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Practice Test: Environment- 1 - UPSC MCQ


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50 Questions MCQ Test Mock Test for UPSC Prelims 2025 - Practice Test: Environment- 1

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Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 1

Which of the following are natural World Heritage Sites in India as mandated by UNESCO?

1. Kaziranga National Park

2. Keoladeo National Park

3. Sundarbans National Park

4. Valley of Flowers National Park

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 1

Natural Heritage Sites in India

  • Natural Heritage Sites in India, like India's Sundarbans, Western Ghats, and Kaziranga National Park, are vital ecosystems recognised by UNESCO. These sites conserve unique biodiversity, landscapes, and habitats. They are a global asset, contributing to scientific research and environmental balance.
  • Three types of sites: Cultural, natural and mixed.

Here's a list of the Natural Heritage sites in India, sourced from UNESCO.

  • Great Himalayan National Park Conservation Area (2014)
  • Kaziranga National Park (1985)
  • Keoladeo National Park (1985)
  • Manas Wildlife Sanctuary (1985)
  • Nanda Devi and Valley of Flowers National Parks (1988, 2005)
  • Sundarbans National Park (1987)
  • Western Ghats (2012)
  • Khangchendzonga National Park (2016) is a natural as well as cultural world heritage site of UNESCO
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 2

The concept of "Edge effect" in ecology is best defined as which of the following?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 2
  • Ecotones:
    • An ecotone is a transitional area or boundary zone between two distinct ecosystems or habitat types. For example, it could be the transition between a forest and a grassland or between a wetland and a terrestrial environment.
  • Edge Effect:
    • The "Edge effect" refers to the ecological changes and variations that occur at the boundaries or edges of different ecosystems, specifically in ecotones. Hence option (b) is the correct answer. These changes include alterations in environmental conditions and shifts in the composition of species, often leading to unique ecological dynamics.
    • The edge effect typically results in different environmental conditions than those found in the interior of the adjacent ecosystems. For instance, there may be variations in light, temperature, humidity, and wind patterns at these transition zones.
    • Species Composition in Ecotones often supports a unique mixture of species, including those adapted to both of the adjacent ecosystems. Some species thrive in these transitional areas due to the availability of resources from both ecosystems. This can lead to increased biodiversity and the presence of species not commonly found in either adjacent habitat.
    • Edge effects are essential in understanding ecosystem dynamics and biodiversity. They can influence species interactions, population dynamics, and the overall functioning of ecosystems. They also have implications for conservation efforts, as changes at ecotones can affect the vulnerability and distribution of species.
    • While edge effects occur naturally, human activities, such as habitat fragmentation and urban development, can exacerbate these effects.
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Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 3

Consider the following pairs:
Elephant Reserves  - State
1. Lemru - Chhattisgarh 
2. Chirang-Ripu - Meghalaya 
3. Singphan - Jharkhand 

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 3

Lemru Elephant Reserve, Chhattisgarh

  • Lemru Elephant reserve was proposed to prevent human-animal conflict in the Korba region of Chhattisgarh as elephants regularly move from Jharkhand and Odisha to Chhattisgarh. The area proposed under this reserve is part of the Hasdeo Aranya forests, a very diverse biozone that is also rich in coal deposits. Hence pair 1 is correctly matched.

Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve – Assam

  • Ripu and Chirang are two contiguous reserve forests, in extreme western Assam bordering West Bengal. They are part of the buffer zone of Manas TR. These forests have the largest known population of the endangered Golden Langur (EN).
  • Ripu-Chirang is a conservation link between Buxa Tiger Reserve (in WB)-Phipsu Wildlife Sanctuary (in Bhutan)-Royal Manas National Park (in Bhutan)-Manas National Park (India). Hence pair 2 is not correctly matched.

Singphan Elephant Reserve- Nagaland

  • It is the 30th elephant reserve in the country and is located in Mon district of Nagaland. Hence pair 3 is not correctly matched.
  • It is strategically located in contiguity with the Abhaypur Reserve Forest of Assam. The creation of reserve will give better protection and conservation of elephants in the state.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 4

"Nature 2030: A Union in action" is a project of:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 4
  • The Nature 2030 IUCN Programme, marks the culmination of many years of deliberation across the Union. Adopted by democratic vote at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Marseille, for the first time, sets its ambition over ten years.
  • It is a call for mobilisation to the Members, Commissions, and Secretariat.
  • This longer-term outlook aligns with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.
  • The Programme defines broad areas of work and sets aspirational targets as well as indicators to measure success. • It will help the Union deliver for people, land, water, oceans, and climate through five pathways to transformative change: recognize, retain, restore, resource and reconnect.
  • Over the next decade IUCN’s 1,400+ State, Government Agencies, Indigenous Peoples, and NGO Members, our network of 15,000+ scientists, and our Secretariat of hundreds of dedicated staff will work together towards the Nature 2030 agenda.
  • Through this global call to action, we commit to delivering clear and demonstrable contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals, the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, as well as global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 5

Consider the following features:

1. Sharing similar resources

2. Competing for similar resources

3. Interbreeding and reproduction

How many of the above are distinguishing features of a population in ecology?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 5
  • Population: 
    • A population is a group of individuals of a single species that live in the same general area. Members of a population rely on the same resources, are influenced by similar environmental factors, and have a high likelihood of interacting with and breeding with one another. The distinguishing characteristics of a population includes,
      • Sharing similar resources:
        • This is an essential aspect of a population. In a given geographical area, a population of individuals, whether they are of the same species or different species, often shares and competes for similar resources like food, water, shelter, and other necessities. This resource sharing and competition are critical in understanding the interactions and dynamics within a population. Hence option 1 is correct.
      • Competing for similar resources:
        • Competition for similar resources is a defining feature of a population. It occurs when individuals within the population vie for access to limited resources. This competition can have a significant impact on population size, growth, and distribution. In some cases, it may lead to the development of specific adaptations or behaviors to reduce competition, such as niche differentiation. Hence option 2 is correct.
      • Interbreeding and reproduction:
        • For individuals to be considered part of the same population, they should have the potential to interbreed and produce fertile offspring. This feature is crucial because it defines the genetic cohesion within a population. Interbreeding ensures that the genetic diversity of the population is maintained and that traits are passed on to the next generation. Hence option 3 is correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 6

The 2023 Production Gap Report titled “Phasing down or phasing up? Top fossil fuel producers plan even more extraction despite climate promises” was recently released. In this context, consider the following statements:

1. The report is published by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

2. The report tracks the discrepancy between governments’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 6
  • The 2023 Production Gap Report: “Phasing down or phasing up? Top fossil fuel producers plan even more extraction despite climate promises” finds that governments plan to produce around  110% more fossil fuels in 2030 than would be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C, and 69% more than would be consistent with 2°C.
  • The Production Gap Report — first launched in 2019 — tracks the discrepancy between governments’ planned fossil fuel production and global production levels consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C or 2°C. Hence statement 2 is correct. 
  • The Report has been prepared by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other institutes such as Stockholm Environment Institute, etc. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • The 2023 Report highlights that major countries' plans and projections would lead to an increase in global coal production until 2030, and in global oil and gas production until at least 2050. It includes countries like Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, UAE, etc.
  • Recommendations:
    • Adopt near and long-term reduction targets in fossil fuel production.
    • An equitable transition away from fossil fuel production must recognize countries’ differentiated responsibilities and capabilities.
    • Governments with greater transition capacity should aim for more ambitious reductions and help finance the transition processes in countries with limited capacities.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 7

With reference to the National Parks in India, consider the following statements:

1. The central government can declare a national park.

2. The State government has all the rights of lands to be included in the national parks.

3. Only on the recommendation of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), the boundaries of national parks can be changed.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 7

National Parks In India

  • Chapter IV “Protected Area” of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 lay down Provisions for declaration, conservation and management of Wildlife Sanctuaries, National Parks, Tiger Reserves and closed and protected areas.

