Ecology and Ecological ProblemPresentation Transcript
PANGASINAN STATE UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL Urdaneta City, Pangasinan ECOLOGY & ECOLOGICAL PROBLEMS Discussant: MR. GILBERT P. MORALISTA, Ed. D. Student Professor: DR. JO BITONIO
What is Ecology? Origin of the word…”ecology” Greek origin OIKOS = household LOGOS = study of… Study of the “ house/environment” in which we live.
Ecology is study of interactions between
non-living components in the environment …
nutrients in soil
microorganisms in soil, etc.
To study Ecology involves…
For non-living (abiotic)
soil analysis, etc.
For living (biotic)
mathematics (population studies)
views each locale as an integrated whole of interdependent parts that function as a unit.
The interdependent parts are…
dead organic matter
nutrients in the soil and water.
herbivores and carnivores
fungi and bacteria
ECOLOGY: Levels of Organization
- a hierarchy of organization
in the environment
ECOLOGY: Levels of Organization - a hierarchy of organization in the environment
Levels of Organization - Terms
Surface of the earth
Composed of many ecosystems
Large or small as we decide
Backyard, O’Melveney Park, Hedge along Room 110, etc.
Levels of Organization - Terms Population – one species live in one place at one time Community – All populations (diff. species) that live in a particular area.
Levels of Organization - Terms Habitat – physical location of community Organism –simplest level of organization
Can contain 100’s to 1000’s of interacting species.
Ecology is an integrated and dynamic study of the environment which primarily focused on :
. Climate Change; and
. Endangered Animals
It is the variety of all the different living things and their homes on the planet
What is biodiversity?
Why do we need Biodiversity?
. The natural world is very complex, with many intricate relationships between species and habitats.
.We refer to them as food webs and food chains or eco systems.
.The plants and animals rely in many ways on those on either side of them.
Biological diversity is important because of the way these relationships can combine to provide yet more variation in the living world.
Any human activity that diminishes this 'bio - diversity' could therefore impoverish our own quality of life, reduce the resources available to us and ultimately jeopardise the survival of our descendants.
WHY IS BIODIVERSITY IMPORTANT?
. An Earth rich in wildlife is a sign that it is a healthy planet for us to live on too.
.When we pollute the air, water and soil, we risk destroying biodiversity
Trees make oxygen for us to breath.
Plants need insects for pollination.
Animals and birds need to eat plants.
Some animals need to eat the animals that eat the plants!
But most importantly everything we use comes from nature!
3 THREATS TO BIODIVERISTY
Who causes all of these threats?
PHILIPPINE BIODIVERSITY STATUS OUR LIVING AND NON-LIVING RESOURCES
PHILIPPINES: high species diversity and high endemicity
ENDEMIC A species present in such small numbers that it is at risk of extinction . An organism exclusively native to a place or biota WHY IS THIS SO: extensive areas of rainforest the patchwork of isolated islands, the tropical location of the country, and the once
The Philippines is home to some of the world's most exotic birds
Scientists have documented 577 bird species around the Philippine archipelago.
Of this number, 185 species are endemic to the country.
The Bird Life International listed 116 of them as "threatened" or "near-threatened".
The Mammals Deer that cannot be found elsewhere: the Calamian hog deer or Calamian deer have longer and darker legs, compared with other hog deer. By 1996, its population further declined to only about 900, prompting conservationists to declare it as an endangered species. One of the world's rarest mammals lives in the dwindling forest of Panay Island: Philippine spotted deer (Cervus alfredi), considered by many as the most endangered deer in the planet
Unique pygmy water buffalos (Bubalus mindorensis) endemic to Mindoro listed as one of the ten most endangered species in the world. From 10,000 heads in the 1900's, population went down to 369 heads in the late 1980's to as few as 20 heads roaming in the wild today
South of Palawan, lies the Balabac Island, home of the world's smallest hoofed mammal - the Philippine mouse deer. Locally known as Pilandok ( Tragalus nigricans ), this ruminant stands only about 40 centimeters at the shoulder level. While the mouse deer are widely distributed across Asia, their dwindling population has alarmed the World Conservation Union, which declared them as endangered in 1996.
Amphibians and Reptiles Crocodylus porosus , it is different from Mindoro's freshwater crocodile ( Crocodylus mindorensis ) There were tales that a 27-foot saltwater crocodile was killed near Lake Taal in Batangas in 1823. It reportedly took 40 men to bring the body ashore.
inhabits clear, unpolluted swift-flowing mountain streams and rivers in lowland rainforests where it usually floats near the surface of the water unless disturbed, when it will hide under submerged rocks
Philippine Flat-Head Frog Barbourula Busuangensis Busuanga, Culion, and Palawan
Donsol, a fishing town in Sorsogon province,
serves as a sanctuary to a group of 40 whale
sharks ( Rhincodon typus ), which are considered
as the largest fish in the world.
