Conservation Biology and Biodiversity

by Jason Amores Sumpter
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Hi. In this lesson, we'll be talking about conservation biology, which is the ongoing effort to preserve the Earth's species habitats and ecosystems in order to maintain Earth's biodiversity. Now, biodiversity, which is a contraction of biological diversity, includes variation within species, number of species and ecosystem variety. We're going to take a look at some different metrics of biodiversity, including the genetic diversity in a population, species, diversity in an ecosystem and community and ecosystem diversity. Now here you can see all the locations of the world's coral reefs have. Look, I've put this map here because coral reefs are some of the most diverse, uh, ecosystems on the planet. They're incredibly rich with different numbers of species. Now I've also included a map of the world's tropical rainforests because those air also hotbeds of biodiversity, it's estimated that about 50% of the species on earth are going to be living in those tropical rainforests. Now, genetic diversity is really just looking at the total genetic, uh, information contained in the individuals of a species. So this is gonna be things like variation between individuals within a population and between populations. Now species diversity is a measure of both species richness and the relative abundance. So species richness is the number of species present in a community, and the relative abundance is the relative numbers of the different species compared to each other in that community. Now, some very special species that add to species diversity are endemic species and these air species that are unique to a specific geographic location. These are going to be, uh, species that you know really only exist in one place. And so it's very important to protect and preserve them because you won't find them anywhere else in the world. You'll see a lot of endemic species on islands, for example. Now, one way of looking at these sort of genetic markers is barcoding, and this is a taxonomic analysis that's going to use genetic markers to determine if a new organism belongs to a particular species. Now you can see an example of bar coding here where we have two varieties of wheat, and I'm going to use some genetic markers to see whether or not they belong to the same species. Now we bring up genetic diversity as being very important for biodiversity and an example off where genetic diversity has hurt. A species is with cheetahs, which are actually, uh, they have very, very low genetic diversity, and it has caused them thio be a threatened species there, you know, their populations are threatened due to their incredibly low genetic diversity. Now, I also want to mention, uh, some endemic species thes ringtail lemurs, which are on Lee found in Madagascar. And actually Madagascar is home to tons of endemic species. It's a massive island, and it's some of the Onley place. It's one of the only places in the world. You'll find forests like this, for example, and there are tons of species that you'll Onley find in Madagascar. It's just an incredibly, uh rich, biodiverse location. Now with that, let's flip the page.