Introduction To Biodiversity (Texeira) an der TU München | Karteikarten & Zusammenfassungen

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Tell me about plants extiction

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  • Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm.
  • Plants have a higher extinction rate in biodiversity hotspots than in cold spots.
  • Primary drivers of Apocene plant extinction vary, but mainly Agriculture and Urbanization for hotspots and Hydrological Disturbance, Habitat Degradation and Agriculture for coldspots (although more unknown drivers here)
  • Life forms affected by primary drivers also vary between hotspots and coldspots.
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Explain the Portfolio Effect Analogy to Biodiversity in Ecosystems

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  1. In the stock market, when you add more diversity to your investment portfolio, you take less risks. Similarly, there is more stability in highly diverse ecosystems. Species-poor ecosystems are more susceptible to catastrophes because they are unstable. So, there’s always lower risk with more diversification.
  2. Out of all the possible catastrophe scenarios for humanity (energy depletion, economic collapse, nuclear war, etc.), the worst is loss of biodiversity, because the first can be repaired within a few generations, but biodiversity will need millions of years to restore. (Wilson, 1982)          
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Order the animal groups regarding their number of endangered species

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1) Amphibians (31)

2) Mammals (22)

3) Birds (14)

4) Reptiles (10)

5) Fishies (7)

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Explain biodiversity and ecosystem functions

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  • Charles Darwin supporting the idea of more grass yield with more biodiversity.
  • High Levels of Biodiversity = High Levels of Ecosystems Functions (Ecosystem Services)
  • Every Ecosystem Service can be directly related to human well-being:
    • Security (personal safety, secure resource access, etc.)
    • Basic Material for Good Life (adequate livelihoods, nutritious food, shelter, access to goods)
    • Health (strength, medicine, access to clean air and water)
    • Good Social Relations (social cohesion, mutual respect, etc.)
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How does latitude and altitude influence biodiversity?

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Latitude: 

  • Low latitudes (Equator) correlated with high terrestrial diversity. 
  • There is more energy input (sun) in countries closer to the equator, so there is more biodiversity. 
  • Also, there is more shelter for species during glacier periods. 
  • There is a correlation between biodiversity hotspots and tropical rainforests (in low latitudes). Hotspots represent 2.3% of Earth’s surface but hold 44% of plant species and 35% of terrestrial vertebrates. 
  • To be classified as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must have lost at least 70 percent of its original natural vegetation, usually due to human activity.


Altitude (Height)

  • Negative correlation 
  • as higher as you go, less species biodiversity, because of factors like atmospheric pressure, percentage of oxygen, temperature, soil type, etc.
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Explain the Red Queen hypothesys

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Evolutionary hypothesis which proposes that organisms must constantly adapt, evolve, and proliferate in order to survive while fighting against ever-evolving opposing organisms in a constantly changing environment, as well as to gain reproductive advantage. It is an evolution paradox metaphor of running forever and both predator and prey evolve subsequently. Populations must “run” or evolve in order to stay in “the same place”, or else go extinct.


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What does the model explaining species richness say?

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There are more species species, when:


a) More resources

b) More specialisation (less resources per species)

c) More overlapping (tolerant to overlapping while not competing)

d) More efficiency in resource exploitation

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explain the difference between biodiversity and diversity

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Biodiversity: concept that considers all biological types and forms


Diversity: mathematical parameter for assessing biological community (species number)

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Explain species abundance

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  • Distribution curve: Log scale to measure relative abundance (# of individuals in the y-axis) and the abundance rank (x-axis). The most abundant species is given rank 1 and so on. Ranks can be classified as Dominant, Subordinate, and Transient. Always identifying a logarithmic increment for Dominant species.
  • There are similarities between inequality in society (wealth distribution - Gini index!) and inequality in nature (species abundance distribution – species domination). Concluding that in the absence of equalising forces, inequality will arise from chance alone. (Scheffer et al., 2017)
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What is evenness?

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  • Refers to how close in numbers each species in an environment is. Quantifies how equal the community is numerically. 
  • Shannon Diversity Index: Equal distribution between number of individuals from each species means more diversity.
  • Simpson’s Index: Just counting number of species, independent of proportionality.
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What is biodiversity?

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= total sum of all living organisms on earth


“This living wealth is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history.”


