Flashcards in Issues relating to biodiversity Deck (34)
What is biodiversity?
All biotic beings!
The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, aquatic and marine eocystems.
the global stocks of biological diversity generate a flow of services to all societies on earth.’
What are the three components of biodiversity that have a hierarchal and niche overlap?
Ecological diversity – Biomes, bioregions, Landscapes, Ecosystems, Habitats, Populations
Taxonomic diversity – Kingdoms, Phyla, Famililes, Genera, Species, Sub species, Populations, Individuals
Genetic diversity – Populations, Individuals, Chromosomes, Genes, Nucleotides
How is biodiversity measured?
Biodiversity cannot be measured precisely, however species richness can be used (number of species in a given area).
What is the problem measuring biodiversity with species richness?
• What constitutes a species is not well defined.
• Species that are taxonomically similar may be ecologically different
• Species vary in abundance within communities, with few being dominant
• Counting species does not take into consideration how varied each species is, for example, genes provide the adaptive variability for resilience to environmental change, and different populations retain different adaptation.
How many species are there in the world?
It is estimated that there are between 7 and 30 million different species on the earth, but there may be up to 100 million. However, the current best estimate ranges from 12.5-14 Million species.
How many species have been scientifically described?
1.75 – 2 Million species
What is the pattern of gradients in species richness is there
Species richness decreases polewards from the tropics
Why should biodiversity be conserved?
Biodiversity is under threat from anthropogenic driven changes such as habitat loss and climate change. In addition to this, biodiversity provides humans with significant benefits, such as food and clean water from ecosystem services.
What are the reasons biodiversity should be conserved?
Moral and ethic responsibility
Living beings are intrinsic in nature (end in themselves).
What would happen if we lost biodiversity?
Crisis. Loss of food, building materials, recreation. Basically the loss of ecosystem services which contribute to human well-being.
What are the specific concerns for biodiversity?
Population growth and increasing rates of consumption
Half of the habitable planet has already been disturbed, at least partially by humans
Verge of mass extinction of species
Rapidly accelerating losses of species and habitats
Incomplete knowledge of ecosystems and the diversity within them
How rapid is the accelerating loss of species?
Over the last 200 years it is estimated that human actions have raised the current rate of extinction of mammals by 40 times that of the expected rate.
How bad is the loss of species situation in Europe?
64 endemic species are now extinct
38% of bird species are under threat
45% of butterfly species are under threat
5% of sea and land molluscs are under threat
Where have the highest rates of extinction been?
On Islands, mainly due to being endemic species.
What socio-economic factors have been linked to losses in biodiversity?
Poverty and equality
Policies, markets and politics
Social change and development
What are the primary causes underlying the loss of biodiversity?
Increases in demand for resources
Failure of people to consider long term consequences
Unclear views on the value of biodiversity
Failure of correct government policies to address over use of resources
Migration, travel and international trade
What are the key drivers of biodiversity loss?
Losses in species
habitat fragmentation and degradation
conversion of land
introduction of invasive species
In terms of over-exploitation, how bad is fishing in the ocean?
Currently, 75% of commercial marine fisheries are fully or over-exploited
What are the indirect drivers of biodiversity loss?
Science and technology
Culture and religions
In 1992 the CBD outlined some key elements in relation to biodiversity loss and why and how it should be conserved, give three examples
1. Biodiversity has intrinsic value and is of common concern for humanity
2. Governments have power over biodiversity
3. States are responsible for conserving biodiversity and using their resources in a sustainable manner
4. Contributing factors that lead to biodiversity loss should be attacked at source
5. International cooperation is an important part of implementing the Convention
Give three examples of implementation to mitigate biodiversity losses outlined by the CBD
1. Develop national biodiversity strategies, plans and programmes
2. Identify and monitor important components of biodiversity
3. Establishment of protected areas and protected resources
4. Implement measures for sustainable use, including economic and social incentives
5. provide funds for less developed countries to implement
What measures are required for the conservation of biodiversity?
Adoption of more ecologically based management that takes into consideration the effect on biodiversity when extracting and using resources
In situ (conservation on site). Legal protection, implementation of species recovery and management plans, establishment of protected areas
Ex situ (conservation off-site). Aquariums, botanic gardens, seed banks, museums, zoos. Can conserve stocks, but does not sustain viable populations of species
Sustainable use of biodiversity
Key component of social and economical development. Flexibility in management is needed to respond to changing social, biological and physical environments, whilst still maintaining ecosystem functions
What measures are required for the conservation of biodiversity? (2)
Equitable sharing of benefits
Fair sharing of benefits from biodiversity, including access to genetic resources
Role of research and monitoring
Can promote correct management and policy-making. Future research can contribute to the provision of ecological services, so that services can be sustainable
Committed and skilled people are fundamental to the maintenance and sustainable use of biodiversity
What are the key messages from the loss of biodiversity? i.e. who is to blame?
Humans are to blame. We have rapidly changed ecosystems in the last 50 years causing a substantial and irreversible loss in biodiversity
Give examples of potential gains from ecosystem services
Economic activity increases by 6-fold
Food production increasing by 2.5
Timber production improving by half
Give examples of market values from ecosystem services
Food production is work $980 Billion per year
Timber production is worth $400 Billion per year
What are the costs of ecosystem services use?
Loss of wealth
Harm to human well-being
What are the prospects for the future (end of Century)?
Direct drivers are going to increase
Degradation is likely to get worse
Population will continue to grow
Ecosystems are being pushed towards the threshold of resilience
Increases in alien species
Nutrient loading is expected to increase by 65%
How is climate change going to develop?
2-6˚ change by 2100
Increased risk of extinction
Increase in vector-borne diseases
BIODIVERSITY IS GLOBAL PROBLEM, BUT MOST DIRECT ACTIONS TO HALT AND REVERSE LOSS NEEDS TO BE TAKEN AT LOCAL AND REGIONAL LEVELS.