UPSC Prelims Environment & Ecology PYQs Topic Wise



PREVIOUS YEAR'S QUESTION 

2011 PYQs Topic Wise
ENVIRONMENTAL ECOLOGY & BIODIVERSITY
  •  Consider the following statements:
1. Biodiversity is normally greater in the lower latitudes as compared to the higher latitudes.
2. Along the mountain gradients, biodiversity is normally greater in the lower altitudes as compared to the higher altitudes.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1 only 
b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2 
d. Neither 1 nor 2
  •  Three of the following criteria have contributed to the recognition of Western Ghats – Sri Lanka and Indo-Burma regions as hotspots of biodiversity.
1. Species richness
2. Vegetation density
3. Endemism
4. Ethno-botanical importance
5. Threat perception
6. Adaptation of flora and fauna to warm and humid conditions
Which three of the above are correct criteria in this
context?
a. 1, 2 and 6 
b. 2, 4 and 6
c. 1, 3 and 5 
d. 3, 4 and 6
  •  Biodiversity forms the basis for human existence in the following ways:
1. Soil formation
2. Prevention of soil erosion
3. Recycling of waste
4. Pollination of crops
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
a. 1,2 and 3 only 
b. 2,3 and 4 only
c. 1 and 4 only 
d. 1,2,3 and 4
  •  Which one of the following is not a site for the in-situ method of conservation of flora?
a. Biosphere Reserves
b. Botanical Garden
c. National Park
d. Wildlife Sanctuary

  •  Among the following States, which one has the most suitable climatic conditions for the cultivation of a large variety of orchids with minimum cost of production, and can develop an export oriented industry in this field?
a. Andhra Pradesh
b. Arunachal Pradesh
c. Madhya Pradesh
d. Uttar Pradesh
  •  A sandy and saline area is the natural habitat of an Indian animal species. The animal has no predators in that area but its existence is threatened due to the destruction of its habitat. Which one of the following could be that animal?
a. Indian wild buffalo
b. Indian wild ass
c. Indian wild boar
d. Indian Gazelle
  • The “Red Data Books’ published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) contain lists of
1. Endemic plant and animal species present in the biodiversity hotspots.
2. Threatened plant and animal species.
3. Protected sites for conservation of nature & natural resources in various countries.
Which of the statement given above is / are correct?
a. 1 & 3 
b. 2 only
c. 2 & 3 
d. 3 only
  •  In the context of eco-system productivity, marine  upwelling zones are important as they increase marine productivity by bringing the
1. Decomposer microorganisms to the surface.
2. Nutrients to the surface.
3. Botton-dwelling organisms to the surface.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1 and 2 b. 2 only
c. 2 and 3 d. 3 only
  • The 2004 Tsunami made people realize that mangroves can serve as a reliable safety hedge against coastal calamities. How do mangroves function as a safety hedge?
a. The mangroves swaps separate the human settlements from the sea by a wide zone in which people
neither live nor venture out
b. The mangroves provide both food and medicines
which people are in need of after any natural disaster.
c. The mangroves trees are tall with dense canopiesand serve as an excellent shelter during a cyclone or tsunami
d. The mangroves trees do not get uprooted by storms and tides because of their extensive roots.


10. There is a concern over the increase in harmful algal blooms in the seawaters of India. What could be the causative factors for this phenomenon?
1. Discharge of nutrients from the estuaries.
2. Run-off from the land during the monsoon.
3. Upwelling in the seas.
Select the correct answer from the codes given below:
a. 1 only b. 1 and 2 only
c. 2 and 3 only d. 1,2 and 3
  •  The Himalayan Range is very rich in species diversity. Which one among the following is the most appropriate reason for this phenomenon?
a. It has a high rainfall that supports luxuriant vegetative growth.
b. It is a confluence of different bio geographical zones.
c. Exotic and invasive species have not been introduced in this region.
d. It has less human interference.
  • If a tropical rain forest is removed, it does not regenerate quickly as compared to a tropical deciduous forest. This is because
a. the soil of rain forest is deficient in nutrients
b. propagules of the trees in a rain forest have poor
viability
c. the rain forest species are slow-growing
d. exotic species invade the fertile soil of rain forest.
  •  When the bark of a tree is removed in a circular fashion all around near its base, it generally dries up and dies because
a. Water from soil cannot rise to aerial parts.
b. Roots are starved of energy
c. The tree is infected by soil microbes
d. Roots do not receive oxygen for respiration

