 22 kilometers from Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir. It covers an area of 141 square kilometers. The main animal species that Dachigam is most famous for is the Hangul, or the Kashmir Stag.

  1. Ans: A

Mangroves have several requirements to develop:

  1. They need an appropriate mix of saline and fresh water.
  2. They need a large tides range. This causes limited erosion and deposition of sediments.
  3. They need salt water. They are facultative halophytes.
  4. The shores must be free of storage wave action and tidal current.
  5. In general they need a fine-grained substrate.
  6. They need average temperatures of the coldest month higher than 20 degree. The seasonal temperature range should not exceed 5 degree.
  7. Ans: D

Exp: It describes the variation in the number and types of genes as well as chromosomes present in different species.

The magnitude of variation in genes of a species increases with increase in size and environmental parameters of the habitat.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: Pioneer species are hardy species which are the first to colonize previously disrupted or damaged ecosystems, beginning a chain of ecological succession that ultimately leads to a more biodiverse steady-state ecosystem.


Examples of the plants and organism that colonize such areas are pioneer species:

      Barren sand – lyme grass

      Salt water – green algae

  • Clear water – algae, mosses
  • Solidified lava flows – swordfern
  • Bare clay – Orchids
  • Mountains – Lichens
  1. Ans: B

Exp: The National Green Tribunal has been established on 18.10.2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010.

  1. Ans: D

Exp: Global temperature is likely rise by 2 to 5 degree the next century. Due to rise in temperature, there is a chance of melting of ice caps on Earth poles. This melting of ice result in the rise of the sea level, Large starches of low lying areas will submerge and many island countries will face deep encroachment by seawater.

As the increase in temperature will be uniform all over the surface of the world, there will be serious climate changes. This will bring various changes in wind and rain pattern. Higher temperature will cause rise in transactions, which in turn, will affect the ground water.

As the climatic belts shift from equator towards pole, the vegetation would also shift away from the equator. Insects and pests will increase in the warmer climatic conditions. Thus, pathogenic-diseases will multiply.

  1. Ans: D

Ex-situ Biodiversity conservation can be done as following:

  • By forming Gene banks: In this store seeds, sperm & ova at extremely low temperature and humidity.
  • It is very helpful to save large variety of species of plants & animals in a very small space. e.g. sperm and ova banks, seed banks.
  • Forming Zoo and botanical garden: for research purpose and to increase public awareness collecting living organisms for aquaria, zoos and botanic gardens.
  • Collections of In vitro plant tissue and microbial culture.
  • Captive breeding of animals and artificial propagation of plants, with possible reintroduction into the wild.
  1. Ans: A

Exp: Statement 2 is incorrect: Predation: A predator is free living which catches and kills another species for food. Most of the predatory organisms are animals but there are some plants (carnivorous) also, especially fungi, which feed upon other animals.

Statement 3 is incorrect: Mutualism: Mutually beneficial interspecific interactions are more common among organisms. Here both the species derive benefit.

Other interactions among living organisms are:

Positive Interactions

  • Commensalism: In this one species derives the benefits while the other is unaffected.
  • Proto-cooperation: It is an association of mutual benefit to the two species but without the co-operation being obligatory for their existence or for their performance of reactions.

Negative interactions

  • Competition: It is a condition in which there is a suppression of one organism as the two species struggle for limiting quantities of nutrients O2 space or other requirements.
  • Parasitism: A parasite is the organism living on or in the body of another organisms and deriving its food more or less permanently from its tissues. A typical parasite lives in its host without killing it, whereas the predator kills its upon which it feeds.
  • Antibiosis: Antibiotic is an organic substance produced by one organism which in low concentration inhibits the growth of other organism.
  1. Ans: A

Exp: CEPF provide grants for nongovernmental and private sector organizations to help protect biodiversity hotspots, Earth’s most biologically rich yet threatened areas.

  • The convergence of critical areas for conservation with millions of people who are impoverished and highly dependent on healthy ecosystems for their survival is more evident in the hotspots than anywhere else
  1. Ans: A

Exp: Edge Effects

In ecology, edge effects refer to the changes in population or community structures that occur at the boundary of two habitats. Areas with small habitat fragments exhibit especially pronounced edge effects that may extend throughout the range. As the edge effects increase, the boundary habitat allows for greater biodiversity.

