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Biodiversity and Conservation

Biodiversity and Conservation - Biodiversity and...

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7/15/11 Biodiversity and
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7/15/11 Lecture overview What is ‘biodiversity’? 7 Aspects of biodiversity 7 Threats to biodiversity (proximate) 7 Loss of biodiversity: past and present 7 Conserving biodiversity 7 The bigger picture: conservation and sustainability
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7/15/11 What is ‘Biodiversity’? (I) Biodiversity is a contraction of the term ‘biological diversity’ 7 It was first defined as: ‘the variety of life forms...at all levels of biological systems (i.e., molecular, organismic, population, species and ecosystem)...’ Wilcox, 1982 IUCN report
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7/15/11 What is ‘Biodiversity’? (II) Biodiversity has many components (as you saw in the definition) 7 The word is best applied in its most general sense, with respect to diversity among all aspects of life 7 Commonly used to refer to the number of species (species richness), and less
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7/15/11 Aspects of biodiversity Species 7 Richness, evenness and ‘diversity’ (as quantified using heterogeneity indices like Simpson’s D or Shannon’s H) 7 The most prominent and readily recognizable form of biodiversity, thus most commonly used.
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7/15/11 Aspects of biodiversity Genetic diversity -The genetic variation between and within species - Measured as the proportion of polymorphic loci across the genome, or by the number of heterozygous individuals within a
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7/15/11 Aspects of biodiversity Phylogenetic diversity - Takes into account phylogenetic relationships (hence evolutionary history) between taxa
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7/15/11 Aspects of biodiversity Phylogenetic diversity is quantified as the minimum total length of branches required to span a given set of taxa on a phylogenetic tree
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7/15/11 Aspects of biodiversity Phylogenetic clumping within sites has implications for conservation planning 7 Loss of site p1 would result in high level of loss of PD
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7/15/11 The pattern of extinction affects how much evolutionary history (PD) is lost. If extinction is random with respect to phylogeny then relatively little overall PD will be lost. This is because most species have close relatives.
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