Chapter-15 Biodiversity and Conservation

Q1. Who coined the term Biodiversity? Ans. Biodiversity term was coined and popularised by the Sociobiologist Edward Wilsen. Q2. What is Biodiversity? Ans. Biodiversity refers to the totality of genes, species and ecosystem of a region. It differs from place to place. Q3. What are different hierarchial levels of biological diversity? Ans. 1) Genetic diversity – It refers to the variation of genes within a species and variation could be in alleles or in entire genes or in the structure of chromosomes. It enables a population to adapt to its environment and to respond to natural selection. Speciation occurs due to genetic variation, i.e. the amount of genetic variation is the basis of speciation. A single species might show high diversity at the genetic level over its distributional range. Medicinal plant Rouwolfia vomitoria growing in different Himalayan ranges show genetic variation in terms of the potency and conc. of the active the active chemical (reserpine) that it produces. 2) Species diversity – It refers to the variety of species within a region. The simplest measure of species diversity is species richness, which refers to the number of species per unit area. For eg-The Western Ghats have greater amphibian species diversity than the Eastern Ghats. 3) Ecological diversity-It is the diversity at ecosystem level. For ex- India with its deserts, rainforests, mangroves, coral reefs, wetlands, estuaries and alpine meadows has greater ecosystem diversity than a Scandinavian country like Norway. Q4.Name the chemical produced by Rouwolfia vomitoria. Ans. Reserpine Q5.How many strains of rice and mango are found in India? Ans. India has more than -50,000genetically different strains of rice and1000 varieties of mango. Q6.What is the total number of plant and animals on this Earth? Ans. According to IUCN(2004),the number of plants and animal species described so far is slightly more than1.5 million. Q7.Give an account of earth’s biodiversity. Ans. Based on the currently available species inventories, some interesting aspects about earth’s biodiversity are• More than 70% of all the recorded species are animals.

One number of fungi species in the world are more than the combined total of species fishes.bryophytes. more than1. 40. How many species of plants and animals has been recorded from India? Ans. In other words out of every 10 animals on this earth . Q10.000 species of fish’s 1. 7 are insects.1) Q8. They show interesting pattern of diversity .000 species of plants and animals has been recorded from India. Ans. Plants( including fungi.What is different patterns of biodiversity ? Ans.1%. Nealy 45.• • • Among animals insects are the most species rich taxonomic group and make up more than 70%of the total.What according to “May”(a scientist)is the percentage of total species recorded so far. .A. For ex-Columbia located near equator has nearly1. 1)Latitudinal gradientsThe diversity of plants and animals is not uniform. while Network at41 degree north has 105 and Greenland at 71 degree north has only 56 species India ( tropical)has more tahn1.5 degree south)have more species than temperate or polar areas. Although India has only 2.amphibians.25.That is what makes our country one of the 12 mega diversity countries of the world.4%of the world’s land area.300 species of birds 427 species of mammals 378 species of reptiles.Tropical areas (23.000 species of plants 30. (fig 15.algae.reptiles and mammals.22% Q11. -Tropical Amazon rainforests in South America has the greatest biodiversity on earth.400species of birds.What makes our country one of the 12 mega diversity countries of the world? Ans.000 species of invertebrates .its share of the global species diversity is 8.such as latitudinal gradient in diversity -species diversity decreases as we move away from equator towards the poles.5 degree north to 23.gymnosperms and angiosperms)comprise 22%of the total biodiversity. Q9.S.200 species of birds -A prest in tropical region like equator has up to 10 times as many species of vascular plants as compared to a forest of same area in Midwest of U.

