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FY Lecture Notes

21/12/12

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Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the variety and differences among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part. It is virtually synonymous with Life on earth. Biologists most often define "biological diversity" or "biodiversity" as the "totality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a region. The biodiversity found on Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species, which is the product of nearly 3.5 billion years of evolution. Biological diversity or biodiversity is the term given to the variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms. The variety and variability of life-forms, both contemporary and extinct, including genetic and ecosystem diversity, in a defined area at and over time Biological diversity is a measure of the diversity of all life at all levels of organization. Biodiversity is All of the hereditary variation in organisms, from differences in ecosystems to the species composing each ecosystem, thence to the genetic variation in each of the species. As a term, biodiversity may be used to refer to the variety of life of all of Earth or to any part of it.

Types of Biodiversity Species diversity All the species on Earth, from single-celled bacteria and protists to the multicellular kingdoms (plants, fungi, and animals). Species diversity is an index that incorporates the number of species in an area and also their relative abundance. Genetic diversity -The genetic variation within species, both among geographically separate populations and among individuals within single populations. In other words It is a level of biodiversity that refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. Ecosystem diversity- The different biological communities and their associations with the chemical and physical environment (the ecosystem). Ecosystem diversity refers to the diversity of a place at the level of ecosystems.

FY Lecture Notes

21/12/12

[Type text]

Biodiversity can also be classified as Structural diversity -genetic structure, physiognomy, landscape patterns Functional diversity ecological and evolutionary processes (e.g., photosynthesis, biogeochemical cycling, predation, parasitism, life history, etc.) Compositional diversity genes, species, ecosystems Values of Biodiversity: Food: About 80,000 edible plants and about 90% of present day food crops have been domesticated from wild. Drugs & Medicines: About 75% of worlds population depend on plants or plant extracts. Fuel: Forests have been used since ages for fuel wood. Fossil fuels are also products of Biodiversity. Social Value: Many of the plants like Tulsi, Lotus, Peepal etc are considered holy and sacred. Species - The biological species concept The biological species concept defines species in terms of interbreeding. Mayr (1963), for instance defined a species as follows: species are groups of interbreeding natural populations that are reproductively isolated from other such groups. The expression reproductively isolated m eans that members of the species do not interbreed with members of other species, because they have some attributes that prevent interbreeding. - The ecological species concept Ecological species can be defined as a set of organisms who exploit a certain set of niches, where the set includes the niches exploited by different life stages, genders, or other forms within the species.) - Typological, morphological species Species can be described according to morphology. According to this species are set of organism who look similar. - Cladistic species concept A species is a monophyletic group (a group including all descendents of an ancestor).