Biodiversity - the sum of all genetically based org. in the biosphere
Other types of diversity ~ Ecosystem diversity - includes habitats, communities, and processes ~ Species diversity - # of dif. species in biosphere ~ Genetic diversity - all dif. forms of genetic info for all life forms on the planet!
Benefits * food * medicine - pain killers, antibiotics, heart drugs, anticancer drugs etc. * industrial products
Threats to biodiversity 1.) Habitat alteration * land development splits habitats and destroys others *this makes the species that live there more fragile and open to harm from further change
Threats to biodiversity 2.) Demand for wildlife products * hunting has made some species extinct! * fur, meat, body parts thought to have medicinal qualities * most endangered species are now protected from hunting - but poaching continues to be huge problem
Threats to biodiversity 3.) Pollution - major factor is toxic compound accumulation - Biological magnification - fig. 6-16
Threats to biodiversity 4.) Invasive species - non-native species that reproduce rapidly due to lack of predators. ~ often overcrowd native species and overtake the habitat thus destroying or changing the ecosystem ex: zebra mussles - in Lake Erie - have pushed some species to near extinction!
Conservation Strategies *captive breeding programs at zoos *set aside land to protect certain ecosystems - parks/reserves * limiting hunting and fishing to certain seasons * imposing stricter laws against pollution and mining for natural resources