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Medhavi Dhyani

on 17 November 2013

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Transcript of Biodiversity

Biodiversity and its Conservation
Distribution of
Biodiversity is not evenly distributed, rather it varies greatly across the globe as well as within regions.
The diversity of all living things depends on temperature, precipitation, altitude, soils, geography and the presence of other species. Diversity is higher in tropics than in polar regions. Terrestrial biodiversity is up to 25 times greater than ocean biodiversity
A healthy biodiversity offers many services.
Ecosystem services, such as:
Protection of water resources
Soils formation and protection
Nutrient storage and recycling
Pollution breakdown and absorption
Contribution to climate stability
Maintenance of ecosystems
Recovery from unpredictable events

Biological resources, such as
Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs
Wood products
Ornamental plants
Breeding stocks, population reservoirs
Future resources
Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems
Social benefits, such as
Research, education and monitoring
Recreation and tourism
Cultural values

Social benefits, such as
Research, education and monitoring
Recreation and tourism
Cultural values
What is Biodiversity?
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life. This can refer to genetic variation, species variation, or ecosystem variation within an area, biome, or planet.
The Earth is losing species at an alarming rate.
Some scientists estimate that as many as 3 species per hour are going extinct and 20,000 extinctions occur each year.
When species of plants and animals go extinct, many other species are affected.
Why should we be concerned?
Species Loss Rate
During the last century, decreases in biodiversity have been increasingly observed About one eighth of known plant species are threatened with extinction.[118] Estimates reach as high as 140,000 species per year
Habitat destruction : Factors contributing to habitat loss are: overpopulation, deforestation, pollution and global warming or climate change
Genetic pollution: Uncontrolled hybridization, introgression and genetic swamping
Climate change
Human overpopulation
Conservation biology matured in the mid-20th century as ecologists, naturalists, and other scientists began to research and address issues pertaining to global biodiversity declines. Preserving global biodiversity is a priority in strategic conservation plans that are designed to engage public policy and concerns affecting local, regional and global scales of communities, ecosystems, and cultures
Protection and restoration techniques
Resource allocation:
Focusing on limited areas of higher potential biodiversity promises greater immediate return on investment than spreading resources, evenly or focusing on areas of little diversity but greater interest in biodiversity
Legal status
• United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (1992) and Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety;
• Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES);
• World Heritage Convention (indirectly by protecting biodiversity habitats)

Global agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, give "sovereign national rights over biological resources" (not property). The agreements commit countries to "conserve biodiversity", "develop resources for sustainability" and "share the benefits" resulting from their use.

Biodiversity is taken into account in some political and judicial decisions:
• The relationship between law and ecosystems is very ancient and has consequences for biodiversity. It is related to private and public property rights
• Law regarding species is more recent. It defines species that must be protected because they may be threatened by extinction
• Laws regarding gene pools are only about a century old. Domestication and plant breeding methods are not new, but advances in genetic engineering have led to tighter laws covering distribution of genetically modified organisms, gene patents and process patents
• India has passed Biological Diversity Act, 2002 for preservation of biological diversity in India, and provides mechanism for equitable sharing of benefits arising out use of traditional biological resources and knowledge
Number of Species
The total number of terrestrial species is estimated to be around 8.7 million while the number of oceanic species is much lower, estimated at 2.2 million. The authors note that these estimates are strongest for eukaryotic organisms and likely represent the lower bound of prokaryote diversity.
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