Biodiversity Hotspots and Endangered Species

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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ecosystem. Diversity includes variation and ecosystems over the planet and variation between ecosystems in a region ecosystem function is the biological, geo, chemical and physical processes that occur in an ecosystem. An ecosystem services are the ways in which humans benefit from ecosystems. Here I've included two incredibly diverse ecosystems. The Great Barrier Reef, which is a major coral reef off the coast of Australia, and the Amazon, which is a massive rain forest and river system. You could see the river system in this image here, and these are two of the world's most precious and diverse ecosystems. Now, threats to biodiversity can be found at the local, regional and global levels, and they're going to involve habitat loss and introduced species as well as the overharvesting of natural resource is and global climate change. And we'll be talking about each of these individually. Now. Biodiversity hotspots are these bio geographic regions that are rich in biodiversity and threatened with destruction. Now it's worth noting that uh, tropical rainforests are thought to contain about half the world's species yet yet cover less than 10% of Earth land surface, and they're also a good critique of this label of the biodiversity hotspot notice here that we don't see the Amazon. That's because the Amazon is not considered a biodiversity hotspot. It is actually still relatively intact. However, it's losing habitat at an alarming rate due to deforestation and other human intervention. So this label is sometimes criticized because it doesn't account for things like that, like the Amazon, which is very much so threatened due to human activity. It's losing ground, and you know, a nostalgic rate right now. And it's pretty scary when you think about it, because the tropical rainforests in the Amazon particularly play such an important role in, um, the carbon cycle in fixing atmospheric carbon, which is very helpful to for countering global warming now endangered species our species that are labeled endangered because they're likely to become extinct. Example of that is a Siberian tiger that you can see here, which is considered endangered. Some species were just considered threatened. That means there at the risk of becoming endangered and extinct, but they're less sort of. They're in a less compromised position than endangered species, and an example of a threatened species is the penguin that you can see right here behind me. now introduced species or species that are living outside of their natural range due to act human activity. And this happens both intentionally and accidentally. I mean, humans accidentally Cary freeloaders all the time when they go around with, you know, when they travel around so you can accidentally introduced species. Of course, sometimes species air introduced intentionally, and that can often have some unintended consequences. And one of those unintended consequences is when an introduced species becomes invasive, meaning that it's an exotic species. It's a foreign species that spreads in a new environment and competes with local flora and fauna and can actually out compete them. Um, example. Kind of funny example is the Silver Carp right here, which is an invasive species in the United States and is, uh, currently a huge threat to the Great Lakes, which are probably, I mean, if you ask me, America's greatest natural resource, one of the world's greatest natural resource is. In fact, the irony is that silver carp are actually threatened species in their natural environments in Asia. So, you know, kind of hilarious that a species could be threatened in its natural habitat, yet invasive in another. So with that, let's flip the page