Biodiversity: Importance and Measurement. by John Hammond. Biodiversity. Biodiversity is simply the variety of life on Earth Can be used to measure the health of a system. Why is it a good measurement? Can be a reference to the variety in a biome, an ecosystem, or the planet Earth.
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Biodiversity: Importance and Measurement by John Hammond
Biodiversity • Biodiversity is simply the variety of life on Earth • Can be used to measure the health of a system. Why is it a good measurement? • Can be a reference to the variety in a biome, an ecosystem, or the planet Earth
Biodiversity, cont. • 3 types of Biodiversity: Species, Genetic, and Ecosystem Diversity • Species Diversity – number of species in an area and their abundance • Ecosystem Diversity – Variation in the types of places that organisms live • Genetic diversity – number of genetic characteristics in a species • Might be one of the most important measures of biodiversity. Why is this?
Activity 1 • All species have an important role to play • A greater diversity of species means all life forms can survive longer • Healthier, more diverse ecosystems can better react to disasters • How is this activity similar to an ecosystem? • How would this change if there were more or less people/organisms?
Benefits of Biodiversity • A diverse ecosystem provides many benefits: recovery, recycling of nutrients, others? • Biological resources: food, medicine, others? • Social benefits?
Activity 2 • An ecosystem that is not diverse represents a monoculture • Why didn’t the disease spread as fast in the second simulation? Which is more diverse? • Monocultures require more pesticides and herbicides. Why? For which forest? • What would happen if you replaced all of the trees in a diverse forest with the same species? What would happen to the wildlife that were well suited to their previous home? • How could you help wildlife in the landscape around your own home?
Measuring Diversity • Types of measurement: • Species Richness • Evenness • Taxonomic (hint, it has to do with organisms’ relation to each other) • Based on the idea that (1) all species are equal, (2) all individuals within the species are equal, (3) diversity measurements are comparable (consistent) • Why would we want to measure diversity in a single ecosystem?
Activity 3 • We will consider species richness and relative abundance for three sites Douglas-fir Broadleaf Maple Alder Madrone
Sources • Activity 1 adapted from <http://sftrc.cas.psu.edu/LessonPlans/Wildlife/WholeCloth.html> by Stephanie L. Rau • Activity 2 adapted from <http://www.accessexcellence.org/AE/ATG/data/released/0534-KathyParis/index.php> by Kathy Paris • Activity 3 adapted from Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, “Reflections on Earth: Biodiversity and Remote Sensing” <http://www.nasm.si.edu/education/teaching_resources.cfm> • <http://www.globalissues.org/article/170/why-is-biodiversity-important-who-cares> • <http://oregonstate.edu/trees/name_common.html> • <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity> • http://www.coastalwiki.org/coastalwiki/Measurements_of_biodiversity • Picture Credits • http://marinebio.org/Oceans/Conservation/biodiversity.asp • http://coe.mse.ac.in/Biodiversity.asp • http://iml.jou.ufl.edu/projects/Fall07/McAleenan/history.html • http://www.geography4kids.com/extras/dtop_aquatic/oregon.html • http://naturallyinteresting.com/ • http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/01/us-senate-goes-with-the-flow-wild-scenic-rivers-act_passes.php • http://traveloregon.mediaroom.com/index.php%3Fs%3D13%26cat%3D8