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    what is a possible cause for a decrease in ecosystem productivity? a. an increase in the biodiversity of the ecosystem b. a decrease of the biodiversity of an ecosystem c. the biodiversity of an ecosystem experiencing no change d. an ecosystem becoming more stable

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    1. Biodiversity: What is it, where is it, and why is it important?

    Biodiversity is a contraction of biological diversity. It reflects the number, variety and variability of living organisms and how these change from one location to another and over time. Biodiversity includes diversity within species (genetic diversity), between species (species diversity), and between ecosystems (ecosystem diversity).

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    Biodiversity & Human Well-being

    Level 3 Questions Next Question Level 1: Summary Level 2: Details Level 3: Source

    1. Biodiversity: What is it, where is it, and why is it important?

    1.1 What is biodiversity?

    1.2 Where is biodiversity?

    1.2.1 Spatial Patterns of Biodiversity

    1.2.2 Temporal Patterns of Biodiversity

    1.3 What is the link between biodiversity and ecosystem services?

    1.3.1 Supporting Services

    1.3.2 Regulating Services

    1.1 What is biodiversity?

    The source document for this Digest states:

    Biodiversity is the variability among living organisms from all sources, including terrestrial, marine, and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species, and of ecosystems.Biodiversity forms the foundation of the vast array of ecosystem services that critically contribute to human well-being.Biodiversity is important in human-managed as well as natural ecosystems.Decisions humans make that influence biodiversity affect the well-being of themselves and others.Biodiversity is the foundation of ecosystem services to which human well-being is intimately linked. No feature of Earth is more complex, dynamic, and varied than the layer of living organisms that occupy its surfaces and its seas, and no feature is experiencing more dramatic change at the hands of humans than this extraordinary, singularly unique feature of Earth. This layer of living organisms—the biosphere—through the collective metabolic activities of its innumerable plants, animals, and microbes physically and chemically unites the atmosphere, geosphere, and hydrosphere into one environmental system within which millions of species, including humans, have thrived. Breathable air, potable water, fertile soils, productive lands, bountiful seas, the equitable climate of Earth’s recent history, and other ecosystem services (see Box 1.1 and Key Question 2) are manifestations of the workings of life. It follows that large-scale human influences over this biota have tremendous impacts on human well-being. It also follows that the nature of these impacts, good or bad, is within the power of humans to influence (CF2).Defining BiodiversityBiodiversity is defined as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems.” The importance of this definition is that it draws attention to the many dimensions of biodiversity. It explicitly recognizes that every biota can be characterized by its taxonomic, ecological, and genetic diversity and that the way these dimensions of diversity vary over space and time is a key feature of biodiversity. Thus only a multidimensional assessment of biodiversity can provide insights into the relationship between changes in biodiversity and changes in ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services (CF2).Biodiversity includes all ecosystems—managed or unmanaged. Sometimes biodiversity is presumed to be a relevant feature of only unmanaged ecosystems, such as wildlands, nature preserves, or national parks. This is incorrect. Managed systems—be they planta­tions, farms, croplands, aquaculture sites, rangelands, or even urban parks and urban ecosystems—have their own biodiversity. Given that cultivated systems alone now account for more than 24% of Earth’s terrestrial surface, it is critical that any decision concerning biodiversity or ecosystem services address the maintenance of biodi­versity in these largely anthropogenic systems (C26.1).Measuring Biodiversity: Species Richness and IndicatorsIn spite of many tools and data sources, biodiversity remains difficult to quantify precisely. But precise answers are seldom needed to devise an effective understanding of where biodiversity is, how it is changing over space and time, the drivers responsible for such change, the consequences of such change for ecosystem services and human well-being, and the response options available. Ideally, to assess the conditions and trends of biodiversity either globally or sub-globally, it is necessary to measure the abundance of all organisms over space and time, using taxonomy (such as the number of species), functional traits (for example, the ecological type such as nitrogen-fixing plants like legumes versus non-nitrogen-fixing plants), and the interactions among species that affect their dynamics and function (predation, parasitism, compe­tition, and facilitation such as pollination, for instance, and how strongly such interactions affect ecosystems). Even more important would be to estimate turnover of biodiversity, not just point estimates in space or time. Currently, it is not possible to do this with much accuracy because the data are lacking. Even for the taxonomic component of biodiversity, where information is the best, considerable uncertainty remains about the true extent and changes in taxonomic diversity (C4).There are many measures of biodiversity; species richness (the number of species in a given area) represents a single but important metric that is valuable as the common currency of the diversity of life—but it must be integrated with other metrics to fully capture biodiversity. Because the multidimensionality of biodiversity poses formidable challenges to its measurement, a variety of surrogate or proxy measures are often used. These include the species richness of specific taxa, the number of distinct plant functional types (such as grasses, forbs, bushes, or trees), or the diversity of distinct gene sequences in a sample of microbial DNA taken from the soil. Species- or other taxon-based measures of biodiversity, however, rarely capture key attributes such as variability, function, quantity, and distribution—all of which provide insight into the roles of biodiversity. (See Box 1.2)

