Biodiversity. Envirothon 2009. What is BIODIVERSITY. The variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. En.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity
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Biodiversity Envirothon 2009
What is BIODIVERSITY • The variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems.En.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity • The variety of different species, the genetic variability of each species, and the variety of different ecosystems that they form.www.ec.gc.ca/water/en/info/gloss/e_gloss.htm • Is the variety of all life forms, the different plants and animals and micro-organisms, the genes they contain and the ecosystems of which they form part.www.glenelg-hopkins.vic.gov.au/
Define: Species Biodiversity Genetic Biodiversity Ecosystem Biodiversity • the number of different species found in an environment • the variety of genes within a breeding population • refers to the diversity of a particular ecosystem or natural unit consisting of all plants, animals and micro-organisms (biotic factors) in an area functioning together with all of the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment.
Examples of Benefits of Biodiversity BIOLOGICAL RESOURCES Food for humans and other organisms Medical and pharmaceutical resources Breeding populations (crops, biological resources) ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Protection of water resources Protection of soil Nutrient recycling and storage Pollution control Climate stability SOCIAL BENEFITS Recreation and tourism Research and education Cultural value Aesthetics
Biodiversity related to soils, forestry, wildlife and aquatics • Soils Soil is by far the most biologically diverse part of Earth. The soil food web includes beetles, springtails, mites, worms, spiders, ants, nematodes, fungi, bacteria, and other organisms. These organisms improve the entry and storage of water, resistance to erosion, plant nutrition, and break down of organic matter. A wide variety of organisms provides checks and balances to the soil food web through population control, mobility, and survival. • Forestry Forest biological diversity is a broad term that refers to all the life forms found within forested areas and the ecological roles they perform. • Wildlife The term “wildlife” refers to all non-domesticated animals. It thus singles out one component of biodiversity. Changes in biodiversity can directly affect wildlife. • Aquatics Aquatic biodiversity can be defined as the variety of life and the ecosystems that make up the freshwater, tidal, and marine regions of the world and their interactions. Aquatic biodiversity encompasses freshwater ecosystems and marine ecosystems,
Facts about Biodiversity • 1.7 million different species of organisms have been identified on Earth today. There is an estimate that maybe there are 10- 100 million species on Earth. • More than 7000 species of plants are cultivated or harvested from the wild. • Medicines - 118 of the top 150 prescription drugs in America contain chemicals derived from plants, fungi and other species.
Biodiversity Loss and Solutions Causes for Biodiversity Loss Solutions to Solving the Losses • Deforestation • Lack of Good Land Conservation Techniques • Habitat Alteration • Fragmentation of Forests and Ecosystems • Overpopulation by Humans • Poor Policies by Governments • Imported Goods • Global Climate Change • Asteroid Impacts • Reforestation • Conservation • Education • Legislation • Incentive Programs to Encourage Conservation • Plant Natives • Buy Locally
Examples of Nature’s Affect on Biodiversity Wildfires Too Much Rain Drought Extreme Cold Extreme Hot Volcanoes Sea Level Rise Glaciation Nature Often creates a Change in Biodiversity
Examples of Humans Negative Affects on Biodiversity: Building Dams Oil Spills Cutting Forests Pollutants Human Changes have an Affects on Biodiversity
Bayous and Streams Related to Biodiversity? • Freshwater resources include lakes and ponds, rivers and streams, reservoirs, wetlands, and groundwater. These habitats provide the resource of freshwater and homes to a host of organisms. • The rates of extinction of freshwater species and the number of endangered freshwater species are alarming. For example, 21 out of 822 native American fish species have become extinct.
Biodiversity and Human Food Supply and Nutrition Food Supply Nutrition • Since agriculture began 12,000 years ago, approximately 7000 plant species and several thousand animal species have been used for human food. • Even today world hunger is an issue • Biodiversity contributes directly to food security, nutrition and well-being by providing a variety of plant and animal foods from domesticated and wild sources. • Eating a variety of foods provides the human body with important essential nutrients. • Biodiversity can also serve as a safety-net to vulnerable households during times of crisis, present income opportunities to the rural poor, and sustain productive agricultural ecosystems.
Major Changes in Biodiversity over Time Five (5) major extinctions in the 4 billion year history of life on Earth. • The first, 450 million years ago, occurred shortly after the evolution of the first land-based plants and 100 million years after the Cambrian explosion of animal life beneath the seas. • The second extinction spasm came 350 million years ago, causing the formation of coal forests. • Then the Earth experienced two mass extinctions during the Triassic period, between 250 and 200 million years ago. • The fifth mass extinction, probably caused by a giant meteor collision, occurred 65 million years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period, and ended the reptilian dominance of the Earth. This led to the current mammalian domination of the Earth. Geologic Time Scale – Extinctions!
65 MYA – Asteroid Impact, Volcanoes, Change in Ecology (K-T Boundry) The end of the dinosaurs!! 200MYA Asteroid Impacts, Volcanoes Change in Ecology 250 MYA –THE GREAT EXTINCTION Environmental Changes 96% of all marine 70% of land vertebrates Insect extinction 350MYA – Cause Unclear Only marine life lost Possible O2 loss in water 450MYA –2ndLargest Extinction Global Temperature Drop Beginning of Geologic Time. Geologic Time Scale
Biodiversity Information provided by Susan Testroet -Bergeron