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Global Change

2 Pages

Biology (Sci)
Course Code
BIOL 111
Irene Gregory- Eaves

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17/11/11 Global Change Rates of change in ecosystems has increased dramatically since industrial revolution Anthropocene: Current period in Earth’s history characterized by the large changes human have had on ecosystem on a the global scale Global Change: planetary scale changes in biophysical and socio-economical processed altering structure and function of Earth Ecosystem services: 1. provide services (food, water, flood control, coil stabilization, climate regulation, carbon fixation) 2. reducing famine and disease and poverty 3. financial benefits, w/o a healthy ecosystem economy can’t flourish Millennium ecosystem assessment: -Started by UN in 2001 to track our ecosystem changes, reviewed by experts and prepared globally, assessing globally and regionally - Substantial and irreversible ecosystem losses over 50 years (ex. Land to crop land in 30 years than in the past 150 years, 20% of coral reefs lost and 20% degraded in past several decades, 35% mangroves lost, water in reservoirs x4 since 1960, withdrawals from rivers and lakes x2 since 1960) Main forms of global change: 1. Habitat change: a. Over last century most severe in tropical forest, temperate grassland, inland water, coastal b. Tropical forest: most diversity, landcover has declined 90% = ½ species lost  1 million species projected to be lost by the end of the 21 century i. The greater the patch size the less effect the edge habitat changes will have, as patch decreases a greater proportion is on the undesirable edge ii. Isolated patches lose species more quickly than connected patches iii. Lungs of the earth?: cover 3% of earth surface, have highest average net primary production, but are not as important as oceans cause oceans are bigger 2. Climate change: a. Had greatest impact on polar regions i. Mean warming in 2007 since 1950-19
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