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Conservation Biology Midterm
Terms in this set (143)
What is Conservation Biology?
a recent discipline in response to global environmental change that provides the scientific and technological tools to anticipate, repair, and minimize loss in biodiversity
a field of study where decisions must often be based on the "best available" information and can be potentially value-driven; some examples include medicine or conservation biology
some species are valued more than others (i.e. "poster child" of extinction)
Describe the human footprint planet-wide.
As the human population expands, a greater surface of the Earth is affected by human actions (83% of current land surface is affected and 40% of oceans are affected); humans affect a large amount of land through agricultural and ranching purposes
What does "within population diversity" mean?
genetic and phenotypic variation from one individual to the next (i.e. larger population = greater potential diversity)
What does "between population diversity" mean?
the more movement between populations that are geographically close, the fewer differences between populations
What is an example of a group of species that has low population differences?
birds because they can move more easily between geographic regions (unlike other groups such as amphibians)
What is an example of a successful conservation program?
Project TAMAR (protection of endangered turtles in Brazil)
Why was Project TAMAR a successful conservation program?
because the project included environmental education and social inclusion; there was effective legislation while also including locals in the process (poachers were given jobs, fisherman were educated, cages protected eggs, used tourism as a education platform)
What is the difference between background extinction and mass extinction?
background extinction is common and occurs at a uniform, slow rate; mass extinction is a high rate of extinction in a relative short period
Why is the current rate of extinction concerning?
because the current rate of extinction is 100 to 1000 times faster than background rates of extinction
What is the sixth mass extinction?
the ongoing extinction event of species mainly due to human activity; the holocene mass extinction
What is the phylogenetic species concept?
a distinct evolutionary lineage based on one or more molecular trait
Give an example of the phylogenetic species concept.
Red wolves and gray wolves may not be distinct lineages based on study of candid genomes; Asian and African elephant species are distinct based on genetic variation
What is the biological species concept?
a group of interbreeding natural populations that is reproductively isolated from other such groups
Give an example of the biological species concept.
the Western and Eastern meadowlark look morphologically similar, but their distinct songs prevent interbreeding
What is the morphological species concept?
morphological similarities are sole criterion for species classification
Give an example of morphological species concept.
Western and Eastern meadowlarks; the dusky seaside sparrow is morphologically different from other seaside sparrows
Describe the species concept in terms of the dusky seaside sparrow.
-with the morphological species concept, the dusky seaside sparrow is distinct from other seaside sparrow
-with the phylogenetic species concept, the dusky seaside sparrow is similar to other Atlantic coast seaside sparrows
Describe the species concept in terms of the killer whale.
while some consider killer whales to be one species, there is morphological and genetic evidence that argues for multiple species (i.e. Southern USA killer whales)
What are some characteristics that make species more vulnerable to extinction?
1. species with a narrow geographical range
2. one or few populations
3. small population size
4. declining population size
5. hunted or harvested
You are trying to determine if individuals from two separate populations are members of the same species. Individuals from the different populations differ in size and coloration but interbreed to produce viable offspring. They share a most recent common ancestor. According to which species concept(s) are they individuals of the same species?
a)Morphological and Biological
B)BIOLOGICAL AND PHYLOGENETIC
c)Morphological and Phylogenetic
In regards to the value of biodiversity, what is meant by inherent/ intrinsic value?
that every species has a certain value assigned to itself and has something to offer towards society
What is meant by extrinsic value?
that a species has a certain instrumental and/or utilitarian value
Examples of Direct Use Value
food, fuel, paper products, medicine, industrial products
Examples of Indirect Use Value
regulation of global processes, flood control, pollination, recreation
What are ecosystem services?
ecosystem services are an indirect use value (i.e. what the environment provides for human populations in monetary value)
How might people's health be tied to conservation?
environmental conservation efforts help support human health because a healthy environment can provide medicine, protection from disaster, fresh water, and the filtration of pollutants
Why are people trying to estimate ecosystem service value?
in order to show that the conservation of the environment is economically beneficial because less money is spent on disaster relief, greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural success (pollination), and money/ jobs can be created through outdoor recreation
What is "Payment for Ecosystem" Services?
when governments give financial incentive to help conserve the local environment
What are some examples of "Payment for Ecosystem" Services?
