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Conservation APBio
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Conservation APBio


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  • Transcript

    • 1. Conservation
    • 2. What Is Biodiversity?
      • Biodiversity refers to the variety of living organisms on the planet, including their genes, ecosystems, and community interactions
      • The goal of conservation biology is to preserve biodiversity by
        • Preventing extinction of species caused by human activity
        • Maintaining large population numbers that sustain genetic diversity
        • Preserving community interactions that sustain ecosystems
    • 3. Ecosystem Services
      • Why preserve ecosystems?
        • Worth preserving for own sake
        • They support us by providing ecosystem services
    • 4.  
    • 5. Ecosystem Services
      • Ecosystem services include processes through which natural ecosystems sustain human life
        • Purify water and air
        • Replenish oxygen
        • Pollinate plants and disperse seeds
      • Provide wildlife habitat
      • Decompose wastes
      • Control erosion and flooding
      • Control pests
      • Provide recreation
    • 6. Direct Benefits
      • Hunting and fishing for food
      • Harvesting wood for heat and cooking
      • Extracting medicines from plants
        • Example: Tamiflu is based on chemicals extracted from the Chinese star anise
    • 7. Indirect Benefits
      • Indirect ecosystem services have even greater impact on human welfare and include
        • Soil formation
        • Erosion and soil control
        • Climate regulation
        • Genetic resources
        • Recreation
    • 8. Indirect Benefits
      • Soil formation
        • Rich soils that sustain agriculture can take thousands of years to build up
        • Soil harbors nitrogen-fixing bacteria and decomposers that break down wastes and recycle nutrients
    • 9. Indirect Benefits
      • Plants prevent erosion and provide flood control by
        • Blocking wind that blows away loose soil
        • Providing roots that stabilize soil and enhance its capacity to hold water
      • The consequences of destroying riverside forest and coastal marshes have been seen in recent floods in the U.S.
    • 10. 1993 – Missouri River
    • 11. 2005 Hurricane Katrina – New Orleans
    • 12. Indirect Benefits
      • Plants regulate climate
        • Provide shade, reducing temperature
        • Provide windbreaks
        • Buffer against global warming by absorbing CO 2
        • Return water to the atmosphere through transpiration, influencing water cycles
      • Plants harbor genetic resources
        • Genes identified in wild plants may be transferred into crops to enhance productivity and disease resistance
    • 13. Indirect Benefits
      • Recreation
        • 350 million people visit U.S. national parks and protected refuges annually
        • “Ecotourism” is an expanding industry
    • 14. Ecological Economics
      • Ecological economics evaluates the trade-offs that occur when natural ecosystems are damaged during human profit-making activities
      • One application is to weigh the pros and cons of draining a wetland to irrigate crops
      • Possible loss of benefits?
    • 15. Ecological Economics
      • Also used to estimate costs of disasters that could have been prevented or reduced by maintaining natural ecosystems
        • $12 billion in damage from the 1993 Missouri River flood
        • $100 billion in damages associated with Hurricane Katrina in 2005
    • 16. Ecological Economics
      • Used in government planning
      • New York City gets much of its water from the Catskills Mountains
      • Economic analysis revealed that protecting the mountain ecosystem, which purifies the water naturally, costs less than building a water purification plant
    • 17. Extinction
      • Extinction is a process that occurs slowly at a background extinction rate under natural conditions
      • The fossil record suggests that five previous mass extinctions led to the eradication of many life forms within short time periods
      • Possible causes of mass extinctions include
        • Meteor impacts
        • Rapid climate changes
    • 18. Extinction
      • Most biologists believe that human activities are now causing a sixth mass extinction
      • The current extinction rate is 100 to 1000 times the background rate predicted in the absence of people
    • 19. Extinction
      • Many species may have become extinct before being discovered, as suggested by two newly described species
        • The Australian snubnose dolphin and the Aftrican kipunji monkey
        • Only about 1000 of each remain
        • Both are threatened by human activity and might have become extinct before discovery
    • 20.  
