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The earth began as a physiosphere; a collection of chemicals and compounds interacting with one another in continuous Motion. Somewhere, in the last 4.5.

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Presentation on theme: "The earth began as a physiosphere; a collection of chemicals and compounds interacting with one another in continuous Motion. Somewhere, in the last 4.5."— Presentation transcript:

1 The earth began as a physiosphere; a collection of chemicals and compounds interacting with one another in continuous Motion. Somewhere, in the last 4.5 billion years, the Earth gave birth to a biosphere; giving life to tens of billions of species of plants and animals. Then, sometime in the last quarter million years the Earth embarked on a new journey. Mind evolved, and the Noosphere emerged, peaking in the form of human beings. We have yet to see where the journey will lead. Introduction

2 Life proliferates. It diversifies at an estimated annual rate of %, or about 2.5 species/million per year… At the same time, Biologists estimate that the normal rate of extinction is about %, or about 1.0 species/million per year… Tree of Life

3 Foundation Species —the primary autotroph (producer) in an ecosystem, both in terms of number & influence. Keytone Species –the primary heterotroph (consumer) in an ecosystem who controls the population of foundation species from becoming too numerous. Indicator Species –species whose presence indicates the health of an ecosystem Foundation Species —the primary autotroph (producer) in an ecosystem, both in terms of number & influence. Keytone Species –the primary heterotroph (consumer) in an ecosystem who controls the population of foundation species from becoming too numerous. Indicator Species –species whose presence indicates the health of an ecosystem Autotroph Heterotroph Sapratroph A minimum ecosystem consists of a producer (a foundation species which produces food from environmental nutrients), a consumer (a keystone species to control population of foundation), and a decomposer (an indicator species to recycle nutrients to the producer). Each of these species is said to hold an ecological niche. ECOSYSTEM 1

4 Autotrophs Photosynthetic Chemosynthetic Heterotrophs Herbivore Carnivore Omnivore Saprotrophs Herbivorous Carnivorous Ominovorous Autotroph Heterotroph Saprotroph As new species enter the community, they must establish relationships with the existing species. They must find an ecological niches. ECOSYSTEM 2

5 Autotroph Heterotroph Necrotroph AutotrophHeterotrophSaprotroph The niches each species holds, and its relationship to other species in the community can be symbiotic, competitive or neutral. No two species within a single ecosystem can occupy the same niche. Symbiotic Neutral Competitive Neutral Niches

6 Amenalism –an association neutral to one species, but of disadvantage to another. Commensalism –an association advantageous to one species, without harming the other. Mutualism –an association advantageous to both species Autotrophs

7 Commensalism –an association advantageous to one species, without harming the other (herbivores eating plants). Mutualism –an association advantageous to both species (bacteria in the intestines of herbivores that assist with digestion). Parasitism –an association advantageous to one species, at the expense and harm of another (parasites). Predation –an act whereby one species hunts and kills another for food (the drama of carnivorous predators vs. prey). Heterotrophs

8 Commensalism –an association advantageous to one species, without harming the other (scavengers and decomposing bacteria have no serious impact on the living). Saprotrophs

9 Climate Temperature Moisture (water) Nutrient Base Soil conditions Water conditions Habitat Shelter Territory For a species to survive there must be a minimum of life essentials—a.k.a. air, water, food and shelter. An over abundance of one cannot replace the absence of another (e.g., an abundance of food cannot replace the absence of any shelter). The Law of the Minimum

10 Species /Acre Genera /Acre Populat’ns /Acre Biomass /Acre Biome 1 Biome 2 Biome 3 Biome 4 Biome 5 Biome 6 Biome n MEASURING THE HEALTH OF AN ECOSYSTEMS Health of Ecosystem Compare ecosystems w/in Biomes to one another…

11 The collection of all ecosystems within a common climate zone is called a Biome. Biomes are generally named according to their fundamental or dominant species. With that is the prevailing climate which is based: Latitude ( prevailing temperatures variations ) Elevation & Landform Precipitation ( prevailing moisture variations ) Along with these are special considerations, such as the water salinity, and soil type. Biomes

12 Autotroph Heterotroph Necrotroph ECOSYSTEM LATITUDE North Polar North Temp North Sub-Polar South Sub-Polar South Polar Dry Moist Wet Other (salinity) South Temp EquatorialSouth Sub-Tropic North Sub-Tropic M O I S T U R E BIOME GROUPS Aquatic Desert Shrublands Grasslands Forests Mountain Slope Coastal Fluvial Volcanic Erosive LANDFORM Biogeography

13 Terrestrial Biomes

14 It has not always been a smooth road. Within the Phanerozoic Era of the last 540 million years, we know of ten (10) global scale extinctions, five (5) of which are labeled as massive extinctions. Each of these extinctions has been connected to rapid climate change brought on by some catastrophic event (comet, asteroid or mass volcano activity. Extinctions Over 540 my Estimated total 60 billion species

15 In spite of ten (10) extinction die-offs, life has increased to over 5000 different genera, holding over 12 million different species. How has this been possible? It is possible because of life is extremely adaptable to finding ecological niches in which to live. An ecological niche is a term describing the relational position of a species in an ecosystem. Recoveries Over 540 my Estimated total 60 billion species

16 Human Caused Extinctions 1.Historical rate of extinction is % per year or about 1 species/million per year… 2.Historical rate of diversification is % per year or about 2.5 species/million per year… 3.Historical rates provide a surplus of 1.5 species/million per year. 4.Present rate of extinction is 0.1% per year or about 1000 species/ million per year 5.Present rates create a depletion of 999 species/million per year… 6.This is cumulative a.Over 25 years, nearly 25,000 species per million will be lost b.Over 100 years, nearly 100,000 species per million (10% of all living things) will be lost

17 Human Causes for Extinction HABITAT STRESS & DESTRUCTION 1.Habitat Fragmentation 2.Habitat Degradation 3.Habitat Elimination 4.Habitat Disruption a.Introduction of nonnative species b.Introduction of Pollution Agents c.Climate disruption 5.Habitat Encroachment a.Commercial hunting & poaching b.Commercially induced over production (plantations)

18 Who Will Be Lost? Freshwater Fish51% Ocean Fish34% Amphibians25% Mammals 24% Reptiles20% Plants14% Birds12% Species within the following groups are listed as threatened or endangered and could become extinct before the end of this century For all species20-30%

19 What Can Be Done? SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM 1.Local 2.Regional 3.National 4.International APPROACHES TO THE PROBLEM 1.Species 2.Ecosystem TOOLS AT OUR DISPOSAL … Educate Legislate Regulate Innovate

20 LAND ZONING & DESIGNATED PRESERVATION 1.Urban 2.Agricultural 3.Park & Recreation 4.Natural Resource Preserves 5.Wildlife Preserves 6.Wilderness Preserves Habitat Management ENDANGERED SPECIES ACTS OF PROTECTION 1.Required registration and licensing 2.Prevention against over commercialization 3.Protection from hunting and poaching


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