CLIMATE CHANGE
  • Consider the following:
1. Photosynthesis
2. Respiration
3. Decay of organic matter
4. Volcanic action
Which of the above adds carbon dioxide to the carbon
cycle on Earth?
a. 1 and 4 only b. 2 and 3 only
c. 2,3 and 4 only d. 1, 2, 3 and 4
  •  Consider the following:
1. Carbon dioxide
2. Oxides of Nitrogen
3. Oxides of Sulphur
Which of the above is/are the emission / emissions
from coal combustion at thermal power plants?
a. 1 only b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only d. 1,2 and 3
  •  The formation of ozone hole in the Antartic region has been a cause of concern. What could be the reason for the formation of this hole?
a. Presence of prominent tropospheric turbulence; and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons
b. Presence of prominent polar front and stratospheric clouds; and inflow of chlorofluorocarbons
c. Absence of polar front and stratospheric clouds; and inflow of methane and chlorofluorocarbons.
d. Increased temperature at polar region due to global warming
  •  Regarding “carbon credits”, which one of the following statements is not correct?
a. The carbon credit system was ratified in conjunction with the Kyoto Protocol
b. Carbon credits are awarded to countries or groups that have reduced greenhouse gases below their emission quota
c. The goal of the carbon credit system is to limit the increase of carbon emission quota
d. Carbon credits are traded at a price fixed from time to time by the United Nations Environment Programme.
ACT & POLICIES
  • With reference to India, consider the following Central Acts:
1. Import and Export (Control) Act, 1947.
2. Mining and Mineral Development (Regulation) Act, 1957
3. Customs Act, 1962
4. Indian Forest Act, 1927
Which of above Acts have relevance to / bearing on the biodiversity conservation in the country?
a. 1 and 3 only b. 2,3 and 4 only
c. 1,2,3 and 4 d. None of the above Acts
CURRENT AFFAIRS
  • Recently, ‘oil zapper’ was in the news. What is it?
a. It is an eco-friendly technology for the remediation of oil sludge and oil spills.
b. It is the latest technology developed for under-sea oil exploration.
c. It is a genetically engineered high biofuel yielding maize variety.
d. It is the latest technology to control the accidentally caused flames from oil wells.
MAP BASED QUESTION
  • Two important rivers – one with its source in Jharkhand (and known by a different name in Odisha), and another, with its source in Odisha – merge at a place only a short distance from the coast of the Bay of Bengal before flowing into the sea. This is an important site of wildlife and bio-diversity and a protected area. Which one of the following could be this?
a. Bhitarkanika
b. Chandipur-on-sea
c. Gopalpur-on-sea
d. Simlipal
  •  Answers
1(c) 2(c) 3(d) 4(b) 5(b) 6(b) 7(b) 8(b) 9(d) 10(d)
11(b) 12(a) 13(a) 14(c) 15(d) 16(b) 17(d) 18(c) 19(a) 20(a)