    • 21. Threatened Species
      • Increasing numbers of species are threatened with extinction
      • Depending on the likelihood of extinction in the near future, threatened species are described as critically endangered , endangered , or vulnerable
      • As of 2004 there are 15,589 threatened species
        • 12% of all birds
        • 23% of all mammals
        • 32% of all amphibians
        • 42% of all turtles and tortoises
    • 22. Mammals
    • 23. Threats to Biodiversity
      • Two processes are fueling the decline in Earth’s biodiversity
        • Increasing use of resources to support human lifestyles
        • Human activities that destroy habitats and pollute the environment
      • Comparison of humanity’s footprint with Earth’s biocapacity in 2002
        • Footprint: 5.4 acres (24 in U.S.)
        • Biocapacity: 4.5
    • 24. Earth’s “Ecological Capital”
      • Human depletion of the Earth’s ecological capital can be illustrated by estimating
        • Ecological footprint: surface area required to produce our resources and absorb our wastes
        • Biocapacity: actual and available sustainable resources and waste-absorbing capacity of Earth
    • 25. Earth’s “Ecological Capital”
      • Humans have exceeded the Earth’s biocapacity by 20%
      • “ Ecological deficit” degrades ecosystems, drawing on “ecological capital”
      • Deficit will grow as living standards of less-developed nations increase
    • 26.  
    • 27. Human Threats to Biodiversity
      • Humans threaten biodiversity in a number of ways
        • Habitat destruction
        • Overexploitation
        • Harmful interaction with invasive species
        • Pollution
        • Global warming
    • 28. Habitat Destruction
      • Farming activities over past 11,000 years have led to loss of ½ of total forest cover
      • ½ of tropical rain forests cut down over past 50 years for
        • Wood
        • Conversion to agriculture
    • 29.  
    • 30. Habitat Destruction
      • Other activities that lead to habitat destruction
        • Damming rivers
        • Draining wetlands
        • Building roads and housing
        • Industry
      • Some species need thousands of acres to find food and breed
      • Habitat fragmentation threatens wildlife by splitting up natural ecosystems
    • 31.  
    • 32. Habitat Destruction
      • Preserves created to protect endangered species must support a minimum viable population (MVP)
        • Smallest natural population that can persist in spite of natural events (disease, fires, floods)
    • 33. Overexploitation
      • Overexploitation involves hunting or harvesting natural populations at rates that exceed replenishment
      • Impacts 30% of threatened birds and mammals
      • Over fishing and overharvesting threatens many marine life forms
        • Cod, sharks, red snapper, swordfish, tuna, turtles
      • Unintentional trapping in fishing nets threatens
        • Whales, porpoises, dolphins
    • 34.  
    • 35. Invasive Species
      • When non-native species are introduced into an area, they can becomes invasive
      • Invasive species can displace native species and disrupt community interactions through
        • Competion for food and/or habitat
        • Direct predation
      • Island and lake communities are particularly vulnerable to invasive species
        • The mongoose, imported to Hawaii to control rats, now threatens birds
        • The Nile perch, introduced to Lake Victoria for fishing, now threatens 200 other species
    • 36.  
    • 37.  