Locally known as "butanding", whale sharks
visit the waters of Donsol from November to May.
They travel across the oceans but nowhere else
have they been sighted in a larger group than in
the waters of Sorsogon.
In 1996, a marine biologist discovered that whale sharks are ovoviviparous, which means that the females produce live offspring from eggs hatched in the uterus.
The Philippine government declared whale sharks as endangered species in 1998, thereby banning its plunder and exploitation.
The world's smallest freshwater fish is found in the Philippines. The dwarf goby (Pandaka pygmaea) measures 1.2 centimeters or less than half of an inch, the tiniest known vertebrate. American Ichthyologist Albert Herre first discovered it in Malabon River in 1925.
World's smallest commercial fish: Sinarapan ( Mistichthys luzonensis) found only in Lakes Bato and Buhi in Camarines Sur province. Sinarapan grows to an average length of 1.25 centimeters, only slightly longer than the dwarf goby. Today, unabated fishing in the two lakes threatens the population of sinarapan.
About 70 percent of the Philippines’ nearly 21,000 recorded insect species are found only in this hotspot.
About one-third of the 915 butterflies found here are endemic to the Philippines, and over 110 of the more than 130 species of tiger beetle are found nowhere else.
A shell called glory of the sea (Connus gloriamaris) is also found in the Philippines and considered as one of the most expensive shells in the world. Pisidum, the world's tiniest shell, can be found under Philippine waters. Pisidum is less than 1 millimeter long
Total Plant Species: 9,2536
Endemic Plant Species: 6, 091
Endemics as Percentage of World Total: 2.0
There are more than 150 species of palms and dipterocarps in the hotspot, and around two-thirds of these are found nowhere else in the world. Among the endemic fruit trees in the Philippines are durian, mabolo, pili and bignay
Of the 1,000 species of orchids found in the Philippines, 70 percent are restricted to the hotspot Gingers, begonias, gesneriads, orchids and pandans are particularly high in endemic species As many as 9,000 flowering plants can be found in the country
CLIMATE CHANGE The topic of climate change is like a puzzle with many different pieces—oceans, the atmosphere, ecosystems, polar ice, natural and human influences. Scientists have been working on this puzzle for more than a century, and while there are still gaps in our knowledge, most experts feel we have the puzzle is complete enough to show that human activities are having an adverse effect on our planet. This talks look at many of those puzzle pieces, the evidence behind them, and the conclusions we can draw from them.
What changes climate?
Scientists have a good understanding of what has changed earth’s climate in the past:
Incoming solar radiation is the main climate driver. Its energy output increased about 0.1% from 1750 to 1950, increasing temperatures by 0.2°F (0.1°C) in the first part of the 20 th century. But since 1979, when we began taking measurements from space, the data show no long-term change in total solar energy, even though Earth has been warming.
Repetitive cycles in Earth’s orbit that occur over tens of thousands of years can influence the angle and timing of sunlight.
In the distant past, drifting continents make a big difference in climate over millions of years by changing ice caps at the poles and by altering ocean currents, which transport heat and cold throughout the ocean depths.
Huge volcanic eruptions can cool Earth by injecting ash and tiny particles into the stratosphere.
Changes in the concentration of greenhouse gases, which occur both naturally and as a result of human activities, also influence Earth’s climate.
Increasing greenhouse gases trap more heat
Earth’s surface absorbs heat from the sun and then re-radiates it back into the atmosphere and to space.
Much of this heat is absorbed by greenhouse gases, which then send the heat back to the surface, to other greenhouse gas molecules, or out to space. Though only 1% of atmospheric gases are greenhouse gases, they are extremely powerful heat trappers. By burning fossil fuels faster and faster, humans are effectively piling on more blankets, heating the planet so much and so quickly that it’s hard for Mother Nature and human societies to adapt.
Greenhouse gases Nitrous oxide Carbon dioxide Water Methane Sulfur hexafluoride While there are many substances that act as greenhouse gases, two of the most important are water and carbon dioxide, or CO2.
CO2 comes from a variety of sources. For example, plants take up carbon dioxide in the air to make wood, stems, and leaves, and then release it back into the air when the leaves fall or the plants die. The concern today is that fossil fuel use is putting huge amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere at a rate faster than the climate system can adapt to.
In addition, the warming resulting from CO2 and other greenhouse gases also has the effect of increasing evaporation. This adds water vapor to the atmosphere as well. Water vapor is the most important gas in the natural greenhouse effect, contributing 60% of the effect to carbon dioxide’s 26%. And in fact, satellites have detected an increase in atmospheric moisture over the oceans at a rate of 4% per degree F of warming (7% per degree C) since 1988. This additional water vapor amplifies the warming effect.
