BIOC63Fall2013 LECTURE 1.docx
BIOC63Fall2013 LECTURE 1.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Biological Sciences
Karen Williams

BIOC63Fall2013 Lecture 1 Notes: Patterns and Processes What is Biodiversity? o Umbrella term for nature’s variation o Different hierarchical levels: o Genetic diversity, species diversity (ex: flowing plants in South Africa), community (habitat) diversity (ex: small section of Canada and see how many different types of boreal forests, tropical forests etc you have in the area), ecosystem diversity, biome diversity o Media  mostly covers species biodiversity o Example: species diversity of flowering plants in South America is huge o Community diversity refers to the different species within a community  for example different types of forests within North America o o then at an even larger level, we have ecosystem and biome diversity o How many species are there? o 1.75 million species living that are described o 300 000 fossil species o 300 new species/day being described o we do not really know how many undescribed species there are  so we do not really know the total number of species o example: trachanphyta (flowering plants) about 50% is undescribed, while 96% of Chordata (vertebrates) phylum is described 1 o Great Smokey Mountains National Park (US) o mostly invertebrates (where most in unknown) and some non-vascular plants (mostly unknown), mostly known vascular plants and almost all known vertebrates o o the species that make up most of the living organisms in this park, are invertebrates  these are also the ones where most species are unknown Biodiversity through time o nothing lasts forerever o average species existence = 4 million years o diversity = speciation rate – extinction rate o background average extinction rate = 2.5 species /year  without human interference, or major catastrophe Exceptions: Livin
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