Declaration of National Parks by Statel Government:-

  • Section 35 deals with the declaration of national parks by a State Government. It says:-
  • An area which by reason is ecological, has fauna, flora or with other benefits related to the wildlife needs to be constituted as a national park. To protect the wildlife, it may be constituted by the notification.
  • If any area is intended to be declared as a national park it is first applied to investigation of the land and determination of the claims.
  • The State government has all the rights of lands to be included in the national parks and none can enter except the person who brings livestock for the animal. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Only on the recommendation of the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), the changes to the boundaries of national parks can be made. Hence statement 3 is correct.

National Park declared by Central Government :-

  • Section 38 defines the power of the Central Government to declare areas as national parks. The central government, if satisfied with the conditions of the specified area, can declare it as a national park by the notification.
  • The central government has the power to declare sanctuaries or national parks if the government is satisfied by the conditions which are given in section 35. Hence statement 1 is correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 8

With reference to the Kaziranga National Park, consider the following tags:

1. Tiger Reserve

2. Important Bind Area recognized by BirdLife International

3. World Heritage Site of UNESCO

How many of the above tags are associated with Kaziranga National Park?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 8

Kaziranga National Park

  • Kaziranga National Park is home to more than 2200 Indian one-horned rhinoceros, approximately 2/3rd of their total world population.
  • Formed in 1908 on the recommendation of Mary Curzon, it is located in the edge of the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspots – Golaghat and Nagaon district. In 1985, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
  • The park is the breeding ground of elephants, wild water buffalo, and swamp deer.
  • The tiger population has increased in Kaziranga, and so it was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2006. Also, the park is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International for the conservation of avifaunal species.
  • Birds like lesser white-fronted goose, ferruginous duck, Baer’s pochard duck lesser adjutant, greater adjutant, black-necked stork, and Asian Openbill stork specially migrate from Central Asia during the winter season.
  • The park is equally rich in fauna with four main types of vegetation namely alluvial inundated grasslands, tropical evergreen forests, tropical moist mixed deciduous forests, and alluvial savanna woodlands.
  • Trees include Indian gooseberry, elephant apple, kumbhi, and cotton trees. Elephant grass, spear grass, and sugarcane are some of the common tall grasses available here.
  • Hence option (c) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 9

With reference to the Conservation reserve, consider the following statements:

1. It is notified by State Government after consulting with the Central government and the local communities.

2. They act as buffer zone and migration corridors between national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests.

3. India’s first conservation reserve for Dugongs has been set up in Palk Bay.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 9

Conservation Reserves

  • Notified by: State Government after consulting with the central government and the local communities. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • Criteria: An inhabited area which typically act as buffer zone to or connectors and migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India. Parts of the land in this area are privately owned. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited and completely owned by the Government of India but used for subsistence by communities.
  • Tamil Nadu government recently announced India’s first conservation reserve for Dugongs in Palk Bay. Hence statement 3 is correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 10

Which of the following correctly describes the theme of UN decade of 2021-30?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 10
  • The UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration is a rallying call for the protection and revival of ecosystems all around the world, for the benefit of people and nature. It aims to halt the degradation of ecosystems, and restore them to achieve global goals. Only with healthy ecosystems can we enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change, and stop the collapse of biodiversity.
  • The UN Decade runs from 2021 through 2030, which is also the deadline for the Sustainable Development Goals and the timeline scientists have identified as the last chance to prevent catastrophic climate change.
  • The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed the UN Decade following a proposal for action by over 70 countries from all latitudes.
  • Led by the United Nations Environment Programme and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, The UN Decade is building a strong, broad-based global movement to ramp up restoration and put the world on track for a sustainable future. That will include building political momentum for restoration as well as thousands of initiatives on the ground.
  • Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 11

If any wild animal specified in Schedule I of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 has become dangerous to human life, who among the following permits any person to hunt such animal?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 11
  • State governments exercise complete administrative control over all statutorily recognized forests and other government-owned lands in the country. The state government’s power to constitute reserved forests, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries is absolute but it has to seek prior approval of the Central Government for de-reservation, de-notification, diversion, logging, or leasing of forests for non-forestry activities.
  • The State Forest Department is vested with the task of administration and management of forests, including wildlife reserves. State Forest Departments are headed by Principal Chief Conservators of Forests (PCCF) who are officers of the Indian Forest Service (IFS).
  • The Chief Wildlife Warden (CWLW) is the statutory authority, under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 who heads the Wildlife Wing of the department and exercises complete administrative control over Protected Areas (PAs) within a state. Every PA is typically classified as a Wildlife Division and is headed by a Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF).
  • Important provisions related to CWLW of Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972: 
    • The Chief Wild Life Warden may, if he is satisfied that any wild animal specified in Schedule I 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 such animal to be hunted. Hence option (d) is the correct answer.
    • It shall be lawful for the Chief Wild Life Warden, to grant a permit, by an order in writing stating the reasons therefor, to any person, on payment of such fee as may be prescribed, which shall entitle the holder of such permit to hunt subject to such conditions as may be specified therein, any wild animal specified in such permit, for the purpose of education, scientific research. o
    • No person shall cultivate a specified plant except under and in accordance with a licence granted by the Chief Wild Life Warden or any other officer authorised by the State Government in this behalf:
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 12

How many of the following types of adaptations are shown by mangroves?