    Source : www.greenfacts.org

    biodiversity loss

    Biodiversity loss, the reduction in an area’s biodiversity (the number of genes, species, individual organisms, or ecosystems) expressed by species loss, population declines and reductions in the genetic diversity within a species, and the collapse of biological communities.

    biodiversity loss

    ecology

    Alternate titles: loss of biodiversity

    By John P. Rafferty • Edit History

    deforestation in Australia

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    Related Topics: climate change endangered species environmental change

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    biodiversity loss, also called loss of biodiversity, a decrease in biodiversity within a species, an ecosystem, a given geographic area, or Earth as a whole. Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is a term that refers to the number of genes, species, individual organisms within a given species, and biological communities within a defined geographic area, ranging from the smallest ecosystem to the global biosphere. (A biological community is an interacting group of various species in a common location.) Likewise, biodiversity loss describes the decline in the number, genetic variability, and variety of species, and the biological communities in a given area. This loss in the variety of life can lead to a breakdown in the functioning of the ecosystem where decline has happened.

    bleached coral seascape

    A sea turtle swimming over a bleached coral seascape near Heron Island, February 2016.

    XL Catlin Seaview Survey

    The idea of biodiversity is most often associated with species richness (the count of species in an area), and thus biodiversity loss is often viewed as species loss from an ecosystem or even the entire biosphere (see also extinction). However, associating biodiversity loss with species loss alone overlooks other subtle phenomena that threaten long-term ecosystem health. Sudden population declines may upset social structures in some species, which may keep surviving males and females from finding mates, which may then produce further population declines. Declines in genetic diversity that accompany rapid falls in population may increase inbreeding (mating between closely related individuals), which could produce a further decline in genetic diversity.

    biodiversity loss

    The primary drivers of biodiversity loss are influenced by the exponential growth of the human population, increased consumption as people strive for more affluent lifestyles, and reduced resource efficiency.

    Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc./Patrick O'Neill Riley

    BRITANNICA EXPLORES EARTH'S TO-DO LIST

    Human action has triggered a vast cascade of environmental problems that now threaten the continued ability of both natural and human systems to flourish. Solving the critical environmental problems of global warming, water scarcity, pollution, and biodiversity loss are perhaps the greatest challenges of the 21st century. Will we rise to meet them?

    Even though a species is not eliminated from the ecosystem or from the biosphere, its niche (the role the species play in the ecosystems it inhabits) diminishes as its numbers fall. If the niches filled by a single species or a group of species are critical to the proper functioning of the ecosystem, a sudden decline in numbers may produce significant changes in the ecosystem’s structure. For example, clearing trees from a forest eliminates the shading, temperature and moisture regulation, animal habitat, and nutrient transport services they provide to the ecosystem.

    Natural biodiversity loss

    An area’s biodiversity increases and decreases with natural cycles. Seasonal changes, such as the onset of spring, create opportunities for feeding and breeding, increasing biodiversity as the populations of many species rise. In contrast, the onset of winter temporarily decreases an area’s biodiversity, as warm-adapted insects die and migrating animals leave. In addition, the seasonal rise and fall of plant and invertebrate populations (such as insects and plankton), which serve as food for other forms of life, also determine an area’s biodiversity.

    Biodiversity loss is typically associated with more permanent ecological changes in ecosystems, landscapes, and the global biosphere. Natural ecological disturbances, such as wildfire, floods, and volcanic eruptions, change ecosystems drastically by eliminating local populations of some species and transforming whole biological communities. Such disturbances are temporary, however, because natural disturbances are common and ecosystems have adapted to their challenges (see also ecological succession).

    Human-driven biodiversity loss

    In contrast, biodiversity losses from disturbances caused by humans tend to be more severe and longer-lasting. Humans (Homo sapiens), their crops, and their food animals take up an increasing share of Earth’s land area. Half of the world’s habitable land (some 51 million square km [19.7 million square miles]) has been converted to agriculture, and some 77 percent of agricultural land (some 40 million square km [15.4 million square miles]) is used for grazing by cattle, sheep, goats, and other livestock. This massive conversion of forests, wetlands, grasslands, and other terrestrial ecosystems has produced a 60 percent decline (on average) in the number of vertebrates worldwide since 1970, with the greatest losses in vertebrate populations occurring in freshwater habitats (83 percent) and in South and Central America (89 percent). Between 1970 and 2014 the human population grew from about 3.7 billion to 7.3 billion people. By 2018 the biomass of humans and their livestock (0.16 gigaton) greatly outweighed the biomass of wild mammals (0.007 gigaton) and wild birds (0.002 gigaton). Researchers estimate that the current rate of species loss varies between 100 and 10,000 times the background extinction rate (which is roughly one to five species per year when the entire fossil record is considered). In addition, a 2019 report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services noted that up to one million plant and animal species are facing extinction due to human activities.