China's National Forest Protection Program: Chinese government paid people to cease logging and reforest
What are three prioritization schemes for conservation funding?
1. the evolutionary distinct and globally endangered scheme (EDGE)
2. hotspot prioritization
3. return on investment
Summarize the "opportunities and costs" for preventing extinctions?
compared to the money the U.S. government typically spends on defense and energy subsidies, environmental conservation protections of over 800 species is relatively cheap
What are major threats to biodiversity?
disease, invasive species, habitat loss, overexploitation, climate change
What is the biggest threat to biodiversity?
habitat loss and fragmentation
What is habitat degradation?
a decline in species-specific habitat quality that results in a reduction in survival and/or reproductive success
What is the effect of natural habitat loss and reduced area?
the effects include an increase in extinction rates and the loss of an ability to support multiple species within an area
What are the underlying causes of fragmentation?
roads, agriculture, fencing, urban development, logging, mining, dam construction
How does fragmenting and isolating populations affect some species?
the movement of species can be limited and some species can see increases in predation due to an increase of edge effects
Give an example of how fragmenting and isolating populations can affect a species.
the range of wild reindeer in Norway has been divided and as result there is an increase in subpopulations and the reproductive success of the species has declined
What are some examples of edge effects?
increased wind disturbance, tree mortality, change in soil composition, change in foliage density
What are some examples of matrix effects?
colonization of certain species for the matrix environment, buffer for fragmentation-sensitive species
What is the relationship between fragmentation, edge effects, and brood parasitism or nest predation?
forest-interior birds in fragmented habitats suffer higher rates of both brood parasitism and nest predation
What caused the extinction of the passenger pigeon?
habitat loss due to logging and to extensive hunting
Which of the following is NOT an explanation for the growing bushmeat crisis?
A. GREATER DEMAND FOR SUBSISTENCE FOR LOCAL PEOPLE
c.Enhanced technology for poachers
d.High prices on the global market
Why is there a worsening bushmeat crisis?
1. commercial logging roads provide access to more remote areas
2. increased demand and ability to supply bushmeat
What is a "poacher to protector" program?
some governments and organizations provide amnesty to poachers if they agree to hand over their weapons, train in jobs to protect a species, and provide a written statement on crimes
What are some effects of over-exploitation?
decline in species populations, increased prices on the black market (add to the demand for species in small populations), consequences for the functioning of the forest/ environment, decline in subsistence for local people
How does over-exploitation occur?
demand for bushmeat, black market trade in endangered species, poaching and hunting, intensive harvesting
What is a specific example of over-exploitation?
crisis population levels in the world's fisheries due to the removal of too many individuals and the selection for certain individuals
How does community-based co-management of fisheries affect over-exploitation?
community-based co-management has proven successful to decrease over-exploitation because it promotes social cohesion, provides clear incentives, and allow communities to monitor protected areas
What is by-catch?
non-target species caught during industrial fishing
What are a few examples to reduce by-catch?
flagging, visual deterrents, excluder devices
How are species affected by "unnatural selection"?
the most desirable (large, sexually attractive) traits are specifically selected for in a population and as result these species and their characteristics are removed from the gene pool in future generations
What are the effects of hunting on species characteristics and sexual selection?
decline in species size and fitness (fighting conch shells) ; the most fit males sire less offspring (bighorn sheep)
What is the difference between an exotic species and an invasive species?
exotic species live outside their native range and are not always invasive; invasive species outcompete, displace, or extricate local species
What are the chances of a species becoming invasive?
according to the "tens rule"....
