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Chapter 7 Biodiversity, Regular Environmental Science
Transcript of Chapter 7 Biodiversity, Regular Environmental Science
What is Biodiversity? Pythons? Lesson 7.3 Protecting Biodiversity Many conservation efforts today attempt to balance protection of land and wildlife with the economic interests of local people:
Debt-for-nature swap: Conservation organizations raise money to pay off a nation’s debt in return for improved conservation measures.
Conservation concession: Conservation organizations buy the rights to conserve resources, instead of harvesting them. Economic Approaches to Conservation Just 2.3% of the planet’s land surface is home to 50% of the world’s plant species and 42% of its vertebrate animal species. Lesson 7.3 Protecting Biodiversity Biodiversity losses caused by humans are common in our history. Hunting and forest cutting drove the passenger pigeon—once North America’s most numerous bird—into extinction. Lesson 7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss Lesson 7.1 Our Planet of Life Taxonomists classify species based on physical appearance and genetic makeup.
Species are placed into a hierarchy of taxonomic groups:
Taxonomic groups reflect evolutionary relationships among species.
Below the species level, organisms may fall into subspecies—populations with genetically based characteristics that differ area to area. Classification Lesson 7.3 Protecting Biodiversity Connect habitat fragments enabling once-isolated populations to interbreed
Interbreeding increases genetic diversity.
Conservation biologists hope that a planned 250-km long corridor in Australia will enable the endangered southern cassowary to recover from population declines. Wildlife Corridors Northern Pintail ducks, Honshu, Japan Japan is one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Lesson 7.3 Protecting Biodiversity The “hotspot approach” focuses attention on areas where the greatest number of species can be protected with the least effort.
At least 1500 plant species found nowhere else in the world
Already lost 70% of their habitat as a result of human activity
The 34 biodiversity hotspots are home to 50% of Earth’s plant species and 42% of terrestrial vertebrate species. Biodiversity Hotspots Ivory products, made from elephant tusks Lesson 7.3 Protecting Biodiversity Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES, 1975): Bans international trade in body parts of endangered species.
Convention on Biological Diversity (1992): International treaty to conserve biodiversity and ensure its responsible use and distribution International Cooperation Once common in North America, the passenger pigeon is now extinct. Invasive species can out-compete and displace native species.
Harmful chemicals and materials that make their way into habitats can poison people and wildlife.
Occasionally, species can be driven toward extinction by hunting or overharvesting by humans. Examples include Siberian tigers and passenger pigeons. Lesson 7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss Invasive Species, Pollution, and Overharvesting Causes of Biodiversity Loss Siberian tiger Habitat change and loss
Overharvesting Lesson 7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss There are more known species of insects than any other form of life. Among known insect species, 4% are beetles. Lesson 7.1 Our Planet of Life CHAPTER Biodiversity and Conservation 7 Did You Know? In part because of the Endangered Species Act, 40% of populations that were once declining in the U.S. are now stable. U.S. law that protects biodiversity, passed in 1973
Has three major parts:
Forbids governments and citizens from harming listed species and habitats
Forbids trade in products made from listed species
Requires U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to maintain official list of endangered and threatened species, and to develop recovery plan for each listed species Lesson 7.3 Protecting Biodiversity The Endangered Species Act Dinosaur extinctions were part of a mass extinction. Lesson 7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss Background extinctions: Naturally occurring extinctions, occurring one species at a time
Mass extinctions: Events when extinction rates far exceed the normal background rate
There have been five mass extinctions in Earth’s history.
Each time, more than 1/5 of all families and 1/2 of all species have gone extinct. Natural Biodiversity Loss The yew tree, an original source of Taxol, a cancer-fighting drug Did You Know? Of the 150 most prescribed drugs in the United States, 118 originated in nature. Agriculture: Wild strains are cross-bred with related crops to transfer beneficial traits.
Medicine: Organisms contain compounds that are useful for treating disease.
Ecotourism: Environmentally responsible tourism is a source of income for many nations. Lesson 7.1 Our Planet of Life Other Benefits of Biodiversity Wetlands in Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Loxahatchee, Florida Lesson 7.1 Our Planet of Life Intact environments provide ecosystem services, such as water purification and pest control.
High biodiversity increases stability of communities and ecosystems, enabling them to perform services.
Stable ecosystems are resistant and resilient.
Resistant: Resist environmental change without losing function
Resilient: Affected by change, but bounce back and regain function Ecosystem Services Did You Know? In general, biodiversity increases toward the equator. Orangutan in an Indonesian rain forest Lesson 7.1 Our Planet of Life There are likely between 5 and 30 million species on Earth.
Species can be difficult to find and identify.
Species are not evenly distributed globally, among taxonomic groups, or within a given geographic area. Biodiversity Distribution Did You Know? Scientists predict that a 1.5–2.5C global temperature increase could put 20–30% of plant and animal species at increased risk of extinction. Lesson 7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss Increasingly becoming a factor in biodiversity loss
Unlike the other factors, climate change will have a potentially global effect on biodiversity. Climate Change Did You Know? Habitat change or destruction is the primary cause of population decline in more than 80% of threatened birds and mammals. Lesson 7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss Greatest cause of biodiversity loss
Organisms, adapted to their habitat, decline in population when the habitat changes.
Habitat fragmentation: Patches of suitable habitat surrounded by unsuitable habitat
In general, larger habitat fragments can support greater biodiversity than smaller fragments. Habitat Change and Loss Did You Know? The Living Planet Index fell nearly 30% between 1970 and 2005. Giant panda, an endangered species Lesson 7.2 Extinction and Biodiversity Loss The current extinction rate is 100 to 1000 times greater than the natural background rate.
In 2009, 1321 species in the U.S. were classified as endangered or threatened.
Endangered: At serious risk of extinction
Threatened: Likely to become endangered soon through all or part of its range
Living Planet Index: Summarizes global population trends for certain terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species Biodiversity at Risk Ecosystem Diversity Species Diversity Genetic Diversity Lesson 7.1 Our Planet of Life Describes the variety of life across all levels of ecological organization
Includes three types:
Genetic diversity: Differences in DNA among individuals
Species diversity: Variety of species in a given area
Ecosystem diversity: Variety of habitats, ecosystems, communities Biodiversity Majete Wildlife Reserve, Malawi Did You Know? The Species Survival Plan for the golden lion tamarin started with only 91 individuals. As of 2007, there were nearly 500 tamarins in zoos, and 150 reintroduced into the wild. Lesson 7.3 Protecting Biodiversity Captive breeding programs: Raising and breeding organisms in controlled conditions, such as zoos or aquariums
Species Survival Plan: Program to save individual species, includes captive breeding, education, and research
Cloning: Inserting DNA from an endangered species into a cultured egg cell; process involves implanting eggs into mothers of closely related species Single-Species Approaches to Conservation Classification and Hierarchy of organisms Ecosystem Services Protecting Biodiversty We can cure rare diseases with Plants.
This is the importance of Biodiversity