ReviewLandscape Structure and Function PrincipleLandscapes are heterogeneous and differ structurally in the distribution of species, energy, and materials among the patches, corridors, and matrix present. Consequently, landscapes differ functionally in the flows of species, energy, and materials among these structural elements.Biotic Diversity PrincipleLandscape heterogeneity decreases the abundance of rare interior species, increases the abundance of edge species and animals requiring two or more landscape elements, and enhances the potential total species coexistence.Species Flow PrincipleThe expansion and contraction of species among landscape elements has both a major effects on, and is controlled by, landscape heterogeneity.Nutrient Redistribution PrincipleThe rate of redistribution of mineral nutrients among landscape elements increases with disturbance intensity in those landscape elements.Energy Flow PrincipleThe flows of heat energy and biomass across boundaries separating the patches, corridors, and matrix of a landscape increase with increasing landscape heterogeneity.Landscape Change PrincipleWhen undisturbed, horizontal landscape structure tends progressively toward homogeneity; moderate disturbance rapidly increases heterogeneity, and severe disturbance may increase or decrease heterogeneity.Landscape Stability PrincipleStability of the landscape mosaic may increase in three distinct ways, toward (a) physical system stability (characterized by the absence of biomass), (b) rapid recovery from disturbance (low biomass present), or (c) high resistance to disturbance (usually high biomass present).
Natural selection doesn’t preclude religious interpretations
Also“This most beautiful system [The Universe] could only proceed from the dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.” ― Isaac NewtonGod created everything by number, weight and measure.― Isaac Newton
From John Davis
From: Dr. Michael Masser, Pond mgt talk. 3/15/12
With public landsFigure 27. Composite map with public lands overlay. Public lands include; National and State Parks,National Forests and Grasslands, Department of Defense lands, and National Wildlife Refuges. Thoseareas identified in red as the top 1% represent higher ecological importance, those identified in whiteas 51-100% represent lower ecological importance.
I think everyone is familiar with the Conservation Blueprint mapBased on 8 Ecoregional Assessments done by Science and Conservation staff over the past 10 years.Portfolio area are the green and blue areas we have on our maps, showing what our Ecoregional Assessments have ID’s as important conservation landscapes in TXUsing Conservation by Design – looked at target species and communities, threats and what landscapes (conservation areas) have the best diversity and scale.Hasn’t always helped us choose among these 250-300 area, BUT more recent Eas have prioritized.
In summary …
We have a great Facebook page, too!
Ecology and Biodiversity
(paste over photo with an appropriate image)
The Nature Conservancy – Texas Chapter
Biodiversity and The Nature Conservancy
The mission of
The Nature Conservancy
TNC Conservation Tools
Ecology - defined
The study of Nature that deals with interrelationships, or the dependence of all living
things on all other living things and their
The study of the relationships of organisms to
their environment and to one another. (Brewer
The word ecology derives from the Greek words
oikos, which means “house,” and logos, which
means “discussion or study.”
The study of living systems
– Aquatic ecology
– Forest ecology
– Field ecology
– Experimental ecology
– Population ecology
– Community ecology
– Behavorial ecology
Understand the 7 Principles of Ecology
1. The plan or producer, the grazing animal or consumer and
the intrinsic value of a healthy ecosystem needs to be looked
at together, not separately.
2. The natural resource manager should understand the change
and know it has an influence on all of his management
3. For every action on the land there are multiple reactions.
4. Nature abhors a void and provides plants through the
process of primary and secondary succession to fill the
5. Humans have found that nature knows best. Organisms
which are suited and adapted to change occupy the site.
6. Everything must go somewhere.
7. There is no such thing as a free lunch.
Seven Principles of Landscape Ecology
Landscape Structure and Function
Sandor, M. 2004.
Laws of Ecology
• All things are interconnected
• Everything goes somewhere
• There‟s no such thing as a free lunch
• Nature bats last
Callenbach, E. 2008. Ecology: A pocket guide.
