The Importance Of Diversity With Biological Evolution

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I will admit before reading Chapter 3 and 4 of our textbook, I never would have linked biodiversity with biological evolution and definitely not with natural selection or what I always thought of as survival of the fittest. However, it does make sense. Biological evolution is the genetic change in a given species over time that leads to modifications in appearance, functioning, or behavior that enable the species to thrive in its natural ecosystem. Such evolution is usually brought on through natural selection whereby organisms that have these beneficial traits have a better chance of surviving to adulthood in our hostile world where organisms are constantly competing with not only others of their species who live in the same area but also …show more content…
However, this does not take into account changes to their environment (either involuntary or voluntary) that may lead to other species being created in a process called speciation. Usually speciation occurs when a population of an organism in one area ends up splitting apart for some reason, such as when a mountain is formed when tectonic plates collide as we learned in chapter 2 of our textbook, and the organisms no longer are able to intermingle with each other (essentially forming two separate populations). When this happens, if a trait through a genetic mutation develops in one of these isolated populations, it would not be available to the other group and therefore, over time, each population will independently accumulate its own set of mutations. Eventually, over centuries, the individuals may become so genetically distinct that even if they were to come together again they will be unable to breed with one another and produce fertile offspring and thus form a new species. This would likely happen if the environment that the newly formed population found itself in was sufficiently different than its original environment that the organisms needed different traits to survive to adulthood and reproduce in their new location ( Withgott, J. H., & …show more content…
I do have two thoughts that I believe need to be a part of the discussion in each case. The first is that wherever possible we need to prevent the damage where we can. This was very much brought home to me both in the Lionfish video in our lab for this module and the statement on page 85 of our textbook that some communities will never recover back to their original state once a disturbance has occurred. So if we did not remove the wolves (a keystone species) from the Yellowstone in the first place, then the beaver population would have continued to thrive (thankfully returning with the return of the wolves (see http://www.yellowstonepark.com/wolf-reintroduction-changes-ecosystem/ ). If we didn 't put a non-native organism such as the Eurasian boar into New York, the resulting habitat destruction would not have happened (http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/70843.html). So we need to think carefully about our actions on the environment, before we make them. Do we really need to use that particular pesticide or is there a non-pesticide method to control the pests or a less toxic pesticide that will do the trick so we don 't inadvertently hurt birds of prey

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