Lec_19_S07

Lec_19_S07 - Environmental and population issues of the...

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1 Environmental and population issues of the 21 st century Conservation Biology Biodiversity Biodiversity in Ecosystems Threats to biodiversity Conservation Methods
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2 Limits to Food Chain Length • Energy transfer - energy is lost at each level • Stability - take longer to return to their original state after a disturbance • Environmental Complexity - 3-D environments offer more resources than 2-D environments Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change • 1998 - Discernable human influence on climate • 2001 - Most of the warming over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities
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3 Global Biogeochemical Cycles • As nutrients leave one ecosystem, they enter another • This links individual biogeochemical cycles together • Local and global cycles interact when water, organisms or wind move nutrients Human Impacts and Global Warming • Rapid increase of human population size • Increased use of resources by all of those people
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4 Plant-based fossil fuels • In most worldwide economies the first fuel to replace wood is coal (80% of energy used in China) • Wood based economies added less CO 2 to the atmosphere than coal burning • What will the next generation of plant-based fuels be? Environmental issues of the 21st century require an American population/the world to rely on scientific findings and not dismiss them as ravings of “environmental wackos.” Most issues facing planet Earth have an important component that is biological. The world cannot afford to have critics rejecting discoveries in atmospheric sciences, marine sciences, ecology, and evolutionary biology as trivial. The consequences are, unfortunately, too dire.
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5 Types of Biodiversity • Genetic - genetic variability of the individuals within a species • Species - variety of different life forms • Ecosystem - biotic communities and abiotic factors Why is biodiversity important? • Human impacts • Aesthetic benefits • Ecosystem function
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6 Threats to Biodiversity Global Warming Habitat destruction Overexploitation Invasive species In general, Joe Q. Public is not capable of sensing yearly (or longer) changes. • Daily and seasonal changes are easy to remember…for a while. • Longer: Is there a directional trend or random variation or cyclic phenomena? • Memory fades; memory can be very selective; individuals romanticize details. • Recollections: fact or bias in sampling??
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7 Data keeping and sampling are the ways to quantify changes for analysis. • Regular sampling of weather • Photographic documentation ala The Changing Mile (1965) • Regular sampling of atmospheric gases and water chemistry • Imaging from space (remote sensing) • Science and technology are capable of tracking the long-term phenomena. Scientific data sets show major changes
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Lec_19_S07 - Environmental and population issues of the...

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