1/10 of the introduced species will survive
1/10 of the survivors will establish
1/10 of the established species will become invasive
What characteristics do invasive species tend to have?
eat lots of things, abundant in original range, environmental generalist, short generation times, genetic variability, associated with humans
What are some consequences on invasions?
displacement of native species, native species extinction, increased pathogen movement, ecosystem disruption, hybridization with native species
Give an example of how invasive can affect ecosystem function.
the decline in a lizard in Spain due to the introduction of a carnivorous mammal, the lizards no longer dispersed the seeds of a shrub through their scat and the shrub has also become endangered
How are cane toads an example of a negative invasion?
in an attempt to tackle a beetle populations cane toads were introduced, but their poisonous qualities outcompeted other amphibians and killed predators
How are foxes on the Aleutian Islands an example of how an invasive can affect the physical environment?
the foxes had a negative impact on vegetation because the foxes preyed on seabirds (the seabirds produced nutrient rich guano for rich grasslands)
How is the opossum shrimp another example of a negative invasion?
the introduction of the opossum shrimp as a food source for declining salmon populations caused a decline in salmon and bald eagle populations because the shrimp settled at the bottom of the water and were eaten by the lake trout (not the salmon)
What are some examples of control methods for invasives?
education programs to stop the transportation of zebra mussels to different bodies of water, pesticide use to kill fire ants in order to protect Texan bobwhites, hand-collection of Giant African Land snails, consumption of invasives
Do any control methods have unwanted consequences?
Yes; the use of pesticides to control fire ant populations lead to the decline in other non-target species (including natural enemy of fire ant) and there were environmental risks
What is an example that invasives do not always have detrimental effects?
the invasion of honeysuckle increased fruit-eating bird populations; the creeping daisy had a positive effect on pollinators; the New England thickets provided habitat for rabbit populations
What is the threat to pika populations?
the rising temperatures (climate change) shrink the habitat range of the pikas, and as a result, pikas have more difficulty collecting enough food because they must travel farther and expend more energy to find enough sustenance
What are some other examples of species that are affected by climate change?
a drastic change in temperature and seasonal periods disrupts fur molting in snowshoe hare and there has been a decrease in suitable habitat for tropical amphibians
How might climate change affect planning for protected areas?
conservation biologist need to consider the present and future distributions when outlining a range for protected areas
What are the biological consequences of climate change?
range shifts, phenological shifts, morphological changes, physiological intolerance, disease, changes in food web
What are some examples of a biological consequence of climate change?
1. climate change displaces the range of certain species such as the rattlesnake, but rattlesnakes cannot adapt to the rate at which there range is changing
2. climate change can alter the structure of the food web and leave species without a reliable food source
How does ocean acidification impact fish?
the acidification of the ocean due to climate change changes the behavior of fish so that fish swim farther and longer from shelter
What is a phenological shift?
a change in the timing patterns (migrations, reproductive periods of certain food sources, blooming of flowers)
What is the relationship between the size of populations and threat of extinction?
the smaller the population, the greater threat of extinction
What are the consequences of losing genetic diversity?
inbreeding depression, loss of heterozygosity, more susceptible to genetic drift, reduce species potential for adaptation
What is genetic drift?
the idea that chance alone may determine what individuals survive and what alleles change in frequency; variation in genetic frequency due to chance
What is the founder effect?
a new colony is started by a few individuals of the original population
What is the bottleneck effect?
the size of the population is reduced due to a random event
What are the effects on genetic diversity during a founder or bottleneck effect?
there is the possibly of a more random and reduced sample of the original genetic variation of a population
How can the loss of genetic drift be countered?
mutation and gene flow (greater connectivity between populations)
What are some equations used to calculate a loss in genetic diversity?
1. Founder Effect on Heterozygosity
2. Occurrence of a Rare Allele
What do we gain from the equations and calculations of heterozygosity?
we learn that smaller populations are more likely to lose alleles through genetic drift AND that smaller populations lose heterozygosity at a faster rate AND that small populations of constant size will lose heterozygosity through time AND the greater number of generations, the more heterozygosity is lost
Are the predictions about lowered genetic diversity supported by evidence from endangered species?
YES; examples include Northern elephant seal populations and cheetah populations
What is the situation with the Northern Elephant seal?
the population of Northern Elephant seals experienced a bottleneck effect and successfully rebounded, but the current population is completely homozygous at every gene loci
Does genetic variation rebound at the same rate as population size?