2012  PYQs Topic Wise
  •  Which of the following can be threats to the biodiversity of a geographical area?
1. Global warming
2. Fragmentation of habitat
3. Invasion of alien species
4. Promotion of vegetarianism
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
a. 1, 2 and 3 only b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 4 only d. 1, 2, and 4
  •  In which one among the following categories of protected areas in India are local people not allowed to
collect and use the biomass?
a. Biosphere Reserves
b. National Parks
c. Wetlands declared under Ramsar Convention
d. Wildlife Sanctuaries
  •  Consider the following protected areas
1. Bandipur
2. Bhitarkanika
3. Manas
4. Sunderbans
Which of the above are declared Tiger Reserves?
a. 1, 3 and 2 only
b. 1, 3 and 4 only
c. 2, 3 and 4 only
d. 1, 2, 3 and 4
  •  What is the difference between the antelopes Oryx and Chiru?
a. Oryx is adapted to live in hot and arid areas whereas Chiru is adapted to live in steppes and semi-desert areas of cold high mountains.
b. Oryx is poached for its antlers whereas Chiru is poached for its musk.
c. Oryx exists in western India only whereas Chiru exists in north-east India only.
d. None of the statements a, b, and c given above is correct.
  •  Consider the following:
1. Black-necked crane
2. Cheetah
3. Flying squirrel
4. Snow leopard
Which of the above are naturally found in India?
a. 1,2 and 3 only b. 1,3 and 4 only
c. 2 and 4 only d. 1,2,3 and 4
6. Consider the following kinds of organisms
1. Bat
2. Bee
3. Bird
Which of the above is/are pollinating agent / agents?
a. 1 and 2 only b. 2 only
c. 1 and 3 only d. 1, 2 and 3
  • Which one of the following groups of animals belongs to the category of endangered species?
a. Great Indian Bustard, Musk Deer, Red Panda and Asiatic Wild Ass
b. Kashmir Stag, Cheetal, Blue Bull and Great Indian Bustard
c. Snow Leopard, Swamp Deer, Rhesus Monkey and Saras (Crane)
d. Lion-tailed Macaque, Blue Bull, Hanuman Langur and Cheetal
  •  What would happen if phytoplankton of an ocean is completely destroyed for some reason?
1. The ocean as a carbon sink would be adversely affected.
2. The food chains in the ocean would be adversely affected.
3. The density of ocean water would drastically decrease.
Select the using codes given below:
a. 1 and 2 only b. 2 only
c. 3 only d. 1,2 and 3
  • following statements:
1. The country’s total geographical area under the
category of wetlands is recorded more in Gujarat as
compared to other States.
2. In India, the total geographical area of coastal wetlands is larger than that of inland wetlands.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1 only b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2 d. Neither 1 nor 2
  •  Vultures which used to be very common in Indian countryside some years age are rarely seen nowadays. This is attributed to
a. the destruction of their nesting sites by new invasive species.
b. a drug used by cattle owners for treating their diseased cattle.
c. scarcity of food available to them
d. a widespread, persistent and fatal disease among them.
CLIMATE CHANGE
  •  Consider the following statements: Chlorofluorocarbons, known as ozone-depleting substances, are used
1. in the production of plastic foams
2. in the production of tubeless tyres
3. in cleaning certain electronic components
4. as pressurizing agents in aerosol cans
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1, 2 and 3 only b. 4 only
c. 1, 3 and 4 only d. 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • . The increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the airis slowly raising the temperature of the atmosphere,because it absorbs
a. the water vapour of the air and retains its heat.
b. the ultraviolet part of the solar radiation.
c. all the solar radiations.
d. the infrared part of the solar radiation
  • The acidification of oceans is increasing. Why is this phenomenon a cause of concern?
1. The growth and survival of calcareous phytoplankton will be adversely affected.
2. The growth and survival of coral reefs will be adversely affected.
3. The survival of some animals that have phytoplanktonic larvae will be adversely affected.
4. The cloud seeding and formation of clouds will be
adversely affected.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1,2 and 3 only b. 2 only
c. 1 and 3 only d. 1,2,3 and 4
ACT & POLICIES
  • . The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010 was enacted in consonance with which of the following provisions of the constitution of India?
1. Right to healthy environment, construed as a part of
part of Right to life under Article 21.
2. Provision of grants for raising the level of administration in the Scheduled Areas for the welfare of
Scheduled Tribes under Article 275(1)
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1 only b. 2 only
c. Both 1 and 2 d. Neither 1 nor 2
  • . How does National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) help in protecting the Indian agriculture?
1. NBA checks the biopiracy and protects the indigenous and traditional genetic resources.
2. NBA directly monitors and supervises the scientific research on genetic modification of crop plants.
3. Application for intellectual Property Rights related to genetic / biological resources cannot be made
without the approval of NBA.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
a. 1 only b. 2 and 3 only
c. 1 and 3 only d. 1, 2 and 3

CURRENT AFFAIRS
  • Government of India encourages the cultivation of ‘sea buckthorn’. What is the importance of this plant?
a. It helps in controlling soil erosion and in preventing desertification.
b. It is a rich source of biodiesel.
c. It has nutritional value and is well-adapted to live in cold areas of high altitudes.
d. Its timber is of great commercial value.

