Biodiversity Notes – Sept. 10/12
- Arthropoda is the most diverse phylum known on earth. Within the arthropoda are insects, crabs,
lobsters, shrimps, spiders, ticks, mites, scorpions, millipedes, and centipedes. Insects are a class and
are very hyperdiverse.
- Entomology is the study of insects.
- The taxonomic classes in order are: domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species.
- There are 3 domains: archaea, bacteria, and eukarya. There are 6 kingdoms: plants, animals, protists,
fungi, archaebacteria, and eubacteria.
- An angiosperm is a flowering plant.
- History of the word biodiversity: Is 24-years-old and was coined in 1986 in a forum in Washington
DC. It combined the words biological and diversity. E. O. Wilson published “Biodiversity” in 1988 and
it became a bestseller and started a field of science and a global biodiversity conservation movement.
- Definitions of biodiversity: General – The diversity of life on earth as represented by the number of
extant (in existence today) species. Broad – All of life, including all if the species (and families, orders,
etc.) on the planet. All of the genetic material that makes up individual organisms and species.
Communities of species and the ecosystems in which they live.
- The word biodiversity is new, but the concept is ancient. Humans have always been interested in
knowing about the kinds of organisms around them. The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322BC) is
important in the history of science. Indigenous people around the world have extensive knowledge of
- Earth is a very biodiverse planet, and biodiversity is located here on earth only and not on other
planets. There are 1.7 million described species on earth. Described species are known species with a
scientific name. Of this, there are 1 million species of insects. Arthropods make up 70% of all
described species (1.2 million).
- Hyperdiverse taxa: A taxon (plural taxa) is a taxonomic unit (a species, genus, family, order, etc.). For
example, the species homo sapiens is a described taxon. Another example is the insect family
braconidae, which is a family of parasitic wasps. It is one of the most diverse families of insects with
over 14,000 described species worldwide.
- Most of the biodiversity in the world is located in megadiverse countries (there are 17 of them).
These countries are considered extremely biodiverse. These countries are mostly located in the
tropics. Most biodiversity is located between the tropic of cancer (north) and the tropic of capricorn
(south). The term neotropical refers to the new world tropics and is the tropical regions of Central
and South America. The term old world tropics refers to regions in Africa and Asia.
- Biodiversity today is a household word and is a central issue of scientific, social, and political
concern. There is a lot of scientific research, but not enough, and