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Biodiversity and Conservation

Biodiversity and Conservation

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Biodiversity and Conservation

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  1. Biodiversity and Conservation

  2. What is biodiversity? • Bio = life • Diversity = differences among organisms • Biodiversity = the variety of living organisms found in an area • Where can you find biodiversity?

  3. Biodiversity varies around the world: Do you see a pattern? • Number of species of mammals: • Canada – 163 • US – 367 • Mexico – 439 • In one hectare of forest you are likely to find: • Peru – 300 tree species • US – 30 tree species or less

  4. Where are you most likely to find the MOST biodiversity?

  5. Why is biodiversity important? • Organisms are adapted to live together! • Ecologists know many relationships – many have yet to be discovered • What could happen if lack of biodiversity leads to… • Loss of a major predator? • Breaking the relationship among symbiotic organisms?

  6. What is meant by the phrase “Life depends on life?” • Animals need plants • Plants couldn’t exist without animals to pollinate • Plants need decomposers to break down nutrients • Living things create niches for other living things!

  7. Importance to People • What does biodiversity offer to Humans? • Biodiversity gives humans: • Oxygen • Diverse diet • Materials (clothes, furniture, buildings) • Medicinal supplies (world pharmacy) • Penicillin cam from the mold Penicillium • Antimalarial drug came from the cinchona tree Preserving biodiversity ensures there will be living things to use in the future!

  8. Loss of Biodiversity

  9. Extinct Animals and Plants

  10. Endangered Plants/Animals

  11. Threats to Biodiversity • Species are usually well adapted to their habitats… • What happens when these habitats are changed?

  12. Threats to Biodiversity • Habitat loss • Habitat fragmentation • Habitat degradation • Water/Land pollution • Introduction of exotics

  13. Habitat Loss • Habitat loss = removal/disappearance of habitat • Effect: organism are displaced (must go somewhere else) • Ex: • deer in your yard • bears in garbage

  14. Habitat Fragmentation • Habitat fragmentation = obstruction (road, development, etc) that separates a habitat into sections • Example: Road through a forest prevents animals/plants from moving to other side

  15. Habitat Fragmentation • Can cause problems with • Migration • “island effect” or – smaller less biodiversity • Invasion of exotic species • Lack of reintroduction after fires • Changes is climate • Edge effect

  16. Habitat Fragmentation • Edge Effect= changes along ecosystem boundaries

  17. Habitat Fragmentation

  18. Habitat Degradation= to make a habitat unlivable

  19. Habitat Degradation: Pollution • Pollution can be air, water, or land • Examples: • Acid Precipitation • CFC’s in atmosphere

  20. Acid Precipitation

  21. CFC’s, ozone, and global climate change… oh, my!

  22. Introduction of Exotic/Invasive Species

  23. Introduction of Exotic/Invasive Species • Do not belong in habitat • Few/no predators in new habitat • Reproduce/spread out of control

  24. Introduction of Exotic/Invasive Species • Woolly Aldegid

  25. Introduction of Exotic/Invasive Species • Kudzu

  26. Introduction of Exotic/Invasive Species • Pythons in Everglades

  27. Conservation of Biodiversity • Conservation biology = a new field that studies methods and implements plans to protect biodiversity • Effective strategies are based on ecological principles • Many species are threatened because of people, so working with humans is a major part of conservation biology

  28. Legal Protection • US Endangered Species Act • CITES (Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species)

  29. Habitat Preservation

  30. Habitat Preservation • What does it mean to be sustainable? • Sustainable use = using resources wisely – waste less • Habitat Corridors = connect pieces of land to overcome habitat fragmentation

  31. Preservation • What does a reintroduction program try to do? • Example: California condors • What does a zoo/captivity aim to do? • What is a seed bank?

  32. Preservation • Captivity – under human control • Reintroduction – putting species back in natural environment

  33. What kinds of problems are there with reintroduction? • Animals may lose natural instinct • Loss of natural instincts is harder on animals than plants • What kinds of problems might plant reintroductions have?