    Source : www.britannica.com

    Biodiversity Flashcards

    Memorize flashcards and build a practice test to quiz yourself before your exam. Start studying the Biodiversity flashcards containing study terms like Which of the following statements about migration is true? a. Migration is always from one region to another. b. Animals always migrate within a region. c. Migration always negatively impacts an ecosystem. d. Animals migrate for various reasons., An increase in the biodiversity of an ecosystem leads to an increase in its productivity., A variety of different mechanisms in nature help create diversity in organism populations. The tundra found in the northernmost parts of the planet is the world's youngest biome. The tundra is home to a variety of plants and animals. Organisms that can be found in the tundra include shrubs, mosses, caribou, polar bears, and wolves. Which mechanism do the different organism populations found across the tundra exemplify? and more.

    Biodiversity

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    Which of the following statements about migration is true?

    a.

    Migration is always from one region to another.

    b.

    Animals always migrate within a region.

    c.

    Migration always negatively impacts an ecosystem.

    d.

    Animals migrate for various reasons.

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    D

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    An increase in the biodiversity of an ecosystem leads to an increase in its productivity.

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    True

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    1/10 Created by graciebarwick

    Terms in this set (10)

    Which of the following statements about migration is true?

    a.

    Migration is always from one region to another.

    b.

    Animals always migrate within a region.

    c.

    Migration always negatively impacts an ecosystem.

    d.

    Animals migrate for various reasons.

    D

    An increase in the biodiversity of an ecosystem leads to an increase in its productivity.

    True

    A variety of different mechanisms in nature help create diversity in organism populations. The tundra found in the northernmost parts of the planet is the world's youngest biome. The tundra is home to a variety of plants and animals. Organisms that can be found in the tundra include shrubs, mosses, caribou, polar bears, and wolves. Which mechanism do the different organism populations found across the tundra exemplify?

    species diversity

    An increase in biodiversity generally causes _______.

    a.

    a decrease in ecosystem stability

    b.

    random fluctuations in ecosystem stability

    c.

    an increase in ecosystem stability

    d.

    no change to ecosystem stability

    C

    What happened to the greenish warbler birds as they migrated from the southern portion of their range up around the Tibetan Plateau?

    a.

    They evolved separately as they moved north and became two separate species.

    b.

    The original species died off, but the ones that were able to adapt to a northern climate evolved into a new species.

    c.

    As a whole the species was able to adapt to a colder climate, but no significant changes occurred.

    d.

    They were unable to adapt and evolve to ensure their survival and became extinct.

    A

    Consider the following food chain:

    Plants are eaten by grasshoppers, which are eaten by mice, which are eaten by snakes.

    What is likely to happen if a new organism that feeds off mice is introduced?

    a.

    The mice population will increase in response to the arrival of the new organism.

    b.

    The mice population, grasshopper population, and plant population will all increase.

    c.

    The new organism will compete with the snake population for resources.

    d.

    The populations of the existing organisms will remain unaffected.

    C

    Which of the following is not a possible reason for migration?

    a. climate changes b.

    diminished food supply

    c.

    reproduction patterns

    d.

    increased biodiversity

    D

    A mutation that causes resistance in a population of beetles is an example of _______.

    a. macroevolution b. microevolution c. migration d. reproduction B

    What is a possible cause for a decrease in ecosystem productivity?

    a.

    an increase in the biodiversity of the ecosystem

    b.

    a decrease of the biodiversity of an ecosystem

    c.

    the biodiversity of an ecosystem experiencing no change

    d.

    an ecosystem becoming more stable

    B

    Organisms can have positive or negative impacts on the ecosystem they live in. The cane toad, or Rhinella marina, was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands in 1932 by sugar cane farmers. Farmers released the toads in their crops to help control pests that were damaging the sugar cane. The cane toad has few natural predators, as it secretes a poisonous toxin from its skin that deters larger organisms from eating it. As a result, the cane toad population thrived and grew to number hundreds of thousands by 1935.

    Which role does the cane toad play in the Hawaiian Islands?

    invasive species

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