1. Viviparity

2. Cutinized epidermis

3. Pneumatophores

4. Knee roots

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 12
  • Mangroves represent a characteristic littoral (near the sea shore) forest ecosystem, and they are mostly evergreen forests that grow in sheltered low lying coasts, estuaries, mudflats, tidal creeks backwaters (coastal waters held back on land), marshes, and lagoons of tropical and subtropical regions.
  • The mangrove forests comprise trees and shrubs belonging to some 12 genera, and the dominant genera are Rhizophora, Avicennia, Bruguiera, and Sonneratia.
  • Mangroves show the following adaptations to live on the water’s edge and on saline and poorly aerated soils, which are fine grained and high in organic content: 
    • Prop roots and stilt roots: Prop roots are aerial roots that provide support to the tree. Stilt roots are the roots that arise from the base of the plant and perform the function of supporting the plant.
    • Pneumatophores: Specialized roots that grow upwards from the soil and have numerous apertures which exchange gases. e.g., Avicennia, Sonneratia.
    • Knee roots: To exchange gases (Bruguiera).
    • Vivipary: The seedling grows while attached to the parent tree. When it is released, it either gets stuck in the mud or floats upright until it touches the bottom and settles down, e.g., Rhizophora, Bruguiera.
    • Cutinized epidermis: The epidermis is highly cutinized and the water storage tissue is extensive. In most species, there are salt secreting glands which help to get rid of excess salt.
  • Hence option (d) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 13

Consider the following statements regarding Leith’s Softshell Turtle:

1. It is a large freshwater turtle which is endemic to peninsular India.

2. It has the least concern status by IUCN.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 13
  • Leith’s Softshell Turtle is a large freshwater soft-shelled turtle which is endemic to peninsular India and it inhabits rivers and reservoirs. The species has been subject to intensive exploitation over the past 30 years. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
    • It has been poached and illegally consumed within India. It has also been illegally traded abroad for meat and for its calipee.
    • The population of this turtle species is estimated to have declined by 90% over the past 30 years such that the species is now difficult to find.
    • It is classified as ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 14

Consider the following statements:

1. A protected forest can be a reserved foresstt  bbuu t a reserved forest cannot be a proteecctteedd forest.

2. Rules for regulating the management of the village forest is made by the State Government.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 14

Types of Public Forest under the Indian Forest Act, 1927

  • Reserved Forests
  • Village Forests
  • Protected Forests

Reserved Forests

  • They are reserved by the Government. More than half of the forest area in India is declared as a Reserve forest. 53% of the total forests in India are the Reserved Forests. For their conservation the Government reserves these forests.
  • The activities like hunting and cutting the trees are strictly banned in these forests. Only on special permissions by the higher authorities, these activities may be performed unless and until there is a valid reason for performing it.

Protected Forests (Section 29)

  • The Indian Forest Act empowers the State Government to use any land as protected forest. Forests are not reserved under the state government.
  • A protected forest can be a reserved forest but a reserved forest cannot be a protected forest. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The State also has some power to reserve some species of trees in these forests so that the state can have control over the trees, whose timber, fruits and non-wood products have revenue-raising potential.

Village Forests (Section 28)

  • The State Government can give the rights to any village group, which the Government has over any land which has been reserved. Rules for regulating the management of the forest to be made by the State Government. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Here two interchangeably terms are used- 'village forest' itself and the other is a 'forest village' but both are different from each other. The village forest is in legal category whereas the forest village lies in the administrative category in the Act.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 15

In the context of ecological niches, the term "Fundamental niche" refers to,

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 15
  • Niche:
    • A niche can be thought of as a species' "address" in the ecosystem, encompassing all the environmental factors and interactions that allow it to thrive. It defines what a species does, where it lives, what it eats, and how it reproduces. Essentially, a niche is the sum total of an organism's ecological requirements and contributions to its ecosystem.
  • Fundamental niche:
    • Fundamental niche is the entire set of conditions under which an animal (population, species) can survive and reproduce itself.
    • The fundamental niche represents the theoretical or potential ecological niche of a species, considering only the influence of abiotic (non-living) factors. It encompasses the full range of environmental conditions, such as temperature, humidity, light, and other abiotic factors, where a species could survive and reproduce without competition from other species. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
    • Think of it as the "perfect world" scenario for a species, where it can exploit all available resources and environmental conditions without any constraints. This is an idealized concept and often does not reflect the real-world ecological interactions and competition that occur.
    • The fundamental niche helps scientists understand the theoretical limits of a species' ecological tolerance and adaptability.
  • Realized niche:
    • It is the set of conditions actually used by given animal (pop, species), after interactions with other species (predation and especially competition) have been taken into account.
    • It takes into account biotic interactions, such as competition and predation, which often narrow down a species' ecological range in nature. The realized niche is where a species is actually found in a given ecosystem, considering both abiotic and biotic factors.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 16

Arrange the following organisms in the correct sequential order of a food chain, starting from the primary producer to the top predator.

1. Desert Hare

2. Desert willow

3. Coyote

4. Falcon

5. Snake

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 16
  • Desert food chain:
    • A desert food chain is a graphical representation showing who eats whom and thus the flow of energy in the desert biome. Like other food chains, there are two main types of organisms in a desert food chain: producers and consumers.
    • Producers are organisms that make their food. Usually, plants and microorganisms are producers. In contrast, consumers feed on producers for their livelihood. Based on their position in the food chain, consumers are divided into primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary consumers or apex predators.
  • A desert food chain is unique due to its harsh environment. The Desert ecosystem food chain proceeds as follows,
    • Desert Willow: This is a plant and serves as the primary producer in the food chain. It captures sunlight and converts it into energy through photosynthesis. The other primary producers in Deserts are date palms, cacti, acacia, sagebrush, and desert milkweed.
    • Desert Hare: The Desert Hare is an herbivore that feeds on plants, including the Desert Willow. Herbivores are primary consumers in the food chain as they consume primary producers. The other primary consumers are Kangaroo rats, desert tortoises, ground squirrels, Arabian camels, and some insects feed only on plants to survive.
    • Snake: Snakes can be both secondary and tertiary consumers, depending on what they prey on. They may eat smaller herbivores like Desert Hares or smaller carnivores like birds. The other secondary consumers are izards, coyotes, rattlesnakes, mongooses, tarantulas, and scorpions.
    • Falcon: Falcons are higher-level carnivores that feed on other animals, including birds and rodents. They are tertiary consumers in the food chain. The other tertiary consumers are hyenas, sand cats, foxes, hawks, and eagles.
    • Coyote: Coyotes are at the top of the food chain, or at the highest “trophic” level. Coyotes prey on mesopredators, like raccoons, opossums, striped skunks, Falcons, and red foxes, which occupy the next lowest trophic level Carnivores are secondary consumers because they feed on herbivores.
  • Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 17

With reference to The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, consider the following statements:

1. It is an intergovernmental programme launched in 1971 by UNESCO for improving people's relationships with environment.

2. Biosphere Reserves des ignat ion criteria includes large protected core area enough to sustain viable populations representing all trophic levels.

3. It is governed by International Coordinating Council (ICC), reporting to UNESCO.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 17

Biosphere Reserves (BR)

  • The Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme, launched in 1971 by UNESCO , is an intergovernmental scientific programme that aims to establish a scientific foundation for improving people's relationships with their environments. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • UNESCO has designated Biosphere Reserves (BR) as representative parts of natural and cultural landscapes spanning large areas of terrestrial or coastal/marine ecosystems, or a combination of both. They strive to strike a balance between economic and social development, cultural preservation, and environmental preservation.

