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Old 11-21-2010, 05:48 PM   #1
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Default Biodiversity...biological diversity

Biodiversity, what it is and why it is important is explored in this
'Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy' definition.
I liked the concept of biological diversity being seen not just as a list of living organisms but
also including ecosystem processes that maintain, support and repair damage.
A holistic view that tries to understand how each part works with other parts to create and continue ecosystem services to the whole.

Biodiversity (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Quote:
"Biodiversity" was coined as a contraction of "biological diversity" in 1985,
but the new term arguably has taken on a meaning and import all its own.
A symposium in 1986, and the follow-up book BioDiversity (Wilson 1988),
edited by biologist E. O. Wilson, heralded the popularity of this concept.
Ten years later, Takacs (1996, p.39) described its ascent this way:
"in 1988, biodiversity did not appear as a keyword in Biological Abstracts,
and biological diversity appeared once.
In 1993, biodiversity appeared seventy-two times,
and biological diversity nineteen times".
Fifteen years further on, it would be hard to count how many times "biodiversity"
is used every day by scientists, policy-makers, and others.
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Old 11-22-2010, 02:47 PM   #2
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If visual is your thing, watch this.


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Old 11-22-2010, 03:05 PM   #3
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Why is genetic diversity important?

An Introduction to Restoration Genetics: Why is Genetic Diversity Important?

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Genetic diversity helps organisms cope with current environmental variability.
Organisms exist in environments that vary in time and over space. Such variation is often described in terms of the natural or historic range of variability (NRV, HRV) in environmental conditions such as weather, disturbance events, resource availability, population sizes of competitors, etc. (White and Walker 1997).
Quote:
A diverse array of genotypes appears to be especially important in disease resistance (Schoen and Brown 1993; McArdle 1996). Genetically uniform populations (such as highly inbred crops) are famously vulnerable to diseases and pathogens, which can (and do) decimate populations in which all individuals are equally vulnerable. Such uniformity also predisposes a population to transmit disease from one individual to another: instead of having isolated diseased individuals, nearly every individual may be exposed to disease by direct contact or proximity. More diverse populations are more likely to include individuals resistant to specific diseases; moreover, infected individuals occur at lower density, and thus diseases or pathogens may move more slowly through the population.
How is genetic diversity distributed in natural populations?
An Introduction to Restoration Genetics: How is Genetic Diversity Distributed in Natural Populations?

Quote:
There are genetic differences among individuals within most (but not all) populations of plants and animals. There are also differences among populations across the range of each species. In this section we review some basic patterns of how genetic diversity of species is distributed, or partitioned
Quote:
Each species distributes its genetic diversity (one measure of which is the total of all alleles at all loci) in a pattern reflecting both its biology and its history (Wright 1965; Nei 1975). For example, nearby populations of plants that are pollinated by bees may share many alleles because genes (packaged in pollen grains) can flow easily between sites. Such species may have fewer unique alleles in each population, so populations tend to be genetically similar. By contrast, there may be less gene flow among populations of species that are pollinated by ground-dwelling flightless beetles, or whose heavy fruits fall to the ground in the vicinity of the parent tree. Gene flow can also be obstructed by physical barriers (i.e., topography or habitat that a pollinator, disperser, or migrating individual cannot cross), as well as by disturbance (Levin 1981; Slatkin 1987).
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
A wealth of information in these posts, Gloria, thank you. I've only really a surface knowledge of the subject, though I've long understood the desirability of mixing many different genotypes in a population to stymie any predator from reproducing in inordinate numbers due to monocultural practices that create unnatural conditions.

In the initial post of this thread, I particularly liked: "Despite a wide range of usage, biodiversity remains a concept strongly linked to the idea of biological variation that is largely unknown in its extent, and its future values. Any "calculus" of biodiversity providing quantitative estimates of this unknown variation automatically provides at the same time a measure of those values that link to the need to maintain variety — option values and intrinsic values."

"Unknown in extent" is a humbling admission that should cause any thinking person to take pause before remodeling nature to their own liking. How can one remodel what one doesn't see or understand?
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Old 12-24-2010, 04:41 PM   #5
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I can not seem to embed this video but the link will take you to a site where it can be watched.
This lecture starts with a brief discussion of human population and biodiversity. Then it covers much of interest about biodiversity and why it is important.


Why So Many Species? The Factors Affecting Biodiversity | Yale Biology Lecture


Yale / Biology
Why So Many Species? The Factors Affecting Biodiversity
Taught By Stephen C Stearns | Evolution, Ecology and Behavior Lecture 31 of 36

Updated Link: http://videolectures.net/yaleeeb122f07_stearns_lec31/
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:40 PM   #6
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A link to some information in a playful format using podcast and video.

Biodiversity | Untamed Science
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:19 PM   #7
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An interesting video interview with Professor Nelson concerning his views on biodiversity.

Dailymotion - Nelson: Biodiversity - une vidéo News & Politics

Dailymotion - Nelson: Biodiversity - une vidéo News & Politics
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:40 AM   #8
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Another take on the definition an understanding of biodiversity.

http://www.uprm.edu/biology/profs/ch...ngland2001.pdf
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:50 AM   #9
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A good video defining biodiversity, produced by the students at a Vancouver film school. I think they did an excellent job.
There is a short commercial ad but worth it for the viewing.

Biodiversity - Vancouver Film School (VFS) - Video
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Old 04-06-2011, 08:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
A good video defining biodiversity, produced by the students at a Vancouver film school. I think they did an excellent job.
Compressing an hour or two of lecture into a couple of minutes of graphic art. I hope it entices at least a few viewers to learn more.
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