Conservation Biology Research Papers
Conservation biology research papers can be written on a wide variety of topics in the field. Fortunately, colleges and universities today place a great deal of emphasis on conservation biology as part of any science program. This is due to the importance of the issue in sustaining our world. Paper Masters custom writes research papers on conservation biology and we suggest looking at a few of the topics you see here:
- The reduction of pesticides and fertilizers
- Genetically modified foods and human health
- Local biodiversity and its sustainability
- Pollution and waste and its hazards to farm workers
- Livestock production and sustainability
- Livestock production and production boosting drugs and enhancements
Many concerns about conservation biology in agriculture and land use policies in the United States stem from the overwhelming dominance of massive industrial production within the agricultural. American agriculture is now almost entirely dominated by large-scale, resource-intensive enterprises that are often based on the production of a single crop. Such enterprises are typically associated with significant reductions in local biodiversity, heavy reliance fossil fuels, fertilizers, pesticides, and other scarce inputs not found locally, significant health hazards for poorly paid agricultural workers—and potential hazards for those who consume their products—and the generation of pollution and wastes that are not readily absorbed by local ecosystems and human communities. In a similar manner, livestock production is now generally dominated by confined animal feeding factories that rely heavily on antibiotics and grain resources to boost production. The animal products generated by such livestock factories contain both high levels of insalubrious saturated fats and residues that undermine the efficacy of antibiotics when used in human medicine. In order to thwart the efforts of industrial farms, conservation biologists have looked to other methods of food production to conserve the land and resources available in the United States.
In conjunction with the large-scale industrialization of agriculture, many of the most pressing uncertainties surrounding the efforts to develop sustainability in conservation biology are related to growing reliance on genetically modified crops. Part of conservation biology incorporates genetic modification. Genetic modification essentially refers to an array of advanced new techniques for altering the basic genetic makeup of plants and animals. Genes for desirable traits—for instance, disease or pest resistance—are added to the genetic codes of crop plants and livestock animals with the intention of transferring these traits to the receptor species. Genetic transfers are often conducted between totally unrelated species, as when genes from insects, animals, microbes, and humans have been added to crop plants.
Conservation Biology and Genetic Engineering
Supporters of conservation biology characterize genetic engineering presents as a promising breakthrough for solving the world’s food crises, and for reducing the use of damaging pesticides and herbicides in agriculture. Yet from a consumer standpoint, one major concern arising from the genetic engineering is the fact that foods can be imbued with certain characteristics that traditionally represent qualities that the goods do not actually possess. For instance, some foods have been engineered to produce a “counterfeit freshness”. Consumers examining such items may assume that their colors and textures indicate desirable flavor, freshness, and nutritional quality while in actuality the produce may, in spite of its appearance, be growing old, becoming stale, and steadily deteriorating in nutritional value. Given the absence in the United States of regulation requiring that genetically engineered foods be labeled as such, the deceptive characteristics of such items raise potentially serious concerns for those seeking to consume healthier combinations of plant foods.
From the standpoint of conservation biology, major concerns involve the potential impacts of genetically engineered crops on natural environments. For instance, the alien genes from other plants, animals, and microbes that are contained within genetically engineered crops could easily be transferred to natural plants via pollination, thereby polluting the pool of natural genetic resources with entirely foreign genes. A related problem is so-called “genetic drift,” referring to the unintentional spread of genetic materials from farms with modified crops to neighboring farms that do not want to use such crops.
In addition, there is a real danger that crops engineered for traits such as stress-resistance, pest-resistance, or herbicide-resistance may, as has often been the case in agriculture, escape from cultivation systems and establish themselves in the wild. Because of their advanced protective traits, such plants could establish themselves as powerful “super” weeds that are impossible to control and that cause environmental devastation as they spread unchecked over natural landscape. Moreover, as pests evolve in their abilities to attack the unnatural defenses of these super crops, powerful new pest strains could develop that would also devastate natural plant life and disrupt entire ecosystems.