OCR F212 Maintaining Biodiversity

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Module 3: Biodiversity and Evolution
2.3.4 Maintaining Biodiversity
(a) outline the reasons for the conservation of animal and plant species, with reference to economic, ecological,
ethical and aesthetic reasons
Economic Ecological Ethical Aesthetic
Lose potential drugs Disruption of food Religious/spiritual Areas to enjoy for
80% of the world's chains and nutrient reasons recreation
medicines come from cycles Moral responsibility Ecotourism wildlife
plants Regulation of the Right to exist tourism
Loss of fuels, food and climate and
drink, clothing and atmosphere plants
other industrial produce oxygen and
materials (e.g. paper) remove CO 2
How are humans reducing biodiversity?
Disruption of food chains overharvesting
Killing to remove competitors for our food using pesticides to kill insects, fungi and other pests
Pollution especially industrial pollution causing climate change
Habitat destruction e.g. deforestation for agriculture
Inadvertent introduction of new predators and competition to areas
Killing for protection attempting to kill insects that are vectors of disease (e.g. Anopheles mosquitoes) or
to remove the threat of a predator
Agriculture only harvesting one species (monoculture) creates a low species diversity
(b) discuss the consequences of global climate change on the biodiversity of plants and animals, with reference
to changing patterns of agriculture and spread of disease
Climate change has a major impact on the biodiversity of plants and animals. As the climate changes, species that
have lost their genetic variation and are unable to evolve, will be unable to adapt to the changes in temperature
and rainfall in the area where they live. The only alternative for them is to migrate. However, there will be
obstructions to this migration:
major human developments
agricultural land
large bodies of water
For example, the golden toad of the Costa Rican cloud forest moves uphill as the climate warms up to stay in the
most suitable habitat. However when it reaches the top of the hill it has nowhere to go. Therefore this species is
becoming extinct as the climate changes.
Agriculture Spread of Disease
Advantages: Disadvantages : Crops being grown in new areas will encounter new
Grow a variety of Loss of land due to diseases and pests. These crops will not have
different crops in the rise in sea level = resistance to these specific diseases and pests. Higher
same country = increased salinity of temperatures means more species of pests and
increases biodiversity the soil diseases are able to survive and overwinter successfully
Longer growing A change in the and cause greater infestations earlier in the year,
seasons as it is distribution of meaning lower yields and less food for humans.
warmer for longer precipitation
Higher CO 2 levels =
Introduces new pests Human diseases will also migrate. Tropical diseases
more photosynthesis and diseases = lower that thrive in the warmth and moisture of the tropics
Greater evaporation yields may become a problem in Europe. Anopheles
of water = greater mosquitoes that carry malaria may be able to live in
precipitation new areas, causing the spread of diseases to new

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Module 3: Biodiversity and Evolution
(c) explain the benefits for agriculture of maintaining the biodiversity of animals and plant species
Allowing biodiversity to increase means that genetic diversity also increases. Wild animals and plants may hold the
answer to problems caused by climate change as they have adapted to overcome the problems presented by the
environment over many years as well as pests and disease.…read more


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