Evolution – species change over
Natural selections works at the
Individuals with desirable traits
If those traits are inheritable, they
are passed on to descendents
As a result, those populations
Population - A group of organisms of the
same species occupying a particular space at
a particular time
Dispersion and Movement
CARRYING CAPACITY - The maximum number of
individuals of a given species that a habitat
can sustain indefinitely.
Herbivores (Primary Consumers)
from dead plants
Elements of a food web on a native
Prairie chicken Grasshopper
Pyramid of Numbers
(Individuals per 0.1 hectare)
General pattern in nature: there are many more plants than
herbivores, greater numbers of herbivores than carnivores, seldom
more than a few top carnivores.
The relationship between prairie-to-forest
succession and grouse species.
• An ecosystem consists of organisms from
many different species living together in a
region that are connected by the flow of
energy, nutrients, and matter that occurs as
the organisms of different species interact
with one another.
(Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 2002)
• Is a self-sustaining system involving the
interaction of living and nonliving
elements in a manner which sustains life.
a relatively small
"…game can be restored by the creative
use of the same tools which have
heretofore destroyed it - ax, plow, cow,
fire, and gun."
Aldo Leopold, Game Management, 1933.
When we contemplate the whole globe as one
great dewdrop, striped and dotted with
continents and islands, flying through space
with all other stars all singing and shining
together as one, the whole universe appears
as an infinite storm of beauty.
John Muir (1838-1914)
Founder, Sierra Club
The Nature Conservancy
The variety of life forms: the different plants,
animals and microorganisms, the genes they
contain, and the ecosystems they form. It is
usually considered at three levels: genetic
diversity, species diversity and ecosystem
Kinds of Biodiversity
– Species numbers
– Species richness
– Taxonomic diversity
Size of island &
Distance between islands
Applies to virtual islands!!! (habitat fragments)
McArthur and Wilson (1967)
Biodiversity and Habitat Fragments
• Island biogeography applies to terrestrial habitat
• Small habitats hold fewer species, smaller
• Small populations are vulnerable to extinction
– environmental changes
– natural disasters
– random chance
When habitat is divided
into smaller sections
Some species benefit,
others are harmed
FRAGMENTATION AND EDGE EFFECT
•Increased edge effect
Edge Effects on Wildlife
– White-tailed deer
– Some game birds
– Small mammals
– Invader Species
– Interior forest
– Habitat specialists
– Threatened or
Managing for Edge Species
Leopold, A. 1933. Game Management.
• To allow interspersal among islands and
• Width is important
• Corridor must be appropriate habitat type
• Results still somewhat theoretical
Threats to Biodiversity
• Human population effects
– Habitat loss
– Habitat fragmentation
– Incompatible development
• Climate change
• Invasive/Exotic species
• Disruption of ecosystem
– Fire suppression
– Diminished freshwater flows
• Limited understanding of
Conserve all habitat/eco-system types
Conserve „all the pieces‟
Promote plant diversity
Promote native species
Realize genetic diversity is also important
Re-establish natural processes (flood, fire, buffers)
Consider edge effects
Interdependence ----------- Sustainability
The first requisite of intelligent tinkering is to
save all the pieces.
Aldo Leopold (1947)
“There are some who can live without wild
things, and some who cannot. ... Like winds
and sunsets, wild things were taken for
granted until progress began to do away with
…Now we face the question whether a still higher
„standard of living‟ is worth its cost in things
natural, wild, and free. For us of the minority, the
opportunity to see geese is more important than
television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower
is a right as inalienable as free speech.”
1887 - 1948
It Ain‟t Easy Being Green
…When green is all there is to be
It could make you wonder why, but why wonder why?
I am green and it'll do fine, it's beautiful!
And I think it's what I want to be.
Joe Rapposo, 1970
(Oh, and Kermit the Frog, too)
The Nature Conservancy
Conservancy's efforts to
preserve the diversity of
life on Earth depends
solely on the support of