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presentation about theimportance of biodiversity and the treats to it aswell as its conservation

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  • It is actually everyone's duty to fight against destruction/loss of biodiversity.
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  1. 1. Biodiversity:The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine andother aquatic ecosystems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems
  2. 2. Where is biodiversity• Biodiversity is everywhere• It occurs both on land and in water, from high altitudes to deep ocean trenches and it includes all organisms, from microscopic bacteria to more complex plants• Biodiversity remains difficult to measure precisely due to the sheer scale of it• According to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the total number of species on Earth ranges from five to 30 million and only 1.7–2 million species have been formally identified
  3. 3. Benefits of Biodiversity• Can be divided into three main categories• Biological Resources• Ecosystem resources• Social Benefits
  4. 4. Biological Resources Food for humans and for cultivated animals• Organisms existence depends heavily on primary producers – mainly plants• Five thousand plant species have been used as food by humans• Less than twenty feed the majority of the worlds population• Three or four carbohydrate crops are staples for a the vast majority• Wild plant gene pool which is then available to augment the narrow genetic base of these established food crops - provides disease resistance/ improved productivity/ different environmental tolerances
  5. 5. Biological Resources Medicinal and pharmaceutical resources• Research• Studies of various chemicals produced by animals have led to discoveries of medicinally useful substances.• E.g. Prostaglandin E2, which could be of importance in the treatment of gastric ulcers - discovered in the two species of gastric brooding frogs found only in the rainforests of Queensland• Agriculture• Genetic diversity provides resistance to crops and livestock by pests and diseases• Numerous insects pollinate crops• Termites and earthworms aerate the soil
  6. 6. Biological Resources Resources not yet identified (future resources)• Precise number of living species is unknown• 1.7 million living organisms counted and described - planets total number is estimated to be between 5 and 30 million.• There is a clear relationship between the conservation of biological diversity and the discovery of new biological resources.• The conservation of diversity is also essential for finding effective biological control organisms and for breeding disease resistant species• Genetic engineering of micro organisms promises further advances in the production of new compounds and processes
  7. 7. Ecosystem Resources Protection of water resources• Regulates and stabilises water runoff• Acts as buffer against extreme events such as flood and drought• Vegetation also helps to regulate underground water tables• Wetlands and forests act as water purifying systems• Mangroves trap silt - reducing impacts on marine ecosystems
  8. 8. Ecosystem Resources Soils formation and protection• Biological diversity helps in the formation and maintenance of soil structure and the retention of moisture and nutrient levels.• Loss of biological diversity (clearing vegetation) - contributed to the salinisation of soils/ leaching of nutrients/ laterisation of minerals / accelerated erosion of topsoil/ reducing land productivity• Trees - lower the water table and remove deposited salt from the upper soil horizons.• Trees and other vegetation also assist in soil formation.• Root systems also bring mineral nutrients to the surface through root uptake.
