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.

Plants( including fungi. In other words out of every 10 animals on this earth . .1) Q8.gymnosperms and angiosperms)comprise 22%of the total biodiversity. -Tropical Amazon rainforests in South America has the greatest biodiversity on earth.amphibians. while Network at41 degree north has 105 and Greenland at 71 degree north has only 56 species India ( tropical)has more tahn1. more than1.bryophytes.Tropical areas (23.such as latitudinal gradient in diversity -species diversity decreases as we move away from equator towards the poles.25.That is what makes our country one of the 12 mega diversity countries of the world.S.300 species of birds 427 species of mammals 378 species of reptiles.5 degree south)have more species than temperate or polar areas.What according to “May”(a scientist)is the percentage of total species recorded so far.• • • Among animals insects are the most species rich taxonomic group and make up more than 70%of the total. How many species of plants and animals has been recorded from India? Ans.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. Ans. 7 are insects. One number of fungi species in the world are more than the combined total of species fishes. Q9. For ex-Columbia located near equator has nearly1. (fig 15.000 species of fish’s 1. Nealy 45.000 species of plants 30.1%.4%of the world’s land area.5 degree north to 23.000 species of plants and animals has been recorded from India.algae. 40. Although India has only 2.its share of the global species diversity is 8.What is different patterns of biodiversity ? Ans.reptiles and mammals.000 species of invertebrates .400species of birds. They show interesting pattern of diversity .A. Q10. 1)Latitudinal gradientsThe diversity of plants and animals is not uniform.What makes our country one of the 12 mega diversity countries of the world? Ans.22% Q11.

Why tropics have greater biological diversity? Ans. freshwater fishes . species richness increased with increasing explored area but only up to a limit. 2)It must be either resistant or resilient (readily recovering from shocks)to occasional disturbances(natural or manmade).2 regardless of the taxonomic group or the region i. . which contributes to higher productivity and this in turn contributes indirectly to greater diversity. the slope of the line then would be much steeper (value of Z ranging 0. relatively more constant and predictable as compared to temperate ones. the slopes of the regression line are amazingly similar whether it is the plants in Britain. 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 0.6 to 1.2) For fruit eating birds and mammals the slope would be 1. If analysis of species area relationship is done among very large areas such as among continents. 1)a stable community should not show too much variation in productivity from year to year. Accordingly . birds in California or mollusks in new York state .e.2) The relationship shows a straight line on a logarithmic scale described by the equation. bats)turns out to be a rectangular hyperbola. • • 2) Species area relationshipVon Humboldt a German examined a region. What are the characteristic features of a stable community? Ans.1 to 0. Tropical latitudes have remained relatively undisturbed for millions of years whereas temperate regions were subjected to frequent glaciations in the past.15 Q13. Such constant environments promote niche specialization and leads to greater species diversity.Q12. birds . the relation between species richness and area for a wide variety of taxi( angiosperms . There is more solar energy available in the tropics. Ecologists and evolutionary biologists have proposed various hypotheses The important ones are• Speciation is generally a function of time. Therefore tropical regions had a long evolutionary time for diversity of species. Tropical environmental are less seasonal. (Fig 15.

This hypothesis was given by Paul Ehrlich.three sub species of tiger (Bali.Give an account of loss of biodiversity. Bird species-12% Mammals-23% Amphibians-32% Gymnosperms-31% . 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. Ans.Caspian) Q17. If every passenger travelling in it (ecosystem) starts popping(taking act)a rivet to take home it may not affect flight safety initially. 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) . ethylamine (Australia). Q15.3)it must also be resistant to invasions by alien species. Q16. the plane becomes dangerously weak over a period of time.What are the findings of David Tilman’studies richness in a community? Ans14. ecosystem is like an airplane in which all parts are joined together. a Stanford ecologist. Give an account of species which are facing the threat of extinction Ans. Q14. 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. but as more and more rivets(species)are removed. Quake(Africa).Steller’ssea cow(Russia).Javan.What is “rivet popper hypothes” Ans.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.

now covers not more than 6%. 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. some of them turn invasive and cause decline or extinction of indigenous species. Many species extictions were due to over –exploitation by humans.What is different causes of biodiversity loss? Ans. cattle. mammals and birds require large territories and certain animals with migratory habits are badly affected. once covering more hand 14%of the earth’s land. What may be the effects of loss of biodiversity? Ans. 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. 3) Alien species invasionsWhen alien species are introduced in an area. Habitat loss by pollution also threatens the survival of many species. .water use and pest and disease cycles. Presently. 2)Over-exploitationHuman needs lead to over –exploitation of natural resources. Tropical rain forests. Q19. When large habitats are broken up into small fragments due to various human activities.Q18. leading to population declines. There are four major causes (The evil quartet) 1)Habitat loss and fragmentationIt is one of the primary reasons for the loss of Biodiversity.The world is facing the problem of species extinction due to human activities. 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. They are being destroyed fast. which have endangered the continued existence of some commercially important species. many marine fish populations around the world are over harvested.

