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Tufts OpenCourseware
Author: Colin Orians

1. Discussion Questions

1.1. Chapter 10: Animal Production and Utilization.

1.1.1. Utility

  • Although animals are inefficient producers of protein (compared to plants) they are part of most food production systems. What circumstances make them especially valuable?
  • Other than food production what other functions do domestic animals have?

1.1.2. Livestock Productivity

  • Why is livestock productivity less in the tropics than in the temperate areas?
  • Compare and contrast the costs and benefits of traditional pastoral systems with sedentary commercial ranching.

1.1.3. Forage Quality

  • How does forage quantity and quality vary seasonally?
  • What implications does this have on the grazing animals?
  • Why are African grasses often introduced to Neotropic pastures?

1.1.4. Forage Productivity

  • How is pasture productivity and quality affected by soil nutrient deficiency? Are there realistic ways to improve the situation?

1.1.5. Environmental Degradation

  • When does grazing of domestic animals lead to desertification?
  • Are plant pests and diseases major problems in tropical pastures? How might pests lead to environmental degradation?

1.1.6. Wild Animals

  • How can utilization of wild animals help protect them?
  • It has been stated that wild indigenous species of ungulates can give higher production of meat than domestic animals in savannah areas. Why might this be true? Is there any evidence for this?

1.1.7. Aquaculture

  • How important is aquaculture in production of food for humans in the tropics as compared to other parts of the world?
  • Why are fish more efficient at converting food to protein as compared to terrestrial domesticated animals?
  • Which factors contribute to aquaculture high productivity?
  • What are the environmental problems associated with aquaculture?