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90 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

What is the most dominant ecological force


- inhabit almost every habitat

Population projections are strongly influenced by

changes in fertility

+/- 1.3 billion with the difference of 1/2 child

Overall 2015 report shows that overall growth is


Examples of places with low fertility <2.1

China, USA, Brazil, Russian, Japan, Viet Nam

Examples of places with Intermediate fertility

India, indonesia, pakistan, bangladesh

Examples of places with high fertility

Nigeria, DR Congo, UR of Tanzania, Uganda, Afghanistan

____________ is the fastest growing major area


- despite decline, still highest

- will be 25% of the world's population by 2050

Europe's population is ________


Slower rate of increase in _________ compared to _________

more developed, less developed

Net migration is projected to account for _________ of population growth in high income countries


Top net receivers of immigrants

US, Canada, UK, Australia, Germany, Russian Federation and Italy

Top net emigration from

India, Bangladesh, China, Pakistan and Mexico

What are the trends in pop size for less developed nations

- nearly doubled in less developed nations from 1980-2013

- 27/48 least developed countries have highest levels of population growth

- concentration of pop growth in poorest countries makes it hard to implement sustainable development agenda

What causes the most population increase

- high fertility?

- Migration?


Because populations are already large

Less developed countries have Young/Older populations

- young

- 1.7 billion children (28%) and 1.1 billion young people (18%)

(more developed; 16% children and 12% young people


capacity of a biologically productive area to generate an on-going supply of renewable resources and to absorb spill-over wastes

Environmental Impact (I) =

Human population size (P) x per capita affluence (A) x technology factor (T)

Probably can't change affluence

- Less developed: population #

- More developed: technology

What are some resources that can be used sustainably

- energy resources, metals, other minerals

- grasslands

- forests

- fisheries

- freshwater

- soil

Water sustainability

- 70% of world's water used for irrigation of crops

- over past half century, 18 trillion tons of water have been removed from underground aquifers without being replaced

Fisheries and sustainability

- overfishing and atlantic cod

- more fish farms: pollution issues, affects population genetics (if farm fish escape), and relies on grain so extra stress on world grain food supply

Forest sustainability

- over harvesting and over clearing

- mostly from agriculture or timber lodging

Soil sustainability

over-plowing, over-grazing, over-using

History of conservation in North america: enemy

First Nations: light footprint but cause of megafauna extinctions

overkill hypothesis: humans are responsible for extinction of megafauna in Late Pleistocene

History of conservation in North america: Provider

Early European settlers: nature feared, to be subdued; utilitarian value of nautre recognized "game" and "Vermin"

History of conservation in North america:Playground

increasing prosperity and urbanization: nature becomes valued for recreation

History of conservation in North america: Temple

increasing exploitation of landscape: nature viewed as having inherent value

Romantic-Transcendental Conservation Ethic

Nature offers spiritual connection/enlightenment

- anecdotal, theoretical and empirical data that contact with nature promotes health and wellbeing

Resource Conservation Ethic (4 points)

1. Use natural resources for human purposes in a manner that does not exceed Earth's ability to produce them

2. Recognize the ability of a system to continue and maintain a production level or quality of life for future generations

3. Use better science and economics to get nature's resources flowing in perpetuity

4. Nature has no intrinsic value or there is no need to protect species that lacked direct human utility

Evolutionary-Ecological Land Ethic

- The health of the land as a whole rather than the supply of its 'constituent resources', is what needs conserving with land defined broadly to include soils, water, plants, animals and people

Conservation Biology Mission

advances the science and practice of conserving Earth's biological diversity

- study the problems, publish data and recommendations in scientific journals

Has conservation biology successfully addressed problems it identifies?

