Skip to main content

Questions tagged [environment]

The natural world, especially pertaining to the interactions of life therein.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
65 votes
8 answers
12k views

Why does evolution not make our life longer?

Why does evolution not make life longer for humans or any other species? Wouldn't evolution favour a long life?
Majid's user avatar
  • 785
25 votes
2 answers
5k views

Are there life forms that freely fly in the atmosphere?

Are there (unicellular) Earth lifeforms that most of their life fly high in the atmosphere without contact with surface? For instance, in clouds, etc? If so, at what max altitude have they been ...
Anixx's user avatar
  • 3,015
24 votes
1 answer
1k views

What are the environmental conditions for SARS-CoV-2 to survive?

What do we know about the environmental limits for nCoV to survive outside the body? For example, in: In open air On surfaces In water What are the limits for temperature, humidity and air pressure,...
not2qubit's user avatar
  • 1,239
20 votes
3 answers
5k views

Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

I have read that during the Second World War, some mosquitoes got trapped in the London underground railway system. The mosquitoes never got out and eventually they became a new species by themselves. ...
PNS's user avatar
  • 311
17 votes
3 answers
32k views

Are trees the only source of large amounts of oxygen?

Trees use carbon dioxide and produce oxygen in the presence of sunlight. But is there any other source? If yes, are trees the most important source of oxygen, or is there any other source which ...
Shashank's user avatar
  • 577
17 votes
1 answer
5k views

Antibacterial soap impacts on septic system?

What impacts do antibacterial soaps have on septic systems? I know that septic systems rely heavily on bacteria (especially regarding the breakdown of wastes by bacteria), so it seems as though ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
302 views

Have any genetically altered organisms actually become abundant in a natural environment?

Most of the things that come up in Google and Google Scholar for this question have a mostly/completely speculative tone, or at best use models instead of measurements. This report describes some ...
James's user avatar
  • 221
9 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does rainwater contain many fewer micro-organisms than river water?

From watching many documentaries on micro-organisms, I can tell water typically contains quite a lot of them. But what about rainwater? (before it hits the ground). I know nothing about any micro-...
DrZ214's user avatar
  • 1,421
9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are animals that live in areas where avalanches happen equipped to deal with that?

Humans take courses to learn how to assess the risk of avalanches and how to deal with it. Additionally, they often use special gear to survive avalanches if they got caught in the middle of one. ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
22k views

What is the maximum altitude where humans can survive?

What is the highest altitude that a human can survive without being pressurized? Let's assume that oxygen and heat/insulation are not the limiting factors? Why I asked.
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
8 votes
4 answers
567 views

When do invasive species become native species?

Until when an invasive species is considered an "invasive species" and when it is starting to be considered a "native" species, i.e. a species that is an integral part of the local ...
Triceratops's user avatar
  • 1,204
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Does a plant have to be alive for its roots to prevent erosion?

One argument often given in favour of saving current and planting additional plants/saplings is the roots hold soil together and prevent soil erosion. Unlike plants that may be uprooted, a large ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 3,863
6 votes
3 answers
740 views

How much carbon does a forest contain?

Trees in a forest, alongside the fungi, animals and plants that live there in, capture atmospheric carbon dioxide and store it inside their tissues and in the soil as humus. It is possible to ...
altroware's user avatar
  • 195
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Which class of animals constitute the largest biomass?

I found here that species-wise it is cow. But, collectively, insects may exceed even mammals. So, which class of animals constitutes the largest biomass?
Archisman Panigrahi's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
485 views

How do mushrooms react to being grown in a microgravity environment?

I'll use Agaricus Bisporus as an example mushroom. If cultured in potato dextrose yeast extract agar, will the resulting growth grow in a normal pattern? Will the sporocarps emerge from the surface (...
J. Musser's user avatar
  • 3,747
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is Homo sapiens not categorized as an invasive species?

According to Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC), the definition of the invasive species is “a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or ...
Math.StackExchange's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
210 views

How much cost would artificial pollination add to common products (fruits etc.)?

I've read about ecosystem services and their possible valuation - statements like "honeybee pollination service in the US is worth 1.6 billion dollars". Is data available on how this would affect the ...
Kozuch's user avatar
  • 231
5 votes
1 answer
184 views

Could habitat selection pattern be deformed in environment with low variability?

