Conservation APBio

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  • Conservation APBio

    1. 1. Conservation
    2. 2. What Is Biodiversity? <ul><li>Biodiversity refers to the variety of living organisms on the planet, including their genes, ecosystems, and community interactions </li></ul><ul><li>The goal of conservation biology is to preserve biodiversity by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preventing extinction of species caused by human activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintaining large population numbers that sustain genetic diversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserving community interactions that sustain ecosystems </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Ecosystem Services <ul><li>Why preserve ecosystems? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Worth preserving for own sake </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They support us by providing ecosystem services </li></ul></ul>
    4. 5. Ecosystem Services <ul><li>Ecosystem services include processes through which natural ecosystems sustain human life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Purify water and air </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Replenish oxygen </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pollinate plants and disperse seeds </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Provide wildlife habitat </li></ul><ul><li>Decompose wastes </li></ul><ul><li>Control erosion and flooding </li></ul><ul><li>Control pests </li></ul><ul><li>Provide recreation </li></ul>
    5. 6. Direct Benefits <ul><li>Hunting and fishing for food </li></ul><ul><li>Harvesting wood for heat and cooking </li></ul><ul><li>Extracting medicines from plants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: Tamiflu is based on chemicals extracted from the Chinese star anise </li></ul></ul>
    6. 7. Indirect Benefits <ul><li>Indirect ecosystem services have even greater impact on human welfare and include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Soil formation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Erosion and soil control </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Climate regulation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Genetic resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recreation </li></ul></ul>
    7. 8. Indirect Benefits <ul><li>Soil formation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rich soils that sustain agriculture can take thousands of years to build up </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Soil harbors nitrogen-fixing bacteria and decomposers that break down wastes and recycle nutrients </li></ul></ul>
    8. 9. Indirect Benefits <ul><li>Plants prevent erosion and provide flood control by </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blocking wind that blows away loose soil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Providing roots that stabilize soil and enhance its capacity to hold water </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The consequences of destroying riverside forest and coastal marshes have been seen in recent floods in the U.S. </li></ul>
    9. 10. 1993 – Missouri River
    10. 11. 2005 Hurricane Katrina – New Orleans
    11. 12. Indirect Benefits <ul><li>Plants regulate climate </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide shade, reducing temperature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide windbreaks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buffer against global warming by absorbing CO 2 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Return water to the atmosphere through transpiration, influencing water cycles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plants harbor genetic resources </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Genes identified in wild plants may be transferred into crops to enhance productivity and disease resistance </li></ul></ul>
    12. 13. Indirect Benefits <ul><li>Recreation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>350 million people visit U.S. national parks and protected refuges annually </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“Ecotourism” is an expanding industry </li></ul></ul>
    13. 14. Ecological Economics <ul><li>Ecological economics evaluates the trade-offs that occur when natural ecosystems are damaged during human profit-making activities </li></ul><ul><li>One application is to weigh the pros and cons of draining a wetland to irrigate crops </li></ul><ul><li>Possible loss of benefits? </li></ul>
    14. 15. Ecological Economics <ul><li>Also used to estimate costs of disasters that could have been prevented or reduced by maintaining natural ecosystems </li></ul><ul><ul><li>$12 billion in damage from the 1993 Missouri River flood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$100 billion in damages associated with Hurricane Katrina in 2005 </li></ul></ul>
    15. 16. Ecological Economics <ul><li>Used in government planning </li></ul><ul><li>New York City gets much of its water from the Catskills Mountains </li></ul><ul><li>Economic analysis revealed that protecting the mountain ecosystem, which purifies the water naturally, costs less than building a water purification plant </li></ul>
    16. 17. Extinction <ul><li>Extinction is a process that occurs slowly at a background extinction rate under natural conditions </li></ul><ul><li>The fossil record suggests that five previous mass extinctions led to the eradication of many life forms within short time periods </li></ul><ul><li>Possible causes of mass extinctions include </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meteor impacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid climate changes </li></ul></ul>
    17. 18. Extinction <ul><li>Most biologists believe that human activities are now causing a sixth mass extinction </li></ul><ul><li>The current extinction rate is 100 to 1000 times the background rate predicted in the absence of people </li></ul>
    18. 19. Extinction <ul><li>Many species may have become extinct before being discovered, as suggested by two newly described species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Australian snubnose dolphin and the Aftrican kipunji monkey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Only about 1000 of each remain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Both are threatened by human activity and might have become extinct before discovery </li></ul></ul>