- putting out small fire after small fire is not solving the problem: saving individual species will not solve larger issues

- presenting crisis after crisis ("doom and gloom") has not been effective

New Conservation Biologists

Recognizes the need to turn conservation into more than just for the privileged

- closely linked to sustainability
- sustainability: includes development seeking to blend environmental, social and economic goals
- blends ecology, ethics, and economics
- conservation will not take place unless sustainable solutions are implemented or without conservation biology

Name a few ways humans are altering Earth's natural systems

- changing global climates

- 98% of suitable agri-land has been put to use (1/4 of surface)

- 0.1% of forest cover is lost each year

- oceans depleted of numerous fish species

- Transporting species

We are creating the __th extinction episode


Present day extinctions

-75-85% of megafauna extinct

- 1.6% of mammals and 1.3% of birds extinct (known and described)

- 12% birds, 23% mammals, 31% amphibians threatened

- CURRENT EXTINCTION RATE 1,000-10,000 times prehistoric rates

Overkill Hypothesis

humans are responsible for late pleistocene extinction of megafauna

Pleistocene rewilding

- megafauna provided key ecological processes through predation, herbivory and other processes

- introduce the closest living relatives of extinct megafauna to habitats in order to revive key ecological processes

- use economically marginal farmland to create "New nature" to replace what was lost

What is Biodiversity?

biological diversity

- the sum of variation within and across all levels of biological organization

Types of variation: phenotype

what is it influenced by

physical or behavioural character

influenced by: Environmental variation and genetic variation

- though both can affect an individuals phenotype, genetic material is the only cause of diversity that is heritable

Functional diversity

phenotypic diversity

- represents the adaptive component of diversity

- what natural selection acts on

Conservation of phenotypes could be aimed at...

protecting the process (context of natural selection) rather than the products themselves

Is creation of genetic diversity a viable solution to current rates of extinction?

no. too slow.

Natural selection

the differential survival and reproduction of individuals in a population as a result of their having heritable, adaptive traits


when chance dictates which individuals survive and reproduce

Levels of biodiversity;


group of individuals that do mate and produce offspring

- populations frequently differ genetically

Levels of biodiversity:


group of individuals that do or can potentially breed and produce viable offspring (biological species concept)


group of individuals that differ in morphological,physiological or biochemical trait (morphological species concept)

Levels of Biodiversity:


species that occupy a particular locality and the interactions among those species

Composition influenced by

predation, parasitism, competition, mutualism, dispersal

abiotic factors: climate, history, chance


biological community together with associated abiotic environment

- water cycles, nutrient cycles, energy capture


defined primarily by environmental variables

- ocean, wetlands, temperate forests, tropical forests, ect


large areas of relatively uniform climate that harbor a characteristic set of species and ecological communities

Carolinian life zone

40% of canada's diversity


geographical area containing multiple ecosystems

- scale is very large, from continents to earth itself

At what level is it easiest to define biodiversity


- speculation on what constitutes a species

How do you measure biodiversity

1. richness

2. diversity

3. shannon-weiner diversity index

4. evenness

1. Richness

# of species

2. Abundance

# of individuals per sample

number of 1 species/total number of individuals (all species

3. Shannon-Weiner Diversity Index

H = -sum(Pi ln[Pi])

4. Evenness

the relative abundance of each species

E = H/ln(S)

where S is the # of species

1. Focus on areas where biodiversity provides a service to humans


Oceans and boreal forests as carbon sinks


Net Primary Production (NPP)

the net flux of carbon from the atmosphere into green plants per unit time

- a rate process

- net exchange of carbon dioxide between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere

Oceans as carbon sinks (NPP)

highest around coasts

Boreal forests as carbon sinks (NPP) maybe

- warmer than normal summer temps in northern mantioba for a mature black spruce ecosystem switching from a carbon sink to a carbon source
- thawing soils store one of the largest pools of carbon in the terrestrial biosphere (200-500 gigatons)

2. Protect areas where biodiversity is concentrated


- get more bang for your conservation buck

Hot spot qualifications

- must have at least 1500 plant species and lost at least 70% of original habitat extent

- >50% of the worlds plant species

- 42% of all terrestrial vertebrate species

- 29% freshwater fish

- all endemic to 34 biodiversity hotspots

- make up only 2.3% of earth's land surface

Human population in hotspots

- have higher population density than expected when compared to global average

- coastal Asian hot spots with major cities are suffering the worst from overpopulation in hotspots

- Philippines, japan, western ghats, and Sri Lanka all have 250 people per km2 in comparison to the global average of 42people per km2

What is the problem with focusing efforts on saving areas with the greatest diversity and threat?

high risk: high reward

- lots of people, people damage

- lots of agriculture

but highest species

How does nature serve us?