Criteria for Designation of Biosphere Reserve (BR)

  • A site must contain a protected and minimally disturbed core area of value of nature conservation.
  • The core area must be a bio-geographical unit and should be large enough to sustain a viable populations representing all trophic levels.
  • The involvement of local communities and use of their knowledge in biodiversity preservation. Hence statement 2 is correct. 
  • The MAB Programme is governed globally by its International Coordinating Council (ICC), which reports to the UNESCO General Conference and its Executive Board.There is no law that governs the Biosphere Reserves (BR) and in 1979, the world's first biosphere reserve was established. Hence statement 3 is correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 18

Consider the following statements regarding the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs):

1. They are notified as ‘national parks’ or ‘wildlife sanctuaries’ under Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

2. Coastal and marine sites are identified and prioritized as Important Coastal and Marine Areas by the Wildlife Institute of India.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 18

Marine Protected Areas (MPA):

  • MPA is a section of ocean where a government has placed limits on human activity. Currently, an estimated 7.65% of ocean is covered by MPAs.
  • They are notified as either ‘national parks’ or ‘wildlife sanctuaries’ under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • They are given special protections for natural or historic marine resources by local, state, territorial, native, regional, or national authorities.
  • Recently, a total of 106 coastal and marine sites have been identified and prioritized as Important Coastal and Marine Areas (ICMBA) using globally used criteria by the Wildlife Institute of India. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Important MPAs (coastal or marine) of India are as given in image:-
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 19

The Horn of Africa experiences increased rainfall during which of the following weather phenomena?

1. El Nino

2. La Nina

3. Positive Indian Ocean Dipole

4. Negative Indian Ocean Dipole

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 19
  • Recent context: Around 1.6 million people in Somalia could be affected by the heavy seasonal downpours, which have been worsened by the combined impact of two climate phenomenons, El Niño and the Indian Ocean Dipole.
  • El Nino is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. El Niño is the “warm phase” of a larger phenomenon called the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). La Niña, the “cool phase” of ENSO, is a pattern that describes the unusual cooling of the region’s surface waters. El Niño and La Niña are considered the ocean part of ENSO, while the Southern Oscillation is its atmospheric changes. It has an impact on ocean temperatures, the speed and strength of ocean currents, the health of coastal fisheries, and local weather from Australia to South America and beyond.
  • El Nino is likely to be disastrous for many African regions. Rainfall in most of southern Africa will likely decline, especially in Angola, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Shortages of staple crops, such as corn, are likely. The Horn of Africa, on the other hand, will likely see increased rainfall. El Nino typically impacts Southeast Asia with drier-than-average conditions, usually stemming rainfall and leading to the threat of drought.
  • The Indian Ocean Dipole - often called the "Indian Niño" because of its similarity to its Pacific equivalent - refers to the difference in sea-surface temperatures in opposite parts of the Indian Ocean. Temperatures in the eastern part of the ocean oscillate between warm and cold compared with the western part, cycling through phases referred to as "positive", "neutral" and "negative".
  • The dipole's positive phase means warmer sea temperatures in the western Indian Ocean region, with the opposite in the east. The result of this strong positive dipole is higher-than-average rainfall and floods in eastern Africa (including Horn of Africa) and droughts in south-east Asia and Australia.
  • Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 20

Consider the following statements with respect to the e-way bill system under the Goods and Services Tax (GST):

1. A consignment value of more than ?50,000 is required to generate an e-way bill for movement between the two States and within a State.

2. With regard to intrastate movement of goods, each state is free to choose a threshold value for e-way bill generation.

3. No e-way bill is required for goods transported by a non-motorized conveyance.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 20
  • Recent context: E-way bill generation in October has crossed 10 crore for the first time since its introduction. Data from the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) showed e-way bill generation touched 10.03 crore, surpassing the previous high of 9.34 crore in August, this year.
  • A waybill is a receipt or a document issued by a carrier giving details and instructions relating to the shipment of a consignment of goods and the details include name of the consignor, consignee, the point of origin of the consignment, its destination, and route.
  • An Electronic Way Bill (E-Way Bill) is basically a compliance mechanism wherein by way of a digital interface the person causing the movement of goods uploads the relevant information prior to the commencement of the movement of goods and generates e-way bill on the GST portal.
  • As per Central Goods and Services Tax (CGST) Rules, 2017, consignment value of more than ₹50,000 is required to generate an e-way bill. This is required for movements between the two States and within a State. However, a State can decide the threshold for the value of goods to be applicable for movement within its boundary. Hence statements 1 and 2 are correct.
  • The validity of an e-way bill depends on the distance to be traveled by the goods. For a distance of less than 100 Km, the e-way bill will be valid for a day from the relevant date. For every 100 Km thereafter, the validity will be an additional one day from the relevant date.
  • No e-way bill is required to be generated in the following cases:
    • Transport of goods as specified in Annexure to Rule 138 of the CGST Rules, 2017
    • goods being transported by a non-motorized conveyance. Hence statement 3 is correct.
    • goods being transported from the port, airport, air cargo complex and land customs station to an inland container depot or a container freight station for clearance by Customs;
    • Consignment value less than Rs. 50,000/.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 21

Consider the following statements regarding the World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR):
1. It was formed in 1971 for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, and living in harmony with nature.

2. More than 50 percent of the notified biosphere reserves in India are a part of the WNBR.

3. Sundarbans Biosphere Reserve was the first to be recognized under the WNBR.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 21

World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR)

  • The World Network of Biosphere Reserves (WNBR) was formed in 1971, as a backbone for biodiversity conservation, ecosystem restoration, and living in harmony with nature. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • It integrates people and nature for sustainable development through dialogue; knowledge sharing; poverty reduction and human well-being improvements; respect for cultural values and society’s ability to cope with change - thus contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • It promotes North-South and South-South collaboration and represents a unique tool for international cooperation.
  • There are 748 biosphere reserves in 134 countries, including 23 transboundary sites. Biosphere reserves in India
  • There are 18 Biosphere Reserves in the country and out of which 12 internationally recognised BRs. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • 12 internationally recognised BRs of India:
    • Nilgiri
    • Gulf of Mannar
    • Sunderban
    • Nanda Devi
    • Nokrek
    • Pachmarhi
    • Similipal
    • Achanakmar-Amarkantak
    • Great Nicobar
    • Agasthyamala
    • Khangchendzonga
    • Panna
  • In India, the first biosphere reserve was designated by UNESCO in 2000, namely, Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve stretching over Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 22

With reference to the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, consider the following statements:

1. It was adopted during the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

2. It aspires to restore 30% of degraded lands and marine areas by 2030.

3. It targets to reduce the rate of introduced invasive species by 50 percent by 2030.

How many of the a correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 22
  • The Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) was adopted during the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) following a four year consultation and negotiation process. This historic Framework, which supports the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and builds on the Convention’s previous Strategic Plans, sets out an ambitious pathway to reach the global vision of a world living in harmony with nature by 2050. Among the Framework’s key elements are 4 goals for 2050 and 23 targets for 2030. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The countries will monitor and report every five years or less on a large set of indicators related to progress. The Global Environment Facility has been requested to establish a Special Trust Fund to support the implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework (“GBF Fund”).
  • In the GBF, the world made a number of significant commitments to halt and reverse biodiversity loss.
    • It targets to protect 30 per cent of the terrestrial and marine environment. 
    • It targets to put 30 percent of land and marine area under active restoration by 2030 and mobilize US$ 30 billion by 2030. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
    • It agreed to reduce – at least by half – nutrients introduced into the environment.
    • It agreed to reduce the risk from pesticides and hazardous chemicals by at least half.
    • It agreed to reduce the rate of introduced invasive species by 50 per cent by 2030 and to eradicate and control those already introduced. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
    • And It agreed to eliminate, phase out or reform harmful subsidies, reducing them by US$ 500 billion per year by 2030 – starting with the most harmful.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 23

With reference to the Indian Elephants, consider the following statements:

1. It is the National Heritage animal and is depicted on the frieze of the circular abacus of the State Emblem.

2. Elephant census is conducted once in 5 years.

3. There are around 50 Elephant Reserves in India.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 23

About Indian elephant (Elephas maximus)

  • Characteristics:- Highly intelligent animals characterised by strong family bonds, sophisticated forms of communication and complex behaviour, including tool use and the ability to feel grief and compassion.
  • It is the National Heritage Animal of India. The frieze of the circular abacus of Lion Capital is adorned with sculptures an elephant, agalloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening Dharma Chakras. Hence statement 1 is correct.

