4-30 ecology and genetics of conservation biology

4-30 ecology and - ECOLOGY AND GENETICS OF CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LIFE 57 KLUG pg 663-673 57.1 What is conservation biology-Conservation biology is

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ECOLOGY AND GENETICS OF CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LIFE 57; KLUG pg. 663-673 57.1 What is conservation biology? - Conservation biology is an applied scientific discipline devoted to preserving the diversity of life on Earth. 57.1.1 Conservation biology is a normative scientific discipline - Conservation biology is a normative discipline—that is, it embraces certain values and applies scientific methods to the goal of achieving these values. -They are motivated by the belief that preservation of biodiversity is good and that its loss is bad. - Conservation biology is guided by three basic principles: Evolution is the process that unites all of biology. To be effective in preserving biodiversity, we need to know how evolutionary processes generate and maintain that diversity. The ecological world is dynamic. There is no static “balance of nature” that can serve as a goal of conservation activities. Humans are a part of ecosystems . Human activities and needs must be incorporated into conservation goals and practices. 57.1.2 Conservation biology aims to prevent species extinctions - People are concerned about maintaining Earth’s biodiversity because they recognize its value. People value biodiversity for many reasons: Humans depend on other species for food, fiber, and medicine. Species are necessary for the functioning of ecosystems and the many benefits and services those ecosystems provide to humanity Humans derive enormous aesthetic pleasure from interacting with other organisms . Extinctions deprive us of opportunities to study and understand ecological relationships among organisms . The more species that are lost, the more difficult it will be to understand the structure and functioning of ecological communities and ecosystems . Living in ways that cause the extinction of other species raises serious ethical issues that increasingly concern philosophers, ethicists, and religious leaders because those species are judged to have intrinsic value. 57.2 How do biologists predict changes in biodiversity? - For four reasons, scientists cannot accurately predict the number of extinctions that will occur during the coming century: We do not know how many species live on Earth . Many of the species that may become extinct during the next 50 years have not even been named and described! We do not know where species live . The ranges of most described species are poorly known. It is difficult to determine when a species actually becomes extinct . We do not know what will happen in the future . The number of extinctions that actually occur will depend both on what humans do and on unexpected natural events. - Despite these difficulties, methods exist for estimating probable rates of extinction resulting from human actions such as habitat destruction. One tool often used in making such estimations is the species–area relationship , a well-established mathematical relationship between the size of an area and the number of
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This note was uploaded on 09/02/2009 for the course BIO 315H taught by Professor Payne during the Spring '08 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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4-30 ecology and - ECOLOGY AND GENETICS OF CONSERVATION BIOLOGY LIFE 57 KLUG pg 663-673 57.1 What is conservation biology-Conservation biology is

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