MAP BASED QUESTION
  •  A particular State in India has the following characteristics:
1. It is located on the same latitude which passes through northern Rajasthan.
2. It has over 80% of its area under forest cover.
3. Over 12% of forest cover constitutes Protected Area Network in this State.
Which one among the following States has all the above characteristics?
a. Arunachal Pradesh b. Assam
c. Himachal Pradesh d. Uttarakhand
 Answers
1 (a) 2 (b) 3 (b) 4 (a) 5 (b) 6 (d) 7 (a) 8 (a) 9 (a) 10 (b)
11 (d) 12 (d) 13 (a) 14 (a) 15 (c) 16 (a) 17 (a)

2013 QUESTION PAPER
ENVIRONMENTAL ECOLOGY, BIODIVERSITY, CLIMATE CHANGE, ACT &
POLICIES, CURRENT AFFAIRS AND MAP-BASED QUESTIONS
  • Consider the following statements:
Which one among the following industries is the maximum consumer of water in India?
(a) Engineering 
(b) Paper and pulp
(c) Textiles 
(d) Thermal power
  •  Fruits stored in a cold chamber exhibit longer storage life because
(a) Exposure to sunlight is prevented
(b)Concentration of carbon dioxide in the environmentis increased
(c) Rate of respiration is decreased
(d)There is an increase in humidity
  •  Consider the following fauna of India:
1. Gharial
2. Leatherback turtle
3. Swamp deer
Which of the above is/are endangered?
(a) 1 and 2 only (b) 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 (d) None
  • Many transplanted seedling do not grow because
(a) the new soil does not contain favourable minerals
(b)most of the root hairs grip the new soil too hard
(c) most of the root hair are lost during transplantation
(d)leaves get damaged during transplantation
  •  Which of the following leaf modification occurs/ occur in desert areas to inhibit water loss?
1. Hard and waxy leaves
2. Tiny leaves or no leaves
3. Thorns instead of leaves
Select the correct answer using the codes given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only (b) 2 only
(c) 1 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3
  •  Mycorrhizal biotechnology has been used in rehabilitating degraded sites because mycorrhiza enables the plants to
1. Resist drought and increase the absorptive area
2. Tolerate extremes of pH
3. Resist disease infestation
Select the correct answer using the code given below
(a) 1 only (b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3
  • With reference to the food chains in ecosystems,which of the following kinds of organism is/are known as decomposer organism/organisms?
1. Virus 
2. Fungi
3. Bacteria
Select the correct answer using the code given below
(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only 
(d) 1, 2 and 3
  • Which of the following is/are unique characteristic/ characteristics of equatorial forests?
1. Presence of tall, closely set trees with crowns forming a continuous canopy.
2. Coexistence of a large number of species.
3. Presence of numerous varieties of epiphytes.
Select the correct answer using the code given below
(a) 1 only (b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only (d) 1, 2 and 3
  •  Consider the following crops:
1. Cotton 
2. Groundnut
3. Rice
4. Wheat
Which of these are Kharif crops?
(a) 1 and 4 (b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 2, and 3 (d) 2, 3 and 4
  •  “Climate is extreme, rainfall is scanty and the people used to be nomadic herders”.
The above statement best describes which of the following regions?
(a) African Savannah
(b)Central Asian Steppe
(c) North American Prairie
(d) Siberian Tundra
  • Under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, who shall be the authority to initiate the process for determining the nature and extent of individual or community forest rights or both?
(a) State Forest Department
(b)District Collector / Deputy Commissioner
(c) Tahsildar / Block Development Officer / Mandal Revenue Officer
(d)Gram Sabha
  •  Improper handling and storage of cereal grains and oilseeds result in the production of toxins known as aflatoxins which are not generally destroyed by normal cooking process. Aflatoxins are produced by
(a) bacteria 
(b) protozoa
(c) moulds 
(d) viruses
  •  Due to improper/indiscriminate disposal of old and used computers or their parts, which of the following are released into the environment as e-waste?
1. Beryllium 
2. Cadmium 
3. Chromium 
4. Heptachlor
 5. Mercury
6. Lead
7. Plutonium
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
(a) 1, 3, 4, 6 and 7 only
(b)1, 2, 3, 5 and 6 only
(c) 2, 4, 5 and 7 only
(d)1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7
  • Acid rain is caused by the pollution of environment by
(a) carbon dioxide and nitrogen
(b)carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
(c) ozone and carbon dioxide
(d)nitrous oxide and sulphur dioxide
