Topics: Biodiversity, Evolution, Ecosystem Pages: 8 (1340 words) Published: May 16, 2013

Quote : Biodiversity is Life!
Biodiversity is the greatest treasure we have... Its diminishment is to be prevented at all cost. - Thomas Eisner

Planet Earth is so diverse! There is diversity of Life, Biodiversity!


• Full variety of life on Earth • The study of the processes that create and maintain variation • Variety of individuals within populations • Diversity of species within communities • Range of ecological roles within ecosystems • Genetic diversity • Species diversity • Diversity of environment & habitat

Three Major Areas

Three Levels

• Variety of genetic information in all individuals ( plants, animals and microorganisms). • Genetic diversity occurs w/n and between populations of species as well as between species. • New genetic variation is produced in populations of organisms that can reproduce sexually by recombination and in individuals by gene and chromosome mutations.

Levels of Biodiversity

• Pool of genetic variation in an inter-breeding population is shaped by selection. o Selection leads to a certain preferred genetic attributes being preferred & results in frequency changes of genes within this pool. • There are about 10B different genes.

Genetic diversity

o Genes which control fundamental biochemical processes are strongly conserved across different species groups & generally show little variation. o Other more specialized genes display a > degree of variation. i.e color, height

Levels of Biodiversity

• refers to variety of and abundance of different types of organisms which inhabit an area. • species diversity can be classified and measured into:

Species diversity

o Species richness – measured by counting the number of species in a defined area. o Species abundance - samples the relative number among species. o Taxonomic or phylogenetic diversityconsiders the genetic relationship between different groups of species. It is the fundamental product of evolution.

"Why do evolutionary biologists care who's related to whom, and how do scientists find out how different animals are related?"

Species Diversity

Levels of Biodiversity

Ecosystem diversity

Encompasses the broad differences between ecosystem types and the diversity of habitats and ecological processes occurring within each ecosystem.

• It is harder to define ecosystem diversity than species or genetic diversity.

• Ecosystem diversity is an essential element of total biodiversity and accordingly should be reflected in any biodiversity assessment.

Species Diversity
• Overall species richness is concentrated in equatorial regions. o Species diversity trend Tropic > temperate > polar region

Global Distribution of Species (Species diversity on earth
estimates (5 M to 30M or as high as 100 M species).

• Diversity in land ecosystems generally decreases with increasing altitude.

• Other factors that influences biodiversity on land are rainfall pattern and nutrient levels. • What about distribution of species in water ecosystems?

Species Diversity

• Species diversity is the product of hundreds of millions of evolutionary history. • Evolutionary process is very much active even at the present times.

Species diversity and evolution

• The process of evolution means that the pool of living diversity is dynamic; o Increases when new genetic variation is produced, a new species is created or a novel ecosystem formed. o Decreases when genetic variation within a species decreases, a species becomes extinct or an ecosystem complex is lost.

Human Interest on Biodiversity
• Researchers and conservationists shaped their definition of biodiversity by their

 Values

 Interests

 Goals

• There is great variety of human perception about biodiversity and, therefore, there are many different reasons why it is important to conserve biological diversity. •...
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