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Biodiversity

L. Rayner

The diversity of life

Figure 1.1

The Royal Menagerie (an early form of the zoo), Tower of London, 1816.

Biodiversity in Australia

Biodiversity of Australia

• • Landscape and the types of plants and animals, including marsupials. 1 million species of
Landscape and the types of plants and
animals, including marsupials.
1 million species of plants, animals
and insects

Figure 1.6 The Great Barrier Reef from the air

Describing biodiversity

What is biodivers ity?

1 A species is most often defined as a group of morphologically similar organisms that is capable of interbreeding to produce fertile offspring.

2 An ecosystem is an interacting community of populations of organisms and the physical environment in which they

The variety and abundance of life and its ecological context, including:

What is biodivers ity?

Different kinds of organisms Numbers of species Variations in genes Complexity of ecological condition

It is the sum of all biotic variation from the level of genes to ecosystems

It is dependent on size and abiotic and biotic factors present

Describing biodiversity

Diversi ty of species

  • 1 What is a species?

  • 2 The biological species concept

  • 3 Limitations of the biological species model

  • 4 Other species concepts

A species is a group of organisms that breed only amongst themselves and produce offspring that are also capable of reproducing

Species

diversity

Species diversity looks at ‘richness’ of species - How many of each species do we have in a given area

 A species is a group of organisms that breed only amongst themselves and produce offspring

A diversity of ecosystems

When does one ecosystem start and one end?

Development of the ecosystem concept – still a work in progress!

•. Life on Earth is connected through the cycling of nutrients and the transformation of energy through food webs.

•. Ecosystems are generally homogeneous, but some regions within an ecosystem may vary.

Ecosystem diversity refers to the diversity at the ecosystem level (a number of different species)

Not all ecosystems are the same. E.g. Rainforests, deserts and scrub plains

We refer to the ecosystem diversity of a certain area. For example if we
m look at global biodiversity we could focus on the biodiversity of Australia in comparison to New Zealand

Ecosyste

diversity

Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth

Ecosystem diversity is based on the interactions of communities in a particular area – between themselves and their environment

Genetic diversity is the diversity of genes within a species

Genetic

diversity

 Genetic diversity is the diversity of genes within a species Genetic diversity  High genetic

High genetic diversity is crucial in order to survive catastrophic events or a change of living conditions

Complete Act 178, 180 and 276

Biodiversity is very important to ensure survival via resilience

Why is biodiver sity importa nt?

 Biodiversity is very important to ensure survival via resilience Why is biodiver sity importa nt?https://www.youtube.com/watc h?v=N5ssjM2Fjuc " id="pdf-obj-10-7" src="pdf-obj-10-7.jpg">

Survival is a species primary goal. If you survive you are able to reproduce. By surviving you are able to pass on favourable traits to the next generation.

It is important to support our life on earth. Maintaining and regulating fresh water supply, purifying the atmosphere as well as economic services.

How do we measure biodivers ity?

Species richness (number of different species)

Species evenness (distribution of different species)

Biodiversity index calculations (E.g. Simpsons diversity Index)

How do we measure biodivers ity?  Species richness (number of different species)  Species evenness

Measures of biodiversity rely on classifications of organisms

How do we measure biodivers ity?

We need to know what defines a species in order to know how many different species we have in a given area

Classifications can use spatial and temporal scales

Spatial scales refer to geographical locations, habitats (terrestrial and aquatic) and climatic regions

Temporal scales refer to geological time. For example pre or post industrial or colonisation

We are lucky to live in such a beautiful and diverse country

Being so isolated, much of our flora and fauna is unique (endemic) to our land

Our

beautiful

country

The South West of W.A is the only biodiversity hot spot in Australia!!

3 reasons why our W.A environment is unique and interesting:

High diversity of species and communities

High endemism

Unique adaptations to the environment

We have a biodiversity hotspot right on our doorstep…. But what does this mean?

What is a biodiver sity hotspot?

Biodiversity hotspots are areas that support natural ecosystems that are largely intact and where native species and communities associated with these ecosystems are well represented.

They are also areas with a high diversity of locally endemic species, which are species that are not found or are rarely found outside the hotspot.

To qualify as a hotspot, a region must meet strict criteria: it must contain at

least 1,500 species of vascular (higher order) plants (> 0.5% of the world’s total) as endemics, have a high diversity of local endemic species and it has to have lost at least 70% of its original habitat.

Global biodiversity “hotspots” are the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth

The

South

West

The South West is one of 34 hotspots in the world

Not only is it Australia’s only hotspot; it is also one of the few found in a developed country

 Global biodiversity “hotspots” are the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life

Eucalyptus erythronema flowers, Southwest Australia Ecoregion

Our

beautiful

country

Our beautiful country  Complete Act 275, 177 and 180

Complete Act 275, 177 and 180

Complete the ‘Pre Video Worksheet’

Watch!

Watch the click view video ‘An Introduction to Biodiversity’ (24 mins)

Complete the ‘During the Video Worksheet’

Why

should

we

Loss of biodiversity reduces the stability and resilience of natural ecosystems

conserve

biodivers

Complete Act 277

ity?

Why should we  Loss of biodiversity reduces the stability and resilience of natural ecosystems conserve

World Heritage Areas

Complete Scientific Literacy: The Great Barrier Reef Page 7 Nelson

How can we conserve biodivers ity?

 World Heritage Areas  Complete Scientific Literacy: The Great Barrier Reef Page 7 Nelson How

Conservation Complete Act 278 International Agreements For example: International Migration Routes

Bonn Convention - ‘the entire population or any geographically separate part of the population of any species or lower taxon of wild animals, a significant proportion of whose members cyclically and predictably cross one or more national jurisdictional boundaries’