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Biodiversity

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 1


Biodiversity
• Variety of living things,
number of kinds
• Ecological diversity
– different habitats, niches,
species interactions
• Species diversity
– different kinds of
organisms, relationships
among species
• Genetic diversity
– different genes &
combinations of genes

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 2


Benefits of Biodiversity
• Ecosystem functions
• Ecosystem services
• Cleaning water,
habitat & breeding
areas for wildlife
• Aesthetic and
cultural benefits

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 3


Benefits of Biodiversity
• New food sources
– Grains, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 4


Benefits of Biodiversity
• Medicines
• Plants
• Jellyfish & sea
anemones
• Nudibranchs

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Biodiversity
• How much biodiversity
 1.7—2.0 million species
 Estimates to 100 million

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Biodiversity
• Where is the biodiversity
– Everywhere
• Every continent and habitat
has unique life forms
– Concentrated in the
tropics
• Panama: > 500 species of
breeding birds
• Arctic: 50-100 species
– Dense concentrations

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Threats to Biodiversity
• Extinction and
population reductions
– Hunting and
overharvesting
• Tiger
• Dodo
• Whales
• Sharks
– Habitat loss

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 8


Threats to Biodiversity
• Extinction and
population reductions
– Pollution
– Climate change
– Invasive species

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Protecting Biodiversity
• How can we protect
biodiversity
– Stop overharvesting
• Sustainable yield
• Hunting & fishing laws
(every state ?)
– in developing nations ?
– Refuges, parks,
preserves
– Endangered Species Act

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 10


Protecting Biodiversity
• Refuges, parks, preserves
– How big should refuges be?
– Where should they be?
– McArthur & Wilson “Theory of Island Biogeography”
• colonization rate
• extinction rate (local)
• predicts number of species

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Protecting Biodiversity
• Effect of island size • Effect of island distance

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 12


Protecting Biodiversity
• McArthur & Wilson
“Theory of Island
Biogeography”
– colonization rate
– extinction rate (local)
– predicts number of
species

24 March 2009 Biodiversity.ppt 13


Protecting Biodiversity
Island Biogeography

Island size predicts number of species

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Protecting Biodiversity
• Island Biogeography
– Everyplace is an island
– Habitat fragmentation
• Smaller fragments hold
fewer species

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Protecting Biodiversity
• How can we protect • http://www.fws.gov/end
biodiversity
• Endangered Species Act
(1973)
– Listing of “endangered” and
“threatened” species
– Restricts development of
habitats
– Captive breeding programs
• Release of captive bred
stocks to enhance or
recover wild populations.

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Protecting Biodiversity
• Biodiversity “hotspots”
– Protection of habitat

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