Could the warming be natural?
Certainly, past temperatures past have been lower than today, and
CO 2 concentrations have also varied. Large global swings were probably caused by such things as changes in Earth’s orbit, which changed the distribution of sunlight over the planet. When this caused warming, more CO2 and other greenhouse gases were released, producing additional warming.
[click to reveal today’s CO2 level] But today, the CO 2 released by human activities is far above amounts in the previous 800,000 years. This CO2 is triggering the increase in temperatures we’ve seen.
Is it real?
Earth is getting warmer by virtually every measure we know, and the temperature has been well above normal for more than 25 years. Although increases of 1.0-1.6°F (0.6-0.9°C) over the last century or so may not sound very threatening, remember that’s a global average. The warming is stronger over land than over oceans and in the higher latitudes than in the tropics.
Sea-level rise projections : a few inches to a few feet
2 ft: U.S. would lose 10,000 square miles
3 ft: Would inundate Miami
Affects erosion, loss of wetlands, freshwater supplies
Half of the world’s population lives along coasts
Big question: Ice sheets
The oceans will continue their rise in the coming century. The IPCC’s best estimates range from a few inches to a few feet by 2100. If the rise is 2 feet, the US could lose 10,000 square miles, If they rise three, they will inundate Miami and most of coastal Florida. Sea-level rise also increases coastal erosion and the loss of coastal wetlands, and saltwater spoils freshwater drinking supplies. Coastal populations become even more vulnerable to storm surge and flooding. Considering that half of the world’s population lives near coasts, sea-level rise is a serious concern.
The big unknown in all this is how much the planet’s ice sheets will melt.
The main tool for both past and present climate analyses are computer climate models. Much like the models used to forecast weather, climate models simulate the climate system with a 3-dimensional grid that extends through the land, ocean, and atmosphere. The grid may have 10 to 60 different levels in the atmosphere and surface grid spacings of about 60 by 90 miles (100 by 150 km)—the size of Connecticut. The models perform trillions of calculations that describe changes in many climate factors in the grid.
The models project possible climates based on scenarios that cover a range of assumptions about global population, greenhouse gas emissions, technologies, fuel sources, etc. The model results provide a range of possible impacts based on these assumptions.
Why should we care?
Global average temperatures are expected to increase by about 2-13°F (1-7°C) by the end of the century. That may not sound like a lot, so what’s the big deal? The problem is that small changes in global average temperature can lead to really large changes in the environment. Let’s look at some of the expected changes.
There will always be natural variability, and some places and some years will be warmer or cooler than average. In general, however, summers will get hotter, not only because of higher temperatures but also because humidities will increase. That means that heat waves, like the one that killed 35,000 people in Europe in 2003, will become more common.
On the plus side, winters will be warmer in many places, reducing heating bills. And the number of days with frosts is likely to decrease.
Warming of the climate system is unequivocal
Very high confidence that global average net effect of human activities since 1750 one of warming
Human-caused warming over last 30 years has likely had a visible influence on many physical and biological systems
Continued GHG emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21 st century that would very likely be larger than those observed during the 20 th century.”
What next—what can we do?
Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and our use of fossil fuels will not be easy, but it is doable. Here’s how some researchers at Princeton view it.
Our current path is toward doubling CO 2 emissions in the next 50 years, with even greater increases beyond that. In order to get off this path, we need to find ways to keep  emissions constant for the next 50 years and then reduce them during the second half of the century. This would  limit atmospheric CO 2 to about 570 ppm—still greater than the roughly 380 ppm in the atmosphere today, but enough to avoid the worst predicted consequences.
In order to hold carbon emissions constant over the next 50 years, we need to find some combination of ways to cut 8 billion tons of carbon emissions per year. In the graph, the difference between where we are and where we’d like to be forms a triangle with a height of 8 billion tons in 2055.
Tune up your furnace
Unplug appliances or plug into a power strip and switch it off Use mass transit, bike, walk, roller skate Buy water-saving appliances and toilets; installing low-flow shower heads. Caulk, weatherstrip, insulate, and replace old windows Buy products with a U.S. EPA Energy Star label
There are many ways society can approach the struggle to reduce carbon emissions, but there is no single solution. Many of the strategies mentioned are the realm of governments. And the ever-growing world population means that we’ll have to work that much harder to reduce global emissions. But on an individual level, there are many things you can do to make a difference.
Scientists are still working on the puzzle. The IPCC’s 5 th Assessment Report is planned for 2013-2014. Climate models are being improved, more data is being collected. However, the puzzle is already complete enough to know we need to take action. GOD BLESS MOTHER EARTH
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