It is possible that strong (clearly visible) pattern of selection towards particular parameter is detectable only in environment with high variability (difference between used (red) and non-used (grey)...
Ladislav Naďo's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
2k views

Trick fruit trees into flowering later in the spring

There is a common problem with fruit trees in temperate climates where the trees flower before the last frost. Generally speaking, if the tree has flowered, and the temperature drops below freezing, ...
User1974's user avatar
  • 958
5 votes
1 answer
1k views

Mesophytic Climax community in succession?

My textbook says that in all cases of ecological succession (xerarch, hydrarch, etc.), the ultimate climax community, assuming constancy of environment, is a mesic community. Xeric or hydric pioneers ...
stochastic13's user avatar
  • 4,689
5 votes
0 answers
71 views

Has this 2018 report of nematodes frozen for 30 to 40,000 years been confirmed? Has Carbon 14 dating confirmed their age?

Gizmodo's 2018 article Russian Scientists Claim to Have Resurrected 40,000-Year-Old Worms Buried in Ice says: A team of Russian scientists is lining themselves up to be the opening cast of a John ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,598
5 votes
0 answers
197 views

What is the thickness of the biosphere?

In other words, what is the vertical distance between the deepest and highest point on Earth where life is found? Life has been discovered at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, 13 km below sea level. ...
Riialto's user avatar
  • 51
5 votes
0 answers
79 views

What is the effect of pesticides on worm growth?

As a new semester begins, we were asked to propose ideas for investigatory projects. Our idea revolves around the effects of pesticides on non-target organisms. Since frequent use of pesticides may ...
Mark Cruz's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
187 views

How quickly do estrogens break down in the environment?

Of all the synthetic hormones we use, estrogens are probably the most common. They are used for birth control as well as hormone replacement therapy. This researcher also shows that there is plenty ...
shigeta's user avatar
  • 28.3k
4 votes
1 answer
258 views

Questions about "parasite recursion"

So imagine a parasite of a parasite. Imagine a parasite of that parasite. Then imagine a parasite of that parasite, then a parasite of that parasite, and so on and so forth. Is there a formal term ...
Blue314's user avatar
  • 41
4 votes
1 answer
63 views

How is mankind important to nature? [closed]

Like mosquito eggs are important for fish, what’s our role in balancing the life on earth or its ecosystem. Please suggest if this question doesn't fit in this community. I am a mechanical engineer ...
Jayant's user avatar
  • 101
4 votes
1 answer
408 views

electrostatic charge of viruses, especially Coronaviruses

I am searching for (and failing to find) literature about the electric charge (+/-) of viruses, specifically the Coronaviruses. I am aware that it is a complicated issue, including interaction of pH ...
ChrisM's user avatar
  • 59
4 votes
1 answer
322 views

Using Canonical Correspondence Analysis on matrices with missing data

I have a matrix of sites where not all the environmental variables I want to assess were sampled. In other words, there are sites with the whole set of variables sampled, and there are other sites ...
Jaqo's user avatar
  • 41
3 votes
2 answers
399 views

Interdependency between organsims on our planet and its relation to ecosystem?

I am not a biologist but I just wonder if all species are interdependent. I mean if the tiger becomes extinct does it affect the ecosystem? If the mosquito or mouse become extinct does it affect the ...
munish's user avatar
  • 505
3 votes
2 answers
172 views

Have there ever been as many mammals as there are now?

I apologize for the weird question, but based on a Google search it looks like this topic hasn't been discussed before. I'm hoping that enough information about population biology is stored in the ...
StarlightDown's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
72 views

Why are Aardvarks capable of burrowing given their size?

I was wondering if large animals could possibly dig extensive burrows for themselves to live in. The polar bear burrows, but snow is not dirt. The aardvark goes about 4' long, ~150 lbs: similar to a ...
Vir's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
1 answer
337 views

What is the meaning of "within-season variation"?

I am reading a paper about phenology and climate change for my assignment and I found this concept "within-season variation", can someone explain it to me? and how it is related to changes over time?
Ann Smith's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
4k views

Are there examples of animals that adapt to their environment very quickly? The phenomenon is called Phenoptic Plasticity [closed]

Evolution and speciation may take millions of years. This made me wonder if there is an animal that adapts itself relatively rapidly to its environment? I don't mean a simple adaptation like a change ...
Arcadio's user avatar
  • 33
3 votes
1 answer
175 views

Can the characteristics of an offspring depend on the locality of its conception also?

Transfer of characteristics from a parent to its offspring is explained in biology. When an adult male and female (of humans) who are displaced from their local environment to another (say, a ...
beena benny's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
38 views

What would actually be the ecological impact of deep sea mining?