(Fig 15. Tropical latitudes have remained relatively undisturbed for millions of years whereas temperate regions were subjected to frequent glaciations in the past.1 to 0. freshwater fishes . If analysis of species area relationship is done among very large areas such as among continents. Accordingly . 2)It must be either resistant or resilient (readily recovering from shocks)to occasional disturbances(natural or manmade). 1)a stable community should not show too much variation in productivity from year to year.Q12.e.6 to 1. the slope of the line then would be much steeper (value of Z ranging 0. the slopes of the regression line are amazingly similar whether it is the plants in Britain. the relation between species richness and area for a wide variety of taxi( angiosperms . Therefore tropical regions had a long evolutionary time for diversity of species. Ecologists and evolutionary biologists have proposed various hypotheses The important ones are• Speciation is generally a function of time.2 regardless of the taxonomic group or the region i. Tropical environmental are less seasonal.2) The relationship shows a straight line on a logarithmic scale described by the equation. birds in California or mollusks in new York state . Why tropics have greater biological diversity? Ans. species richness increased with increasing explored area but only up to a limit. There is more solar energy available in the tropics.2) For fruit eating birds and mammals the slope would be 1.15 Q13. • • 2) Species area relationshipVon Humboldt a German examined a region. . log S = log C + Z log A where s= species richness Z = species of the line (regression coefficient) A = area C= Y intercept The value of Z lies in the range of 0. relatively more constant and predictable as compared to temperate ones. birds . bats)turns out to be a rectangular hyperbola. What are the characteristic features of a stable community? Ans. which contributes to higher productivity and this in turn contributes indirectly to greater diversity. Such constant environments promote niche specialization and leads to greater species diversity.

The IUCN Red List (2004) has given the information about extinction of 784 species including -338 vertebrates -359 invertebrates -87 plants in the last 500 years Recent extinctions include extinction of-Dodo (Mauritius) . Give an account of species which are facing the threat of extinction Ans. Ans. If every passenger travelling in it (ecosystem) starts popping(taking act)a rivet to take home it may not affect flight safety initially.Caspian) Q17.3)it must also be resistant to invasions by alien species.What are the findings of David Tilman’studies richness in a community? Ans14. Quake(Africa).Give an account of loss of biodiversity. Bird species-12% Mammals-23% Amphibians-32% Gymnosperms-31% .What is “rivet popper hypothes” Ans. the plane becomes dangerously weak over a period of time. but as more and more rivets(species)are removed.three sub species of tiger (Bali. Q14. This hypothesis was given by Paul Ehrlich. Airplane=Ecosystem Rivets=Species Rivet to take home=causing a species to become extinct Safety light=Proper functioning of the ecosystem Loss of rivets on the wings= loss of key species According to this hypothesis.David Tilman’s long term ecosystem experiments using outdoor plots revealed that 1)Plotswith more species showed less year to year variation in total biomass 2)Increased diversity contributes to higher productivity.Steller’ssea cow(Russia). Q15.Javan. a Stanford ecologist. Q16. Loss of rivets on the wings(key species that drive major ecosystem functions) is obviously a more serious threat to flight safety than loss of a few rivets in the seats or windows inside the plane. ecosystem is like an airplane in which all parts are joined together. ethylamine (Australia).

mammals and birds require large territories and certain animals with migratory habits are badly affected. Many species extictions were due to over –exploitation by humans.Q18. cattle. There are four major causes (The evil quartet) 1)Habitat loss and fragmentationIt is one of the primary reasons for the loss of Biodiversity. some of them turn invasive and cause decline or extinction of indigenous species. Tropical rain forests. . What may be the effects of loss of biodiversity? Ans. now covers not more than 6%. When large habitats are broken up into small fragments due to various human activities. many marine fish populations around the world are over harvested. 3) Alien species invasionsWhen alien species are introduced in an area. They are being destroyed fast. For ex-The Nile perch introduced into lake Victoria in East Africa has threatened the entire ecosystem of lake by eliminating native species(cichlight fish) The recent illegal production of the African Catfish Claries gariepinus for aquaculture purposes is posing a threat to the indigenous catfishes in our rivers. Presently.water use and pest and disease cycles. leading to population declines.The world is facing the problem of species extinction due to human activities. Q19. For ex-The Amazon rain forest (lungs of planet) which harbors millions of species is being cut and cleared for cultivating soya beans or for conversion to grasslands for raising beef. which have endangered the continued existence of some commercially important species. Loss of biodiversity ina region may lead to 1)Decline in plant production 2)Lowered resistance to environmental distributions such as drought and 3)Increased variability in certain ecosystem processes such as plant productivity.What is different causes of biodiversity loss? Ans. Habitat loss by pollution also threatens the survival of many species. once covering more hand 14%of the earth’s land. 2)Over-exploitationHuman needs lead to over –exploitation of natural resources.