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

therefore. chanda and bastar areas of M. Q22) give an account of in. This approach includes the protection of total ecosystem and its biodiversity at all levels. India has -14 biosphere reserves 90 national parks 448 wildlife sanctuaries In many cultures in India. national parks and sanctuaries. indo-Burma and Himalayan cover over country’s exceptionally high biodiversity regions. the sacred groves are the last refuges for a large number of rare on plants. It is unrealistic and uneconomical for many nations to conserve all their biological wealth . tracts of forest were set aside and all trees and wildlife within these forests were venerated (respect deeply) and given total protection.1) in India. 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). these hotspots are regions of accelerated habitat loss. Such sacred groves are found in Khasi and Jaintia hills un Meghalaya .western Ghats regions of Karnataka and Maharashtra and the sarguja. economically unique and biodiversity rich regions are legally protected as biosphere reserves. For e. aravalli hills of rajasthan.situ conservation in India Ans. Three of these hotspots – Western Ghats and Sri Lanka. 2)Ex situ conservation- . we save the entire forest to save tiger. In Meghalaya . eminent conservationists have identified certain biodiversity hotspots regions with very high levels of species richness and high degree of endemism (that is.P.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.g.

Botanical gardens. and . Initially 25 biodiversity hotspots were identified but subsequently. Name the 3 important components of biodiversity? Ans. 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.The world summit in sustainable development was held in 2002 in Johannesburg . south Africa . Q24. Q23. -eggs can be fertilized in vitro . Genetic diversity. Where was the historic convention on biological diversity (the earth summit)held? Ans.ex-situ conservation has advanced beyond keeping threatened species in enclosures . 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. -Now gametes of threatened species can be preserved in viable and fertile condition for long periods using cryopreservation techniques . seedling. Q26. In recent years . Why was the earth summit held? Ans. how many hotspots were identified ?how many more were added ? Ans. tissue culture and DNA banks serve this purpose. Q25. seed.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. 9 more have been added to the list. It was held in Rio De Janeiro in 1992. Initially. species diversity and ecological diversity. Q27.In this approach . wildlife safari. a significant reduction in the current rate of biodiversity loss at global. How do ecologies estimate the total number of species present in the world ? . regional and local levels. zoological parks. pollen. Why the world summit was held? Ans. Q28. 190 countries pledged their commitment to achieve by 2010.

Rich biodiversity provides alternatives available at each trophic level. They therefore have evolved to reveal much higher species diversity than plants that do not possess nervous system and respond differently against environmental stimuli. This is the reason why many endemic species flourish in these regions. Their roots bind the soil particles firmly and in this way. Tribals don’t allow cutting even a single branch of tree in these sacred groves. These are held in high esteem by tribal communities /state or central government. . Among the ecosystems services are control of flood and soil erosion. Disappearance of any link in a food chain will not affect the ecosystem as other alternatives are there. A species area relationship is done among small areas. the value of slopes of regression are remarkably similar regardless of the taxonomic group or the region. 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 . How is this achieved by the biotic components of the ecosystems? Ans. -done- Q31 how is diversity biodiversity important for ecosystem functioning? ans. Sacred groves are the sacred forest patches around places of worship. Q34. Most animals possess simple or complex nervous system to control and coordinate various activities. Q32. What are the major causes of species losses in a geographical region? Ans. 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. The species diversity of plants (22%) is much less than that of animals (72%). Q33. they don’t allow the top soil to be drifted away by winds or moving water to go into the soil. 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. Q30.Ans. what could be the explanations to how animals achieved greater diversification? Ans.plants plays a vital role in the control of flood and soil erosion.What is the significance of the slope of regression in species –area relationship? Ans. What are sacred groves? What is their role in conservation? Ans.

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

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