    19. 21. Threatened Species <ul><li>Increasing numbers of species are threatened with extinction </li></ul><ul><li>Depending on the likelihood of extinction in the near future, threatened species are described as critically endangered , endangered , or vulnerable </li></ul><ul><li>As of 2004 there are 15,589 threatened species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>12% of all birds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>23% of all mammals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>32% of all amphibians </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>42% of all turtles and tortoises </li></ul></ul>
    20. 22. Mammals
    21. 23. Threats to Biodiversity <ul><li>Two processes are fueling the decline in Earth’s biodiversity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increasing use of resources to support human lifestyles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human activities that destroy habitats and pollute the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Comparison of humanity’s footprint with Earth’s biocapacity in 2002 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Footprint: 5.4 acres (24 in U.S.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biocapacity: 4.5 </li></ul></ul>
    22. 24. Earth’s “Ecological Capital” <ul><li>Human depletion of the Earth’s ecological capital can be illustrated by estimating </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecological footprint: surface area required to produce our resources and absorb our wastes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Biocapacity: actual and available sustainable resources and waste-absorbing capacity of Earth </li></ul></ul>
    23. 25. Earth’s “Ecological Capital” <ul><li>Humans have exceeded the Earth’s biocapacity by 20% </li></ul><ul><li>“ Ecological deficit” degrades ecosystems, drawing on “ecological capital” </li></ul><ul><li>Deficit will grow as living standards of less-developed nations increase </li></ul>
    24. 27. Human Threats to Biodiversity <ul><li>Humans threaten biodiversity in a number of ways </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Habitat destruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overexploitation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Harmful interaction with invasive species </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pollution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Global warming </li></ul></ul>
    25. 28. Habitat Destruction <ul><li>Farming activities over past 11,000 years have led to loss of ½ of total forest cover </li></ul><ul><li>½ of tropical rain forests cut down over past 50 years for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conversion to agriculture </li></ul></ul>
    26. 30. Habitat Destruction <ul><li>Other activities that lead to habitat destruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Damming rivers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draining wetlands </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building roads and housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Industry </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Some species need thousands of acres to find food and breed </li></ul><ul><li>Habitat fragmentation threatens wildlife by splitting up natural ecosystems </li></ul>
    27. 32. Habitat Destruction <ul><li>Preserves created to protect endangered species must support a minimum viable population (MVP) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smallest natural population that can persist in spite of natural events (disease, fires, floods) </li></ul></ul>
    28. 33. Overexploitation <ul><li>Overexploitation involves hunting or harvesting natural populations at rates that exceed replenishment </li></ul><ul><li>Impacts 30% of threatened birds and mammals </li></ul><ul><li>Over fishing and overharvesting threatens many marine life forms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cod, sharks, red snapper, swordfish, tuna, turtles </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unintentional trapping in fishing nets threatens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Whales, porpoises, dolphins </li></ul></ul>
    29. 35. Invasive Species <ul><li>When non-native species are introduced into an area, they can becomes invasive </li></ul><ul><li>Invasive species can displace native species and disrupt community interactions through </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Competion for food and/or habitat </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Direct predation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Island and lake communities are particularly vulnerable to invasive species </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The mongoose, imported to Hawaii to control rats, now threatens birds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Nile perch, introduced to Lake Victoria for fishing, now threatens 200 other species </li></ul></ul>
    30. 38. Pollution <ul><li>Pollutants that threaten biodiversity include synthetic chemicals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plasticizers, flame retardants, pesticides </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Enter air, water, soil </li></ul><ul><li>Accumulate in animal tissues, disrupting development or reproduction </li></ul>
    31. 39. Pollution <ul><li>Accumulation of high levels of some natural substances are also threats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mercury, lead, and arsenic from mining and manufacturing are toxic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxidized nitrogen and sulfur released by burning fossil fuels lead to acid rain </li></ul></ul>
    32. 40. Global Warming <ul><li>Burning of fossil fuels and deforestation has led to increased atmospheric CO 2 levels </li></ul><ul><li>Increase is associated with rising global temperatures </li></ul><ul><li>Global warming is associated with dramatic changes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Many species are shifting ranges toward poles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Plants and animals initiate springtime activities earlier each year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Glaciers, ice shelves, and ice caps are melting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extreme weather patterns </li></ul></ul>
    33. 41. Global Warming <ul><li>Leads to habitat destruction </li></ul><ul><li>Rapid pace of global warming taxes abilities of species to adapt to changing conditions through natural selection </li></ul><ul><li>By 2050: estimated that 1 million species will be threatened with extinction due to global warming </li></ul>
