Fall 2013 COL260 Unit-3 Objectives

Fall 2013 COL260 Unit-3 Objectives

Fall 2013 COL260 Unit-3 Objectives

Unit 3
Define what biodiversity is and why it is important. Define the three types of biodiversity (ecological diversity, species diversity and genetic diversity). Define and give examples of indicator species.
  • Ecological diversity
  • Species diversity
  • Indicator species
  • Genetic diversity * Reading assignment - “Why do California’s sea otters face an uncertain future”

Explain why it is important to protect each of these forms of diversity. Distinguish between intrinsic value and instrumental value. Describe the economic, medical, aesthetic, ecological, and ethical reasons to save biodiversity.
  • Biodiversity
  • Intrinsic value = ethical reason
  • Instrumental value
  • Economic services
  • Ecological services * Reading assignment - “Valuing ecosystem services”

Explain what extinction is. Define local extinction, ecological extinction and biological extinction.
  • Extinction
  • Local extinction
  • Ecological extinction
  • Biological extinction

Explain what is meant by biodiversity crisis and evaluate if there is a crisis. View “State of the planet - Is there a crisis?” Explain reasons why it is difficult to know the number of species on the earth.
  • Biodiversity crisis

Explain the difference between the background extinction rate and mass extinction. How many mass extinctions have there been in the past? Explain how current extinctions differ from extinctions in the past. Understand why extinction is “forever”.
  • Background extinction
  • Mass extinction
  • Historical mass extinctions
  • Premature extinction * Reading assignment - “Is earth facing a mass extinction?”

Explain what habitat is.
  • Habitat = areas on the earth where a species lives that provide everything a species needs to survive and reproduce

What is the number one cause of current extinctions. Why does habitat fragmentation lead to species loss. List major causes of extinctions (habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, exotic species, overharvesting, pollution). Describe the biodiversity of tropical forests and forest loss. Give reasons as to why the biodiversity in the tropics is important. List three ways to preserve the tropical rain forests
  • Habitat loss/destruction
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Exotic/non-native species
  • Overharvesting/overfishing/overhunting

Define and give examples of endemic species, exotic species and keystone species. Explain why exotic species can lead to species extinctions. Using an example why the loss of keystone species can result in the loss of many other species. Describe why invasion of the exotic species are threat for the ecosystem.
  • Endemic (native) species
Exotic (non-native/alien) species * Reading assignment - “Exotic species threaten welfare of Hawaii’s native plants and animals”
  • Keystone species

Define biodiversity hotspots based on the number of endemic vascular plants they contain. Describe the current state of the world’s hotspots. Explain why conservation efforts are focusing on hotspots. List ways to preserve hot spots (e.g., reserves, education, ecotourism, or working with international corporations to reduce their impacts). Distinguish wilderness areas from biodiversity hotspots. Define ecotourism. Describe essential elements for the successful ecotourism.
  • Biodiversity hotspot
  • Vascular plants
  • Wilderness areas
  • Ecotourism * Reading assignment - “Mozambique considers eco-tourism options for conserving biodiversity”

List three characteristics that make species prone to extinction (limited range, small population size, specialized habitat (narrow niche), lack of genetic diversity, high on food chain).
  • Susceptibility to extinction
  • Typology of rarity

Define threatened species and endangered species. List and briefly describe three approaches to protect wild species from extinction (research, laws, education). List examples of species in risk of extinction in the UAE. Explain ways in which endangered species in the UAE could be protected (research on species needs, wildlife reserves/habitat protection, breeding programs, laws to protect endangered species).
  • Threatened species
  • Endangered species
  • Protection of biodiversity

Evaluate the roll zoo’s can play in conservation of species. Give an example of a species recovered for reintroduction in zoos (Arabian Oryx, golden lion tamarin).
* However, students can watch the video of “State of the Planet” in 6 parts on YouTube.