11:375:101 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Pollination, Keystone Species, Northern Hemisphere

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Biodiversity is vital to sustaining life on the earth. It is one of the principles of sustainability. Biodiversity is a crucial part of the earth"s natural capital. Species=set of individuals who can mate and produce fertile offspring. Estimated 8 million to 100 million species on earth. Species diversity=the number and abundance of species present in different communities. Genetic diversity=the variety of genetic material within a species or a population. Ecological diversity=the variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems found in an area or on the earth. Functional diversity=the biological and chemical processes such as energy flow and matter recycling needed for the survival of species, communities, and ecosystems. High biodiversity tends to increase the sustainability of ecosystems. All life on earth originates from a universal common ancestor. Life on earth changes over time through changes in the genes of populations. Populations evolve when genes mutate, giving some individuals genetic traits, which increase survival and reproductive success (natural selection)

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