NO; as population size rebounds to higher levels, genetic variation still stays low
What is the situation with the Florida cougar/panther?
-population of specific species is declining
-Florida population is isolated from other cougar populations and is experiencing inbreeding depression and a loss of heterozygosity
-in order to restore genetic diversity, 8 female cougars were introduced into area from Texas
-seen a decrease in inbreeding depression and an increase in population growth
What life history of the Florida cougar helps the restoration of genetic diversity?
the Florida panthers used to have a historic range near the range of the Texan panthers AND the two subspecies have phenotypic similarities
What is environmental stochasticity?
random variation in the biological and physical environment that can cause variation in the population size of species
Give an example of environmental stochasticity.
the New Zealand Black Stilts: species is vulnerable to environmental stochastic events due to their nests being built on river floodplains (i.e. reproductive success can depend on if the rain fall rate is high for the year = flooding)
What is demographic stochasticity?
random variation in population size due to variation in reproduction, mortality rates, age structure, and sex ration
Give an example of demographic stochasticity.
the last six dusky seaside sparrows were male; the population of a species is skewed toward older individual
How is stochasticity more of a threat to smaller populations?
smaller populations have a more difficult time bouncing back from a "bad" year and the stochastic events threaten the already small populations to become smaller (which can lead to an increases in inbreeding depression, a loss of heterozygosity)
What is an extinction vortex?
a point in time where a population size has declined to such a great extent that there is no escape from extinction for the species
What are the challenges faced by conservation of Florida panthers?
-the panthers were extremely isolated
-extremely small population
-males claim large territories
-high rate of loss of heterozygosity
-potential mixing of two populations could lead to hybridization (would this destroy the Florida subspecies?)
What conservation effort was utilized for the Florida panthers?
the relocation and mating with a similar subspecies (Texan panthers were introduced to Texan panthers)
What are problems with inbreeding?
low reproductive success, sperm abnormalities, physical deformations
What are problems with outbreeding?
hybrids are not well-adapted, decrease in viral resistance, decrease in size, decrease in fertility
What is the dominance hypothesis?
expression of deleterious recessive alleles in homozygotes
What is the overdominace hypothesis?
superiority of heterozygotes over both homozygotes; hybrid vigor
Which of the following statements incorrect?
a. Inbreeding leads to disruption of adaptive gene complexes.
b. Inbreeding leads to increased frequency of expression of deleterious recessives.
c. Outbreeding effects are often delayed beyond the first generation.
d. Fertility and viability may be affected by outbreeding.
a.Inbreeding leads to disruption of adaptive gene complexes.
What is the effective population size (Ne)?
the number of individuals in a theoretically ideal population that would have the same magnitude of random genetic drift as the actual population
What factors affect effective population size?
high variation in family size, unequal sex ratio, variance in successful populations
What are some considerations to take into account when calculating Ne?
-actual populations deviate from ideal populations
-uneven variation in family size can decrease Ne
-greater variance results in a smaller Ne
-unequal sex ratio decreases Ne
How did the Spanish eagle example illustrate the juncture of population decline and Ne?
-in normal situations, adult pairs normally produce an equal sex ratio of offspring
-species populations have been in decline due to poisoning and habitat loss
-as population declines, the remaining eagles have an extremely unequal sex ratio due to more younger pairs mating and producing males (females take more resources)
What is the Minimum Viable Population (MVP)?
MVP is the smallest possible population size that has a very high chance of persisting for the foreseeable future
What factors affect MVP?
population growth rate, age structure, inbreeding depression, environmental stochasticity, demographic stochasticity
What is the suggested average MVP for vertebrates?
What is the Allee effect?
a density dependent effect where populations are unstable due to the inability of the social structure to function once the population falls below a certain level
What are some ways in which the Allee effect operates?
- finding suitable mates
- group defense
- group foraging/hunting
- raising of young
Give three examples of the Allee effect in action.
