Cal Poly Bio 401 Conservation Biology
Terms in this set (90)
Landscape Processes: Metapopulations and Island Biogeography
Refers to a single species
A population of popuations
bay checkerspot butterfly
Californis Desert Bighorn sheep
a small piece of habitat
local patch population
If deme is extirpated, the patch can be recolonized by immigrants from another patch
Space between patches, uninhabitable but not always impermeable
4 main types of metapopulations: know the characteristics of each, and be able to illustrate
1. Classical or "Levins"
2. Patchy Population
3. Core-Satellite (or Mainland-Island, or Source-Sink)
4. Stepping Stone
Classical or "Levins"
Patches are identical, equally connected
occupied or empty
n= # of patches
E= patch extinction rate
M= migration rate between patches
O is the proportion of populated patches
differing shapes, sizes, population sizes
high migration, well connected
Core-Satellite (or Mainland-Island, or Source-Sink)
Satellites receive dispersal from core
core population maintains entire network
extirpation easily repopulated, resilient
Key to metapopulation persistence
a balance between demic extinction and colonization
O = 1 - (E/M)
extinction rate (E) and patch-to-patch movement (or "colonization") rate (M), be able to calculate the equilibrium proportion of patches occupied (O)
What happens if E>M? if E=M? if E<M? as E approaches 0?
E approaches 0: higher proportion of patches are occupied
E>M negative O
E<M some are occupied
Be able to calculate the probability of extinction of the whole metapopulation, given the following formula: p(EXT) = [p(E)]n (what does n stand for?)
n= number of independent occupied patches
* Realize that the metapopulation persistence is 1-p(EXT). (If it doesn't go extinct, it persists.)
4 factors that provide metapopulation resiliency -- that is, reduce p(EXT). What management recommendations flow logically from each factor? What pair of factors seems contradictory, creating inherent tension and debate among management approaches?
1. Size of demes.
2. Number of demes.
3. Connectedness between demes.
4. Independence of demes.
1. Keep local populations big, and
maintain the big populations.
2. Maintain the individual patches.
(even unoccupied patches)
3. Maintain connectivity.
4. Keep the populations independent.
b) Island biogeography:
Be able to summarize the 2 dynamic processes that are balanced, and the 2 characteristics of the patch that cause these processes to vary.
Immigration and Extinction
Distance from mainland and size of island
Be familiar with the empirical example of Simberloff's "mangrove island" experiment.
"Land bridge islands" - what are they, and how do they differ from recolonization scenarios such as Simberloff's experiment and Krakatau?
Patches of habitat that once
were connected to mainland
or each other, but have
become fragmented and
What is "relaxation"? What is "extinction debt?"
Relaxation is process of extinction
and extinction debt is the future extinction due to events in the past
Know 2 terrestrial tests of this theory: Lago Guri (Terborgh)
Dam created lake islands
Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments (Lovejoy) projects
From 1980 - 1991, created
11 forest fragments:
1 hectare (n = 5)
10 hectare (n = 4)
100 hectare (n = 2)
Matched with control sites in
contiguous rain forest.
Monitored changes in species
abundance and ecosystem
Nature Reserves in theory
Know the 7 key principles of reserve design, and be able to relate each one back to the landscape processes that affect biodiversity. Which principle was the most controversial?
1. Bigger is better than smaller.
2. 1 big is better than several small. *
3. Closer is better than spread out.
4. Clumped is better than linear.
5. Connected is better than not.
6. Circular is better than linear.
7. Buffer zones are better than not.
What was the "SLOSS" debate?
Single Large or Several Small
Anatomy of a reserve network: cores, corridors, buffers - be able to explain role of each
Core: main area of reserve
Corridore: connects cores
Buffer: area between matrix and core
What is an "umbrella species"? What taxon are the usual umbrella species, and why?
ensuring their conservation
provides a protective "umbrella" for all the other
species in the ecosystem
large, low density, mobile, predators at top of food chain
Understand the difference between: umbrella, flagship, indicator, keystone species [see text]
Flagship acts as symbol for habitat
indicator can show quality, not resilient
keystone has large effect on ecosystem
What kind of ecosystems or community types are generally over-represented in reserves? under-represented? How does this relate to priorities for conservation?
Low density areas are over represented
Know the 4 key concepts in reserve design and prioritization:
efficiency, comprehensiveness, complementarity, redundancy
What is "Gap analysis" and why is it done?
comparison of current performance with desired result
first Gap Analysis: Where? What taxa? How done?
Is a new reserve needed?
What are the 3 basic steps in a Gap Analysis [don't need to know the 6 steps in the slide]
1. Map the biodiversity
2. Map land ownership and
3. Develop priority areas for
What is "Yellowstone to Yukon" network? What's the goal? What species is the focus?
network that connects and protects land along mountain range.
External Reading: Madagascar nature reserve planning: What was the overall goal? the methodology? constraints? what focal taxa were used and why?
-Scientists generally agree about what regions of the globe should be high priority for conservation, but there is not consensus about how to determine specific priority sites within these regions.
- multi taxon approach
- limited data or access to data on species
distributions and computational constraints on
achieving high-resolution analyses over large
- ants, butterflies, frogs, geckos, lemurs, and plants
-have many endemic species
Nature Reserves in the US
Federal land ownership: What % of US land area is federally managed?
What are the top land-management agencies? Know top 5 agencies, and top 3 in order.
Agency- Area (ha)
Bureau of Land Management- 104.4 million
US Forest Service- 78.1 million
US Fish and Wildlife Service- 38.8 million
National Park Service- 33.8 million
Department of Defense- 12.1 million
What region of the country has the most (highest proportion of) federal land?
