biodiversity, conservation, and human impact on the environment

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Biodiversity, Conservation, and Human Impact on the Environment Slide 2 Biodiversity defined DEF: the variety of life in an area. DEF: the variety of life in an area. The greater the variety of species within it, the more robust an ecosystem will be. The greater the variety of species within it, the more robust an ecosystem will be. Slide 3 Figure 50.25a Tropical forests Slide 4 Figure 50.25c Deserts Slide 5 Importance of Biodiversity Beauty aesthetic standpoint Beauty aesthetic standpoint Nature Nature Orgs are adapted to live together in communities; not always clear how orgs are related, so taking away one species can have a BROAD RANGE OF EFFECTS. The variety of lifeforms on Earth, all inter-connected to each other through food webs, makes our survival possible -- autotrophs, heterotrophs, decomposers all need one another Biodiversity provides crucial "ecosystem services" Ex. clean water, breathable atmosphere, and natural climate control, upon which all species depend. Slide 6 The extermination of plant populations changes climates locally and has severe regional effects through disturbance of the water cycle. The extermination of plant populations changes climates locally and has severe regional effects through disturbance of the water cycle. (Remember transpiration releases 90% of all water taken in by a plant, and the water has been filtered as it passes through the plant itself) Slide 7 Destruction of habitat severely limits the animal populations that can live in an area. (Threatened, Endangered, Extinction of species) Destruction of habitat severely limits the animal populations that can live in an area. (Threatened, Endangered, Extinction of species) Slide 8 Figure 55.2 A hundred heartbeats from extinction: Philippine eagle (left), Chinese river dolphin (right) Slide 9 People Food, medicine, clothing and shelter are all derived from the abundant organic resources of the Earth. Ex. Beef, chicken, pork, fish, shellfish Ex. Penicillin came from mold Ex. Quinine (malaria treatment) came from bark of cinchona tree Ex. Cotton from plant, wool from sheep, silk from worms Ex. Wood from trees Slide 10 Threats to Biodiversity Habitat loss Habitat loss Habitat Fragmentation (Biotic and Abiotic issues) Habitat Fragmentation (Biotic and Abiotic issues) Habitat degradation caused by Habitat degradation caused by air pollution, water pollution, land pollution Introduction of Exotic Species Introduction of Exotic Species Slide 11 Habitat loss Biggest threat to biodiversity Biggest threat to biodiversity When area to live is gone, orgs die When area to live is gone, orgs die Ex. deforestation Slide 12 Figure 55.0 Deforestation of tropical forests Slide 13 Figure 55.00x Deforestation in the United States Slide 14 Habitat Fragmentation Separation of wilderness areas from other wilderness areas Separation of wilderness areas from other wilderness areas Fragmented areas are like islands; the smaller the fragment, the less biodiversity it will support Fragmented areas are like islands; the smaller the fragment, the less biodiversity it will support Slide 15 Figure 55.5 Fragmentation of a forest ecosystem Slide 16 Figure 55.6 The history of habitat reduction and fragmentation in a Wisconsin forest Slide 17 Biotic and Abiotic Issues of Fragmentation Biotic: -some organisms need large areas to gather food Ex. Lions Ex. Zebra -no migratory routes to re- establish populations lost due to natural disasters Abiotic: -climate can change -can cause EDGE EFFECT (different conditions along the boundaries of an ecosystem) Slide 18 Habitat Degradation Damage to habitat by pollution Damage to habitat by pollution Three types of pollution: air, water, land Three types of pollution: air, water, land Slide 19 Air pollution breathing problems breathing problems irritation of membranes irritation of membranes Burning of fossil fuels is biggest source Burning of fossil fuels is biggest source Ozone layer is being broken down by CFCs (carbofluorocarbons) found in refrigerators and air conditioners as coolants; this allows radiation to reach earth, causing genetic defects and cancer Ozone layer is being broken down by CFCs (carbofluorocarbons) found in refrigerators and air conditioners as coolants; this allows radiation to reach earth, causing genetic defects and cancer Slide 20 Figure 54.27a Erosion of Earths ozone shield: The ozone hole over the Antarctic Slide 21 Water Pollution Degrades aquatic habitats in streams, lakes, and oceans Degrades aquatic habitats in streams, lakes, and oceans Excess fertilizers and animal waste get into streams and cause algal blooms Excess