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Ecological Components of Biodiversity & Global Biodiversity

Lecture on ecology of biodiversity
by Jennifer Dever on 4 September 2013

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Transcript of Ecological Components of Biodiversity & Global Biodiversity

Ecological Components of Biodiversity & Global Biodiversity Patterns
Ecosystems & Communities
"Civilization is a state of mutual interdependent cooperation between human animals, other animals, plants, and soils, which may be disrupted at any moment by the failure of any of them" - Leopold
Global patterns of biodiversity
Latitude
Elevation
Precipitation
Habitat Heterogeneity
Area
Biomes
major types of ecosystems that occupy broad geographic regions, impacted by climate, geology & geography
Future of Biodiversity Studies
cataloging the millions of species left undescribed
zero in on areas with high richness & endemism (RAP) rapid assessment program
establish research stations in hotspots
Ecology Review
Ecosystems = all the organisms in a given area as well as the abiotic factors with which they interact.
Community = All of the organisms that inhabit a particular area; an assemblage of populations of different species living close enough for potential interaction.
Ecologically functional species = when the population of a species is large enough to have an impact on other species in the community.
Trophic structure = different feeding relationships in an ecosystem, which determine the route of energy flow and the pattern of chemical cycling in an ecosystem
Niche = specific role that a species plays in the community.

Productivity
Gross productivity = amt of energy trapped in organic matter during a specified interval at a given trophic level
Productivity is higher in more diverse natural communities - because differences among species in resource capture allows more diverse communities to more fully utilize their limiting resources
Functionality - Ecosystem processes, e.g. soil development, nutrient cycling, water filtration and storage
Healthy Ecosystem = one in which the processes are functioning normally.
Stable Ecosystem = one that is able to remain in the same state; Resistance = able to maintain the same state in the midst of disturbance; Resilience = property of being able to return to the original state quickly after disturbance.
Ecosystem Dynamics
Measuring Biodiversity
S = Species Richness
E = Evenness
Diversity Index
alpha diversity = local species richness
beta diversity = measure of variation among sites within a region
gamma diversity = regional richness
Biodiversity Hotspots - 25 biologically rich areas around the world that supports nearly 60% of the world's plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species.
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