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Chapter_57_-_Conservation_Biology - Copy.doc

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Forensic Science
FSCI 1010U

Chapter 57Conservation BiologyConservation biologyan applied scientific discipline devoted to preserving the diversity of life on Earthmodern conservation biology is supported by and integrated with other scientific disciplineshumans study the full array of goods and servicesthat humans derive from species and ecosystemsits a normative disciplineembraces certain values and applies scientific methods to the goal of achieving these valuesmotivated by belief that preservation of biodiversity is good and that its loss is badConservation biology is guided by 3 basic principlesEvolution is the process that unites all of biologyThe ecological world is dynamicHumans are a part of ecosystemsearly photosynthetic prokaryotes and eukaryotes generated oxygen making Earths atmosphere unsuitable for anaerobic organisms plants accelerated weathering of the rocks gaining access to rockbound nutrientsendemic speciesspecies that are found nowhere elsehumans have been exterminating species for 1000s of years due to overhuntingPeople value biodiversity becauseHumans depend on other species for food fiber and medicineSpecies are necessary for the functioning of ecosystems and the many benefits and services those ecosystems provide to humanityHuman derive enormous aesthetic pleasure from interacting with other speciesExtinctions deprive us of opportunities to study and understand ecological relationships among organismsLiving in ways that cause extinction of other species raises serious ethical issues because species are judged to have intrinsic valueHow Do Biologists Predict Changes in BiodiversityTo preserve Earths biodiversity we need to both maintain the processes that generate new species and provide conditions that will keep extinction rates no higher than typical levels4 reasons that scientists cannot predict the number of extinctions that will occurWe do not know how many species live on EarthWe do not know where species liveIt is difficult to determine when a species actually becomes extinctWe do not know what will happen in the futureNorth Americas largest woodpecker the ivorybilled pecker was considered extinct for 60 years until recently where there have been claimed sightings Speciesarea relationshipa wellestablished mathematical relationship between the size of an area and the number of species it containsconservation biologists have measured the rate at which species richness decreases with decreasing habitat patch sizefound that a 90 loss of habitat will result in the loss of half the species that live in and depend on that habitatcurrent loss of tropical evergreen forests the most speciesrich biome is 2
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