BIO 311D Lecture 1: Lecture 1: Script

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7 Feb 2017
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January 18th: Diversity and Its Recognition
And we’re gonna talk about the organization of species diversity in spaces and time, and then we’ll look
at the movement of energy through ecosystems and the movement of minerals. We’ll talk about pollution;
we’ll talk about global warming in relation to ecosystems. And then we’ll talk about population, single
populations, population growth and regulation.
We’ll be talking about temporary extinction, killing off species. We’ll talk about that.
We’ll then go through the genetics evolution part about the course because we have species diversity,
right? Okay. Where do species come from? They come from somewhere, so we’re going to talk about
genetics initially, then we’ll get into more complex more gene comparatives, so we’ll talk about single
trait inheritance and traits that are controlled by multiple genes. And then we’ll move on to the genetic
organization in space; in other words, differences among population. Our populations are not the same
from one part of the world to another. How did that happen? We’ll get into race formation, species
formation. We’ll talk about mass extinctions, and other things related to evolution. So the course is about
half ecology half evolution, roughly.
You have a timetable here; there are a lot of dates. The only dates I guarantee will be is exam one, two,
and three. The final exam is on May 13th.
First Slide
Let’s talk about species diversity. What we’ll talk about first is the slide. It says there are 1,600,000
species have been described, but the world changes from year to year, so now there are about 1,900,000
species. You don’t have to worry about the rest of the slides. Half of the species are insects, which is
interesting.
But how many are actually out there? We don’t know how many species are out there. Yes, it’s estimated
to be 5 to 10 million, probably closer to 5 million, but we don’t know.
Species go extinct and we’ll talk about that, the rate could be a lot higher than we know because a lot of
species that we don’t know might go extinct, we just don’t know about it.
Before we get into the ecological part, let’s understand that a species, unique organisms, is a bottom line
of diversity for us. We’ll get into the scientific definitions of species later, when we talk about species
formation.
If I gave you a whole bunch of animals to look at, you’d say “yeah, these guys are different species.”
However, two different people with different eye colors, you wouldn’t say that they’re different species.
Here are different looking plants, we’ll call them different species.
How you perceive diversity isn’t necessarily how different cultures perceive diversity. Or we could say
that how scientists perceive diversity isn’t necessarily the same as how a hunter gatherer/agricultural
society perceives diversity.
Slide Two
This is an agricultural society in Mexico, this was prior to the introduction of Spaniards and science. We
can use this as an example to generalize other parts of the world. Why do they perceive diversity that
way, and how is that different from how we perceive diversity?
Before we talk about that, let’s understand that there are 1,900,000 species out there. That’s a lot of stuff,
so we group related species into what we call genera.
Genera is the plural form of genus.
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