Conservation measures:

  • Project Elephant, a centrally sponsored scheme and was launched in 1992 by the Narsimha Rao government for the protection of elephants, their habitats, and corridors.
  • Elephant census is conducted once in 5 years and there are around 33 Elephant Reserves in India. Hence statement 2 is correct and statement 3 is not correct.
  • Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE), an international effort for conservation of elephants in Asia and Africa.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 24

Consider the following statements with respect to Greenhouse Gas Bulletin:

1. It is an initiative of the United  Nations Environment Programme.

2. The bulletin shows the globally averaged surface mole fractions for carbon . dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) and compares them with the previous year and preindustrial levels.

3. It is published semi-annually.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 24
  • Recent context: The World Meteorological Organization released the latest Greenhouse Gas Bulletin and found that levels of carbon dioxide are similar to those found 3 to 5 million years ago.
  • The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin represents the latest analysis of observations from the WMO GAW Programme. It shows globally averaged surface mole fractions for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) and compares them with the mole fractions during the previous year and with the preindustrial levels. It also provides insights on the change in radiative forcing by long-lived GHGs (LLGHGs) and the contribution of individual gases to this increase. Hence statement 1 is not correct and statement 2 is correct.
  • It is published annually. Since 2006, WMO has published annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletins. The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin of 2023 comes ahead of the UN climate change conference COP28 in Dubai. Hence statement 3 is not correct.
  • The current bulletin estimates that the current trajectory “puts us on the pathway of an increase in temperatures well above the Paris Agreement targets by the end of this century,” he added, referring to efforts to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 25

Consider the following approaches for the conservation of biodiversity:

1. Germplasm banks

2. Tissue culture

3. Cryopreservation

4. DNA clones

How many of the above techniques are in- vitro techniques for the conservation of biodiversity?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 25
  • An organism can be conserved in a natural/ artificial habitat or in the form of a germplasm (bacterial cultures, animal tissues, seeds etc.) by employing various methods. A number of efforts have been put forward by various governmental and non-governmental organizations aiming for the conservation of biodiversity. It includes certain in-situ and ex-situ approaches. Emergence of in-vitro technology as an adjunct to ex-situ conservation is being viewed with great expectations for conservation of threatened species.
  • In-vitro techniques include the laboratory practices used for the conservation of plant/ animal and microbial diversity through its storage in germplasm banks, propagation via tissue culture methods, preservation using the technique of cryopreservation, conversion into artificial seeds, maintenance as slow growth cultures, and long term perpetuation as DNA clones.
  • Germplasm banks: Germplasm banks or biobanks provide controlled storage facilities of temperature, humidity etc. for the material to be conserved. These are variously called as seed banks, gene banks, DNA banks etc. depending on the material that is conserved in them.
  • Seed banks: In case of plant species, seeds are a convenient means of long term storage of genetic diversity, as the samples are small in size, easy to handle, require low maintenance and frequently remain viable for long periods. In seed banks, material in the form of seeds are stored at nearly -10 to -20°C, often using silica gel in the seed containers to reduce humidity.
  • Tissue culture: It is an in-vitro technique, based on the concept of “totipotency” of plant cells. Cellular totipotency is the capability of a cell to give rise to a whole new plant. Mature cells undergo dedifferentiation to become meristematic and then undergo redifferentiation to form a whole new organism. Germplasm available in the form of microbial cultures, cells or organs in case of animal species and seeds, cuttings or vegetative propagules in case of plants is used for micropropagation.
  • Cryopreservation: It is a technique of preservation of germplasm at ultra low temperature of -196°C i.e. the temperature of liquid nitrogen. The principle underlying cryopreservation involves bringing the culture to a state of non-dividing and zero metabolism, so that any biological activity, is effectively stopped. Cryopreservation also helps in storing tissues of animal origin such as cultured animal cells, spermatozoa, ovarian or embryonic tissues and whole embryos for livestock breeding programmes.
  • Artificial seeds: Somatic embryos are cultured in vitro through embryogenesis and can be preserved as artificial or synthetic seeds by coating with gels like sodium alginate, calcium alginate, and polyacralamide gel etc. which prevent them from desiccating. These somatic embryos are then dehydrated to a suitable level and subjected to slow growth or cryopreservation in a manner similar to zygotic seeds. Production of sodium alginate beads by encapsulation of shoot tips and nodal segments of medicinally important plant Mentha arvensis helps in its in-vitro regeneration and conservation.
  • DNA clones: DNA, the basic unit of heredity of a cell, can effectively be used for conservation of threatened plant species. Germplasm can be stored in the form of DNA segments cloned into a suitable vector such as cosmids, plasmids and bacteriophage. With the recent progress in the field of molecular biology such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR), combined with gene cloning, small amounts of tissues can provide substantial collections of all the DNA of a plant genome.
  • Hence option (d) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 26

With reference to the Environment and Ecology, consider the following statements:

Statement-I: Ecology is basically concerned with four levels of biological organisation like organisms, populations, communities and biomes.

Statement-II: Ecology examines individual organisms and their adaptations to their environment.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 26
  • Statement 1 is correct: Ecology is basically concerned with four levels of biological organisation like organisms, populations, communities and biomes.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Ecology examines individual organisms and their adaptations to their environment.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 27

Consider the following statements:

1. Populations refer to groups of individuals of the same species living in a particular area.

2. Communities consist of single population of particular species living and interacting in the same area.

3. Biomes are large-scale ecological regions characterized by distinct climate, vegetation, and animal communities.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 27
  • Statement 1 is correct: Populations refer to groups of individuals of the same species living in a particular area.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Communities consist of multiple populations of different species living and interacting in the same area.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Biomes are largescale ecological regions characterized by distinct climate, vegetation, and animal communities.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 28

With reference to the species, consider the following statements:

Statement-I: The size of a population for any species is not a static parameter.

Statement-II: It keeps changing with time, depending on various factors including food availability, predation pressure and adverse weather.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 28

Both statements are correct.

Population Growth of Species

  • The size of a population for any species is not a static parameter. It keeps changing with time, depending on various factors including food availability, predation pressure and adverse weather.
  • In fact, it is these changes in population density that give us some idea of what is happening to the population – whether it is fl ourishing or declining.
  • The density of a population in a given habitat during a given period, fluctuates due to changes in four basic processes, two of which (natality and immigration) contribute to an increase in population density and two (mortality and emigration) to a decrease.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 29

The population size of any species depends upon which of the following factors?