  1. Ans: C

Exp: A keystone ecosystem is particularly important because it provides habitat for a large portion or critical elements of an area’s biodiversity. Riparian ecosystems near streams, lakes and wetlands are considered keystone since they cover a relatively small area yet support a disproportionately large number of species. Estuaries are also a keystone ecosystem because of their disproportionately large influence relative to their size and abundance.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: Red tides are caused by an explosive growth and accumulation of certain microscopic algae, predominantly dinoflagellates, in coastal waters. These harmful algae blooms, or HABs for short, pose a serious and recurring threat to human health, wildlife, marine ecosystems, fisheries, coastal aesthetics and our economy.

Major factors influencing red tide events include warm ocean surface temperatures, low salinity, high nutrient content, calm seas, and rain followed by sunny days during the summer months.

  1. Ans: B

Exp: Endemic species are plants and animals that exist only in one geographic region. Species can be endemic to large or small areas of the earth: some are endemic to a particular continent, some to part of a continent, and others to a single island. Usually an area that contains endemic species is isolated in some way, so that species have difficulty spreading to other areas, or it has unusual environmental characteristics to which endemic species are uniquely adapted.

  1. Ans: B

Exp: Statement 1 is incorrect: Chemosynthetic bacteria are organisms that use inorganic molecules as a source of energy and convert them into organic substances. Chemosynthetic bacteria, unlike plants, obtain their energy from the oxidation of inorganic molecules, rather than photosynthesis. Chemosynthetic bacteria use inorganic molecules, such as ammonia, molecular hydrogen, sulfur, hydrogen sulfide and ferrous iron, to produce the organic compounds needed for their subsistence.

Statement 2 is correct:  Most chemosynthetic bacteria live in environments where sunlight is unable to penetrate and which are considered inhospitable to most known organisms. Chemosynthetic bacteria usually thrive in remote environments, including the Arctic and Antarctic polar regions, where they can be found deep into the ice; they are also found many miles deep in the ocean where sunlight is unable to infiltrate or several meters deep into the Earth’s crust.

  1. Ans: C

Exp: Biotic potential indicates the capacity for a species to reproduce under environmental conditions that are ideal. Thus, food supply would not be limited in any way, and disease and predation would not affect the population. Biotic potential depends on the frequency of reproduction as well as the number of offspring produced.

  1. Ans: C

Exp: Humans cause environmental problems by interfering with the phosphorus cycle.

On farmland where phosphates are applied as fertilizers, plants do not absorb all phosphate. The phosphates end up in water and stream towards lakes and reservoirs, where they cause a phenomenon called eutrophication.

Urban sewage also causes eutrophication as it is rich in phosphate.

Eutrophication means that the water is so rich in nutrients that it causes certain water plants, such as green algae, to grow extensively. As a result the oxygen supply in the water depletes, causing fish and other oxygen-dependent organisms to die and bacteria that are not oxygen dependent (anaerobic) to take over.

When people practise extensive wood chopping in forest areas, such as the tropical rain forest, phosphate supplies deplete, because most of the phosphate can be found in the ground under the trees in such areas. When the trees are removed the rain washes phosphates away, causing the ground to become unproductive.

Phosphate supplies are restored very slowly, because most phosphate in soils and water comes from weathering rocks and oceanic sediments.

  1. Ans: C
  2. Ans: A

Exp: Eurythermal organisms are organisms that can survive in a wide range of temperatures. These organisms include most mammals like goats, man, cow, sheep and monkeys

Stenothermal organisms on the other hand are ones which can only survive in limited temperature rangers. These organisms can be divided into two main categories;

  1. i) Thermophilic – These are the organisms that can thrive in high temperatures only. Examples include; coral reefs and some reptiles.
  2. ii) Cryophilic – These are stenotherms that can only survive in low temperature regions. Their examples include most of the arctic animals such as the arctic crustaceans, salmons and seals
  3. Ans: C

Exp: Homeostasis is a phenomenon in which the body regulates its functions to keep the internal conditions as stable as possible. Homeostasis is necessary because the body cells need to have suitable conditions around them for proper functioning. These conditions include the presence of proper concentration of chemicals, proper temperature, and a suitable pH (degree of salinity or acidity), etc. inside its cells.