“The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic systems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and diversity of ecosystems” (Convention on Biological Diversity in Rio de Janeiro, 1992)

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Name some modern extinct species

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  • Elephant Bird (16th century)
  • Dodo (17th century)
  • Passenger Pigeon (20th century)
  • Tasmanian Tiger (1936)
  • Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (1944) – possibly rediscovered in the wild
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Q:

Tell me about plants extiction

A:
  • Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm.
  • Plants have a higher extinction rate in biodiversity hotspots than in cold spots.
  • Primary drivers of Apocene plant extinction vary, but mainly Agriculture and Urbanization for hotspots and Hydrological Disturbance, Habitat Degradation and Agriculture for coldspots (although more unknown drivers here)
  • Life forms affected by primary drivers also vary between hotspots and coldspots.
Q:

Explain the Portfolio Effect Analogy to Biodiversity in Ecosystems

A:
  1. In the stock market, when you add more diversity to your investment portfolio, you take less risks. Similarly, there is more stability in highly diverse ecosystems. Species-poor ecosystems are more susceptible to catastrophes because they are unstable. So, there’s always lower risk with more diversification.
  2. Out of all the possible catastrophe scenarios for humanity (energy depletion, economic collapse, nuclear war, etc.), the worst is loss of biodiversity, because the first can be repaired within a few generations, but biodiversity will need millions of years to restore. (Wilson, 1982)          
Q:

Order the animal groups regarding their number of endangered species

A:

1) Amphibians (31)

2) Mammals (22)

3) Birds (14)

4) Reptiles (10)

5) Fishies (7)

Q:

Explain biodiversity and ecosystem functions

A:
  • Charles Darwin supporting the idea of more grass yield with more biodiversity.
  • High Levels of Biodiversity = High Levels of Ecosystems Functions (Ecosystem Services)
  • Every Ecosystem Service can be directly related to human well-being:
    • Security (personal safety, secure resource access, etc.)
    • Basic Material for Good Life (adequate livelihoods, nutritious food, shelter, access to goods)
    • Health (strength, medicine, access to clean air and water)
    • Good Social Relations (social cohesion, mutual respect, etc.)
Q:

How does latitude and altitude influence biodiversity?

A:

Latitude: 

  • Low latitudes (Equator) correlated with high terrestrial diversity. 
  • There is more energy input (sun) in countries closer to the equator, so there is more biodiversity. 
  • Also, there is more shelter for species during glacier periods. 
  • There is a correlation between biodiversity hotspots and tropical rainforests (in low latitudes). Hotspots represent 2.3% of Earth’s surface but hold 44% of plant species and 35% of terrestrial vertebrates. 
  • To be classified as a biodiversity hotspot, a region must have lost at least 70 percent of its original natural vegetation, usually due to human activity.


Altitude (Height)

  • Negative correlation 
  • as higher as you go, less species biodiversity, because of factors like atmospheric pressure, percentage of oxygen, temperature, soil type, etc.
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Q:

Explain the Red Queen hypothesys

A:

Evolutionary hypothesis which proposes that organisms must constantly adapt, evolve, and proliferate in order to survive while fighting against ever-evolving opposing organisms in a constantly changing environment, as well as to gain reproductive advantage. It is an evolution paradox metaphor of running forever and both predator and prey evolve subsequently. Populations must “run” or evolve in order to stay in “the same place”, or else go extinct.


Q:

What does the model explaining species richness say?

A:

There are more species species, when:


a) More resources

b) More specialisation (less resources per species)

c) More overlapping (tolerant to overlapping while not competing)

d) More efficiency in resource exploitation

Q:

explain the difference between biodiversity and diversity

A:

Biodiversity: concept that considers all biological types and forms


Diversity: mathematical parameter for assessing biological community (species number)

Q:

Explain species abundance

A:
  • Distribution curve: Log scale to measure relative abundance (# of individuals in the y-axis) and the abundance rank (x-axis). The most abundant species is given rank 1 and so on. Ranks can be classified as Dominant, Subordinate, and Transient. Always identifying a logarithmic increment for Dominant species.
  • There are similarities between inequality in society (wealth distribution - Gini index!) and inequality in nature (species abundance distribution – species domination). Concluding that in the absence of equalising forces, inequality will arise from chance alone. (Scheffer et al., 2017)
Q:

What is evenness?

A:
  • Refers to how close in numbers each species in an environment is. Quantifies how equal the community is numerically. 
  • Shannon Diversity Index: Equal distribution between number of individuals from each species means more diversity.
  • Simpson’s Index: Just counting number of species, independent of proportionality.
Q:

What is biodiversity?

A:

= total sum of all living organisms on earth


“This living wealth is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history.”


“The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic systems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and diversity of ecosystems” (Convention on Biological Diversity in Rio de Janeiro, 1992)

Q:

Name some modern extinct species

A:
  • Elephant Bird (16th century)
  • Dodo (17th century)
  • Passenger Pigeon (20th century)
  • Tasmanian Tiger (1936)
  • Ivory-Billed Woodpecker (1944) – possibly rediscovered in the wild
Introduction to biodiversity (Texeira)

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