1 Genetic diversity- diversity of genes within a species. Can determine the degree of resistance to pests and diseases. Broad gene pool vital to combat diseases &
climate change. Agro-ecosystems have been reduced by plant breeding to artificial monocultures(genetic erosion)
2 Species diversity- variety of plant/animal species in a given area(habitat)-measure of no of different organisms(species richness). More diverse ecosystems are able to
withstand threats such as climate change. removal of key species has huge impact on functioning of an ecosystem e.g nutrient cycling & energy flows. Endemics(unique &
rare species) important. Few factors limiting growth-high primary productivity leads to a complex and diverse food web with many ecological niches-leads to high biodiversity
3 Ecosystem diversity- variety of different ecosystems & habitats surrounding them in a given area- biotic & abiotic. Highest biodiverse ecosystems- tropical rainforest &
coral reefs.- adds to value of goods & services. SSSI-wide variety of habitats within small reserve- high levels of ecodiversity.
4 factors influencing biodiversity. effect light availability,
temperature, humidity, nutrient supply. Absence of limiting
factors- high levels of primary productivity & energy produced
leads to high biodiversity. Size of are- large-more species.
local-natural disasters, hunting, fishing, slash & burn,
eutrophication from high tech agriculture.
4.2 Human- Level of protection/management, level
of poverty, direct actions exploiting flora &
fauna, hunting, fishing, over harvesting,
clearance for agriculture-deforestation, growth of
human population & rate of development/use of
technology, local ecosystem factors-succession
disturbance, competition/colonisation, dispersion
rates. direct factors- hunting, indirect-climate
change. Negative-threats &
5 hotspots-areas of high biodiversity.
criteria- species richness, high
levels of endemism, severe levels
of threat from human action-
5.1 mainly in tropical areas-
5.2 Coral reefs-11 marine hotspots, 25% of
worlds coral reefs. most marine hotspots
adjacent to terrestrial hotspots- land
based threats to pollution, over-fishing
and tourism development.
threats-bleaching from global warming.
6 value of ecosystems- provide
security(mitigating disaster impact), health(access
to clean air & water)
6.2 Constituents of wellbeing- Freedom of
choice and action Security- Personal
safety, Secure resource access, Security
from disasters. Material for life-
Adequate livelihoods, sufficient nutritious
food, Shelter, Access to goods. Health-
Strength, Feeling well, access to clean
air & water. Social relations- Social
cohesion, Mutual respect, Ability to help
7 threats to biodiversity
7.1 WRI- ecosystem scorecard- shows conditions of worlds major ecosystems & ability to provide future goods & services. Records freshwater ecosystems as the most eco-stressed
7.2 WWF- Living planet index- monitoring populations of representative animal species in forests, freshwaters and marine ecosystems. Grasslands recently added.
7.3 IUCN- Annual red list of endangered species- Placed in 1/10 categories from extinct/endangered-vunerable-little concern. Extinction hotspots-tropical rain forests,
grasslands, polar & small island environments. Species with large body vulnerable to hunting, species with low rates of increase, poor dispersal & migration ability
easily predated by alien species/ if perceived as a nuisance by humans. Feshwater ecosystems have highest percentage of threatened species.- reptiles & amphibians
7.4 MEA- UN Environment programme- Large-scale survey across 13 major ecosystems- world drylands(tropical grasslands) under greatest overall threat. Freshwater & marine ecosystems
under greatest threat from hypoxia & eutrophication- could lead to ecosystem collapse. Deforestation of rain forests highly concentrated in brazil & Indonesia- 80% of destruction.
7.5 GBO- Global Biodiversity Outlook.- Assesses current status & trends of biodiversity to celebrate international Year of biodiversity-2010
7.6 freshwater ecosystems under greatest overall threat & drylands(tropical grassland) under greatest threat in future. climate change biggest threat in future. Amphibians
& reptiles(1/3 in danger of extinction),Mammals(1/4), Birds(1/8). Some species emphasised(polar bears) to attract conservation funding- keystone species(bees)
ignored. Endemic species- uniqueness & rarity (Galapagos islands). Global scale threats-server,widespread, long term effects on ecosystem functioning(nutrient
cycling, energy flows) Local threats-short term,localised. Some natural threats triggered by humans. Destruction-loss in quantity. Degradation-loss in quality.
7.7 Global threats- Accelerated soil erosion, Desertification, deforestation, global scale pollution e.g acid rain, Ozone depletion, Global warming, Disease
8.1 Root/underlying causes- macroeconomic policies-role of TNCs & trade policies; Social change & development( demands for resources);
Demographic changes- higher demand for food/fuel; Public policies- disregard for locals; Commercial markets(hardwood/traditional
medicines); North-South divide-poverty & inequality, force people to hunt for food/kill animals (sell ivory)
8.2 Primary causes- Over-harvesting; Exploitation of wild resources; Habitat loss(deforestation/logging/agriculture/urbanisation); Introduction of alien
species; Pollution(oil/pesticides/acid rain); Global climate change- changes in food supply, impact on arctic areas, desiccation of water.
9 Impact of threats on ecosystem processes
9.1 energy flows- trophic levels-energy lost through
respiration & amount of biomass decreases
9.1.1 Eutrophication- algal blooms that block out light
& prevent primary producers photosynthesising
& toxic conditions that can effect food chain.