-ecosystem provides service of pollination without which plants cannot give us fruits or seeds.perfumes) & 6)Products of medicinal importance More than 25% of the drugs currently sold in the market worldwide are derived from plants and 25. its associated particles also become extinct.lubricants.we need to realize that every species has an intrinsic value . a species once lost is lost forever .Why should we conserve Biodiversity? Ans. We cannot put any economic value on this service by nature.5 billion years .resins.000 species of plants contribute to the traditional medicine used by native peoples around the world. fruits) 2)firewood 3) Fiber 4)construction material 5)industrial material (tannins. All these services are p riceless c)the ethical argument – the wide variety of organisms existing today is the product of organic evolution through 3. we must conserve wild life for the use of future generations. Humans derive many direct and indirect benefits from the living world . pulses. When a host fish species becomes extinct . b)Broadly utilitarian arguments /reasonsAccording to broadly utilitarian argument biodiversity plays an important role in many ecosystem services that nature provides.4)Co-extinctions-When a species becomes extinct the plant and animal species associated with it in an obligatory way also become extinct.exwaking up to a bulbul’s song in the morning. even if it may not be of current or any economic value to us . . Q20.dyes. therefore it would be unethical to let any species to disappear during our reason for conservation of biodiversity can be classified intoa)Narrowly utilitarian arguments/reasonsHumans derive countless direct economic benefits from nature1) Food (cereals. -The Amazon forest is estimated to produce 20%of the total oxygen in the earth’s a tmosphere by photosynthesis.

economically unique and biodiversity rich regions are legally protected as biosphere reserves.therefore. 2)Ex situ conservation- . This approach includes the protection of total ecosystem and its biodiversity at all levels.situ conservation in India Ans. we save the entire forest to save tiger. indo-Burma and Himalayan cover over country’s exceptionally high biodiversity regions. tracts of forest were set aside and all trees and wildlife within these forests were venerated (respect deeply) and given total protection.g. national parks and sanctuaries. eminent conservationists have identified certain biodiversity hotspots regions with very high levels of species richness and high degree of endemism (that is. In Meghalaya . species confined to that region and not found anywhere else) Total number of biodiversity hotspots in the world is 34(25 old ones +9 recent ones). aravalli hills of rajasthan. chanda and bastar areas of M.1) in India. Q22) give an account of in. It is unrealistic and uneconomical for many nations to conserve all their biological wealth . For e. these hotspots are regions of accelerated habitat loss. India has -14 biosphere reserves 90 national parks 448 wildlife sanctuaries In many cultures in India. Such sacred groves are found in Khasi and Jaintia hills un Meghalaya . Three of these hotspots – Western Ghats and Sri Lanka.Q21)How do we conserve biodiversity ? Ans21) there are two basic strategies of biodiversity conservation1)In situ (on site conservation)It is the most appropriate method to maintain species of wild animals and plants in their natural habitats. the sacred groves are the last refuges for a large number of rare on plants.P.western Ghats regions of Karnataka and Maharashtra and the sarguja.

