Human ecology final week 10

Loss of biodiversity
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Terms in this set (42)
Geographic variationAmong-population genetic biodiversity; spatially oriented genetic variationSpecies biodiversityAll the species on Earth; most familiar level of biodiversity; we know less than 10% of life on this planetEcosystem biodiversityAll the ecosystems on earth; species are not randomly distributed; grasslands, forests, deserts, tundra, etc.; depends on biome, major natural processes, geologic history, specific biotic/abiotic/process componentsExtinction step 1Death of unnaturally high number of individuals in a population; need monitor numbers, not just presence; need monitor over time to detect trendsExtinction step 2Death of entire populations; if population or group of populations lost is genetically distinct, then its loss is an extinctionExtinction step 3Death of the species; if all populations lost, entire species is extinctExtinction cascadeSpecies interconnected; when one species goes extinct, other connected species in trouble; symbiotic relationships - mutualismBison grazingImportant natural disturbance process; keeps tallgrass prairie in different successional stages; loss of bison in Illinois (1830s); affected remaining tallgrass prairieExtinction trendsNaturally, extinction rate = speciation rate; human-caused extinction rate now 100-1,000 x normalExtinction globallyHow many species endangered or threatened; 13% of plants; 25% of mammals, including almost all species of felines, primates; 11% of birdsCauses of US extinctionAgriculture; land development; water development; common theme - conversion of natural ecosystems into human-made ecosystemsCauses of Illinois extinction#1 agriculture; human development; has some of the most endangered ecosystems in the world; tallgrass prairie, oak savanna woodland, wetlandsHabitat lossReasons for loss of Illinois biodiversity; prairie/wetlands replaced by corn, soybeans; also lost to developmentHabitat degradationReasons for loss of Illinois biodiversity; simplification (natural forest vs. tree farm); fragmentation (agriculture, development)Habitat fragmentationLarge, continuous area of habitat becomes habitat islands; decrease in area; increase in distanceBiotic impact of habitat fragmentationReduces number of species that can live there; exposed to edge effects - degrades quality of remaining habitatEnergy solutionsFracking, nuclear (fission or fusion) solar, shale oil, 'clean coal', wind, hydrogen gas, ethanol, natural gas, hydropower; technology might not be efficientDirect biodiversity benefitsFood; spices; dyes; wood; fibers; medicines; etc.; make life more comfortable; easier to measure economicallyBiotechnologyDepends on key natural resource - genes; genes are in genetically unique populations, subspecies, species; extinction removes genes foreverIndirect biodiversity benefitsEcosystem free services; biogeochemical cycles; oxygen production; climate habitability; soil formation; air-water purification; reduces severity of floods, fires; control disease; makes life and economics possible; harder to measure economically, so ignoredProvisioningEcosystem service; food; water; fiber; and fuelCulturalEcosystem service; spiritual; aesthetic; recreation; educationalRegulatingEcosystem service; climate control; flood control; soil retention; disease regulationSupportingEcosystem service; primary production and soil formationUS endangered species actVisionary law for protecting biodiversity; most under political attack; 'people vs. species'; 'jobs vs. environment'; really short-term profit vs. ecological sustainability; reason for any endangered species - issue that will affect humansConservation of biologyPreservation of biodiversity; maintenance of ecosystem function; two approaches - species and ecosystemSpecies approachConservation of biology; focus on preservation of each speciesSpecies approach limitationsConservation of biology; focus on the cute and cuddly instead of the small, the drab, and the 'ugly'; forces one to do species triage; tend to wait until species nearly terminalEcosystem approachConservation of biology; preserve entire ecosystem; means preserve many species at once; preserving abiotic, process components; size is criticalEcosystem approach limitationConservation of biology public has poor awareness of ecosystems; they focus better on speciesNumber of known native species in Illinois54,000Illinois rank in amount of native vegetation left49th