fertilizers and animal waste get into streams and cause algal blooms Coral reefs are destroyed when silt covers the living coral and they cant photosynthesize or get to food Coral reefs are destroyed when silt covers the living coral and they cant photosynthesize or get to food Detergents, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals in runoff cause sickness and death in aquatic orgs Detergents, heavy metals, and industrial chemicals in runoff cause sickness and death in aquatic orgs Abandoned drift nets trap dolphins, whales, fish, sea turtles Abandoned drift nets trap dolphins, whales, fish, sea turtles Acid precipitation is responsible for deterioration of forests and lakes, also damages plant tissues and interferes with plant growth. Acid precipitation is responsible for deterioration of forests and lakes, also damages plant tissues and interferes with plant growth. (sulfur dioxide from coal-burning factories and nitrogen oxides from exhausts combine with water vapor to form acid droplets of water vapor) Use of pesticides such as DDT gets into water Use of pesticides such as DDT gets into water Slide 22 Figure 54.25 Biological magnification of DDT in a food chain Slide 23 Figure 50.3 Rachel Carson Silent Spring "The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction." -- Rachel Carson 1954 Biologist, Writer, Ecologist Slide 24 Land Pollution Trash solid waste Trash solid waste Made up of cans, bottles, paper, plastic, metals, dirt, spoiled food, etc. Made up of cans, bottles, paper, plastic, metals, dirt, spoiled food, etc. Average American produces 1.8 kg of waste daily Average American produces 1.8 kg of waste daily Landfills take up space Landfills take up space Slide 25 Introduction of Exotic Species New orgs introduced into an ecosystem; do not have any natural predators and is little competition with other orgs, so native species are at risk New orgs introduced into an ecosystem; do not have any natural predators and is little competition with other orgs, so native species are at risk Exotics may take over niches of native species and eventually replace the native species completely Exotics may take over niches of native species and eventually replace the native species completely Slide 26 Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming In 1996, the United States was responsible for 23% of the worlds carbon dioxide emissions -- more than any other country. In 1996, the United States was responsible for 23% of the worlds carbon dioxide emissions -- more than any other country. Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas, responsible for 60 % of global warming Carbon dioxide is the primary greenhouse gas, responsible for 60 % of global warming http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/kids/greenh ouse.html http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/kids/greenh ouse.html http://www.epa.gov/globalwarming/kids/ Slide 27 Extinction Rates Extinction has usually progressed at what scientists call a natural or background rate. Today the tempo is far faster. Extinction has usually progressed at what scientists call a natural or background rate. Today the tempo is far faster. Many scientists believe this is the sixth great wave - the sixth mass extinction to affect life on Earth. Many scientists believe this is the sixth great wave - the sixth mass extinction to affect life on Earth. We (humans) have more than doubled our numbers in half a century, and that is the most obvious reason why there is less room for any other species. We (humans) have more than doubled our numbers in half a century, and that is the most obvious reason why there is less room for any other species. n We are taking their living room to grow our food, their food to feed ourselves. n We are exploiting them, trading in them, squeezing them to the margins of existence - and beyond. Slide 28 Conservation efforts: Conservation Biology: studies methods and implements plans to protect biodiversity Conservation Biology: studies methods and implements plans to protect biodiversity *legal protection of species *habitat preservation (sustainable use, habitat corridors) *reintroduction programs Slide 29 How can we prevent biodiversity loss? ResearchResearch LegislationLegislation Education/AwarenessEducation/Awareness Sustainable use of habitats and fisheriesSustainable use of habitats and fisheries Integration/Co-ordinationIntegration/Co-ordination Slide 30 What can you do? Be aware Reuse and recycle Reuse and recycle Turn off water and lights Turn off water and lights Carpool Carpool Vote responsibly Vote responsibly Volunteer Volunteer Be the teacher! Be the teacher!

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