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Biodiversity under threat
Key terms

Biodiversity- UN convention of biological diversity, 1992 earth summit, Rio, `biodiversity means the
variability among living organisms from all sources- terrestrial, marine and aquatic ecosystems and
the ecological complexes of which they are part: this included diversity within species, between
species and of ecosystems.'


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Habitat- an organism's home. Scale varies from small specific location (under a leaf) to a global

Ecofootprint- a measure of biodiversity threat. A measure of human demand on the earth's
ecosystems. It represents the amount of productive land and sea needed to supply humans with the
resources they require.…

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Greatest biodiversity is found in tropical rainforest areas which have more than half of the world's
species but only cover 7% of the earth's surface. Brazil has the most biodiversity as it contains the
amazon rainforest.

Biodiversity hotspots

Biodiversity hotspots are areas of high biodiversity. Myers ­ hotspots are areas…

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Biodiversity is valuable for tourism and recreation

The value of ecosystems

Ecosystems provide both goods and services

Goods/ provisioning services- things that have a monetary value

Food- hunting and gathering and farming
Fresh water supply
Wood and fibre
Fuel wood

Regulating services

Atmospheric gases
Flood regulation
Disease regulation
Water purification…

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exist on smaller scales. The optimum temperature for most reefs is 26-27°C. However the reefs in
the Persian Gulf have adapted to temperatures of 13°C in the winter and 38°in summer.

Most of the coral reefs around today were formed after melting ice caused sea levels to rise at

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Why are coral reefs important?

Coral reefs are called the `rainforests of the sea' as they have the greatest amount of ocean life
and are the most biodiverse ecosystem on earth with 30 of 34 known animal phyla present. Coral
reefs are some of the most biologically rich ecosystems. Coral…

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species can be caught from coral reefs using spears, traps and other native methods. Coral reefs
provide food for 1 billion people in Asia alone. 25% of the entire LEDC fish catch comes from coral

Coral reefs make a major contribution to commercial fishing. Globally 20% of animal protein…

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A report published in the journal `science' in 2005 said that the reefs in Hawaii were
approximately 60% on their way towards ecological extinction.

Coral reefs are under threat from human actions including; pollution, overfishing, oceanic
acidification, coal mining ,disease, dynamite and cyanide fishing, sedimentation, bleaching caused
by rising ocean…

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According to the World wildlife fund (WWF) more than 80% if the world's shallow reefs are
severely overfished.

Threats to coral reefs are so severe that they now have legal protection and are included in the
global 200 list of environmental- endangered areas. Regions at particular risk are identified as;…

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and recreational activities such as scuba diving. There are also a number of major ports and
shipping lanes within or adjacent to the reef. These activities and their indirect benefits form a
significant and growing population of Queensland's regional economy.

The federal environmental protection and biodiversity protection act of 1999…


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