Biodiversity Under Threat Glossary

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  • Created by: Rhiannon
  • Created on: 22-03-13 13:06
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Biodiversity under Threat
Biodiversity ­ The variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entre earth.
Biomes- A global-scale ecosystem, such as a topical forest or tundra.
Habitat- The ecological and environmental area a species lives in.
Ecosystem services- The benefits ecosystems provide to humans in the form of provisioning
services (goods) and regulating services such as flood control.
Genetic Diversity- The total number of genes found within the genetic makeup of a species.
Essential for evolution.
Species Diversity- The variety of plant and animal species present in an ecosystem.
Ecosystem Diversity- the number of different ecosystems in any given place.
Biodiversity Hotspot- An area containing a huge number of species, many of which are endemic
(only found in one place).
Provisioning Services- Goods/products derived directly from the ecosystem (timber for fuel and
building/ fruit, fish or meat for food).
Regulating Services- Goods/products vital to the functioning of earths systems.
Cultural Services- Provided by ecosystems like aesthetic or spiritual enjoyment.
Supporting Services- Processes such as nutrient cycling and soil formation. NOT services that
support people.
Energy Flows-
Nutrient Cycling- Circulation of chemical elements from the environment to organisms and back
Ecosystem Destruction-Total clearance of an area of an ecosystem.
Ecosystem Degradation- Loss of quality of an area of an ecosystem.
Sustainable Yield-
Carrying Capacity- The population size that an areas resources can support without long-term
degradation. It is related to technology as well as resource quantity.

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Conservation- The active management of areas, ecosystems and landscape. It seeks to balance
the need to protect and conserve with the demands of human activity.
Restoration- Returning a degraded ecosystem or natural system to its former state.
Biosphere Reserves-
Eutrophication- The pollution of ecosystems with excessive nitrate and phosphate from human
Trophic Level- The position of an organism occupies in a food chain - level 1 = producers (plants);
level 2 = primary consumers (herbivores); level 2 = secondary consumers (carnivores).…read more


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