Chapter 15 Study Questions

  1. If you are going to attempt restoration of a degraded ecosystem, you must decide your endpoints. What will you measure to determine whether or not your ecosystem is actually being restored?
  2. It is generally easier to restore ecosystem functions, (e.g., nitrogen transformation), than to restore complete ecosystem species composition. When should we concentrate on restoring functions and when should we try to restore species composition?
  3. Once established, invasive species are often very difficult to eradicate. Sometimes the damage done to an ecosystem by an eradication effort can be significant. How would you objectively decide whether or not the environmental risk from the eradication program exceeds the risk posed by the invasive species?
  4. Black-footed ferrets have been reintroduced into the wild in several small, isolated populations. Discuss possible genetic consequences of this, and possible implications for the ferrets’ long-term susceptibility to disease. What alternative approaches might be possible?