• Created by: hads_nyc
  • Created on: 13-02-17 17:25

Factors influencing biodiversity

1) Lack of or more of light, heat and rain  

  • Lack of light and heat leads to less energy in ecosytem hence cant support much
  • More heat and light leads to more energy ie grass so therefore more speices and animlas can survive in that area and less compition

2) Isolation of islands

  • Less invasive speices ,Endinism 
  • Less or no human interference (longer no interfered eveloutionary timelines
  • Naturally adapted over time 

3) High altidues 

  • Increase biodiverstiy due to more niches (surving at highets)

4)Large areas

  • Less compition , more space for food and reproduction

5)Nutrient cycle rapid in tropical storms - Effeicent recyle of energy

1 of 21

Quick Facts about Hotspots and Biodiversity

  • Biodiveristy hotspots cover 2.3% of the globe
  • Each has lost 70% of natural vegitation
  • Over 50% of worlds species and 42% of verterbrate species are endemic 
  • Total decribed species in world is 1,750,000 (possible 14,000,000)

Qualify as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must meet two strict criteria: 

  • Contain at least 1,500 species of vascular plants (> 0.5 percent of the world’s total) as endemics (species found nowhere else on Earth). 

  • Have lost at least 70 percent of its original habitat.


2 of 21

Ecosystems and there values

3 values - Economic , Intrinsic , Bioregulatory system

E- Value due to the economic value of items ie wood like mahogany , Quinneen found in plants for cure for maleria , so plants have value for medicine and Eco-tourism ie Amazon , Wales ect.

I- Value due to the fact it just unique and fasinating ie beutiful scenerys preserved due to its uniqnueness

BS- Co2 , o2 regulation (gases in general) Regulates the atmosphere and hydrological cycles


  • Finiace for protection more insetives to protect 
  • Most hotspots are in tropics ie poor countries therefore its limiting damadge (execpt untill past ledc)


  • Deforestation , decrese biomass , decrese in niches of animals and insects and decrease in genetic diversity
3 of 21

Biodiversity Threats Locations

BIODIVERSITY HOTSPOTS - Threat of extection and has occured in places before 

Cold Enviroments

  • Very few species due to lack of producers at trophic level
  • Removes niches due to climate change as they are used to cold enviroments ! Not enough time to  evolve to be adapted to new enviroment
  • Oil extraction leads to enviromental issues

Small isalnds

  • Isolated
  • sea level change and climate change leads to issues of survival issues for species 
  • Tourism can lead to issues as spcies not used to humans and there iteractions are damaging


  • Over harvest and non sustaniable deforsitation
  • Tourism leads to further enviromental issues
4 of 21

Case Study Mexico

  •  Mexico has the greatest variety of mammals in Central America and is ranked highest in the variety of reptiles 
  •  70% of the world’s species are found in just 12 countries; Mexico is one of them.
  •  It is known as a ‘megadiverse’ country, this is a location of extreme biodiversity. The Conservation International identified 17 of these.

What will threaten Mexico’s biodiversity?

  • RAPID GROWTH –it is the eleventh most populous country in the world with the population currently at approximately 116,220,947.
  • POOR LAND USE STRATEGIES-there is limited water supply; they are facing water insecurity because of their increasing demand and the lack of resources. This is because of a physical water scarcity.
  • DEMAND FOR NATURAL RESOURCES-Mexico is in demand mainly for its seafood and its coffee production.

Managing Mexico’s biodiversity

  • Law enforcement - In 2002, there was a law that prohibits large ships from entering certain protected areas of Mexico’s waters.
  • Partnership - Conservation International and Starbucks’ partnership has promoted coffee production practices that protect biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers. Farmers receive tangible benefits as a result of their climate change mitigation work, e.g. agroforestry and reforestation.
5 of 21

Nutrient cycle

  • Leaf litter is small in the cycle because It is the perfect location for decomposition: temperature and humidity.
  • Little runoff in the tropical rainforest happens because Canopy intercepts a large volume of water and becomes green water.
  • Soil store is smaller in the nutrient cycle because There aren’t large volumes of nutrients because of the ancient ecosystem and when nutrients are decomposed they are taken up by the life in the ecosystem.
  • Human activities can have an impact on the size of the store as in where there is deforestation, or over cultivation, or in where there has been soil erosion, indirectly pollution, e.g. acid rain can have an effect on the nutrient cycling processes. Humans can add nutrients to the soil by fertilisation and this can lead to over-fertilisation and eutrophication

