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Haley Nantz
II C Ecosystem Diversity
An ecosystem is a community of different species that interact with each other
Ecosystem diversity is the diversity of a place at the level of ecosystems
examples: rainforests, coral reef, forests, and marine ecosystems
1. Biodiversity
Very important natural resource on Earth
Habitat loss is the greatest threat to biodiversity
Loss of biodiversity is a huge concern because it enables the threat of extinction
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established by President Nixon
in 1970 to protect human health and protect/preserve Earth’s air, water, land, and
endangered species
The Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973 to identify endangered
species and protect biodiversity
Genetic diversity- variety of genetic material within a species or population
Species diversity- number of species in different habitats
Ecological diversity- variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
Functional diversity- biological and chemical processes needed for survival of
2. Natural Selection
Charles Darwin had a Theory of Evolution in his book The Origin of Species and
one of his points was natural selection
Natural Selection is organisms with favorable variations will survive and pass the
favorable traits onto their offspring, while those with unfavorable variations will
die and not pass on their traits. Over time natural selection will accumulate the
favorable traits and ultimately the species will evolve with them
example: MRSA has been continually treated with antibiotics that it is now
resistant to most drugs.
Directional selection- an environmental change happens that gives an advantage
to one end of the spectrum and it eventually shifts only to that end
Stabilizing selection- selection is for the average and not the extremes
Disruptive selection- selection is for the extremes and not the average
Natural selection also occurs in isolated subpopulations so it can produce a new
species that can adapt
This isolation can be geographic (mountain range separates a species),
reproductive ( members cannot reproduce with others), or ecological ( members
live in different places)
3. Evolution
Evolution is the change in inherited traits of a population of organisms through
successive generations
Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution had a few key points:
-similar organisms produce similar organisms
-number of offspring if often overproduced
-organisms must compete with each other and other species for limited
-each organism has individual traits it can pass on to its offspring
-some traits are favorable
-natural selection occurs and will gather favorable traits and evolve
4. Ecosystem Services
- The resources or functions an ecosystem provides for humans
- example: The fish in marine ecosystems provide food for humans and provide
jobs for many people through commercial fishing
- Services are separated into products and functions
- These services are hard and very expensive to duplicate because they are
- They are threatened by human expansion and human need
- Ecosystem Services are valuable because humans rely on them so much to do
things such as purify air and water, control pests, and maintain biodiversity
Outside Sources
Kaplan AP Environmental Science 2010 edition