Chapter 56: Conservation Biology and Restoration Ecology

type of biology that uses ecology, physiology, molecular biology genetics, and evolutionary biology to conserve diversity at all levels
conservation biology

division of ecology dedicated to the repair of ecosystems and the environment
restoration ecology

What are the three types of diversity?
genetic, species, and ecosystem

What is the impact of the loss of genetic diversity?
harder for a species to adapt- escape the extinction vortex

What is the impact of the loss of species diversity?
change the way an ecosystem functions/ could loose medicinally valuable species

What is the impact of the loss of ecosystem diversity?
extinction of one species could have a negative effect on other species

species that are in danger of extinction at all locations
endangered species

those species considered likely to become extinct in the near future
threatened species

How does habitat loss reduce biodiversity?
-single greatest threat
-could mean extinction for species who have no where else to go
-can occur over immense regions

how do introduced species reduce biodiversity?
free from predators/pathogens/parasites that limit growth
takes away resources from native species

how does over exploitation reduce biodiversity?
could mean population depletion/extinction

What do conservation biologists who adopt the small-population approach study?
processes that cause extinction once population sizes have been severely reduced

downward population spiral in which inbreeding and genetic drift combine to make a small population shrink and eventually become extinct
extinction vortex

Why is genetic drift the key issue in the small-population approach?
-it becomes harder for the species to adapt
-small populations are prone to negative feedback loops of inbreeding and genetic drift that draws the population down the extinction vortex

on what type of population does the declining-population model focus?
threatened or endangered populations (even if they are above its minimum viable population)

What is the emphasis for study in the declining-population model?
research must be evaluated in a case-by-case basis, carefully analyzing decline before correcting it

positive effects of movement corridors
promote dispersal and reduce inbreeding in declining populations

negative effects of movement corridors
allows the spread of disease

narrow strip/series of small clumps of habitat connecting otherwise isolated pieces of habitat
movement corridors

explain the concept behind a zoned reserve
-tries to develop a social and economic climate that protects the environment for the long term

extensive region which includes areas with relatively low human disturbance and areas that have been altered for economic gain
zoned reserve

What is the goal of restoration ecology?
initiate/speed up the recovery of damaged ecosystems

what are the two main strategies of restoration ecology?
bioremediation and biological augmentation

using organisms (usually prokaryotes) to detoxify polluted environments

using organisms to add essential materials into a degraded ecosystem
biological augmentation

economic development that meets the needs of people without limiting the ability of future generations
sustainable development

all processes through which natural ecosystems help to sustain human life
ecosystem services

What are the four major threats to biodiversity?
habitat loss, introduced species, overharvesting, and global change

non-native species/ exotic species
introduced species

the minimal population size at which a species is available to sustain its numbers
minimum viable population

an estimate of the size of the population based on the number of males and females that can successfully breed; generally smaller that the total population
effective population size

relatively small area with numerous endemic species (species that are found nowhere else in the world) and a large number of endangered and threatened species
biodiversity hot spot

amount of added nutrient (usually nitrogen or phosphorus) that can be absorbed by plants without damaging ecosystem integrity
critical load

translocation of a species to a favorable habitat beyond its native range to protect the species from human caused threats
assisted migration

the warming of the earth due to the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide and certain other gases, which absorb reflected infrared radiation and reradiate some of it back towards earth
greenhouse effect