1. Natality and immigration contribute to a decrease in population density.

2. Mortality and emigration contribute to an increase in population density.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 29
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Natality and immigration contribute to an increase in population density
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Mortality and emigration contribute to a decrease in population density.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 30

Match the following pairs:

1. Natality - It refers to the number of births during a given period in the population that are added to the initial density.

2. Mortality - It is the number of deaths in the population during a given period.

3. Immigration - It is the number of individuals of the same species that have come into the habitat from elsewhere during the time period under consideration.

4. Emigration - It is the number of individuals of the population who left the habitat and gone elsewhere during the time period under consideration.

How many of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 30

All pairs are correctly matched.

  • Population density of Species
  • Natality refers to the number of births during a given period in the population that are added to the initial density.
  • Mortality is the number of deaths in the population during a given period.
  • Immigration is the number of individuals of the same species that have come into the habitat from elsewhere during the time period under consideration. 
  • Emigration is the number of individuals of the population who left the habitat and gone elsewhere during the time period under consideration.

Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 31

In the context of ecosystem interaction, consider the following:

1. Competition

2. Predation

3. Mutualism

4. Commensalism

5. Parasitism

How many of the above are correct regarding the types of Population interactions among species?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 31
  • Population interactions among species refer to the various ways in which different organisms within an ecosystem interact with one another.
  • These interactions can be classifi ed into different types, including competition, predation, mutualism, commensalism, and parasitism.
  • These interactions play a vital role in shaping the structure and dynamics of ecological communities.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 32

Consider the following statements regarding the Population interactions among species:

1. Intense competition can lead to resource partitioning, where species evolve to occupy different ecological niches to increase competition.

2. Predation is a relationship in which predator captures and feeds the prey.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 32
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Intense competition can lead to resource partitioning, where species evolve to occupy different ecological niches to reduce competition.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Predation is a relationship in which one species (the predator) captures and feeds on another species (the prey).
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 33

Consider the following statements:

Statement-I: Ecosystem structure refers to the physical and biological components that make up an ecosystem.

Statement-II: It encompasses both biotic factors and abiotic factors.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 33

Ecosystem Structure

  • Ecosystem structure refers to the physical and biological components that make up an ecosystem. It encompasses both the living organisms (biotic factors) and the non-living environment (abiotic factors).

Producers

  • Producers, also known as autotrophs, are organisms capable of converting energy from the sun (or in some cases, chemicals) into organic matter through photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. They form the foundation of the food chain and include plants, algae, and certain bacteria.

Decomposers

  • Decomposers play a vital role in breaking down dead organisms and organic waste material, returning essential nutrients to the ecosystem. They include bacteria, fungi, and certain invertebrates like earthworms. Decomposers complete the nutrient cycle by converting complex organic matter into inorganic compounds that can be used again by producers.

Physical Environment

  • The abiotic factors of an ecosystem include temperature, sunlight, water availability, soil composition, air quality, and geological features. These factors infl uence the distribution and abundance of organisms within the ecosystem.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 34

Consider the following statements:

1. Energy fl ows through an ecosystem in a multi-directional manner.

2. Nutrient cycling involves the movement and recycling of essential elements such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and others within the ecosystem.

3. Nutrient cycling ensures the availability of vital elements for the growth and development of organisms.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 34
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Energy fl ows through an ecosystem in a unidirectional manner.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Nutrient cycling involves the movement and recycling of essential elements such as carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and others within the ecosystem.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Nutrient cycling ensures the availability of vital elements for the growth and development of organisms.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 35

With reference to the Ecosystem, consider the following statements:

1. Ecosystems thrive on biodiversity, which refers to the variety of different species and their interactions within an ecosystem.

2. Forests act as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigating climate change.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 35

Biodiversity 

  • Ecosystems thrive on biodiversity, which refers to the variety of different species and their interactions within an ecosystem. Biodiversity provides stability to ecosystems and contributes to their resilience.
  • Different species play unique roles, such as pollination, seed dispersal, and pest control, which are crucial for ecosystem function.

Regulation of Environmental Conditions

  • Ecosystems help regulate environmental conditions. Forests, for example, act as carbon sinks, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and mitigating climate change.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 36

With reference to ecological succession, ‘seres’ refer to:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 36
  • Option (a) is correct
  • An important characteristic of all communities is that composition and structure constantly change orderly and sequentially in response to the changing environmental conditions.
  • This gradual and fairly predictable change in the species composition of a given area is called ecological succession.
  • Ecological Succession fin ally leads to an establishment of a relatively stable community that is in near equilibrium with the environment and is called climax community.
  • The entire sequences of communities that successively change in a given area are called seres.
  • The individual transitional communities are called seral stages or seral communities.
  • In the successive seral stages there is a change in the diversity of species of organisms, increase in the number of species and organisms as well as an increase in the total biomass.
  • Ecological Succession is of 2 types:
    • Primary Succession: Succession which starts in areas where no living organisms ever existed is called primary succession. Examples of areas where primary succession occurs are newly cooled lava, bare rock, newly created pond or reservoir etc. The species that invade a bare area are called pioneer species. The establishment of a new biotic community is generally slow as it takes natural processes several hundred to several thousand years to produce fertile soil on bare rock.
    • Secondary Succession: It begins in areas where natural biotic communities have been completely or partially destroyed such as in abandoned farm lands, burned or cut forests, lands that have been flooded. Since some soil or sediment is present, secondary succession is faster than primary succession.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 37

Consider the following statements regarding an ecotone:

1. It is the transitional zone between two or more diverse ecosystems.

2. It often contains species not found in adjoining communities.    

3. It may exist along a broad belt or in a small pocket.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 37
  • Statement 1 is correct: Ecotone is a zone of junction between two or more diverse ecosystems. For e.g. the mangrove forests represent an ecotone between marine and terrestrial ecosystem.
  • Ecotone also appear where one body of water meets another (e.g., estuaries and lagoons) or at the boundary between the water and the land (e.g., marshes, river bank etc.).
  • It has the conditions intermediate to the adjacent ecosystems. Hence it is a zone of transition.
  • Statement 2 is correct: It is linear as it shows progressive increase in species composition of one in coming community and a simultaneous decrease in species of the other outgoing adjoining community.
  • Statement 3 is correct: It may be very narrow or quite wide.
  • A well-developed ecotone contains some organisms which are entirely different from that of the adjoining communities.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 38

Which of the following activities can threaten the health and existence of an ecosystem?

