2 What is biodiversity?Biodiversity refers to the variety of organisms on EarthThree different scales:Ecosystem diversity- the variety of ecosystems within a given region.Species diversity- the variety of species in a given ecosystem.Genetic diversity- the variety of genes within a given species.
3 How much biodiversity?Earth is home to a tremendous diversity of species; current estimates range between million species1.5 million identified and named so far:Insects are most diverse group
4 C. Measuring local or regional species biodiversity Species richness - total number of species in a given areaSpecies evenness - the measure of whether a particular ecosystem is numerically dominated by one species or are all represented by similar numbers of individualsBoth decline after human disturbanceKnowing values gives environmental scientists baseline to determine change in ecosystems
5 Methods for Estimating Biodiversity Simpson IndexShannon-Weiner IndexSamplingWhen estimating population size it is important to collect RANDOM SAMPLES.A sample is a part of a population or part of an area, chosen to illustrate what the whole population or area is like.In a random sample every individual in a population has an equal chance of being selectedUsing quadrats:Mark out area to be sampled.Place quadrats ( 1 m2, 10 m2) randomly within the area.Count how many individuals are inside each of the quadrats.Calculate the mean number of individuals per quadrat.Pop. Size = mean X total area area of each quadrat
6 Using Quadrats SYSTEMATIC QUADRATS RANDOM QUADRATS Quadrat sampling is suitable for plants that do not move around and are easy to find.
7 Knowing population size is important in making environmental decisions that would affect the population.Making a decision on an estimate that is too high = extinction.Making a decision on an estimate that is too low = unnecessarily hurt people that depend on the animals for food & income.Change in the relative abundance of a species over an area or a distance is referred to as an ecological gradient (aka zonation)
8 How Geology and Geography Affect Biologic Diversity Species are not uniformly distributed over the earth’s surface; diversity varies greatly from place to placeSpecies and ecosystems on land change with soil type and topography:Slope, aspect (the direction the slope faces), elevation, and nearness to a drainage basinThese factors influence the number and type of plants, which in turn influences the number and types of animals
9 Biological EvolutionRefers to the change in inherited characteristics of a population from generation to generationIt is the mechanism underlying biodiversityMicroevolution- evolution below the species level (e.g. different varieties of apples or potatoes)Macroevolution- evolution which gives rise to new species or new genera, family, class or phylaNew species arise as a result of competition for resources and the differences among individuals in their adaptations to environmental conditions
10 Creating Genetic Diversity (two processes) MutationDNA is copied millions of times in an organism’s lifetime as cells divideRandom copying “mistakes” are made = change in genes“Good” mutations increase the organism’s chance of survival and reproduction, so the mutation is passed on to next generationIncreases population’s genetic diversityRecombinationOccurs in plant and animal cells during Prophase I (crossing over)Creates new genetic combinations of genes
11 Evolution by Artificial Selection (two types) Artificial selection is when humans select which individuals breed to create desired phenotypesWhat is genotype and phenotype?
12 Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection Individuals produce an excess of offspring.Not all offspring can survive.Individuals differ in their traits.Differences in traits can be passed on from parents to offspring, and are associated with differences in the ability to survive and reproduce.Natural selection DOES NOT select for specific traits; rather it favors any combo of traits that increases a species fitnessTraits that improve fitness = adaptations
18 SpeciationCreation of new speciesTwo types:Allopatric speciation or when new species are created by geographic reproductive isolation.
19 Sympatric speciation- the evolution of one species into two species in the absence of geographic isolation, usually through the process of polyploidy (an increase in the number of sets of chromosomes)
20 Pace and Patterns of Evolution Four factors that influence successful adaptation:Rate of environmental changeGenetic variationPopulation sizeGeneration timeAverage global rate of evolution is about one new species every 3 million years
21 B. Evolution shapes ecological niches and determines species distributions All species have an optimal environment in which it performs well. The limit to the abiotic conditions they can tolerate is known as the range of toleranceFundamental niche - the ideal conditions for a species.
22 Niche generalist - species that live under a wide range of conditions Range of abiotic and biotic conditions under which a species lives is its realized nicheDetermines the species distribution, or areas of the world where it livesNiche generalist - species that live under a wide range of conditionsNiche specialist - species that live only in specific habitats.Some species like insects can live in a very wide range of specialized niches, whereas others can only live in a very narrow rangeMeadow spittlebug2. Skeletonizing leaf beetle
23 C. Environmental Change and Species Distribution Changes in environmental conditions has an effect on species distribution …How do we know?Analyze layers of sediment and find different types of pollen at different strata
24 As climate change accelerates, precipitation patterns change, but species niche requirements don’t Predict species distribution
25 D. Environmental Change and Species Extinction Average life span of a species is 1-10 million yearsAbout 99% of all species that ever lived on Earth are exticntMuch of what we know about evolution comes from the fossil record.
26 4. The Five Global Mass Extinctions Mass extinction - when large numbers of species went extinct over a relatively short period of time.
27 5. The Sixth Mass Extinction Scientists think we are in our sixth mass extinction, occurring in the last two decadesEstimates of extinction rates vary widely, from 2 % to 25% by 2020In contrast to previous mass extinctions, scientists agree that this one is caused by humans.