Image result

6 of 21

Measurements of Biodiversity

  • 1.      Ecosystem scorecard- this identifies freshwater ecosystems as the most eco-stressed.
  • 2.      Living Planet Index-this identifies that freshwater ecosystems are seriously threatened as well as forest, Greenland and marine ecosystems.
  • 3.      IUCN Red List (developed by WWF)-an annual listing of endangered species that allows for the identification of extinction hotspots. These are located for the most part in the tropical rainforests, tropical grasslands, polar areas and small islands. Freshwater ecosystems are against identified as having a high percentage of threatened species.
  • 4.      Ecological footprint-a measure of the human impact on the planet).
  • 5.      Millennium Ecosystem Assessment-this highlights the tropical grasslands, marine and freshwater ecosystems and rainforests as under the greatest threat.
7 of 21

Global threats

  • Climate change- significant as if it occurs at such a rapid rate that many species are unable to adapt. If the ‘business as usual’ scenario continues then this will lead to a further increase of other drivers threatening habitats. According to the Stern review, if there is a one degree increase, 10% of land species will face extinction and coral reef bleaching will be more frequent. If there is two degrees increase, between 25% and 60% of mammals in Africa face extinction and 15% to 40% of land species could face extinction. With a three degree increase, there could be between 20% and 50% of land species could face extinction, mangroves would be flooded and coral reefs will die.
  • Rising sea levels-this will threaten to drown large areas and their ecosystems.
  • Population growth-this can put pressures on resource consumption and will pass maximum sustainable yield to unsustainable numbers.
  • Economic-promoted by the governments and large businesses that fail to value the environment and its resources.
  • Pollution-this includes acid rain.This is at a rapid increase majorly in areas such as the inland water and this is a result of industry. This could lead to further pollution because of the emergence of superpower countries as a result of the economic growth- increase in industry.
  • Deforestation- The clearance of forests often has knock on effects on food webs and nutrient cycling. Removal of forest cover could also lead to increased soil erosion and flooding.
  • Desertification- This is the result of both climate change and population pressure.
8 of 21

Loss that has already occured

Temperate Grasslands

  • Over 50% loss by 1950 , Further 5% by 2050


  • 25% loss by 1950, 5% Loss 1950-90 ,2-3% Loss by 2050

Tropical Grasslands 

  • 40% by 1950 ,10% loss 1950-90, 20% loss by 2050

Conifirious forest 

  • 20% loss by 1950 , 5% loss 50-90, 8-9% loss by 2050

Why? Global warming increasing tempratures too quick for the niches of species to adapt , hence there endinism fails and then they die ie tropical areas will suffer the most as the tropics are were most biodiversity is and tempratures will change astronimcally 

9 of 21

Biodiversity Local threats

  • Population pressure = more food required espically in the developing world as population will rapidly increase - thus leads to unsustanible use of ecosytems world wide causing mass loss in biodiversity
  • Overfishing due to higher demand and pressures leads to extiction or a depletion in fish stocks causing starvation and poverty
  • Poverty in the first place leads to a lack of care for ecosytems as want to make money or room for secondary sector ie factories 
  • Globalisation has led to humans spreading and ecosystems and habitats destruction
  • Most global threats start at a local level
  • Tourism leads to trampling , erosion , urbanisation and pollution all human factors ; loss of species natural habitat and less land for species
  • Urbansitation also leads to less geneitc diversity as ecosystems destroyed and replaced with 1 single crop = more suseptable to disease
  • Local deforistation destroys habitats , mining leads to natural gas pollution and irrebuable damadge


10 of 21

Alien Species

  • Occured due to globalsiation and increasing threat 
  • non native species kill of native species in some cases casueing irrebuable ecological concerns and issues
  • How ? They hitch rides of ships , cargo on planes , rucksakes even shoes !

To be a successful alein species you must be 

  • Capable of fast reproduction (rats)
  • Able to dispurse (spread across a large area and fast)
  • Rapid growing (multiple and get roots in fast)
  • Tolerate a range of enviromental conditions (hot, cold , dry , wet)
  • Able to eat a wide range of food ( to survive due to compition)
  • EG. Rats , Goats , Zebra mussel ( ALL HIGHLY DESTRUCTIVE)

Some alien species are introduced deliberatly (rodadendrum looked nice)

BUT then escape to the wild and have infinate consequences ! 

