Health Care and Life Sciences


Health Care and Life Sciences

  • Explain how human activities can cause an imbalance in biogeochemical cycling and lead to problems such as Cultural eutrophication and fish kills.

Imbalances in biogeochemical cycling are caused by various factors including human activities.  Human activities that are likely to cause these imbalances include emission of dangerous waste products such as industrial effluents in the air and in water bodies. Other human activities include, deforestation, poor farming methods, use of fertilizers among others. These chemicals may affect various biological cycles such as water, oxygen and carbon cycles among many others that lead to problems such as cultural eutrophication and fish kills among many others.

  • Compare and contrast the traits and growth patterns of Opportunistic versus equilibrium populations.

Opportunistic species/population uses the species intrinsic rate of increase.  They produce millions of sperms and eggs and out of these, few join to become offspring. Examples includes corals, insects, scallops, that spawn and at the same time fertile their eggs in water. Their population growth is exponential and they colonize new environment before others. In case of food, space, sunlight, oxygen shortage or any limiting factor in the environment, they crash (Pianka, 2000).  On the other hand, equilibrium populations use carrying capacity of the environment strategy meaning that they produce few offspring and take care of them in different ways. Examples include mammals, birds, and some kinds of fish such as dogfish sharks.  The population of these species at first grows exponentially but slows down when they achieve the carrying capacity of the environment.

  • Compare and contrast indirect versus direct values of biodiversity, and provide examples.

The direct values of biodiversity are categorized into consumptive and productive use values.  It allows the local people to consume locally available goods that are not available in commercial market places. Such products include local fisheries, meats, construction materials, medicines and firewood among others. Furthermore, resources from wild are sold in National and international markets. Such resources include medicinal plants, timbers among others. On the other hand, indirect use value of biodiversity provides both present and future economic benefits, which are not harvested and damaged during their use. The economic benefits are realized indirectly through the provision of these products.  Indirect value of diversity is non-consumptive use value and includes ecological services. Indirect values are also hard to quantify an estimate.

  • Describe two traits that represent a sustainable society and two traits of a non-sustainable society.

The two traits that represent a sustainable society include embracing consensus building /participatory process when making decisions and enhancing /maintain the quality of the environment. Two traits of a non-sustainable society include absence of disaster resilience and mitigation initiative in decisions and actions and lack of initiatives to maintain and enhance the quality of life of the residents. Non-sustainable society is   irresponsible and less concerned.





Pianka, E.(2000). Evolutionary Ecology. Sixth Edition. Benjamin-Cummings, Addison-Wesley-   Longman. San Francisco.




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