What is biodiversity? 13 Explain the terms biodiversity and endemism and describe how biodiversity can be measured, within a habitat using species richness, and within a species using genetic diversity, e.g. variety of alleles in a gene pool.
1. Go to: http://www.snabonline.com/Glossary.aspx?s=negative+feedback Write a definition for Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the variety in living organisms. It is a measure of the variety of organisms present in different ecosystems. This can refer to genetic diversity, ecosystem diversity, or species diversity (number of species) within an area, biome, or planet.
1) Genetic diversity – diversity within a species; animals such as tigers which live in small isolated populations often have low genetic diversity.
2) Ecosystem diversity; a wide range of different habitats in an area will result in a much greater species diversity.
3) Species or organism diversity; many different species are found in tropical forests and on coral reefs – these places have high biodiversities.
Watch the video
What is the value of conserving biodiversity?
Value of nature – by destroying environment you impact economy, the things you attain from nature despite being free doesn’t mean that it is not worth anything. E.g. the wood, fresh water reserves which supply the water to lands etc. By 2050 estimated that economic value of that is 2-4.5 trillion natural capitol each year in loss.
2. Go to: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/biodiversity/why-conserve-biodiversity/index.html What threatens biodiversity?
Summarise the information from page in no more than 50 words
Just because natural resources and the services they provide appear to be free, we should not take them for granted. Biodiversity supports many basic natural services for humans such as fresh water, fertile soil and clean air. It also plays a role in regulating natural processes such as the growth of animals, and even weather systems. There are many areas where the diversity of organisms is untapped:
Food and Drink – about 80% of our food supply come from just 20 kinds of plants. Vast untapped potential for increasing the range of food products suitable for human consumption
Medicines – Significant proportion of drugs derived from biological sources however only a small proportion of the total diversity of plants has been thoroughly investigated for potential sources of new drugs.
Industrial Materials – There is enormous potential for further research into sustainability using materials from a wider diversity of organisms.
Ecological Services – Biodiversity plays a part in regulating the chemistry of our atmosphere and water supply. It is directly involved in recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils. Experiments with controlled environments have shown that we cannot easily build ecosystems to support ourselves. 3. How can biodiversity be measured?
Watch the video links below and make notes about the ways in which biodiversity is measured
Biodiversity can be measured by taking samples at different locations and comparing the results. These samples include; -
Taking a line transect of 100m and every 7 metres taking a litter sample and then hang the sample in Winkler bags to extract the invertebrates from the litter. For 50 m of the transect they sample dead wood and remove any invertebrates they find.
Traps are also used pitfall traps catch animals that are travelling along the floor of the area and slam traps designed to collect insects that are flying 6-8m up into the canopy.
Samples of plants can be taken from areas and then these samples plotted on a map. This can then be used to identify changes in climate and environment in these areas that would affect the plants. Further surveys can also be performed to check up on the plants, monitoring the species in the field and identifying how they are changing.