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Define biodiversity

the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.


Why does biodiversity matter?

extinction rates
called the biodiversity crisis
-we're in the greatest mass extinction since 65 mya (dinosaurs)


Why have we started caring about biodiversity now? (2 reasons, explained)

large number of people (7 billion)

technological innovation
-dams, claiming agricultural land = intentional
-pollution = unintentional
-all disturb natural lands


What 4 factors cause us concern regarding biodiversity?

-current threats to biodiversity

-accelerating threats

-many are synergistic threats

-biodiversity affects us


What is included in the current threats to biodiversity? What about accelerating threats?

things that cause rapid extinction rates

accelerating threats include the rapidly increasing human population


How does biodiversity affect us?

we depend on natural environment for food, raw materials, medicine, water


What are the 2 goals of conservation biology?

investigate human impacts on species, communities, and ecosystems

develop practical approaches to prevent extinction of species


What is the 3rd odd goal of conservation biology?

to catalog biodiversity


How old is conservation biology?

relatively new field in response to the biodiversity crisis (about 50s and up)


Why is conservation biology called a crisis discipline? (2 reasons)

conservation decisions are made every day
-under severe time pressures
-made without enough information

general theoretical principles are very important
-applicable to many or all species


Conservation biology is multidisciplinary. Name the academic disciplines that help develop general theoretical principles for CB.

Ecology, genetics, taxonomy, biogeography
"academic disciplines"


Name the fields that contribute to the methods of management for recreation and commerce in CB

agriculture, forestry, wildlife management, fisheries, biolgoy

management for high yield of selected species often.


What disciplines help with the real world application of conservation biology

environmental law and policy


What disciplines help us gain respect and knowledge of/for the places that conservation biologists often have to work?

anthropology, sociology, and geography


Describe conservation biology in broad terms regarding the main bullets.

there are 2 main goals.

it is a new field of science

it is a crisis discipline

it is multidisciplinary

it combines basic and applied research

it combines ecological and evolutionary time scales

there are underlying assumptions that diversity is good.


Describe ecological vs. evolutionary time scales

sustainable populations = ecological time.
(is the population growth +, 0, or -)

Adaptation to changing environment = evolutionary time scale
-conservative genetics
(viruses, changing land.)


Name the 4 underlying assumptions of conservation biology

1. diversity of a species is good (complex interactions of sp in natural communities)

2. extinction of sp. by human behavior is bad

3. evolutionary change is good

4. biological diversity has intrinsic value.