Introduction to Biodiversity

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Unit 3 VCE Environmental Science; Area of Study 2: Biodiversity looks at the benefits of biodiversity, the threats and conservation of the different levels - genetic, species and ecosystem.

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Introduction to Biodiversity

  1. 1. Unit 3 Environmental Science<br />Area of Study 2: Biodiversity<br />Britt Gow, 2011<br />
  2. 2. Definition:<br />Biodiversity (biological diversity) is the total sum of all the living organisms that exist on our earth. <br />This living wealth is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history.<br />“The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems” International Convention on Biological Diversity.<br />
  3. 3. Three Levels:<br />Genetic Diversity – genes on chromosomes determine the specific characteristics (physical, emotional) of individual organisms.<br />Species Diversity – variety of different types (species) of organisms<br />Ecosystem Diversity – variety of different ecosystems from marineto desert to tropical rainforest to temperate Eucalypt forest to wetlands etc.<br />
  4. 4. Australian Biodiversity<br />Australia has an incredibly diverse range of life due to it’s isolation from other continents.<br />Australia is recognised as one of the most mega-diverse countries on the planet, with many endemic species, such as our iconic marsupials and monotremes, banksias, eucalypts and grevilleas.<br />
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  7. 7. Why Conserve Biodiversity?<br />Ecosystem services<br />Biological resources<br />Social benefits<br />
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  9. 9. Conservation of Biodiversity<br />Genetic – variety of breeding pairs in captive programs, different groups in separate locations<br />Population – conserving a particular population within a precise geographic area<br />Species – preserving different species of organisms (management plans)<br />Ecosystem – National parks and conservation reserves<br />
  10. 10. Assessment of Biodiversity<br />Species richness (no. of different species)<br />Species diversity (abundance of each different species)<br />Simpson’s Index <br />Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index<br />
  11. 11. Threats to Biodiversity<br />Climate Change<br />Habitat destruction<br />Introduced animals<br />Pollution<br />Pest plants<br />Over-harvesting<br />
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  13. 13. Conservation Categories<br />Extinct<br />Extinct in the wild<br />Critically endangered<br />Endangered<br />Vulnerable<br />Conservation dependent<br />Data deficient<br />Low risk<br />Not evaluated<br />
  14. 14. Strategies for protecting Biodiversity<br />Action plans<br />Captive breeding programs<br />Conservation reserves<br />Revegetation and habitat restoration<br />Feral species control<br />Ecotourism<br />Education<br />
  15. 15. Project Eden: Shark Bay, WA<br />
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  18. 18. Keeping Feral Species Out<br />

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