M8A2: Final Exam

 This is the final exam of the course. You will need to incorporate concepts learned throughout the course to create an essay that addresses the development of an animal in a changing environment. Make sure you include key terms as you address the questions.  

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As we have discussed throughout the course, environmental and genetic factors affect the development of plants and animals. In addition, no organism develops normally in isolation from other organisms, ie. sterile conditions. Forming and maintaining interactions with symbionts throughout the course of development is important.

As global climate change (and other anthropogenic factors) affect ecosystems, some plant and animal species may go extinct, while others may thrive. As we learned in the video “What Darwin never knew”, the ability of an organism to adapt to an environment can give them a selective advantage to obtain resources. For this exam, you will evaluate if an insect has the ability to survive a changing environment.

In this scenario, chose an insect that will have to adapt to  an environment with temperatures in January that have warmed to temperatures that are normally present in March. Among other physiological changes, this environmental change has triggered an insect to come out of diapause early. Do you think that it will be able to grow and develop into an adult that is able to reproduce?

For your final exam, you will submit a well-organized informative 750-1500 word essay that explains

  • Which insect species you have chosen to put in the above scenario?
  • Do you predict that the food source this insect requires will be available?
    • Why or why not?
  • Do you predict that the insect will be able to form new and/or maintain interactions with required symbionts?
    • Why or why not?
  • Is this insect now vulnerable to parasites or predators that it does not normally interact with?
    • Why or why not?
  • Do you think that the insect will be able to grow and develop into an adult that is able to reproduce?
  • Does this ecologically impact humans?
  • Are there any technologies, specifically some that we have learned about in this course, that we can employ to counter or alter this outcome? And if so, are their any ethical concerns that should be addressed?

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