Biodiversity- biological diversity; the sum total of the variety of organisms in the biosphere.
Ecosystem Diversity- variety of habitats, living communities, and ecological processes in the living world.
Species Diversity- number of different species in the biosphere.
Genetic Diversity- sum total of all the different forms of genetic information carried by all organisms living on Earth today.
Extinction- disappearance of a species from all parts of its geographical range.
Endangered Species- species whose population size rapidly declining and will become extinct if the trend continues.
Habitat Fragmentation- splitting of ecosystems into small fragments.
Biological Magnification- increasing concentration of a harmful substance in organisms at higher trophic levels in a food chain or food web.
Invasive Species- plants and animals that have migrated to places where they are not native.
Conservation- wise management of natural resources, including the preservation of habitats and wildlife.
Q1: Why is biodiversity important?
A1: Biodiversity is one of the Earth’s greatest natural resources. Species of many kinds have provided us with foods, industrial products, and medicines-including painkillers, antibiotics, heart drugs, antidepressants, and anticancer drugs.
Q2: What are the current threats to biodiversity?
A2: Human activity can reduce biodiversity by altering habitats, hunting species to extinction, introducing toxic compounds into food webs, and introducing foreign species to new environments.
Q3: What is the goal of conservation biology?
A3: Today, conservation efforts focus on protecting entire ecosystems as well as single species. Protecting an ecosystem will ensure that the natural habitats and the interactions of many different species are preserved at the same time.