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Biodiversity and Evolution
• Biodiversity includes these components:
– Functional diversity
– Ecological diversity
– Species diversity
- Genetic diversity
Functional Diversity
• The variety of processes, including matter
cycling and energy flow within ecosystems,
that result from species interacting with one
another in food webs
Ecological Diversity
• Variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
found in an area or on the earth
Species Diversity
• The number and abundance of species
present in different communities
Genetic Diversity
• The diversity that enables life on earth to
adapt and survive environmental changes
Natural Selection
• Occurs when some individuals of a population
have genetically based traits that enhance
their ability to survive and produce offspring
with the same traits.
• A change in the genetic characteristics of a
population from one generation to another
• Random changes in the structure or number
of DNA molecules in a cell that can be
inherited by offspring.
Evolution by Natural Selection Review
• Genes mutate, individuals are selected, and
populations evolve that are better adapted to
survive and reproduce under existing
environmental conditions.
Human Success
• Strong opposable thumbs
• Upright walking
• Complex brain
Survival of the Strongest
• Fitness – a measure of reproductive success
Geological Processes
Mountains forming
Fragmentation of forests
Entire species cease to exist
Endemic species are found in only one area
This makes them very vulnerable
Mass extinction is a significant rise in
extinction rates above the background level
• Large groups of species
Species Diversity
• Species richness – the number of different
species vs…
• Species evenness - relative abundance of
individuals within each species
• Higher the richness; the more sustainability
Ecological Niche
• The role a species plays in its ecosystem
• Don’t confuse with the species habitat
• Pattern of living
General vs. Specific
• Generalists have a broad niche
• Specialists have a narrow niche
Important Niche Roles
• Native species – thrive in a particular
ecosystem; equilibrium
• Indicator species – provide early warning signs
of damage
• Keystone species – large effect on types and
abundance of other species
• Foundation species – shape and enhance
habitats that benefit other species