Supporting: biogeochemical and ecological processes that support the other services

Provisioning: good provided by nature that humans use

Regulating: control nature in a way that aids humans

Cultural: emotional and psychological benefits

Examples of Provisioning

- food: crops, livestock, fisheries

- Fiber: timber, wood fuel, cotton, hemp

- biochemical: pharmaceuticals

- water

Examples of regulating

- air purification

- climate regulation

- water regulation/purification

- erosion control

- pest regulation

- pollination

How do you assign values to Environmental services?

1. Stated-preference methods

2. revealed-preference methods

3. Replacement Cost methods

1. Stated preference methods

- ask someone how much they would pay for something

Stated preference method Issues

1. need large sample size

2. clarity on how much money would be raised

3. people can state any value, but does it match reality of what they can pay

4. do people's valuation remain stable over time?

5. is it ethical to place a value on species

2. Revealed preference method

peoples actions demonstrate value

Revealed preference method

- production function/equation for product sold commercially

-boreal forests have spruce that produce 2x4's but also wood chips for newsprint, shavings for pet bedding and sawdust for particle board

Revealed preference method - production function/equation for product sold commercially


1. what happens to value of habitat when US adds duties to Canadian exports?

2. When the US housing market collapses

3. when the canadian dollar rises

Revealed preference method

- travel cost method

how much people pay to see/do something

- tourists spend $1,150 to visit CR rainforest in mid1990's

Issues with the travel cost method

1. what about arctic, deep sea vents, deserts?

2. is this that habitat's only value?

3. does tourism negatively affect biodiversity?

Revealed preference method

- Hedonic pricing

premiums people pay for proximity to nature or access to ecosystem service

Hedonic pricing issues

what happens when you argue for protection in these high-priced locations?

3. Replacement Cost methods

how much would you pay for infrastructure/technology that would replace a natural service

- ex. wetlands filter water, compare that to how much it costs to build a filtration plant

Issues with Replacement costs methods

at some point, technology may become more efficient and economical at providing service

What does that mean for wetlands that provide this service

"discounting" in cost-benefit analysis

- a way to express future costs and benefits at today's equivalent value

- people have a "time preference" for when they receive benefits

Desiring goods now

- desire for goods NOW stems from uncertainty in the future and from opportunities to gain further on benefits received now vs. later

-gaining now allows you to invest and create net gain in future (compound interest)

Issue of discounting

most people agree that some sort of discounting is necessary, but no agreement on the ideal discount rate

- even when rates are small, decisions are made to accept development in spite of long-term damage (net loss over time)

- low rates encourage investment, accelerating development that damages

- ag, timber, fishing have low rates of return (less investment)

Issue of using cost benefit analysis

- assumption of substitutability

- implies more of one good can make up for the loss of another

Losing a species reduces ecosystem productivity

Supporting argument

- recovery from collapse in fisheries is more rapid when species is high than when low (

- some ecosystems exhibit large changes when certain species are lost (wolves help regulate moose pop so over grazing is less likely)

Losing a species reduces ecosystem productivity

Not supporting

- some grassland habitats produce just as much biomass at low species as they do at high species

- some extinctions have had no visible effect on the ecosystem they once inhabited (golden toad)

Keystone species

species having widespread impact on an ecosystem via its presence and influence

- arctic fox is prey for many animals and it regulates the populations of other species

Stategies that involve ethical and environmental issues include

- environmental impact assessments

- adding non-substitutability to CBA

- payments for ecosystem services