In the last few months I have read a number of articles with increasing alarm concerning the potential of many countries soon engaging in deep sea mining. The idea is that in order to produce numerous ...
Isky Mathews's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
41 views

What's the lowest atmospheric pressure a tardigrade can remain active in?

I'm not asking what atmospheric pressures they can survive (we now they can survive the vacuum of space) I'm wondering at what point a deficit of atmospheric pressure would cause them to enter one of ...
Pelinore's user avatar
  • 811
3 votes
0 answers
77 views

Could trees be engineered to produce rainfall-nucleators?

Scientists are using genetic engineering to make trees produce more terpenes. Is it possible to genetically engineer trees to produce more hygroscopic volatile organic compounds? These trees could be ...
Eddie Miller's user avatar
2 votes
4 answers
242 views

What causes plants in the prunus genus to reach anthesis?

In a related question, I ask how to trick fruit trees into flowering later in the spring by prolonging frozen ground conditions. However, I'm starting to realize that I don't actually understand what ...
User1974's user avatar
  • 958
2 votes
1 answer
69 views

Roughly speaking how stable are short sections of single-stranded RNA in exposed environments compared to double-stranded DNA?

A search following a recent news item led me to a CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report for 23 March 2020 which says in part: SARS-CoV-2 RNA was identified on a variety of surfaces in cabins ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 5,598
2 votes
1 answer
58 views

What are ways to compare the "costs" and "gains" of food production systems?

I'm looking for methodologies to compare the costs a food production requires with the gains it delivers (not in economic terms). I'm aware of energy returned on investment. Are there other methods ...
Stockfisch's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
685 views

Does the process of photosynthesis occur in insectivorous plants? [closed]

Does the process of photosynthesis occur in insectivorous plants? Can you please give me a clear answer and explain to me how? and also can you describe the environment in which they grow ? Thank you
Youyoussin's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
84 views

Is there species of mushrooms that grow in the wild in Mediterranean environment?

I'm looking for species of mushrooms which can grow wild (or with minimal human intervention) in Mediterranean environment (which is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters.), specifically ...
E. Ginzburg's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
220 views

Is there a physiological reason why direct lightning strikes are not lethal for everyone or does it all come down to dumb luck?

Some people who get directly struck by lightning and some more than once (starts at 00:25) survive while others die instantly or later on due to complications/injuries. Looking at a wiki page for ...
Tom Sol's user avatar
  • 319
2 votes
0 answers
110 views

What's the lowest temperature a tardigrade can remain active at?

There's a lot of information floating around the net about how tough they are & what they can survive, like "We now know that some tardigrades can tolerate being frozen to -272.8 °C". But any ...
Pelinore's user avatar
  • 811
2 votes
0 answers
193 views

How different is breathing in wildfire smoke in urban areas compared to sitting by a campfire for a night?

The air quality in the Bay Area is currently the worst in the world, due to the devastating Butte County wildfires. I understand smoke inhalation can cause inflammation and respiratory issues, ...
ASimonis's user avatar
  • 398
2 votes
0 answers
44 views

Firefly mating displays

I live in the northeast US, and really enjoy firefly displays at dusk in the summer. However, when paying attention this summer, I noticed that the fireflies were not displaying every night, but ...
Dani C's user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
0 answers
63 views

Is an animal's body height dependent on its environment?

Imagine the follwing situation: a newly born animal is brought into a small room. This room has no windows, but artifical light to imitate the sunlight. Furthermore, this light behaves like the sun, ...
zimmerrol's user avatar
  • 159
2 votes
0 answers
362 views

Saturation vapor pressure effect on human body [closed]

I found this calculator: http://www.decatur.de/javascript/dew/ It calculates the dew point based on temperature and humidity. In the result it is mentioned the saturation vapor pressure. I barely ...
George I.'s user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
0 answers
101 views

Birth control hormones in the water? Or not?

This prior question talks about natural estrogen (TL;DR: Months to years): How quickly do estrogens break down in the environment? Ref: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/485441a A lot of media has said, "...
user3082's user avatar
  • 329
2 votes
0 answers
3k views

Is it possible to simulate the effects of high altitudes for plants?

Note- I considered asking this on gardening.stackexchange.com but i believe it is better suited for this site since it deals with more complicated material. As I understand it, certain plants (...
Nick's user avatar
  • 203