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BIODIVERSITY THREATS

By Inna Mercado

Biodiversity loss

WHAT IS EXTINCTION?

EXTINCTION
The end of an organism or of a group of organisms

The death of the last individual of the species defines the moment of extinction

Natural Causes
It is believed that 99.9% of all the species that ever lived are extinct.

Typically, a species become extinct within 10 million years of its first existence

Extinction
Within the last century, decreases in biodiversity have been increasing

Extinctions occur at rates hundreds of times higher than background extinction rate

BAIJI DOLPHIN (2006)

Hawaiian Bird (2002)

Habitat Destruction

HABITAT DESTRUCTION
The process in which a natural habitat is considered unable to sustain the species present Primary cause of extinction worldwide Currently, the most threatened habitats or ecosystems are the ones found in freshwater

In 1986, 82% of endangered bird species were significantly threatened due to habitat loss.

Tropical rainforests are being destroyed at the rate of 0.8-2.0% per year

Human Activities Affecting Habitat Loss


ACTIVITY SHORELINE ARMOURING FISHING HABITATS AFFECTED Intertidal and subtidal shorelines Subtidal and deep water marine areas IMPACT Increased exposure to wave energy; fewer species can survive - Physical destruction of bottom-dwelling plants/animals - By-catch

DREDGING

Subtidal, intertidal and - Physical destruction freshwater habitats of bottom-dwelling plants/animals - Fewer plants can grow in reduced light; - fish gills become clogged with sediment

Human Activities Affecting Habitat Loss


ACTIVITY DIKING AND INFILLING HABITATS AFFECTED Estuaries, shorelines, wetlands IMPACT - Productive intertidal and wetland habitat is destroyed

LOGGING AND VEGETATION REMOVAL

Marine, upland, freshwater habitats

- Destroys structure of habitat -machinery disturbs soil - Can create erosion


- Destruction of bottom-dwelling plants/animals -Decomposition of

LOG BOOMING

Lakes, sheltered marine habitats

Human Activities Affecting Habitat Loss


ACTIVITY AGRICULTURE HABITATS AFFECTED Upland, marine, freshwater habitats IMPACT - Replacement of diverse habitats with singlespecies crops - Possible runoff of livestock wastes, pesticides, fertilizers, into freshwater and marine environments - Many substances are directly toxic to plants/animals; others have long-term cumulative effects on health

INDUSTRIAL AND AUTOMOBILE POLLUTION

All habitats

Introduced and Invasive Species

Introduced and Invasive Species


Introduced Species - A species living outside its native range though human activity either accidentally or intentionally. - May be beneficial or not Invasive Species

- Introduced species that lead to adverse affects to habitats they have invaded

Invasive Species
Often upsets the balance within ecosystems May cause disruptions by dominating a region from loss of control Reproduce rapidly due to being free from predation and competition Introduced species become invasive if it outcompetes native species for resources

Common Invasive Traits


Fast growth Rapid Reproduction High dispersal ability

Phenotypic plasticity
Tolerance of a wide range of environmental conditions Ability to live off of a wide range of food types

Association with humans


Prior successful invasions

Ecological Facilitation
Occurs when a species alters its environment with the use of chemicals or manipulating abiotic factors

Allows invasive species to proliferate while making their environment less favorable to competitors

BROWN TREE SNAKE

Ecological Facilitation

Centaura

Bromus Tectorum

Overexploitation

Overexploitation
Occurs when a resource is consumed at an unsustainable rate, given their natural rates of mortality and capacities for reproduction

May be in the form of overhunting, excessive logging and illegal wildlife trade

Over-hunting/Wildlife Smuggling
Highly profitable Done usually for economic reasons such as for food and clothing Can cause cascade effects

Hybridization, Genetic Erosion/Pollution, and Food Security


Imply a lack of genetic diversity

Formerly used gene pools of various indigenous breeds have collapsed due to genetic pollution/erosion

Genetic Erosion
A process wherein an endangered species with a limited gene pool diminishes even before it gets the chance to meet and breed with others in their population May also be caused by habitat fragmentation

Climate Change

Climate Change

Coral Bleaching
An increase in the preferred temperature may cause discoloration Causes death among corals