37 terms

Biodiversity

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Biodiversity
The variety of life across all levels of ecological organization
Species diversity
the number or variety of species in a particular region
Genetic diversity
the differences in DNA among individuals within species and populations
Ecosystem diversity
the number and variety of ecosystems
Ecology
the study of how organisms interact with each other and their environment
Species
a group of individuals that interbreed and produce fertile offspring
Population
members of a species that live in the same area at the same time
Community
All the populations in a particular area
Ecosystem
All the living things an their physical environments within a particular area
Biotic factor
Part of an ecosystem that is living or used to be living. Ex. squirrel, a dead leaf, a cicada bug, bacteria, rotting tree stump, etc...
Abiotic factor
Part of an ecosystem that has never been living. Ex. rocks, air temperature, water, oxygen, light, wind, pH, etc...
Habitat
The specific environment in which an organism lives
Resource
Anything an organism needs. Ex. water, food, living space, etc...
A stable ecosystem is both ____________and _____________.
resistant (can fend off harmful factors) and resilient (can bounce back after harsh natural disasters)
Which group of animals has the greatest known species diversity?
Insects!
Which type of habitat would have greater species diversity- a small forest or a large field of corn?
A small forest would have greater species diversity than a cornfield because species diversity tends to increase with diversity of habitats. A field consisting of just corn is a fairly uniform habitat and cannot support as much life. A forest, on the other hand, consists of more plant types and ecological niches, and thus could support a larger variety of species.
Describe examples of ecosystems services.
Provides us with food, clean air/water, medicine, and other resources.
Provides a cultural, spiritual, and recreational facets to life.
Supports decomposition of wastes (nutrient cycling).
Can regulate global climate change and controls pests/diseases.
Extirpation
The disappearance of a particular population from a given area, but not of the entire species globally.
Endangered species
a species that has a high risk of extinction
Threatened species
a species that is likely to become endangered soon throughout all or part of its range.
Habitat fragmentation
the process by which the land that is suitable for wildlife becomes separated into smaller patches that are not connected.
Poaching
the illegal killing or capturing of an organism
Is extinction a natural process?
YES. Extinction is a natural process. Organisms have been going extinct for all of Earth's history.
Compare and contrast extinction and extirpation.
Extinction occurs when the last member of a species dies. Extirpation, on the other hand, occurs when a particular species disappears from a given area only, not globally.
Describe habitat alteration.
Habitat destruction or change can limit the number of species a habitat will support. This is the greatest cause of biodiversity loss!
Describe overharvesting
Species may become endangered or even extinct if they are trapped, hunted, or otherwise harvested faster than the species can reproduce and grow.
Invasive species
invasive species reproduce and spread rapidly, displacing native species.
What are the reasons for biodiversity loss in an area?
habitat alteration, invasive species, overharvesting, pollution, climate change, etc...
What is the greatest cause of biodiversity loss?
Habitat alteration (habitat change and fragmentation)
Which type of species is more likely to become extinct, an endangered species or a threatened species?
An endangered species because it is at high risk of becoming extinct while a threatened species is at high risk of becoming endangered.
How do the effects of climate change differ from the effects of habitat alteration, invasive species, overharvesting, and pollution?
Climate change affects all of Earth, while the others listed have more local effects, only affecting the part of Earth where they are occurring.
What human activities lead to habitat loss?
forest clearing and road building for land use and development
What are habitat islands and how do they occur?
They are patches of suitable habitat type surrounded by large areas of unsuitable habitat. When humans clear an area for development, they remove, alter, or destroy the resources organisms need to survive.
What factors determine whether nonnative species are considered invasive?
If nonnative species populations increase rapidly and they spread and displace native species, they are considered invasive.
List two nonnative species-- one that is invasive, and the other that is not invasive.
1. zebra mussels-- nonnative invasive
2. honeybees-- nonnative noninvasive
Why do people poach protected animals?
because the animal or parts of the animal can be sold illegally for large sums of money.
How do warming temperatures affect animals that live in cold climates?
Warming temperatures are causing animals to move toward the poles and higher altitudes in search of cooler climate. Some species will be able to adapt. Others, such as polar bears, will not.