  •  With reference to food chains in ecosystems, consider the following statements:
1. A food chain illustrates the order in which a chain
of organisms feed upon each other.
2. Food chains are found within the populations of a
species.
3. A food chain illustrates the numbers of each organism which are eaten by others.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
 (b) 1 and 2 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3 
(d) None 
  • Consider the following pairs: National Park River flowing through the Park
1. Corbett National Park : Ganga
2. Kaziranga National Park : Manas
3. Silent Valley National Park : Kaveri
Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 and 2 (b) 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 (d) None
17. Consider the following organisms:
1. Agaricus 2. Nostoc
3. Spirogyra
Which of the above is/are used as biofertilizer/biofertilizers?
(a) 1 and 2 (b) 2 only
(c) 2 and 3 (d) 3 only
  • .Which of the following adds/add nitrogen to the soil?
1. Excretion of urea by animals
2. Burning of coal by man
3. Death of vegetation
Select the correct answer using the codes given
below.
(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
 (d) 1, 2 and 3
  •  In which of the following States is the lion-tailed macaque found in its natural habitat?
1. Tamil Nadu
 2. Kerala
3. Karnataka 
4. Andhra Pradesh
Select the correct answer using the codes given below: codes
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only 
(b) 2 only
(c) 1, 3 and 4 only 
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
  • Which one of the following terms describes not only the physical space occupied by an organism, but also its functional role in the community of organisms?
(a) Ecotone 
(b) Ecological niche
(c) Habitat 
(d) Home range
  • . Photochemical smog is a result of the reaction among
(a) NO2, O3 and peroxyacetyl nitrate in the presence of sunlight
(b)CO, O2 and peroxyacetyl nitrate in the presence of sunlight
(c) CO, CO2  and NO2 at low temperature
(d)high concentration of NO2 O3  and CO in the evening
  • Recombinant DNA technology (Genetic Engineering) allows genes to be transferred
1. across different species of plants
2. from animals to plants
3. from microorganisms to higher organisms
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
 (d) 1, 2 and 3
  • Consider the following:
1. Star tortoise 
2. Monitor lizard
3. Pygmy hog
 4. Spider monkey
Which of the above are naturally found in India?
(a) 1, 2 and 3 only (b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 4 only (d) 1, 2 3 and 4
  • Which of the following can be found as pollutants in the drinking water in some parts of India?
1. Arsenic
 2. Sorbitol
3. Fluoride 
4. Formaldehyde
5. Uranium
Select the correct answer using the codes given below.
(a) 1 and 3 only
 (b) 2, 4 and 5 only
(c) 1,3 and 5 only 
(d) None
  •  Consider the following Animals
1. Sea cow 
2. Sea horse
3. Sea lion
Which of the above is/are mammal/mammals?
(a) 1 only
 (b) 1 and 3 only
(c) 2 and 3 only
(d) 1,2 and 3
  •  With Reference to the usefulness of the by-products of sugar industry, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Begasse can be used as biomass fuel for the generation of energy
2. Molasses can be used as one of the feedstocks for the production of synthetic chemical fertilizers.
3. Molasses can be used for the production of ethanol.
Select the correct answer using the codes given below
(a) only 
(b) and 3 only
(c) and 3 only
 (d) 1, 2 and 3
  • Consider the following pairs:
1. Nokrek Bio-sphere Reserve: Garo Hills
2. Logtak (Loktak) Lake : Barail Range
3. Namdapha National Park: Dafla Hills
Which of the above pairs is/are correctly matched?
(a) 1 only 
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1, 2 and 3
 (d) None
  •  In the grasslands, trees do not replace the grasses as a part of an ecological succession because of
(a) Insects and fungi
(b)Limited sunlight and paucity of nutrients
(c) Water limits and fire
(d)None of the above
  • Which of the following is the correct sequence of ecosystems in the order of decreasing productivity?
(a) Oceans, lakes, grasslands, mangroves
(b)Mangroves, oceans, grasslands, lakes
(c) Mangroves, grasslands, lakes, oceans
(d)Oceans, mangroves, lakes, and grasslands.
  •  Contour bunding is a method of soil conservation used in
(a) Desert margins, liable to strong wind action
(b)Low flat plains, close to stream course, liable to flooding
(c) Scrublands, liable to spread of weed growth
(d)None of the above
2013 - Answers
1(d) 2(c) 3(d) 4(c) 5(d) 6(d) 7(b) 8(d) 9(c) 10(b)
11(d) 12(c) 13(b) 14(d) 15{a} (or) (d) doubt 16(d) 17(b) 18(c) 19(a) 20(b)
21(a) 22(d) 23(a) 24(c) 25(b) 26(c) 27(a) 28(c) 29(c) 30(d)

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