Lecture%203%20answers

Lecture%203%20answers - Answers to study questions Lecture...

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Answers to study questions Lecture 3, Biodiversity and ecosystem function 1. Define biodiversity. Biodiversity can be defined as the full diversity of life on Earth, including the diversity of all organisms (plants, animals, fungi, microorganisms) in all habitats (terrestrial, marine, freshwater), and at different levels of biological organization (within species [within population, across populations], across species, across communities of organisms, or across ecosystems). 2. Why might it be difficult to know whether or not an environmental perturbation has caused extinction and thereby reduced species-level biodiversity? Two major reasons why it is difficult to evaluate the impact of an environmental perturbation (e.g., the introduction of an exotic species, human destruction of an ecosystem, or global climate change) are: (1) much of the species-level biodiversity present on earth has not yet been described, and (2) it is hard to know with certainty whether a given species has actually gone extinct, or whether instead its densities have declined to such low levels that it is simply hard to document its continued existence. 3. When measuring biodiversity, the Shannon-Wiener index might be preferred over species richness because: a.
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