11 of 21

Ecosystem destruction

  • LDC's - Care for enviroment as usally live off it and have minimal damadge impacts to it
  • LEDC's - Start gaining an economy , primary sector , deforestation occurs but low levels
  • RIC's - Factories introduced , mass destruction , irrebuable damadge , economy driven
  • NIC'S - Irrebuable damadge done , Maitaing quoters , low levels of envirometal care
  • MEDC's - Start to realsie the value , move to cleaner energy now rich , restoration and tourism

12 of 21


  • IndividualPeople - make choices that could affect biodiversity and this depends on their cultural level, economic stability and education levels. 
  • NGO- They help conserve ecosystems and have the ability to influence people’s decisions and ultimately the government’s decisions.
  • National government -The governing body provides rules and regulations but this is dependent on the state government.
  • TNCs -They are focused on developing industries in a range of global locations and their main motive is profit. Depending on their economic status, they can be highly influential on a state government.
  • Big International Non-Governmental Organisation (BINGO)- They are often highly influential on people’s decisions, e.g. WWF.
  • UNESCO (United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation)- They set standards and urge agreements through research. They run the Biosphere Reserves.

Players have big and small impacts and take bottom up and top down approches

13 of 21

Conservation Methods

Total Protection – was the main focus of conservation during the 1960s. Total protection has been criticised as:

  • In developing countries there is a conflict between conservation and cutting people off from biodiversity
  • Totally protected reserves are often narrowly focused for scientific purposes so may fail to take into account social, economic factors etc
  • Many protection schemes are based around political boundaries and not the ecosystem natural boarders
  • These strategies rely on the co-ordination of outside agencies which often forget about the local people’s needs

Conservation – this can involve ex-situ conservation where an endangered species establish a captive population away from its natural habitat.  This includes captive breeding with release schemes and biodiversity banks such as genetic and seed banks in zoos and botanical gardens.  For example – giant panda 

14 of 21

Conservation Methods 2

Restoration – this can include recreating wetlands or linking up small fragmented reserves to produce a large reserve.  These can be very expensive and much of the success depends on how readily plants will reseed and how polluted the land is.

Biosphere Reserves

  • Identifies a core area which is heavily protected with buffer zones around it.
  • Some countries do not have finances to fully monitor or mange these reserves and the pressure from development may be difficult to control.  
  • Occur locally and involve local people and the landscape they know in order to better serve the community and ensuring continued biodiversity e.g. community conservation schemes.  
  • Occur on a national level they aim to inspire further conservation e.g. National Parks. Globally the biosphere designation of the Galapagos Islands helped implement a zoning strategy to solve the problems the area faces. 

Conservation Corridors 

  • A link of wildlife habitat, generally native vegetation, which joins two or more larger areas of similar wildlife habitat. Critical for the maintenance of ecological processes including allowing for the movement of animals and the continuation of viable populations.
15 of 21

Daintree Case Study

  • Covers 0.2% of Australia.
  • It is designated a World Heritage Site, parallel to the Great Barrier Reef.
  • 70% of tourists are independent travellers.
  • Largest range of ferns in Australia.
  • 65% of Australia’s butterfly and bat species.
  • Home to the greatest number of plants and animals in Australia.
  • Oldest rainforest.
  • Things to do ; Fishing , Bike riding, Reef diving, Horse riding, Snorkelling

Average tourist?

  • They are independent , Back packers: usually under the age of 34.
  • Usually as a result of eco-tourism and so are usually wealthier than package holiday travel makers.
  • They stay for an average 3 to 4 days approximately 3 to 4* and a majority are domestic (from Australia).
16 of 21

Daintree case study 2

What limits the growth of tourism in the Daintree?

  • Laws as a result of the double World Heritage sites. , Inaccessible ,Little services

How is tourism development threatening the Daintree?

