A-Level biology biodiversity

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  • Habitat biodiversity
    • Where individuals of a species live e.g sand dunes
    • Biodiversity
      • Sampling
        • To measure biodiversity, you must observe all species present, identify them and count individuals
        • Non-random opportunistic sampling: researcher makes decisions on prior knowledge
          • Advantages - easier/quicker
          • Disadvantages - may be biased, colour may entice researcher
        • Non-random systematic sampling: samples taken over fixed intervals e.g transects
          • Advantages - useful when habitat shows gradient in environment
          • Only species along the line can be recorded
        • Sampling plants: use a quadrat and tape measures for random sampling, can generate percentage cover. Use a transect using a long tape measure and use samples along the line
        • Sampling animals: sweep netting - animals are caught in the net for you to observe. A pitfall trap - set in soil to catch small animals and should be sheltered from the rain. A tullgren funnel - collect small animals from leaf litter, a light drives the animals downwards for collection
      • What affects biodiversity?
        • Human population growth: - use the environment to our advantage - alter ecosystems to provide food - destroy habitats - using more resources
        • Agriculture: habitats are destroyed for farming. Monoculture and selective breeding are relied on these reduce genetic diversity and cause genetic erosion
        • Climate change: species cannot adapt to constant change so they follow the climate patterns
        • Extinction: up to 20% of species alive today could be extinct by 2030, 800 extinctions recorded since 1500
      • Why maintain biodiversity?
        • interdependence of organisms - when one species number declines it affects other species as they are all intertwined withing an ecosystem
          • The decline of a keystone species (one that has disproportionate effects on the environment due to its abundance) is catastrophic e.g. beavers, their dams have a huge effect on the habitat and preventing floods
        • Genetic resource - genetic diversity declines meaning we lose plants that have potential medicines and vaccines.
        • Economic reasons - purification of water - recycling nutrients - crop pollination - discovery of molecules and medicine. All this impacts food production. When a monoculture is grown, soil depletion happens more quickly
      • Conservation in-situ
        • Carrying out active management to maintain the biodiversity in the natural environment, minimising human impact
        • legislation can be put in place to stop hunting but this can be hard to negotiate
        • wildlife reserves are designated areas for the conservation of habitats, they must consider 1) comprehensiveness such as prevailing environmental conditions, 2) adequacy, is the area large enough? 3) representative, is it diverse?
        • Conservation should not exclude all human activity as it should meet the needs of the indigenous people otherwise conflict may arise
        • Conservation in the UK includes national parks, national nature reserves (NNR), sites of special scientific interest (SSSI), local nature reserves and marine conservation zones
        • Advantages:
          • Plants and animals are conserved in their natural habitat
          • permanently protects biodiversity and natural/cultural heritage
          • facilitates scientific research
          • may provide opportunities for ecologically sustainable land uses
        • Disadvantages
          • Endangered habitats may be fragmented
          • the population my have lost a lot of its genetic diversity
          • The conditions that caused the habitat to become endangered may still be present
          • Can attract poachers
      • Conservation ex-situ
        • Conserving activities take place outside the natural habitat
        • Zoos play an important part in conservation, most concentrate on captive breeding where they use modern techniques such as in-vitro
        • Botanic gardens conserve endangered species, seeds can be collected without much disturbance and the seeds will be stored and can asexually reproduced although they will be identical
        • Seed banks are useful to provide seeds for crops and re-population. the seeds are stored in very dry or freezing conditions. samples are germinated to test if they are still effective
        • Advantages:
          • protected from poaching
          • genetic diversity can be measured
          • Selective breeding can be carried out
          • allows research to occur
        • Disadvantages
          • can be exposed to diseases
          • living outside their natural habitat
          • may be expensive to maintain the environment
          • animals may not behave as normal and reproduction may be difficult
      • An international problem
        • CITES (convention of international trade in endangered species) is an international agreement which aims to monitor international trade in selected species, ensure that trade in wild plants is prohibited
        • Rio convention on biodiversity was signed by 150 leaders which dedicated sustainable development and encourages cooperation between countries
        • Strengthening zoos by importing species from other countries
        • Countryside stewardship scheme improves the natural beauty and diversity of the countryside, it enhances landscapes and improves opportunities for public access. it ensures that land is well managed for species to live and thrive in
  • Genetic biodiversity
    • Variation of individuals of the same species - not identical
    • Biodiversity
      • Sampling
        • To measure biodiversity, you must observe all species present, identify them and count individuals
        • Non-random opportunistic sampling: researcher makes decisions on prior knowledge
          • Advantages - easier/quicker
          • Disadvantages - may be biased, colour may entice researcher
        • Non-random systematic sampling: samples taken over fixed intervals e.g transects
          • Advantages - useful when habitat shows gradient in environment
          • Only species along the line can be recorded
        • Sampling plants: use a quadrat and tape measures for random sampling, can generate percentage cover. Use a transect using a long tape measure and use samples along the line
        • Sampling animals: sweep netting - animals are caught in the net for you to observe. A pitfall trap - set in soil to catch small animals and should be sheltered from the rain. A tullgren funnel - collect small animals from leaf litter, a light drives the animals downwards for collection
      • What affects biodiversity?
