Presentation on theme: "Importance of Biodiversity and the Human Threat There are almost 2,000,000 different species of organisms on Earth. More are being discovered every."— Presentation transcript:
Importance of Biodiversity and the Human Threat There are almost 2,000,000 different species of organisms on Earth. More are being discovered every day in remote areas like the Amazon and the depths of the ocean o This creates a diverse biosphere in which there are many different types of organisms, which is also called biodiversity
Many species are disappearing or becoming extinct. Why? ANSWER: Alterations (changes) in habitats Most of the alterations are due to human civilization As we increase our populations, we need to build more homes and businesses in areas we never occupied before like the rainforests of Brazil, the deserts of Palmdale, Lancaster, Palm Springs When we do this, it destroys the organisms that lived there because they can’t adapt to a different habitat
Ex: smog created by cars in So. Cal. has destroyed many types of trees by turning the needles of ponderosa pines brown, and leaving tops of palm trees sparse Result is that photosynthesis is greatly reduced! The plants die and can impact our oxygen levels.
Results in dead vegetation and poor human health
Last known similar rate of organism extinction was 65 million years ago when dinosaurs and other organisms disappeared Us humans are causing massive amounts of extinction!
So what if ponderosa pine trees or whooping cranes become extinct. How does that affect me? Three reasons why it’s needed:
1. We need biodiversity for genetic protection. If all the organisms were exactly alike, 1 bad disease could wipe them out, leaving the planet bare If organisms have different genes, at least some organisms could survive the disease and keep the planet going Corn smut can wipe out entire crops of corn
2.Simple ecosystems are unstable, meaning if there are only 1 or 2 organisms in that ecosystem, if one organism dies, ecosystem couldn’t survive A complex ecosystem with hundreds or thousands of species could survive if 1 species went extinct
Ex: if the one goldfish in your fish tank died, your fish tank has nothing, but if all the goldfish died in a large aquarium, the aquarium would survive because there are other types of fish, plants, algae, etc. LOW DiversityHIGH Diversity
High Diversity allows for more errors to take place without affecting ecosystem too much
3. Organisms may be beneficial to humans but if we let all of them die, we’ll never know Ex: species of plant called Madagascar periwinkle is found only on African island of Madagascar Madagascar periwinkle
Just as periwinkle was on the brink of extinction due to increased human population on the island, it was found that periwinkle makes two chemicals that can fight Hodgkin’s Disease, a type of cancer Medicines were made from that plant that is used today to help fight cancer
Megan Flynn of Long Beach has Hodgkin's Disease Madagascar periwinkle can help cure her
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