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Conservation Biology - 5. Habitat Loss

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University of Guelph
BIOL 3130
Andrew Mac Dougall

Conservation Biology Lecture Notes5 Habitat LossHabitat defines the natural conditions where a species livesHabitat loss is the primary cause of extinction worldwide as it is the most serious threat to biodiversityHabitats are not created equally difference habitats result in different demographic performance niches source and sinks Source habitats birth exceed deathsSink habitats deaths exceed births immigration is higher into a sink habitatConservation is not only concerned with where the species are found but also how the population is doing demographically in variable conditions found in its geographical rangeNot all habitat loss has similar consequences some habitats are better than othersHabitat loss todayMost habitat loss occurred by 195083 of the planet transformed60 of all ecosystems highly transformedOutcomes Loss unfolds in many ways from outright destruction urbanization to indirect forms of change pollution eutrophication Effects1By definition populations will be dramatically smaller 2Sampling effect populations outright eliminated 3Less places to make a livingTheoretical implicationsPopulation change is regulated by two major factors rates of birth and death and the population size at time X N With deaths and N necessarily decreasing then the dynamics of the population are sure to change too Is there an extinction debt How quick
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