What US state has the most federal land (as a proportion of the state's area)?
Nevada (85%), then alaska (69%)
What proportion of California is federally-owned land?
What are the main management priorities for national parks? national forests / grasslands? wildlife refuges? wilderness? Know which agency manages each of these.
Status 1: Areas actively managed to protect natural values, with very few
activities that degrade these values.
ex: most national parks, some wilderness areas,
some national wildlife refuges
Status 2: Areas generally managed for natural values, but have a few
activities that degrade natural qualities.
ex: most wilderness areas, most wildlife refuges, Status 3: Most undesignated public lands. May have a legal mandate for conservation, but juggle many other public uses that may damage natural values.
ex: National Forests, DoD bases, state parks
Status 4: Private or public lands that have no legal mandate to protect
natural qualities, and are generally managed for intensive human
ex: private / agricultural lands, urban/suburban, industrial, etc.
Which agency manages the most imperiled species on its lands? Which agency manages the highest density (# imperiled species / area of land managed)?
FS manages most
DoD has highest density by a shit ton
Climate change and conservation
What is the IPCC and what does it do?
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
assesses the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.
What are the major geographic patterns of observed climate change (already happened)?
increased sea level
28.9% increase in CO2 since 1960
What are GHGs, and what are the 3 primary GHGs that contribute to climate change?
Nitrous Oxide N2O
What is the approximate current concentration (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere?
In general, how much warming is expected to occur in the next century (by 2100)?
2-4 degree C
In general, what are the primary expected species' responses to GCC?
coral extinct, algae overgrowth
21-52% species extinct globally
"decoupling" in space and time
pollinators, dispersal interactions interrupted
migration happening at wrong time
timing of biological activities
plasticity; obligate relationships
Why are coral reefs particularly vulnerable to climate warming?
water temp changes
sea level changes
What is a "bioclimatic niche" and how is it modeled? Know the key steps and key assumptions.
What are the 2 key components of climate? What is a SDM? a GCM?
Why do researchers think Pika are going to be less affected by climate than Alpine Chipmunk?
pika have no predicted shift
chipmunk have high shift (retraction
Be able to explain how researchers have come to the conclusion that Joshua Trees are not going to be able to inhabit most of Joshua Tree National Park in 2100.
Endangered Species Recovery
Ultimate goals (2) of recovery (Why is "preventing extinction" not good enough?)
Self sustaining population that resume ecological roles
What are the key steps in recovering an imperiled species?
1. documenting the decline
2. study basic ecology and natural history
3. Identify factors causing decline
4. Correct factors
What kind of ecological information must be learned about an imperiled species to successfully manage it?
Distribution and range
How do you determine the factors causing a species' decline / limiting factors? (4 step process)
measure factor where the species persists ad where it has been eradicated
What are the 2 main intensive management approaches to increase population size, and which approach is usually more practical? Why?
double-clutching; head-starting; cross-fostering (but when is this a bad idea?)
Main problems (3) with the single-species intensive management approach
a. "Emergency Room medicine"
b. There are thousands of imperiled species;
some with conflicting needs
c. Imperiled species cannot persist and recover
without their ecological communities
in situ vs ex situ conservation: definition? examples? which is preferable?
What is cryostorage and what are the primary taxa stored this way
Svalbard Global Seed Bank; "Amphibian Ark" program
What should be the ultimate goal of a captive breeding program?
What are the main benefits (4)
1. Temporarily remove populations from threats in wild environment.
2. Offspring from captive populations can be released to the wild to supplement existing populations, restore extirpated populations, or establish new populations in new areas.
3. Research possibilities.
4. Promote public education, awareness of conservation issues.
limitations (6) of captive breeding programs
1. Is often very hard to establish self-sustaining captive populations.
2. Captive populations are usually small: High risk of genetic effects.
4. Disease and other factors related to high density.
5. Limitation of human resources: $$, personnel, facilities, priorities
6. Is not a substitute for addressing the limiting factor
Be familiar with the case studies presented in class: Whooping Crane, California Condor, Mariana Crow, and Channel Island Fox.
Big picture questions from the course as a whole:
What is "biological diversity"? How do biologists define it and quantify it? Why is it important?
variety and variability of life
how many in one area
how does it vary? turnover
Where is biological diversity? What are its patterns taxonomically and geographically? (islands; tropics; latitudinal gradient; species-area curve) What are the processes (abiotic and biotic) that create biodiversity?
Species richness increases as latitude decreases
Larger areas have more species
3. Structural complexity
Species richness increases with structural complexity
of the environment
Isolated areas have lower richness but higher
endemism (fewer species, but more uniqueness)
What is extinction? What are the historic rates and current extinction rates, and how did we calculate these rates?
What are the main threats to biodiversity worldwide?
exotic species/ diseases
ecological linkages/ cascading effects
What intrinsic characteristics make some species more vulnerable than others, and why?
resource for humans
k selected (slow life history)
endemic to islands
- environmental change
- demographic variability
What are the various types of overexploitation? How are they best addressed?
-regulate hunting (CAMPFIRE)
- seafood and timber
- sustainable yields
What are "exotic" species? How do exotic species get introduced? What are the characteristics of successful invasive species? How are exotic species best managed?
What happens when a habitat or a species becomes fragmented? What bodies of ecological theory help us understand these dynamics? What ecological processes are most important to address?
What do we do to solve these problems:
How do we protect habitats? Tools, processes, decision-making...
How do we recover imperiled species? Tools, processes, limitations...