One earth summit was held to call upon all the nations to take appropriate measures for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable utilization of its benefits. Name the 3 important components of biodiversity? Ans. Why was the earth summit held? Ans. Q23. Where was the historic convention on biological diversity (the earth summit)held? Ans. threatened animals and plants are taken out from their natural habitat and placed in special settings where they can be protected and given special care. Initially 25 biodiversity hotspots were identified but subsequently. how many hotspots were identified ?how many more were added ? Ans. 190 countries pledged their commitment to achieve by 2010. species diversity and ecological diversity. wildlife safari. In recent years .The world summit in sustainable development was held in 2002 in Johannesburg . Genetic diversity. and . pollen. -eggs can be fertilized in vitro . 9 more have been added to the list. Q27. Q28. Initially. tissue culture and DNA banks serve this purpose.In this approach . Q24. It was held in Rio De Janeiro in 1992. seed. a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss at global. Q26.ex-situ conservation has advanced beyond keeping threatened species in enclosures . regional and local levels. zoological parks. Botanical gardens. How do ecologies estimate the total number of species present in the world ? . Q25. Why the world summit was held? Ans. seedling.plants can be propagated using tissue culture methods -seeds of different genetic variations of commercially important plants can be kept for long periods in seed plants. south Africa . -Now gametes of threatened species can be preserved in viable and fertile condition for long periods using cryopreservation techniques .

How is this achieved by the biotic components of the ecosystems? Ans. they don’t allow the top soil to be drifted away by winds or moving water to go into the soil. Ecologists make a statistical comparison of species richness of exhaustively studied groups of insects of the temperate and tropical regions and they extrapolate(estimate study) this ratio to other groups of animals and plants to calculate a gross estimate of the total number of species on earth Q29. Their roots bind the soil particles firmly and in this way.What is the significance of the slope of regression in species –area relationship? Ans. the value of slopes of regression are remarkably similar regardless of the taxonomic group or the region. These are held in high esteem by tribal communities /state or central government. Q30. They therefore have evolved to reveal much higher species diversity than plants that do not possess nervous system and respond differently against environmental stimuli. Sacred groves are the sacred forest patches around places of worship. Among the ecosystems services are control of flood and soil erosion. what could be the explanations to how animals achieved greater diversification? Ans. Tribals don’t allow cutting even a single branch of tree in these sacred groves. . They possess receptors to receive environmental stimuli and show responses against them most of their responses are adaptive and ensure their survival in changing environmental conditions. Q32. Disappearance of any link in a food chain will not affect the ecosystem as other alternatives are there. -done- Q31 how is diversity biodiversity important for ecosystem functioning? ans. Most animals possess simple or complex nervous system to control and coordinate various activities. Q34. What are the major causes of species losses in a geographical region? Ans. What are sacred groves? What is their role in conservation? Ans. All ecosystems are linked in food chains and interact with their abiotic environment in such a way so as to keep the natural cycles going and make the ecosystem self sustaining units . Q33. Rich biodiversity provides alternatives available at each trophic level. This is the reason why many endemic species flourish in these regions. The species diversity of plants (22%) is much less than that of animals (72%). A species area relationship is done among small areas.Ans.plants plays a vital role in the control of flood and soil erosion.

either by protecting or cleaning up the habitat itself or by defending the specie from natural predators . . seed/pollen banks gene bank etc Ex situ conservation 1) It is the process of protecting the endangered species of plant or animal by removing it from the unsafe or threatened habitat and placing under the care of humans. Not essential components (producers or decomposers) of any ecosystem and losing one or few such organisms would not affect the functioning of ecosystems. In situ conservation 1)It is the process of protecting the endangered species of plants or animals in the natural habitat. biosphere reserves. 2) It helps in recovering populations or 2) It helps in recovering populations in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive features. such attempt is justified. zoos . wild life sanctuaries. We are trying to eradicate disease causing organisms (ex polio virus) from this world to make this world disease free. preventing their extinction under the conditions which closely resemble their natural habitats. Can you think of a situation where we deliberately want to make a species extinct? How would you justify it? Ans. For ex – national parks. For ex. Since microorganisms are harmful to the human society.botanical gardens.Q35.

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