3Why should we study biodiversity short for “biological diversity”Refers to the number of different species in an areaA lot of biodiversity means a lot of ecosystem stability!Why should we study biodiversityThe complex relationships are hard to study, but humans need to understand and preserve biodiversity for our own survival.
4Unknown Diversity – how many species are there on Earth? Known species = 1.7 million (mostly insects)Total species = 10 million (just an estimate)Unknown species exist in remote wilderness, deep in oceans, and even in cities.
6Levels of Biodiversity Species DiversityNumber of different species in an areaMost attention at this levelEcosystem DiversityVariety of habitats, communities, and ecological processesGenetic DiversityAll the different genes contained within all members of a population
7Benefits of biodiversity Biodiversity affects the stability of ecosystems and the sustainability of populations.Species are connected to ecosystemsEvery species is depended on or depends on at least one other species, in ways that are not always obvious.Keystone Species – species that are critical to the functioning of an ecosystem
8Benefits of biodiversity Species and Population SurvivalGenetic diversity increases the chance that some members of a population will survive environmental changes.Medical, Industrial, and Agricultural UsesPeople use a variety of organisms for food, clothing, shelter and medicine.¼ of drugs are derived from plantsAlmost all antibiotics come from chemicals found in fungi.
9Benefits of biodiversity Ethics, Aesthetics, and RecreationSome people believe that we should preserve biodiversity for ethical reasons.Species and ecosystems have a right to exist whether or not they have any other value.Each organisms is a gift with a higher purpose.EcotourismA form of tourism that supports the conservation and sustainable development ecologically unique areas.
10Biodiversity hotspot: Region of Earth which is1) extremely biologically diverse2) under severe threat due to habitat loss, climate change, or extensive species loss.
14Current extinctionsBetween 1800 and 2100, up to 25% of all species on Earth may have become extinct.Mass Extinction – the extinction of many species in a relatively short period of time.
15Current extinctions Species Prone to Extinction Species with small populations in small areas.Species that migrate, those that need large or special habitats, and those that are exploited by humans.Endangered Species – a species that is likely to become extinct if protective measures are not taken immediately.Threatened Species – a species with a declining population and that is likely to become endangered
17How Do Humans cause Extinctions? Habitat Destruction and FragmentationAs populations grow, we use more land to build homes and harvest resources.Habitat loss causes almost 75% of the extinctions now occurring.Invasive Exotic SpeciesExotic Species – not native to a particular regionExotic species can threaten native species that have no natural defenses against them
18How Do Humans cause Extinctions? Harvesting, Hunting, and PoachingThousands of rare species worldwide are harvested and sold for use as pets, houseplants, wood, food, or herbal medicine.Many countries have laws to regulate hunting, fishing, harvesting and trade of wildlife.When these crimes continue illegally it is called poaching.PollutionPesticides, cleaning agents, drugs, and other chemicals make their way into the food webs around the world.The long term effects of chemicals may not be clear until many years have passed.
19Areas of critical Biodiversity Endemic Species – species that are native to and found only within a limited area.Tropical Rain ForestsCoral Reefs and Coastal EcosystemsIslands
21The Future of biodiversity Section 3The Future of biodiversity
22Saving One Species at a time Captive Breeding ProgramsBreeding species in captivityPreserving Genetic MaterialStore genetic material for future use in research or species-recovery efforts.Material may be stored as seeds, sperm, eggs, or DNA.Zoos, Aquariums, Parks and Gardens
23Preserving Habitats and ecosystems Conservation StrategiesPriority to protecting entire ecosystems instead of individual speciesIdentify areas of native habitats that can be preserved, restored, and linked into large networks.More Study Needed
24Legal Protection for species US laws1973 – Endangered Species ActRecovery and Habitat Conservation PlansA plan that attempts to protect one or more species across large areas of land through trade- offs or cooperative agreements.
25Legal Protection for species International CooperationInternational Trade and PoachingThe Biodiversity TreatyPreserve biodiversity and ensure the sustainable and fair use of genetic resources in all countries.Private Conservation EffortsWorld Wildlife FundThe Nature ConservancyConservation Internation