    34. 42. Conservation Biology <ul><li>The goals of conservation biology are to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Understand the impact of human activities on species, populations, communities, and ecosystems </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserve and restore natural communities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reverse loss of biodiversity caused by humans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Foster sustainable use of Earth’s resources </li></ul></ul>
    35. 43. Integrated Scientific Approach <ul><li>Conservation requires integrated efforts of many </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecologists, geneticists, botanists, zoologists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wildlife managers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Environmental lawyers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ecological economists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social scientists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Educators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Individuals making choices and taking action </li></ul></ul>
    36. 44. Conserving Wild Ecosystems <ul><li>Each threatened species faces different survival challenges, requiring unique conservation efforts </li></ul><ul><li>One approach involves the creation of core reserves and corridors </li></ul><ul><li>Core reserves are protected natural areas that preserve all levels of biodiversity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Exclude all but low-impact human activities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Must provide a minimal critical area that can sustain a minimum viable population </li></ul></ul>
    37. 45. Conserving Wild Ecosystems <ul><li>Wildlife corridors are strips of protected land that link core reserves </li></ul><ul><li>Allow safe passage of animals between habitats separated by human activities, increasing size of reserves </li></ul>
    38. 46. Conserving Wild Ecosystems <ul><li>Reserves and corridors ideally should be surrounded by buffer zones that prohibit clear-cutting, mining, freeways and housing </li></ul><ul><li>However, a San Diego freeway underpass currently serves as a corridor for cougars </li></ul>
    39. 48. Sustainability <ul><li>Sustainable living and development promote long-term ecological and human well-being </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainability requires </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Diverse communities and interactions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Populations stabilized below the carrying capacity of the environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Recycling and efficient use of raw materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reliance on renewable sources of energy </li></ul></ul>
    40. 49. Sustainability <ul><li>Sustainable development fulfills present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs </li></ul><ul><li>Current commercial fishing practices (e.g. netting, trawling) endanger many species </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable fishing would require </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation of spawning grounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limiting fish catches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Developing technologies to avoid damag </li></ul></ul>
    41. 50. Biosphere Reserves <ul><li>One approach to meeting the needs of humans in a sustainable manner has been the creation of a world network of biosphere reserves </li></ul><ul><li>Part of a program run by the United Nations </li></ul><ul><li>The goals are to </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Maintain biodiversity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Evaluate techniques for sustaining development while preserving local cultural values </li></ul></ul>
    42. 51. Biosphere Reserves <ul><li>Each biosphere consists of </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A central core reserve: protected area allowing research and sustainable uses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A surrounding buffer zone : permits low impact activity and development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An outer transition area : supports settlements, tourism, fishing, agriculture </li></ul></ul>
    43. 54. Sustainable Agriculture <ul><li>Major habitat loss has occurred due to the conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural use </li></ul><ul><li>Many current agricultural practices are unsustainable approaches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Failure to plant following harvest leads to soil erosion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Herbicides and insecticides pollute, and kill natural predators </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Irrigation practices deplete underground water supplies </li></ul></ul>
    44. 55. Sustainable Agriculture <ul><li>Many farmers now realize that sustainable practices save money and preserve land </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No-till cropping leaves remnants of harvested crops as mulch </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organic farming excludes herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Natural predators used to control pests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Planting diverse crops reduces pest and disease infestations </li></ul></ul>
    45. 57. Human Population Growth <ul><li>Most of the world’s human population lives in less-developed countries and lacks basic amenities </li></ul><ul><li>75-80 million people are added to the planet every year </li></ul><ul><li>Growth rate is incompatible with a sustainable increase in quality of life for the present 6.5 billion inhabitants </li></ul>
    46. 58. Lifestyle and Technologies <ul><li>Changes that humans can make to develop sustainable approaches </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make responsible reproductive choices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce energy consumption and use of fossil fuels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop and use energy-saving technologies </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rely on renewable energy sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make consumer choices that promote sustainable practices </li></ul></ul>
    47. 59. The End

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