In agriculture and horticulture, soil generally refers to the medium for plant growth, typically material within the upper meter or two. Soil plays a key role in plant growth. Beneficial aspects to plants include providing physical support, heat, water, nutrients, and oxygen. Heat, light, and oxygen are also obtained by the atmosphere, but the roots of many plants also require oxygen. The prevailing agricultural system has delivered tremendous gains in productivity and efficiency. Food production worldwide has risen in the past 50 years. On the other hand, agriculture profoundly affects many ecological systems. Negative effects of current practices include ecological concerns, economic and social concerns and human health concerns. Pesticides from every chemical class have been detected in groundwater and are commonly found in groundwater beneath agricultural areas. Despite impressive production gains, excessive use of pesticides has proven to be ecologically unsound, leading to the destruction of natural enemies, the increase of pest resistance pest resurgence and outbreaks of secondary pests. These consequences have often resulted in higher production costs and lost markets due to undesirable pesticide residue levels, as well as environmental and human health costs. Alternative and sustainable practices in farming and land use include organic agriculture, integrated pest management and biological control.
1.Which of the following is not one of the five soil-forming factors?
D. Transpiration rate
2. You analyze a soil sample for a farmer that has been dealing with fertility issues on her land. You find that it is deficient in all of the soil-derived macronutrients. Which one of the following is macronutrient derived from the soil?
3. The farmer adjacent to your land plants a single crop (soybean) over their entire 100 hectare field. This practice is known as a…
B. Crop plot
D. Rotational farming
4. Salinization is bad for farmers because it results in…
A. Pesticide resistance
B. Increased salts in the soil
C. Nutrient-poor soils
5. Besides being long-lasting, persistent organic pollutants share which of the following characteristics:
A. accumulate in higher trophic levels and are toxic
B. accumulate in lower trophic levels and are toxic
C. accumulate in higher trophic levels and are infectious biological agents
D. accumulate in lower trophic levels and are infectious biological agents
E. Are toxic and infectious
6. The grasshopper effect explains which one of the following phenomena?
A. The mass migration patterns of insects that are similar to, and include, grasshoppers
B. The lowering of nutrient capacity in soils due to the action of certain types of organisms
C. The long-range movement of certain types of pollutants across different regions of the Earth
D. The long-range atmospheric distribution of soil following tilling by farm equipment
E. The spread of invasive species through international trade in potted plants
7. An important goal of integrated pest management is to reduce the amount of pests while also…
A. Reducing the amount of genetically modified crops grown
B. Reducing the amount of fertilizer used
C. Introducing species that prey upon and destroy pest species
D. Integrating market-based strategies for maximization of profits
E. Reducing the amount of synthetic chemical pesticides used
8. Which one of the following describes the use of organisms to control pests?
C. Species niche partitioning
D. Vector control
E. Biological control
9. What practice allows farmers to improve soil fertility, diversify their crops, and reduce pesticide costs by naturally breaking the cycle of weeds, insects, and diseases?
B. Biological control
C. Crop sharing
D. Crop rotation
E. Soil tilling
10.Which one of the following is more indicative of conventional agriculture, and not sustainable agriculture?
A. Biological control
D. Integrated pest management
E. Minimal tillage
See Appendix for answers
Kelly, L. (2005). The global integrated pest management facility. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/19053. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0). Modified from Original.
NAL. (2007). Sustainable agriculture: Definitions and terms. Retrieved from http://afsic.nal.usda.gov/sustainable-agriculture-definitions-and-terms-1#toc1. Modified from Original.
Theis T. & Tomkin J. (Eds.). (2015). Sustainability: A comprehensive foundation. OpenStax CNX. Retrieved from http://firstname.lastname@example.org. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0). Modified from Original.
World Bank. (2004). Persistent organic pollutants: Backyards to borders. Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/14896. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0 IGO). Modified from Original.
World Bank. (2005). Sustainable pest management: Achievements and challenges. Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/8646. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0). Modified from Original.
World Bank. (2008). Sustainable land management sourcebook. Washington, DC. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/6478. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0). Modified from Original.
World Bank; Food and Agriculture Organization; International Fund for Agricultural Development. (2009). Gender in agriculture sourcebook. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. Retrieved from https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/6603. Available under Creative Commons Attribution License License 3.0 (CC BY 3.0 IGO). Modified from Original.
Page attribution: Essentials of Environmental Science by Kamala Doršner is licensed under CC BY 4.0. Modified from the original by Matthew R. Fisher. “Review Questions” is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by Matthew R. Fisher.