Biodiversity, Land Use, Preserving Nature, etc.

in order to maintain a functional ecosystem, three types of biodiversity must be maintained


What are they?




Define: Genetic Diversity
How large the gene pool is
define: Species Diversity
how many different organisms there are
define: Ecological Diversity
how many different types of habitats there are
scientists have identified __a___ of species and predict there are about __b___ species more out there.  Where are they found? what type of organisms are they?

a: 1.7 million

b: between 3 to 50 million 

found: deep ocean or tropics

Type of organisms: microbes, plants, insects

North America & Europe contain about how much of the world’s species? Why?
10-15% and it has to do with climate. It’s not too hot nor too cold.
Define: Biodiversity Hotspots
Places where many endemic species live and endemic species are species that are only found in one location.
What are some benefits of Biodiversity


Industrial/Commercial products

Ecological Benefits


Aesthetic/Cultural Benefits

Food regarding Biodiversity

In MDCs much of the food comes from farms.  Exception is seafood.


Nuts, seeds, oil, mushroom are “wild” caught food used worldwide


Up to 80,000 wild plants could be used by humans

The economics of not harnessing that ability include

harder to search and find and pick

costs more, takes more time, etc.


Many potential food sources are being destroyed, especially in the tropics, before they can be discovered 

Industrial/commercial products

wood, rattan, cane, bamboo, rubber, oils, waxes


likely many other products


more than half of all prescription drugs contain natural products


pharmaceutical companies are actively looking for species, in tropics

Ecological Benefits


Maintain ecological processesànutrient cycling

 Genetic library

 Suppression of pests and disease causing organisms

Aesthetic/Cultural Benefits


Appreciation of wilderness

types of losses to Biodiversity

loss of abundance 

ecosystem disruption



more than 99% of all species that have ever existed are dead

mass extinction (dinosaurs and marine organisms)

human cause extinctions

extinctions have increased over the last 150 years

How are humans causing extinction?

habitat destruction (main cause)

invasive species: non-native species who thrive in their new habitat who has no biological controls/natural predators



toxic substances

persistent pesticides

heavy metals

human population growth