  1. Ans- A

Exp: Bioremediation techniques are destruction techniques to stimulate the growth of micro-organisms, using the contaminants as a food and energy source.

These techniques have been successfully used to remediate soils/sludges & groundwater contaminated by petroleum hydrocarbons, solvents, pesticides, wood preservatives, and other organic chemicals.

In-situ bioremediation: It is the treatment of contaminated soil or water in the site in which it was found.

The most effective method of in-situ bioremediation is by using aerobic procedures. These procedures both supply oxygen to the soil in two different ways:

  • Bioventing is the process of pumping oxygen into the soil anywhere above the water table in the form of air.
  • Injection of Hydrogen Peroxide is a process that is used only where the water in the area is already contaminated. This is because it involves injecting chemicals into the contaminated ground and it could eventually leach into the ground water. This process increases the speed of productivity of the micro-organisms by distributing hydrogen peroxide throughout contaminated soil.

Ex-situ bioremediation: The treatment of contaminates soil or water once it has been excavated or pumped out of the location at which it was found.

  • Slurry Phase Bioremediation is a process where the contaminates soil is mixed with water and other reagents in a large tank known as a bioreactor. It is mixed in order to keep the micro-organisms in contact with the toxins present in the soil. Then oxygen and nutrients are added into the mixing so the micro-organisms have an ideal environment to break down the contaminants. Once the process has been completed, the water is separated from the soil and the soil is tested and replaced in the environment. This particular process is comparatively fast compared to other bioremediation techniques
  • Solid-Phase Bioremediation is a process that treats the contaminates soil in an above-ground treatment centre. Conditions inside the treatment areas are controlled to ensure optimum treatment can take place. This type of treatment is easy to maintain , but it requires a lot of space and the process of decontamination will take longer than it would by slurry-phase bioremediation. Solid-phase soil treatments include landfarming, soil biopiles, and composting.
  • Soil biopiles is a process where piles of soil are placed over top of a bug vacuum pump. The vacuum pump pulls air through the pile of soil to allow oxygen to get thought the sol to the mico-organisms. Contaminants which may be turned into gas forms are easily controlled as they are simply sucked with the air stream through the soil.

Composting is a treatment where the waste is mixed in with straw, hay or corn cobs to maximize the water levels and air levels which the micro-organisms have access to.

  1. Ans: B

Exp: Coral reefs are often called the “tropical rainforests of the sea” for their astounding richness of life. Due to their structural complexity, corals are one of the most productive ecosystems on Earth, providing important services to mankind including fisheries, coastal protection, medicines, recreation, and tourism.

  1. Ans: D

Hunting of Wild animals to be permitted in certain cases.– (1) Not with standing anything contained in any other law for the time being in force and subject to the provisions of Chapter IV – (a) the Chief Wildlife Warden may, 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; (b) the Chief Wildlife Warden or the authorised officer may, if he is satisfied that any wild animal specified in Sch. II Sch, III or Sch. IV has become dangerous to human life or to property (including standing crops on any land) 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 such animal to be hunted. (2) The killing or wounding in good faith of any wild animal in defence of oneself or of any other person shall not be an offence; Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall exonerate any person who, when such defence becomes necessary, was committing any act in contravention of any provision of this Act or any rule or order made thereunder. (3) Any wild animal killed or wounded in defence of any person shall be Government property.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: A sudden increase in the level of acidity of surface waters (lakes, streams, and rivers) in mid-latitude areas, caused by the melting in spring of snow that has accumulated through the winter, and stored dry fallout of acidic precipitation. Anacid shock can cause significant damage to freshwater species and habitats.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: Edaphic factor is an abiotic factor relating to the physical or chemical composition of the soil found in a particular area. For example, very alkaline soil may be an edaphic factor limiting the variety of plants growing in a region.

  1. Ans: C
  2. Ans: D

Exp: Statement 1 is correct: An estuary is a partially enclosed body of water formed where fresh water from land meets and mixes with salt water from the ocean. It is a form of ecotone.