1. Habitat Destruction

2. Eutrophication

3. Overharvesting

4. UV Radiation

5. Existence of foreign species

Select the correct answer suing the code given below:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 38
  • Option (d) is correct
  • Anything that attempts to alter the balance of the ecosystem potentially threatens the health and existence of that ecosystem. Some of these threats are:
    • Habitat Destruction: Economic activities such as logging, mining, farming and construction often involve clearing out places with natural vegetative cover. Very often, tampering with one factor of the ecosystem can have a ripple effect on it and affect many more or all other factors of that ecosystem. For example, clearing a piece of forest for timber can expose the upper layers of the soil to the sun’s heat, causing erosion and drying. It can cause a lot of animals and insects that depended on the shade and moisture from the tree to die or migrate to other places.
    • Pollution: Water, land and air pollution all together play a crucial role in the health of ecosystems. Pollution may be natural or human-caused, but regardless they potentially release destructive agents or chemicals (pollutants) into the environments of living things.
    • Eutrophication: This is the enrichment of water bodies with plant biomass as a result of the continuous infl ow of nutrients particularly nitrogen and phosphorus. Eutrophication of water fuels excessive plant and algae growth and also hurts water life, often resulting in the loss of fl ora and fauna diversity. “The known consequences of cultural eutrophication include blooms of bluegreen algae, tainted drinking water supplies, degradation of recreational opportunities, and hypoxia.
    • Invasive species: Any foreign species (biological) that fi nds its way into an ecosystem, either by natural or human introduction can have an effect on the ecosystem. If this alien has the ability to prey on vulnerable and native members of that ecosystem, they will be wiped out, sooner or later.
    • Overharvesting: Fish species, game and special plants all do fall victim from time to time as a result of over-harvesting or humans over-dependence on them. Overharvesting leads to the reduction in populations, community structures and distributions, with an overall reduction in recruitment.
    • UV Radiation: UV rays come in three main wavelengths: UVA, UVB and UVC. UVB and UVC are more destructive and can cause DNA and cell damage to plants and animals. Ozone depletion is one way that exposes living things to UVB and UVC and the harm caused can wipe lots of species, and affect ecosystems members including humans.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 39

Which of the following approaches can be used for rebounding/restring an ecosystem?

1. Reversing the degradation of soils, agricultural areas, forests and watersheds.

2. Maintaining ecosystem structure and function to support food provisioning.

3. Practicing regenerative agriculture.

4. Rebuilding natural processes and the complete or near complete food-web at all trophic levels.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 39
  • All the statements are correct: Ecosystem restoration is the process of halting and reversing degradation, resulting in improved ecosystem services and recovered biodiversity. Ecosystem restoration encompasses a wide continuum of practices, depending on local conditions and societal choice.
  • Depending on objectives, restored ecosystems can follow different trajectories:
  • From degraded natural to more intact natural ecosystems (often by assisting natural regeneration)
  • From degraded, modifi ed ecosystems to more functional modifi ed ecosystems (e.g. restoration of urban areas and farmlands)
  • From modifi ed ecosystems towards more natural ecosystems, providing that the rights and needs of people who depend on that ecosystem are not compromised.

Various approaches for ecosystem restoration include:

  • Ecological Restoration: Assisting the recovery of a terrestrial, freshwater or marine ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.
  • Forest and Landscape Restoration: Reversing the degradation of soils, agricultural areas, forests and watersheds thereby regaining their ecological functionality.
  • Restoration of Aquatic Production Ecosystems: Maintaining ecosystem structure and function to support food provisioning, while minimizing impacts, rather than restoring ecosystems to an initial state before production activity started.
  • Regenerative Agriculture: Farming that uses soil conservation as the entry point to regenerate and contribute to multiple provisioning, regulating and supporting services.
  • Rewilding: Rebuilding, following major human disturbance, a natural ecosystem by restoring natural processes and the complete or near complete food-web at all trophic levels as a self-sustaining and resilient ecosystem using biota that would have been present had the disturbance not occurred.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 40

With reference to tropical forests in India, consider the following statements:

1. Tropical moist deciduous forests are found throughout India except in the western and the north-western regions.

2. Tropical dry evergreen forests are found throughout the northern part of the country except in the North-East.

3. Tropical dry deciduous forests are found along Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka coast.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 40
  • Statement 1 is correct: Moist deciduous forests are found throughout India except in the western and the north-western regions. The trees are tall, have broad trunks, branching trunks and roots to hold them fi rmly to the ground. Some of the taller trees shed their leaves in the dry season. There is a layer of shorter trees and evergreen shrubs in the undergrowth. These forests are dominated by sal and teak, along with mango, bamboo, and rosewood.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Tropical dry deciduous forests are found throughout the northern part of the country except in the North-East.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: Tropical dry evergreen forests are found along Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka coast.
  • Tropical Wet Evergreen Forests: Wet evergreen forests are found along the Western Ghats, the Nicobar and Andaman Islands and all along the north-eastern region. It is characterized by tall, straight evergreen trees. The trees in this forest form a tier pattern: shrubs cover the layer closer to the ground, followed by the short structured trees and then the tall variety.
  • Tropical Semi-evergreen Forests: Semievergreen forests are found in the Western Ghats, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and the Eastern Himalayas. Such forests have a mixture of the wet evergreen trees and the moist deciduous trees. The forest is dense and is fi lled with a large variety of trees of both types.
  • Tropical Dry Deciduous Forests: Dry deciduous forests are found throughout the northern part of the country except in the North-East. It is also found in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu. The canopy of the trees does not normally exceed 25 metres. The common trees are the sal, a variety of acacia, and bamboo.
  • Tropical Thorn Forests: This type is found in areas with black soil: North, West, Central, and South India. The trees do not grow beyond 10 metres. Spurge, caper, and cactus are typical of this region.
  • Tropical Dry Evergreen Forests: Dry evergreens are found along Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka coast. It is mainly hard-leaved evergreen trees with fragrant fl owers, along with a few deciduous trees.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 41

Given below are two statements, one is labelled as Assertion (A) and other is as Reason (R)

A. Primary succession is much more difficult to observe than the secondary succession.

R. There are very few places on earth that do not already have communities of organisms.

Select the correct answer from the codes given below:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 41
  • Option (a) is correct
  • Primary succession takes place an over a bare or unoccupied areas such as rocks outcrop, newly formed deltas and sand dunes, emerging volcano islands and lava fl ows as well as glacial moraines (muddy area exposed by a retreating glacier) where no community has existed previously.
  • The plants that invade fi rst bare land, where soil is initially absent are called pioneer species. The assemblage of pioneer plants is collectively called pioneer community. A pioneer species generally show high growth rate but short life span.
  • Primary succession is much more diffic ult to observe than secondary succession because there are relatively very few places on earth that do not already have communities of organisms.
  • Furthermore, primary succession takes a very long time as compared to secondary succession as the soil is to be formed during primary succession while secondary succession starts in an area where soil is already present.
  • The community that initially inhabits a bare area is called pioneer community.
  • The pioneer community after some time gets replaced by another community with different species combination.  This second community gets replaced by a third community. This process continues sequence-wise in which a community replaced previous by another community.
  • Each transitional (temporary) community that is formed and replaced during succession is called a stage in succession or a seral community.
  • The terminal (fin al) stage of succession forms the community which is called as climax community.
  • A climax community is stable, mature, more complex and long lasting. The entire sequence of communities in a given area, succeeding each other, during the course of succession is termed sere.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 42

Consider the following statements regarding speciation:

