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Why are the forest creeks clean?

The soil is covered


by leaves

Roots hold the soil

> Rain can’t wash


the soil easily into
the creek
Why are the forest creeks clean?

Forest provides
shadow and
protection from
direct sunlight

> the water


remains cool
Why are the forest creeks clean?
mg / l
16 Cool water can
14 Maximum Dissolved Oxygen in Freshwater carry more
oxygen
12

Open land
Forest
10 Biochemical
8 processes that
consume
6 oxygen run
4 slower in cool
water
2
0 > Water keeps
well oxygenized
°C and healthy
10

15

20

25

30

35

40
0

5
Why are the forest creeks clean?

Oxygen is needed
by all organisms
that help
eliminating dirt
particles.

But forest
streams lack
producers that
could supply
oxygen!
Why are the forest creeks clean?

Bacteria and micro fungi grow on leaf litter and other dead organic matter
> The dead organic matter decays
Why are the forest creeks clean?

Grazers / Scrapers e.g. snails, larvae of water penny beetles and some
mayflies scrape the biofilms of microorganisms and feed on these bacteria
and micro fungi
Why are the forest creeks clean?

Gatherers like
small shrimps
brush and clean
the underwater
surfaces and
feat this way on
bacteria, algae
and micro fungi
Why are the forest creeks clean?

Detritivore gatherers e.g. scavenger water beetles and crabs feed on


dead animals and rotten plant material
Why are the forest creeks clean?

Shredders e.g. some stonefly larvae and some caddisfly larvae feed on leaf
litter and “shred” the dead organic matter in small pieces
The Three Levels of Biodiversity
„ Biodiversity has three
main components
„ Genetic diversity Genetic diversity in a vole population

„ Species diversity
„ Ecosystem diversity

Species diversity in a coastal redwood ecosystem

Community and ecosystem diversity


across the landscape of an entire region
Species Diversity
„ Estimates of actual
number of species
range from a few
million to 100
million.
„ About 1.4 million
species have been
described.
„ Many species are
naturally rare, and
others live in areas
difficult to reach.
„ Most undescribed
species are insects
Philippine
„ Harvard biologist eagle

E. O. Wilson:
“Species that
number fewer
than 100
individuals and
are only that many
Chinese
heartbeats from river
extinction” dolphin

Javan
rhino
Biodiversity has Intrinsic Value

Intrinsic Value = Something that has value


in and of itself
Utilitarian Value
Utilitarian Value = the value something has as
a means to another’s end.

Utilitarian values include:


• Goods
• Services
• Information
Economic Values
„ Many pharmaceuticals
„ Contain substances originally derived from plants
„ Oxygen
„ Food
„ Clean Water
„ Aesthetics
„ Ideas
Ecosystem Values

„ Ecosystem services include


„ Purification of air and water
„ Detoxification and decomposition of wastes
„ Cycling of nutrients
„ Moderation of weather extremes
„ And many others
Four Major Threats to
Biodiversity
Most species loss can be traced to four major
threats
„ Habitat destruction
„ Introduced species
„ Overexploitation
„ Disruption of “interaction networks”
„ Many natural landscapes have been broken up
„ Fragmenting habitat into small patches

leads to
loss of
biodivers
ity
Introduced Species
„ Introduced species
„ Are those that humans move from the species’
native locations to new geographic regions
Disruption of Interaction Networks
„ The extermination of keystone species by humans
„ Can lead to major changes in the structure of
communities
Keystone Species
„ A keystone species is a species whose very
presence contributes to a diversity of life and whose
extinction would consequently lead to the extinction
of other forms of life.
„ Keystone species help to support the ecosystem
(entire community of life) of which they are a part.
„ Usually top of food pyramids
„ Examples: Sea Otters (sea urchin – kelp food chain)
Finding Biodiversity Hot Spots
„ A biodiversity hot spot is a relatively small
area
„ With an exceptional concentration of endemic
species and a large number of endangered and
threatened species

Terrestrial
biodiversity
hot spots