  • Socio-economic- competition of shops as supermarkets outcompeted local businesses because of the increasing demand. There are rising house prices as a result of the increased interest in the development of the area.  Ecotourism can prove to be beneficial.
  • Environmental - land clearing for development: 85 rare plant species will become extinct if they do not reduce this clearing. Pollution, this is especially important in areas such as the Great Barrier which are vulnerable to such threats.
17 of 21

ANWAR Case Study

  • It is located in the northern part of Alaska; it runs from the mountains of the Brooks Range north to the Arctic Ocean.
  • 1.5 million acres of the area (the Coastal Plain) is not designated as a ‘wilderness’ and so could be exploited for its oil exploration and drilling.
  • The USA imports vast amount of oil- a million barrels a day from Iraq.
  • The stakeholders of the Coastal Plain include politicians: Republicans (for the development of the oil) and Democrats (oppose the development of the oil).
  • The Arctic Power is a non-profit organisation to prevent oil exploration. 75% of the Alaskan residents support the development of the Coastal Plain.
  •  The Gwich’in people believe that the proposed oil and gas development is a threat because it would damage their gathering.
  • Environmental groups such as the Centre for Biological Diversity which believes in the value of diversity and wishes to protect the ANWR.
  • The Coastal Plain is described as a biological heartland, and this is because there are two hundred species of wildlife found there: polar bears, marine mammals (e.g. bowhead whale), birds, wolves, bears and caribou (reindeers).
  • The Coastal Plain is the last 5% of Alaska’s North Slope that has not been allowed to have oil exploration and development.
18 of 21

ANWAR Case Study 2

  • Fragile and vulnerable ecosystem.
  • The tundra has very low organic productivity (primary productivity) is a measure of how quickly vegetation grows.
  • The ANWR lies in the Arctic tundra and has a polar climate.
  • The winters are long, dark and cold with short summers.
  • Precipitation is low (known as a cold desert) and winds are strong. 
  • Vegetation is low-lying to avoid the strong winds with many of them having small leaves that limit transpiration; they have a short life cycle and short roots to avoid permafrost (permanently frozen surface which is impermeable)



Only 8% of the total ANWR is being considered for exploitation. If oil is discovered there then only 2000 acres would be directly affected by drilling.

Polar bears are very sensitive to industrial activity

Alaska and the USA would benefit from the development of oil exploration.

Some of the birds (e.g. geese) are highly sensitive to human disturbance.

It will reduce USA’s energy dependency on the Middle East’s oil supplies.

There is a risk of oil spills.

Imported oil is very expensive.

Oil and gas will have little effects on the wildlife.

More than 75% of Alaskans favour exploration and production in the ANWR.

19 of 21

Coral Reefs

  • The largest barrier reef is the Great Barrier Reef which is a group of around 2,900 individual reefs stretching for over 2,600km off the state of Queensland Australia. The Great Barrier Reef generated over $4.228 billion from tourism in 2003, 40% of tourists came from overseas.
  • The second largest coral reef is the Mesoamerican barrier reef system which stretches 1,000km from Isla Contoy at the tip of the Yucatan peninsula down to the bay islands of Honduras. The Andros barrier reef in the Bahamas is the 3rd largest barrier reef. Other reefs include the red sea barrier reef and the Florida reef tract which is the largest continental US reef, extending from soldier key to the Gulf of Mexico. The pulley ridge in Florida is the deepest photosynthetic coral reef. 
  • Coral reefs only cover 0.17% of the world’s marine environments, about the area of France, but are home to 25% of all known marine species including fish, molluscs, worms, crustaceans, echinoids and sponge. Although 4,000 species of reef-living fish and 800 species of reef-building coral have been identified and catalogued, scientists believe that these are only a fraction of the total
  •  91.9% of coral reefs are found in the indo-pacific region (including the red sea, the Indian Ocean, south-eastern Asia and the pacific)
20 of 21

Coral reefs Economic value

  • The global economic value of coral reefs has been estimated to be between 298 billion and 375 billion US dollars. According to the WWF the economic cost over 25 years of destroying coral reefs has been estimated to be between 137,000 to 1,200,000 US dollars. Conservation international estimates the total net benefit of coral reefs to be $29.8 billion: tourism and recreation $9.6 billion, coastal protection $9 billion, fisheries $5.7 billion and biodiversity $5.5 billion.
  • The largest barrier reef is the Great Barrier Reef which is a group of around 2,900 individual reefs stretching for over 2,600km off the state of Queensland Australia. The Great Barrier Reef generated over $4.228 billion from tourism in 2003, 40% of tourists came from overseas 
21 of 21


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all Ecosystems and biodiversity under threat resources »