126.96.36.199 El Nino-warm water-reduces phytoplankton-lack of food for fish
188.8.131.52.1 Over harvesting of fish, birds feeding on them suffer
184.108.40.206.1.1 Alien species 'take over' at various trophic levels- no
native predator e.g hedgehogs-Outer Hebrides
220.127.116.11.1.1.1 over-hunting of seals/otters- impacts further down food
chain-overpopulation & starvation further up food chain
9.2 Nutrient cycling
9.2.1 human activities can
have impact on size of
store- deforestation, over
cultivation, soil erosion.
Indirect- pollution e.g acid
rain. humans add
nutrients by fertilisation of
soil- lead to eutrophication
richness of nutrients in a
lake or other body of
water, frequently due to
run-off from the land,
which causes a dense
growth of plant life.
10 Managing biodiversity
10.1 Sustainable yield- safe level of
harvest that can be
detriment to the sustainable
management of an ecosystem.
10.1.1 sustainable management
allows resources to be used
without compromising its
worth for future generations
10.1.2 Maximum sustainable
yield- greatest harvest
that could be taken
indefinitely and leave
systems in tact. only
10.1.3 Optimum sustainable yield-
used as compromise as it is a
lower level of yield and will not
value of the ecosystem but will
allow multi use for the maximum
benefit of the whole community.
10.1.4 sustainable yield
used by managers to
keep trophic levels of
an ecosystem in
balance e.g culling.
10.1.5 Used in extractive
reserves- e.g CAMPFIRE
hunting 'big game'
permitted as a means of
sustainable income for
providing levels of wildlife
yield)- so wildlife tourism
isn't damaged.- Licenced
hunting- some say profit
will get in the way
10.2 key players in biodiversity management- conflicts between exploitation of biodiversity for its goods and conservation
for its future use. Max rates of exploitation occurring in countries experiencing rapid economic growth e.g china
10.2.1 Individual farmers- Manage environment for food consumption- now
subsidised to deliver environmentally friendly farming, adding to biodiversity.
10.2.2 Individual campaigners- Justice to save rainforest e.g Sting in the Amazon
10.2.3 Individual consumers- Make decisions about their consumption, whether to use
environmental friendly products or to be ecotourists to conserve biodiversity.
10.2.4 Artists,painters, writers- provide imaged & literature to amok people aware
of the issue e.g Rachel carson on degradation of marine environment
10.2.5 local communities- develop sustainable management and work together to save local
ecosystems using bottom up schemes to resolve conflicts e.g Mangrove reserve St Lucia
10.2.6 Campaigning NGOs- Greenpeace e.g Save the whale, RSPB
10.2.7 NGOs scientific research- support of conservation and sustainable management schemes such as WWF
10.2.8 local governments- manage local reserves in cooperation with wildlife trust and support biodiversity action plans
10.2.9 National Governments e.g UK- DEFRA- provide well managed countryside and conserve wildlife. Natural
England responsible for designating and administering National Nature reserves, SSSIs and AONBs
10.2.10 TNCs- have environmental reports and decisions concerning locations to exploit can have huge impact on biodiversity in rainforest locations (logging/mining.biofuels).
Collecting wild plants for pharmaceutical research can effect gene pool. TNCs cash sponsor biodiversity/conservation schemes & promote biodiversity
10.2.11 International organisations- Global NGOs e.g World Conservation Union operate as think tanks & provide data & administer schemes such as Biosphere reserves and World Heritage sites
10.2.12 UNEP/UNESCO- Carry out research, exchange ideas, provide information on biodiversity- big role in Millennium ecosystems assessment. Set up conferences for world treaties/ administer agreements
10.2.13 Scientists & researchers- work for a variety of organisations- NGOs to international organisations & agencies- provide research data for management of biodiversity- based in universities.
10.3.1 what to conserve
10.3.1.1 hotspot strategy- prioritises most threatened, high-quality areas. eco-region strategy-conserves
representative ecosystems. fundraising favours more popular not keystone species
10.3.2 how to conserve
10.3.2.1 sustainable development now favours total protection.. total protection-Scientific reserve-(no access),
Wildlife reserves & parks,Community wildlife management, Extractive reserves, Economic development
integrated into conservation, tolerant forest management, Exploitation with token protection.
----Eco-reserves- insitu conservation alongside ex-situ(gene banks,zoos) to save endangered species.
10.3.3.1 conflict between top-down global strategies and local initiatives. Indigenous people favour biodiversity- rely on it
for subsistence.- lessened by plans from 2010 world yr of Biodiversity- integrated planning at variety of scales.
LEDC & MEDC tensions- who pays for conservation- LEDC lower costs but money comes from aid & investment
10.4.1 MEA- Global
10.4.2 Living planet report- Buisiness as usual,
Slow shift to sustainability, Rapid
reduction,radical solution, Shrink & shave
11.1 links to other units - unit 1-world at risk- impact of climate change on Arctic & other
ecosystems, Unit 3- Water conflicts- diminishing water quantity and quality, impact
of energy exploitation. Impacts of technology use, impacts of development on
ecosystems. Unit 4- Consuming the rural landscape- Impact of tourism on
biodiversity, in fragile/vunerable areas e.g Galapagos
11.2 Links to wider global issues- Conservation v exploitation-
need for sustainable approach. Global warming & impact
on biodiversity- concern for indigenous communities who
depend on biodiversity for existence, Development gap-
contrasting issues & attitudes to biodiversity.