Lesson Overview Biodiversity Lesson Overview 6.3 Biodiversity Lesson Overview Biodiversity The Value of Biodiversity Biological diversity, or biodiversity is the total of all the genetically based variation in all organisms in the
biosphere. Types of Biodiversity ecosystem diversity, species diversity, genetic diversity. Lesson Overview Biodiversity Types of Biodiversity Ecosystem diversity the variety of habitats, communities, and ecological processes in the biosphere.
Lesson Overview Biodiversity Types of Biodiversity Species diversity The number of different species in the biosphere, or in a particular area. Biologists have identified and named more than 1.8 million species, Biologists estimate that at least 30 million more are yet be discovered.
Lesson Overview Biodiversity Types of Biodiversity Genetic diversity sum total of all different forms of genetic information carried by a particular species, or by all organisms on Earth. Ex. Within each species, genetic diversity refers to the total of all different forms of genes present in that species.
Lesson Overview Biodiversity Valuing Biodiversity It is one of Earths greatest natural resources. When lost, significant value to the biosphere and to humanity may be lost along with it. Benefits to society include contributions to: medicine and agriculture, the provision of ecosystem goods and services. Lesson Overview Biodiversity
Biodiversity and Medicine Wild species are the original source of many medicines. ex. a foxglove plant contains compounds called digitalis that are used to treat heart disease. The genetic information carried by diverse species is like a natural library from which we have a great deal to learn. Lesson Overview
Biodiversity Biodiversity and Agriculture Wild plants may carry genes we can use through plant breeding or genetic engineering to transfer disease or pest resistance, or other useful traits, to crop plants. Ex. wild potatoes in South America come in many colorful varieties. Lesson
Overview Biodiversity Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services The number and variety of species in an ecosystem can influence that ecosystems stability, productivity, and value to humans. The presence or absence of a single keystone species, like the sea otter, can completely change the nature of life in an ecosystem.Ex
Also, healthy and diverse ecosystems play a vital role in maintaining soil, water, and air quality Ex. When the otter population falls, the population of its favorite prey, sea urchins, goes up. Population increases in sea urchins cause a dramatic decrease in the population of sea
kelp, the sea urchins favorite food. sea kelp Lesson Overview Biodiversity Lesson Overview Biodiversity Threats to Biodiversity Species diversity is related to genetic diversity. The more genetically diverse a species is, the greater its chances of surviving disturbances.
So as human activity reduces genetic diversity, species are put at a greater risk for extinction. Species diversity is also linked to ecosystem diversity. As ecosystems are damaged, the organisms that inhabit them become more vulnerable to extinction. As species disappear, the potential contribution to human knowledge that is carried in their genes is lost. Lesson Overview Biodiversity How do humans reduce biodiversity? Humans reduce biodiversity by altering habitats,
hunting, introducing invasive species, releasing pollution into food webs, contributing to climate change. Lesson Overview Biodiversity Altered Habitats Eliminating natural habitat for agriculture or for urban development. The development often splits ecosystems into pieces, a process called
habitat fragmentation Habitat fragmentation creates biological islands. A biological island can be any patch of habitat surrounded by a different habitat. Lesson Overview Hunting Biodiversity Some animals are hunted for: Meat, valuable hides or skins, or
hunted to be sold as pets. Hunted species are affected even more than other species by habitat fragmentation because fragmentation increases access for hunters and limits available hiding spaces for prey. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) bans international trade in products from a list of endangered species. Lesson Overview Biodiversity
Introduced Species-invasive species They can become invasive and threaten biodiversity. Ex. One European weed, leafy spurge, infests millions of hectares across the Northern Great Plains. Leafy spurge displaces grasses and other food plants, and it can sicken or kill cattle and horses. Lesson Overview
Biodiversity Pollution-Many pollutants threaten biodiversity. Ex. DDT prevents birds from laying healthy eggs. Ex. Acid rain places stress on land and water organisms. Lesson Overview Biodiversity Climate Change Prevents organisms from adapting to their
environments have specific tolerance ranges to temperature and other abiotic conditions. If conditions change beyond an organisms tolerance, the organism must move to a more suitable location or face extinction. Lesson Overview Biodiversity Protecting Individual Species The Association of
Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) oversees species survival plans (SSPs) designed to protect threatened and endangered species. Lesson Overview Biodiversity Preserving Habitats and Ecosystems Global conservation the goal is to preserve the natural interactions of many species. Governments and conservation groups work to set aside land as parks & reserves.
The United States has: national parks, forests, and other protected areas. Marine sanctuaries are being created to protect coral reefs and marine mammals. Lesson Overview Biodiversity Preserving Habitats and Ecosystems An ecological hot spot is a place where significant numbers of species and habitats are in immediate danger of extinction.
By identifying these areas, ecologists hope that scientists and governments can better target their efforts to save as many species as possible. This is the Tonle Sap: a combined lake and river system in Cambodia. the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia; an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997. The floodplain provides a perfect
breeding ground for fish. Lesson Overview Biodiversity Preserving Habitats and Ecosystems: Ecological Hot spots (shown in Red) Lesson Overview Biodiversity Considering Local Interests The following are ways that people help protect biodiversity: The United States government, has offered tax
credits to people whove installed solar panels or bought hybrid cars. Many communities in Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia have set aside land for national parks and nature reserves, like Thailands Elephant Nature Park, to attract tourist dollars. In some Australian communities, farmers were paid to plant trees along rivers and streams as part of wildlife corridors connecting forest fragments. Lesson Overview Biodiversity The use of carbon credits is one strategy aimed at encouraging industries to
cut fossil fuels use. Companies are allowed to release a certain amount of carbon into the environment. Any unused carbon may be sold back at a set market value or traded to other companies. This strategy encourages industries to pay for loweremission machinery and to adopt carbon-saving practices. Considering Local Interests Lesson Overview
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