Statement 2 is correct: Estuarine ecosystem consist of seagrasses and mangrove which help in filtration of water.

Statement 3 is correct: They act as natural buffer between the land and ocean, absorbing floodwaters and storm surges.

  1. Ans: D

Exp: It is underwater marine ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Corals secrete hard carbonate exoskeletons that support and protect them. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups. Coral belongs to class Anthozoa in animal phylum Cnidaria, which includes sea anemones and jellyfish. Corals are often called “rainforests of the sea” as they form some of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems. They occupy less than 0.1% of world’s ocean area, but provide a home for at least 25% of all marine species.

Conditions required for their growth: Warm tropical oceans located between 30 degree north and 25 degree south latitudes where a minimum temperature of 20 degree is found and this temperature favors the growth of coral organisms, oceanic water free of sedimentation, transparent parts of ocean bodies, relatively low salinity ocean bodies.

Threats: They are under threat from excess nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), rising temperatures due to global warming, oceanic acidification, sunscreen use overuse, overfishing (e.g. from blast fishing, cyanide fishing, spearfishing on scuba), and harmful land-use practices, including runoff and seeps (e.g., from injection wells and cesspools).

  1. Ans: D

It was launched in 2015 starting with 14 cities to disseminate air quality information.AQI considers eight pollutants – PM 10, PM 2.5, NO2, So2, CO, O3, NH3 and Pb.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: The effects on loss of biodiversity:

  1. a) It threatens our food supplies, opportunities for recreation and tourism, and sources of wood, medicines and energy.
  2. b) It interferes with essential ecological functions such as species balance, soil formation, and greenhouse gas absorption.
  3. c) It reduces productivity of ecosystems.
  4. d) It destabilizes ecosystems and weakens their ability to deal with natural disasters such as floods, droughts, and hurricanes, and with human-caused stresses, such as pollution and climate change.

On the other hand, tourism has the potential to create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation. It is a way to raise awareness of environmental values and it can serve as a tool to finance protection of natural areas and increase their economic importance.

  1. Ans: C

Exp. FCs and HCFCs are used in a variety of applications because of their low toxicity, reactivity and flammability. Every permutation of fluorine, chlorine and hydrogen based on methane and ethane has been examined and most have been commercialized. Furthermore, many examples are known for higher numbers of carbon as well as related compounds containing bromine. Uses include refrigerants, blowing agents, pressurizing agent in aerosol cans, propellants in medicinal applications and degreasing solvents.Billions of kilograms of chlorodifluoromethane are produced annually as precursor to tetrafluoroethylene, the monomer that is converted into Teflon.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: The Atmospheric Environment and Research Division of WMO’s Research Department publishes the WMO-GAW Annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletins. Each year, these bulletins will report the latest trends and atmospheric burdens of the most influential, long-lived greenhouse gases; carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O), as well as a summary of the contributions of the lesser gases.

The Green House Gas Bulletin has a special section devoted to CFC-11 (trichlorofluoromethane). This is a potent greenhouse gas and a stratospheric ozone depleting substance regulated under the Montreal Protocol. Since 2012, its rate of decline has slowed to roughly two-thirds of its rate of decline during the preceding decade. CO2 levels have reached the 400ppm barrier on a global average basic for the entire year.

  1. Ans: D

Exp: Afforestation scheme

  • National Mission for Green India

The National Mission for Green India (GIM) is one of the eight Missions outlined under the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). It aims at protecting; restoring and enhancing India’s diminishing forest cover and responding to climate change by a combination of adaptation and mitigation measures. It envisages a holistic view of greening and focuses on multiple ecosystem services, especially, biodiversity, water, biomass, preserving mangroves, wetlands, critical habitats etc. along with carbon sequestration as a co-benefit. This mission has adopted an integrated cross-sectoral approach as it will be implemented on both public as well as private lands with a key role of the local communities in planning, decision making, implementation and monitoring.

  • The National Forest Policy 1988

The National Forest Policy 1988 aimed at the  protection, conservation, regeneration and development of forests. The main points of the National Forest Policy 1988 included maintenance of environmental stability by the preservation and restoration of ecological balance, conserving the  forests as  national heritages which consists of  various kinds of flora and fauna.