  9. 9. Ecosystem Resources Pollution breakdown and absorption• Ecosystems and ecological processes play an important role in the breakdown and absorption of many pollutants created by humans and their activities.• Components of ecosystems (bacteria to higher life forms) - involved breakdown and assimilative processes of pollution• Natural wetlands are being used to filter effluents to remove nutrients, heavy metals and suspended solids• reduce the biochemical oxygen demand• destroy potentially harmful microorganisms
  10. 10. Ecosystem Resources Maintenance of ecosystems• Ecosystem relationships resemble a web of connections from one living thing to many other living and non-living things• Vegetation is integral to the maintenance of water and humidity levels and is essential for the maintenance of the oxygen/carbon dioxide balance of the atmosphere• The removal or disturbance of one part of the ecosystem could affect the functioning of many other components of the ecosystem• Natural habitats afford sanctuary to breeding populations of birds and other predators which help control insect pests in agricultural areas• Reduces need for and cost of natural artificial control measures
  11. 11. Social Benefits Recreation & tourism• Biodiversity is also a significant source of leisure activities.• Focal point for tourism• Source of income for the local population.• The aesthetic qualities of such areas are often extremely different• Recreational pursuits: film, photographs or literature based on or using wildlife, natural habitats and natural features• Bird watching• Ecological field studies
  12. 12. Social Benefits Research, education and monitoring• Provide excellent living laboratories such studies• Research into ecology and evolution.• Unaltered habitats are often essential for certain research approaches• Microorganisms - enabled significant progress to be made in the field of food products
  13. 13. Threats to Biodiversity Over-Hunting• Significant cause of the extinction of hundreds of species and the endangerment of many more, such as whales and many African large mammals• Most extinctions over past several hundred years are mainly due to over-harvesting for food, fashion, and profit• $40,000 - $100,000 per horn for some rhino species - down to only a few 1000 individuals• The annual trade for pet and decorative plant trade is estimated to be at least $5 billion, with perhaps 1/4 to 1/3 of it illegal
  14. 14. Threats to Biodiversity Habitat loss/degradation/fragmentation• All species have specific food and habitat needs• The more specific these needs and localized the habitat, the greater the vulnerability of species to loss of habitat to agricultural land, livestock, roads and cities• Tropical forests are so important because they harbour at least 50% worlds biodiversity• Original extent of tropical rain forests was 15 million km2 - Now around 7.5-8 million km2• Current rate of loss is estimated at near 2% annually (100,000 km2 destroyed, another 100,000 km2 degraded)• Environmental fluctuations, disease, and other chance factors make such small isolates highly vulnerable to extinction• Any species that requires a large home range - a grizzly bear, will not survive if the area is too small
  15. 15. Threats to Biodiversity Invasion of non-native species• Species introduced for sports fishing and to replenish stocks after great disasters• Also introduced for food for local populations• Also results in a lack of genetic resistance to disease if the introduced species becomes to dominant• 93% of 30 documented extinctions of species of amphibians and reptiles were associates with introduced species• Also 93% of 176 of species of land and freshwater birds• Example of an invasive species is the grey squirrel in the UK from North America it is larger than the British red squirrel and can therefore out compete it
  16. 16. Threats to Biodiversity Climate change• Changing global climate threatens species and ecosystems• The distribution of species is largely determined by climate, as is the distribution of ecosystems and biomes• Climate change may shift these distributions but plants and animals will often not be able to adapt quick enough to survive• The pace of climate change almost certainly will be more rapid than most plants are able to migrate• The presence of roads, cities, and other barriers associated with human presence may provide no opportunity for distributional shifts• Agricultural production shows regional variation in gains & losses and is dependent upon climate
  17. 17. Threats to Biodiversity Pollution• Chemical contaminants from pesticides and fertilisers from agriculture via Eutrophication pose threats to species and ecosystems• Pollution from greenhouse gases can impact climate in the local areas hence restricting biodiversity• An example of pollution within the UK is fly tipping - this can damage the environment as it is often human made products which are not biodegradable• Can also lead to secondary hazards such as small mammals attempting to eat waste and cannot digest it - hence they die
  18. 18. Conservation of Biodiversity• In-situ• Conservation of habitats, species and ecosystems where they naturally occur• Natural processes and interaction are conserved as well as the elements of biodiversity• Ex-situ• The conservation of elements of biodiversity out of the context of their natural habitats• Zoos, botanical gardens and seed banks are all example of ex-situ conservation• In-situ conservation is not always possible as habitats may have been degraded and there may be competition for land which means species need to be removed from the area
  19. 19. CITES - the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora• CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls• All import, export, re-export and introduction of species covered by the CITES has to be authorized and approved via the convention• Species covered by CITES are listed in three Appendices, according to the degree of protection they need
  20. 20. CITES Appendices• Appendix I - Includes species threatened with extinction. Trade in specimens of these species is permitted only in exceptional circumstances• Appendix II - Includes species not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival• Appendix III - This Appendix contains species that are protected in at least one country, which has asked other CITES Parties for assistance in controlling the trade. Changes to Appendix III follow a distinct
  21. 21. Website Links• ut/?gclid=CP7wwauX-q4CFc4LtAodcC0-zQ• eng/benefits.html• ge2/current/lectures/biodiversity/ ml••• es_conserve.html
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