    • 38. Pollution
      • Pollutants that threaten biodiversity include synthetic chemicals
        • Plasticizers, flame retardants, pesticides
      • Enter air, water, soil
      • Accumulate in animal tissues, disrupting development or reproduction
    • 39. Pollution
      • Accumulation of high levels of some natural substances are also threats
        • Mercury, lead, and arsenic from mining and manufacturing are toxic
        • Oxidized nitrogen and sulfur released by burning fossil fuels lead to acid rain
    • 40. Global Warming
      • Burning of fossil fuels and deforestation has led to increased atmospheric CO 2 levels
      • Increase is associated with rising global temperatures
      • Global warming is associated with dramatic changes
        • Many species are shifting ranges toward poles
        • Plants and animals initiate springtime activities earlier each year
        • Glaciers, ice shelves, and ice caps are melting
        • Extreme weather patterns
    • 41. Global Warming
      • Leads to habitat destruction
      • Rapid pace of global warming taxes abilities of species to adapt to changing conditions through natural selection
      • By 2050: estimated that 1 million species will be threatened with extinction due to global warming
    • 42. Conservation Biology
      • The goals of conservation biology are to
        • Understand the impact of human activities on species, populations, communities, and ecosystems
        • Preserve and restore natural communities
        • Reverse loss of biodiversity caused by humans
        • Foster sustainable use of Earth’s resources
    • 43. Integrated Scientific Approach
      • Conservation requires integrated efforts of many
        • Ecologists, geneticists, botanists, zoologists
        • Wildlife managers
        • Environmental lawyers
        • Ecological economists
        • Social scientists
        • Educators
        • Individuals making choices and taking action
    • 44. Conserving Wild Ecosystems
      • Each threatened species faces different survival challenges, requiring unique conservation efforts
      • One approach involves the creation of core reserves and corridors
      • Core reserves are protected natural areas that preserve all levels of biodiversity
        • Exclude all but low-impact human activities
        • Must provide a minimal critical area that can sustain a minimum viable population
    • 45. Conserving Wild Ecosystems
      • Wildlife corridors are strips of protected land that link core reserves
      • Allow safe passage of animals between habitats separated by human activities, increasing size of reserves
    • 46. Conserving Wild Ecosystems
      • Reserves and corridors ideally should be surrounded by buffer zones that prohibit clear-cutting, mining, freeways and housing
      • However, a San Diego freeway underpass currently serves as a corridor for cougars
    • 47.  
    • 48. Sustainability
      • Sustainable living and development promote long-term ecological and human well-being
      • Sustainability requires
        • Diverse communities and interactions
        • Populations stabilized below the carrying capacity of the environment
        • Recycling and efficient use of raw materials
        • Reliance on renewable sources of energy
    • 49. Sustainability
      • Sustainable development fulfills present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs
      • Current commercial fishing practices (e.g. netting, trawling) endanger many species
      • Sustainable fishing would require
        • Preservation of spawning grounds
        • Limiting fish catches
        • Developing technologies to avoid damag
    • 50. Biosphere Reserves
      • One approach to meeting the needs of humans in a sustainable manner has been the creation of a world network of biosphere reserves
      • Part of a program run by the United Nations
      • The goals are to
        • Maintain biodiversity
        • Evaluate techniques for sustaining development while preserving local cultural values
    • 51. Biosphere Reserves
      • Each biosphere consists of
        • A central core reserve: protected area allowing research and sustainable uses
        • A surrounding buffer zone : permits low impact activity and development
        • An outer transition area : supports settlements, tourism, fishing, agriculture
    • 52.  
    • 53.  
    • 54. Sustainable Agriculture
      • Major habitat loss has occurred due to the conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural use
      • Many current agricultural practices are unsustainable approaches
        • Failure to plant following harvest leads to soil erosion
        • Herbicides and insecticides pollute, and kill natural predators
        • Irrigation practices deplete underground water supplies
    • 55. Sustainable Agriculture
      • Many farmers now realize that sustainable practices save money and preserve land
        • No-till cropping leaves remnants of harvested crops as mulch
        • Organic farming excludes herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers
        • Natural predators used to control pests
        • Planting diverse crops reduces pest and disease infestations
    • 56.  
    • 57. Human Population Growth
      • Most of the world’s human population lives in less-developed countries and lacks basic amenities
      • 75-80 million people are added to the planet every year
      • Growth rate is incompatible with a sustainable increase in quality of life for the present 6.5 billion inhabitants
    • 58. Lifestyle and Technologies
      • Changes that humans can make to develop sustainable approaches
        • Make responsible reproductive choices
        • Reduce energy consumption and use of fossil fuels
        • Develop and use energy-saving technologies
        • Rely on renewable energy sources
        • Make consumer choices that promote sustainable practices
    • 59. The End