1. African hunting dogs: tight knit social group that hunts and raises young together; fitness decreases with decreased group size
2. Vancouver Island Marmots: a decline in populations has caused marmots to spend more time on "watch duty" and increase ranges to find suitable mates
3. Scarlet gilia: seed germination is high in large populations
What is a PVA?
population viability analysis (model used to predict the likely fate of a population)
How are PVAs used?
through the input of demographic data and the incorporation of variability, a PVA can help find a MVP and determine the chances of success for a population
In what ways have PVAs been used?
- to predict habitat area for the persistence of the marsh butterfly over time
- conservation management of manatees
- how many wolves should be released to establish a successful population
How did the analysis of a PVA inform conservation management for manatees?
- informed conservationists of the effects of mortality rate on the population
- identifies major threat to increase in mortality rate
- provided solutions to management issues
How are PVAs related to MVPs?
the minimum viable population can be incorporated into PVAs in order to best determine fate of a population
What is meant by in-situ?
pro-active management in the wild
What is meant by ex-situ?
maintenance of a species in captivity
What is an augmentation program?
to release more individuals into an existing population (either by translocation or release from captivity)
What is translocation?
moving a species from one area to another
What is a re-introduction program?
release of a species into a suitable site within historic range
What is an introduction program?
release of a species outside of its historic range
What is the difference between "hard release" and "soft release"?
a soft release is with assistance while a hard release is without assistance
What is commonly used method for establishing plant populations?
seedling of the plants are often grown in greenhouses and then planted in the wild where they are protected through cages in a soft release program
How are individuals best selected for translocation?
genetic considerations (genetically related populations without the potential of inbreeding); similar habitat and climate; social structure;survive skills; amount of time in captive breeding programs
How was the decline in Adders dealt with in Sweden?
due to a small population with inbreeding depression, 20 male adders were introduced from another population (it worked!)
Discuss the prairie dog and kangaroo rat studies on translocation.
Prairie Dog: species survival rates were more successful when translocated with family members because less time was spent on guard and more time on raising litters
Kangaroo Rat: while the species is quite solitary, survival rates were more successful when translocated with neighbors because the individuals spend less time building territory and fighting
How is behavior used in conservation management?
to increase the success of in-situ programs, to deal with invasives, to attract or repel animals from designated areas, to better understand requirements for successful conservation and management
How is behavior used to improve captive breeding release programs?
to better mimic natural scenarios experienced by a species in the wild in order to prepare species for a successful release
Give an example of behavioral training to learn to avoid predators.
Wallabies: went extinct in mainland Australia and do not recognize introduced predators as a threat, so the wallabies were trained for a predator response with jumping scare model
Give an example of behavioral training to learn to avoid invasives.
Quolls and Cane Toads: when quolls eat cane toads they get a fatal dose of poison, so quolls were given a non-lethal dose of cane toad sausage (taste aversion learning)
How is taste aversion used in predator control?
- teach coyotes to avoid lamb
- protect sunflower crops from blackbirds
What techniques are used to reduce crop raiding in elephants?
- put bees near crops
- mentor programs to control juveniles
What methods are used to prevent imprinting?
- using puppets during feeding (CA condor)
- play songs from birds in the wild (songbirds)
Why are certain methods used to prevent imprinting?
- to prevent "naughty" behavior
- increase survival and reproductive chances in the wild
What are the effects of social disruption?
- teenagers take over the turf
- unruly juveniles destroy land and homes
How can the effects of social disruption be countered in elephants?
- introduction of mature bulls
What are some ways of measuring biodiversity?
- species richness
- species diversity (Simpson's reciprocal index)
- jaccard coefficient of community similarity
What does the Simpson's reciprocal index tell us about species distribution?
the index can tell us how balanced communities are in terms of how individuals are distributed across species
What is species richness?
the tally of different species within an area
What is the difference between the Simpson's reciprocal index and species richness?
the reciprocal index is much more specific in the way it lays out species distribution in each of the individuals species in the total (not just the total number of species)
What factors can affect prioritization of areas for species protection?
- diversity calculations
- area size and arrangement
- phylogenetic relationships of species in different areas
What are specific problems with knapweed?
knapweed is a noxious weed that creates monocultures and are less preferred by native herbivores and has low nutritional value for cattle
What are some management strategies for knapweed?
- addition of knapweed competitors
- biological controls
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