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Why should we care?
Diversity measured on three levels
 Genetic
 Species
 Ecosystem
The variation of the
DNA in a species
How different is one
individual from
The number of species in an ecosystem
Scientists use this to measure overall
The variety of habitats in an area
 Example: A river delta has fresh water habitat, brackish
(fresh and salt) water habitat, and a salt water habitat in
one area
Population stability
Ecosystem stability
Natural Resources
Variation in genes provides protection
against disease
Ex: Tasmanian Devils, Jack Russell Terriers
More species with redundant niches (another species
can take its place on the food chain)
 Ex: Sea Otters and Sardines
High diversity leads to more biomass because
they use more resources (light, water, minerals)
 More: oxygen, food, medicine, beauty, and much
 H – Habitat Destruction
 I – Invasive Species
 P – Pollution
 P – Population Growth
 O – Overconsumption
Changing a habitat to suit human needs
 Ex) Dams destroy salmon habitats
Any non-native species that out competes the
native species
 Ex) Himalayan blackberry vs. Washington native blackberry
 Ex) Kudzu -
Changes a habitat so that
animals cannot adapt or
 Ex) DDT
 Ex) Global Warming from
burning of fossil fuels
More humans means more demand for:
 Space
 Food
 Shelter
 Fuel
Leads to more
pollution and
habitat destruction
Individuals using
more than they
need to survive
 USA makes up 5%
of world
population but
produces 33% of