        • Human population growth: - use the environment to our advantage - alter ecosystems to provide food - destroy habitats - using more resources
        • Agriculture: habitats are destroyed for farming. Monoculture and selective breeding are relied on these reduce genetic diversity and cause genetic erosion
        • Climate change: species cannot adapt to constant change so they follow the climate patterns
        • Extinction: up to 20% of species alive today could be extinct by 2030, 800 extinctions recorded since 1500
      • Why maintain biodiversity?
        • interdependence of organisms - when one species number declines it affects other species as they are all intertwined withing an ecosystem
          • The decline of a keystone species (one that has disproportionate effects on the environment due to its abundance) is catastrophic e.g. beavers, their dams have a huge effect on the habitat and preventing floods
        • Genetic resource - genetic diversity declines meaning we lose plants that have potential medicines and vaccines.
        • Economic reasons - purification of water - recycling nutrients - crop pollination - discovery of molecules and medicine. All this impacts food production. When a monoculture is grown, soil depletion happens more quickly
      • Conservation in-situ
        • Carrying out active management to maintain the biodiversity in the natural environment, minimising human impact
        • legislation can be put in place to stop hunting but this can be hard to negotiate
        • wildlife reserves are designated areas for the conservation of habitats, they must consider 1) comprehensiveness such as prevailing environmental conditions, 2) adequacy, is the area large enough? 3) representative, is it diverse?
        • Conservation should not exclude all human activity as it should meet the needs of the indigenous people otherwise conflict may arise
        • Conservation in the UK includes national parks, national nature reserves (NNR), sites of special scientific interest (SSSI), local nature reserves and marine conservation zones
        • Advantages:
          • Plants and animals are conserved in their natural habitat
          • permanently protects biodiversity and natural/cultural heritage
          • facilitates scientific research
          • may provide opportunities for ecologically sustainable land uses
        • Disadvantages
          • Endangered habitats may be fragmented
          • the population my have lost a lot of its genetic diversity
          • The conditions that caused the habitat to become endangered may still be present
          • Can attract poachers
      • Conservation ex-situ
        • Conserving activities take place outside the natural habitat
        • Zoos play an important part in conservation, most concentrate on captive breeding where they use modern techniques such as in-vitro
        • Botanic gardens conserve endangered species, seeds can be collected without much disturbance and the seeds will be stored and can asexually reproduced although they will be identical
        • Seed banks are useful to provide seeds for crops and re-population. the seeds are stored in very dry or freezing conditions. samples are germinated to test if they are still effective
        • Advantages:
          • protected from poaching
          • genetic diversity can be measured
          • Selective breeding can be carried out
          • allows research to occur
        • Disadvantages
          • can be exposed to diseases
          • living outside their natural habitat
          • may be expensive to maintain the environment
          • animals may not behave as normal and reproduction may be difficult
      • An international problem
        • CITES (convention of international trade in endangered species) is an international agreement which aims to monitor international trade in selected species, ensure that trade in wild plants is prohibited
        • Rio convention on biodiversity was signed by 150 leaders which dedicated sustainable development and encourages cooperation between countries
        • Strengthening zoos by importing species from other countries
        • Countryside stewardship scheme improves the natural beauty and diversity of the countryside, it enhances landscapes and improves opportunities for public access. it ensures that land is well managed for species to live and thrive in
  • Species biodiversity
    • Variation of individuals of the same species, similar enough to produce fertile offspring
      • Two habitats may have an equal number of species but may not be equally diverse
      • No. plant species - species richness, Degree of which they are represented - species evenness
  • Random sampling: sample sites randomly by generating coordinates
    • Advantages - ensures data is non-biased
    • Disadvantages - may not cover all areas of habitat equally leading to an underestimate

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