1. Speciation is the process by which new species are formed and evolution is the mechanism.

2. The most common way a population undergoes speciation is by geographic isolation.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 42
  • Statement 1 is correct: The number of species surviving in the world today is the outcome of two processes viz. speciation and extinction.
  • Speciation is the process by which new species are formed and evolution is the mechanism by which speciation is brought about.
  • A species comprises of many populations. Often different populations of a species remain isolated due to some geographic barrier such as mountain, ocean, river, etc.
  • Geographic isolation occurs when a physical barrier develops between two populations of a species.
  • Statement 2 is correct: The most common way a population undergoes speciation is by geographic isolation.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 43

Consider the following statements regarding Niche:

1. It is the sum of all the activities and relationships of a species by which it uses the resources in its habitat.

2. Two species having the same niche can have the same habitat.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 43
  • In nature, many species occupy the same habitat but they perform different functions.
  • Statement 1 is correct: The functional characteristics of a species in its habitat are referred to as “niche” in that common habitat. Habitat of a species is like its ‘address’ (i.e. where it lives) whereas niche can be thought of as its “profession” (i.e. activities and responses specific  to the species).
  • The term niche means the sum of all the activities and relationships of a species by which it uses the resources in its habitat for its survival and reproduction.
  • A niche is unique for a species while many species share the habitat.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: No two species in a habitat can have the same niche. This is because if two species occupy the same niche they will compete with one another until one is displaced.
  • For example, a large number of different species of insects may be pests of the same plant but they can co-exist as they feed on different parts of the same plant.
  • Another example is the vegetation of the forest. The forest can support a large number of plant species as they occupy different niches: the tall trees, the short trees, shrubs, bushes and grasses are all part of the forest but because of varying heights they differ in their requirements for sunlight and nutrients and so can survive together.
  • The most important resources in the niches of animals are food and shelter while in case of plants, they are moisture and nutrients (phosphorous and nitrogen)
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 44

Consider the following statements regarding pollutants in the trophic level:

1. In bioaccumulation, there is an increase in the concentration of a pollutant from one link in a food chain to another.

2. Biomagnifi cation can occur only if the pollutant is fat-insoluble.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 44
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: In bioaccumulation, there is an increase in the concentration of a pollutant from the environment to the fi rst organism in a food chain.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: Biomagnification can occur only if the pollutant is fat-soluble.
  • Bioaccumulation: In bioaccumulation, there is an increase in the concentration of a pollutant from the environment to the fi rst organism in a food chain. Thus, it refers to how pollutants enter a food chain.
  • Biomagnifi cation: In this, there is an increase in the concentration of a pollutant from one trophic level to another.
  • Condition for bioaccumulation is the high level of pollutants in the environment.
  • Condition for bio-magnifi cations is that pollutants must be fat-soluble, long-lived, biologically active, etc.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 45

Consider the following statements regarding Nutrient Cycle:

1. The nutrient cycle of an ecosystem is unidirectional.

2. Most gaseous cycles are generally considered as perfect cycles.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 45
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Nutrient cycle of an ecosystem is not unidirectional. They are recycled back to physical environment.
  • The nutrient cycle is a concept that describes how nutrients move from the physical environment to the living organisms, and subsequently recycled back to the physical environment.
  • This movement of nutrients from the environment into plants and animals and again back to the environment is essential for life and it is the vital function of the ecology of any region.
  • Based on the replacement period a nutrient cycle is referred to as a Perfect or Imperfect cycle.
  • A perfect nutrient cycle is one in which nutrients are replaced as fast as they are utilized.
  • Most gaseous cycles are generally considered as perfect cycles.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 46

Consider the following:

1. Silicon dioxide (SiO2)

2. Calcium oxide (CaO)

3. Aluminium oxide (Al2O3)

How many of the above chemicals are primarily present in the fly ash?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 46

Option (c) is correct

Fly Ash 

  • Fly ash is the fi nely divided residue that results from the combustion of pulverized coal and is transported from the combustion chamber by exhaust gases.
  • It is produced from the combustion of coal in electric utility or industrial boilers, produced by coal-fi red electric and steam generating plants.
  • It consists primarily of oxides of silicon, aluminium, iron, and calcium.
  • Magnesium, potassium, sodium, titanium, and sulphur are also present to a lesser degree.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 47

Consider the following pairs:

How many of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 47
  • Pair 1 is correctly matched: Gravitational settling is used to control air pollution. It is used to remove large diameter suspended particles from a gas by using gravitational force.
  • Pair 2 is incorrectly matched: Phytoremediation is used to control soil pollution. It uses microorganisms (bacteria and fungi) to damage the environment into less toxic form. The microorganisms may be native to the polluted area or they may be invasive.
  • Pair 3 is incorrectly matched: Electrostatic precipitators are the control measure of air pollution. Works on the principle of electrostatic precipitation, in which electrically charged particulates existing in the polluted gas are isolated from the gas stream under the infl uence of electrical fi eld.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 48

Which of the following statements regarding the Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) is correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 48

Option (c) is correct

Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)

  • Water pollution by organic wastes is measured in terms of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD).
  • Biological Oxygen Demand is the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by bacteria in decomposing the organic wastes present in water.  It is expressed in milligrams of oxygen per litre of water.
  • The higher value of BOD indicates low Dissolved Oxygen content of water.
  • BOD is limited to biodegradable materials only; hence it is not considered a much reliable method of measuring pollution load in the water.
  • Chemical oxygen demand (COD) is a slightly better mode used to measure pollution load in the water. COD is the measure of oxygen equivalent to the requirement of oxidation of total organic matter (i.e. biodegradable and non-biodegradable) present in water.
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 49

Which of the following pairs regarding the pollutants and their sources are correctly matched?

Select the correct option using the code given below:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 49

All pairs are correctly matched

Pollutants and their sources

  • Nitrogen Compound

Source: Motor vehicle exhaust

  • Effects:
    • Irritation in eyes and lungs (NO and N2O) atmospheric reaction
    • Low productivity in plants
    • Acid rain damages material (metals and stone)
  • Sulphur compounds

Source: Power plants and refi neries

  • Effects:
    • Respiratory problems in humans (SO2 and H2S) volcanic eruptions
    • Loss of chlorophyll in plants (chlorosis)
    • Acid rain
  • Hydrocarbons (benzene, ethylene)

Source: Automobiles and petroleum industries

  • Effects:
    • Respiratory problem
    • Cancer causing properties
  • Carbon compound (CO and CO2)

Source: Automobile exhaust, burning of wood and coal

  • Effects:
    • Respiratory problems
    • Greenhouse effect
Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 50

Consider the following statements with respect to notific ation released by a government concerning the Pollution Index:

1. A new categorization of industries based on their pollution load has been released by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC).

2. The new criteria will prompt industrial sectors willing to adopt cleaner technologies, ultimately resulting in generation of more pollutants but in limit.

3. Red category of industries are normally be permitted in the ecologically fragile area / protected area.

How many of the above statements is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 1 - Question 50
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: The new criteria will prompt industrial sectors willing to adopt cleaner technologies, ultimately resulting in generation of fewer pollutants.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: Red category of industries normally are not permitted in the ecologically fragile area / protected area.
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