The opossum shrimp - once food for salmon, now a threat to ecosystem diversity

  • Conservation biology that concerns conserving natural resources for generations to come.
  • Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth.
  • At least 10 to 20% will most likely become extinct in the next 20 to 50 years.
  • Bioinformatics is the collecting of, analyzing, and making readily available biological information.
  • An endangered species is one that is in peril of immediate extinction.
  • A threatened species is one that is likely to become endangered in the future.
  • Genetic diversity refers to genetic variations among the members of a population.
  • Ecosystem diversity is dependent on the interactions between species in a given community. Saving charismatic species is short sighted since that species could disrupt the established ecosystem.
  • Landscape diversity involves a group of interacting ecosystems within a landscape (mountains, rivers, and grasslands for example).
  • Biodiversity hotspots contain a large concentration of species. Examples include the island of Madagascar, the Cape region of South Africa, Indonesia, the coast of California, and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.


  • The biodiversity of species on Earth

    The rosy periwinkle has direct value in treatments for leukemia and Hodgkin disease

  • Most of the prescription drugs used in the US, valued at over $200 billion, were originally derived from living organisms.
  • Species have direct value, including medicinal, agricultural, and consumptive use.
  • Species such as the domesticated honeybee contribute billions of dollars to the agriculture industry because of their pollination.
  • The indirect value of species include biogeochemical cycles, waste recycling, prevention of soil erosion, regulation of climate, provision of fresh water, and ecotourism.
  • Massive changes in biodiversity caused by things such as deforestation have significant impact on ecosystems.
  • Species diversity may even trigger an increase in the level of carbon dioxide absorbed.


  • The ladybug, which controls pests such as aphids

    Coral reefs, which are affected by habitat loss

  • The causes of extinction include habitat loss (85% contribution), exotic species (50%), pollution (24%), overexploitation (17%), and disease (3%).
  • Habitat Loss - occurs in all ecosystems; caused by development of previously species-rich areas; biggest effects can be seen on tropical rain forests and coral reefs
  • Exotic Species - nonnative ecosystem species that tend to have destructive effects on native species; methods of introduction of exotic speices includes: colonization (brought by foreigners), horticulture/agriculture (plant species originally percieved to be beneficial but end up invasive), accidental transport (i.e., by ship)
  • Pollution - environmental change that affects the lives and health of species; causes include acid deposition (sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides become acids in water vapor and come back down as acid rain/snow or salts), eutrophication (over-enrichment which causes excess algae growth, leaving less oxygen for fish), ozone depletion (causing excess UV reflection), and organic chemicals (causes wildlife to produce normal behavior preventing hormones)
  • Climate Change - changes in the Earth's climate; caused by methane and carbon dioxide gases, which cause higher average temperatures; may cause extinction as species try to migrate to more suitable climates (towards the poles)
  • Overexploitation - when the number of individuals taken from a population starts to affect the numbers; includes rare plants and animals (parts of the animal become valuable, such as fur), and overfishing (i.e. trawling nets which is nearly like deforestation)

    Grizzlies - a pinnacle of American wildlife and ecology

  • Preservation and restoration of habitats is important for preserving biodiversity.
  • Habitat Preservation - the world has "hotspots" with unique native species (such as Madagascar)
  • Keystone speices - species that are important to a community, such as bats, which pollinate and spread tree seeds, and the grizzly bear, which can drop as many as 7,000 seeds in a dung pile
  • Flagship species - species that are valued as emotional by humans (for characteristics, appearance, etc.), such as lions, tigers, or dolphins
  • Source and Sink populations - source populations live in favorable areas, and have higher birthrates (compared to death rates); sink populations have lower birth rates that may equal or be less than the death rate
  • Landscape Preservation - benefits not only the target species but others too, for instance, many speicies reside in areas set aside for grizzlies, and also have seen an increase in gray wolf populations
  • Edge Effect - a transition from one habitat from another, and reduces the amount of land available to the habitat due to the difference between the edge and interior; causes population decline and social parasites
  • Restoration - scientific ways to restore ecosystems; three steps: start as quickly as possible, understand the history of the species, and create a self-sustaining ecosystem