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BIOL 3020 (30)
Lecture

Conservation Biology

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Department
Biology
Course
BIOL 3020
Professor
Scott Brandon
Semester
Fall

Description
 many species depend on particular patterns of disturbances on the landscape such as fires and windstorms  conservation biologists work to assess whether reestablishment of historic disturbance patterns can help preserve biodiversity  many plant species require periodic fires for successful establishment and survival but however controlled burning is a common forest management tool ■ scars in the annual growth rings of trees preserve evidence of past fires that didn't kill them ■ researchers can determine when fires occurred, how severe they were and when fire patterns changed  annual growth rings showed that low-intensity fires were common near L.A until 1900  after that cattle and sheep grazing and fire suppression reduced the frequency of low-intensity fires  without these fires, dead branches and needles accumulate in forests  the belief that human know how to create functioning ecosystems has resulted in policies that make it easy to get permits for developments that destroy habitats  regulators believe that alternate wetlands can be created and so allow existing wetlands to be destructed ■ in southern California, 90% of coastal wetlands have been destroyed and wetland restoration is a high priority ■ since the species have been lost, it is not easy to reintroduce the species ■ previous attempts to create wetlands have failed and so established a large field experiment to discover why  found that experimental plots planted with species-rich mixtures developed a complex vegetation structure  species-rich plots accumulated nitrogen faster  many people would like to consume only natural products that have been harvested in ways that protect biodiversity and ecosystem productivity  Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – established criteria that a forest products company must meet for its products to be certified ■ had most impact on forest management in temperate zones but certification of tropical zones is growing rapidly ■ Marine Stewardship Council was also formed to serve same purpose for marine products  Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) – legal mechanism prohibiting the exploitation of endangered species in an international agreement ■ review status of species on its protected species lists, determine which species no longer need protection and add new species ■ prohibits international trade of whale meat, rhino horn and species of parrots and orchids ■ ban on trade of elephant ivory but in some countries government officials kill them in order to maintain population and sell ivory to raise money for conservation efforts ■ in 2002, 6.5tons of illegal ivory were seized in Singapore  some species are endangered by invasive exotic species, controlling these invasives is an important component of conservation biology  best way to reduce damage caused by invasive species is to prevent their introduction ■ transoceanic transport of invasive species in ballast water could be solved by deoxygenating ballast water before it is pumped out ■ invasive potential of a plant should be assessed prior to the introduction and marketing
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