05 - CONSERVATION - CONSERVATION I. Humans impact their...

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CONSERVATION I. Humans impact their environment – then and now a. Easter Island, society exceeded carrying capacity (K) b. N. America megamammals; 10,000 years ago, extinct due to human hunting c. Species extinction, destruction fo ecosystesm by humans is not new, but have stepped up pace II. a. Genetic diversity i. Northern elephant seal (mirounga angustirostris) ii. Little genetic variation due to population bottleneck (hunting) b. Species diversity i. Since don’t know how many species there are, hard to predict future extinction rate ii. Conservation international estimates 1 extinction every 20 minutes c. Ecosystem diversity III. Why conserve? a. Useful products/human uses of genes and species i. Useful new products (bioprospecting) ii. Many pharmaceuticals contain substances originally derived from animals and plants iii. i.e. cone snail, “stings” with toxic venom; source of new painkiller (Ziconotide) b. Ecosystem services i. All processes through which natural ecosystems help sustain human life ii. Services include: 1. Purification of air and water 2. Decomposition of wastes 3. Cycling of nutrients 4. Moderation of weather extremes 5. Pollination 6. And many others iii. Get services for free, how do we place value on services? iv. i.e. San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station
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This note was uploaded on 12/10/2008 for the course BILD 632282 taught by Professor Henter during the Fall '08 term at UCSD.

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05 - CONSERVATION - CONSERVATION I. Humans impact their...

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