  • National Forestation programme

NAP is being implemented for afforestation of degraded forest lands.

  1. Ans: D

Biological control or biocontrol is a method of controlling pests such as insects, mites, weeds and plant diseases using other organisms. It relies on predation, parasitism, herbivory, or other natural mechanisms without use of pesticides, fertilisers and antibiotics.

  1. Ans: C

Exp: The Government of India has made concerted efforts to promote bamboo cultivation right from enabling regulatory provision, to supporting the bamboo plantation on a large scale by launching newly restructured National Bamboo Mission with a budget outlay of Rs 1290 crore.

The amendment in Indian Forest Act, 1927, will facilitate the inter-state movement of bamboo, as there will be no requirement of permit during transit from one State to another. It will ultimately result in reducing the gap of availability of resources from bamboo-surplus states to bamboo-deficit states. As a result, both producers and consumers will be benefitted.

  1. Ans: B

Exp: Secondary forests are forests regenerating largely through natural processes after significant removal or disturbance of the original forest vegetation by human.

  1. Ans: C

Exp: Biological Desert river is a river where we don’t find life i.e. hardly any fish or other aquatic species in it.

In India, Damodar River is considered as a bio desert river.

  1. Ans: D

The atmosphere affects oceans, and oceans influence the atmosphere. As the temperature of the air rises, oceans absorb some of this heat and also become warmer. Overall, the world’s oceans are warmer now than at any point in the last 50 years. The change is most obvious in the top layer of the ocean, which has grown much warmer since the late 1800s. This top layer is now getting warmer at a rate of 0.2°F per decade. Oceans are expected to continue getting warmer—both in the top layer and in deeper waters. Even if people stop adding extra greenhouse gases to the atmosphere now, oceans will continue to get warmer for many years as they slowly absorb extra heat from the atmosphere. Warmer oceans affect weather patterns, cause more powerful tropical storms, and can impact many kinds of sea life, such as corals and fish. Warmer oceans are also one of the main causes of rising sea level.

  1. Ans: A
  2. Ans: D

Exp: Habitat fragmentation can lead to an overall reduction in species population and potentially local extinction of a plant or animal species. As Evans notes, species affected by habitat fragmentation become increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters and predation and are also more susceptible to inbreeding, increasing the prevalence of genetic defects.

Habitat corridors allow movement between isolated populations, promoting increased genetic diversity.

They provide food and shelter for a variety of wildlife and help with juvenile dispersal and seasonal migrations.

The corridors can also serve to minimize wildlife encroachment into human populated areas during natural disasters such as wildfires or floods.

  1. Ans: A

Exp: The Ramsar Convention works closely with six other organizations known as International Organisation Partners (IOPs). These are:

  1. Birdlife International
  2. International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  3. International Water Management Institute (IWMI)
  4. Wetlands International
  5. WWF
  6. International Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)
  7. Ans: D

Exp: The TX2 campaign is a global commitment to double the number of wild tigers made by the governments of 13 tiger range countries.

  1. Ans: D


M-STrIPES, short for Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status is a software-based monitoring system launched across Indian tiger reserves by the Indian government›s National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2010. The system›s objective is to strengthen patrolling and surveillance of the Endangered Bengal tiger. Forest guards in tiger reserves are equipped with personal digital assistants and GPS devices to capture data relating to tiger sightings, deaths, wild life crime and ecological observations while patrolling. The software system maps the patrol routes of forest guards, and the resulting data are then analyzed in a geographic information system. This is intended to enhance the effectiveness and spatial coverage of patrols.


Mandated by COP resolution of CITES , MIKE program started in South Asia in the year 2003 with following purpose – To provide information needed for elephant range States to make appropriate management and enforcement decisions, and to build institutional capacity within the range States for the long-term management of their elephant populations.

The main objectives of the MIKE are:-

  • to measure levels and trends in the illegal hunting of elephants;
  • to determine changes in these trends over time;
  • to determine the factors causing or associated with such changes, and to try and assess in particular to what extent observed trends are a result of any decisions taken by the Conference of the Parties to CITES

Operation Thunderbird

Operation Thunderbird is the code-name for INTERPOL’s multi-national and multi-species enforcement operation.