Ecology Lecture Notes

Biodiversity: Introduction (Definition, Classification, Importance and Measurement of Biodiversity)

What is biodiversity?

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better’
Albert Einstein

What is biodiversity?

@. Biodiversity- definition: “variability among living organisms”

@. Biodiversity is the variety and variability of genus, species and ecosystem between and within

@. It is the number of different organisms & their relative frequency in an ecosystem

@. The term Biodiversity is coined by Walter Rosen, 1985

@. About 50 million sps. of plants, animals & microbes are existing in the world

@. Among this only 2 million are identified so far

@. Biodiversity also includes: Variability of genus, Variability of varieties, Variability of species, Variability of populations in different ecosystems, Variability in relative abundance of species

@. Knowledge of biodiversity is essential for sustainable utilization of resources

@. Biological resources provide us: Nourishment, Clothing, House, Fuel, Medicine and Revenue

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Ecology Lecture Notes

Why Biodiversity is Rich in Tropics?

World map indicating tropics and subtropics

Tropical Area Highlighted in Pink (source wikipedia)

Tropical Area

Ø  Tropical region is the part of earth surrounding the equator

Ø  Exactly it cover the region between tropic of cancer and tropic of capricorn

Tropic of Cancer: 23.43º towards Northern Hemisphere

Tropic of Capricorn: 23.43° towards Southern Hemisphere

Ø  Tropical regions receive maximum sunlight over the year

Ø  Tropical vegetation are the most productive vegetation on earth

Ø  Tropical areas are rich in biodiversity

Ø  Majority of the endemic species of earth belongs to tropical areas

Ø  Majority of the Mega-biodiversity Centers and Mega-biodiversity hotspots are in the tropics

Ø  In bio-geography, tropical area are divided into:

(1). Paleotropics: Africa, Asia and Australia

(2). Neotropics: Caribbean, Central America and South America

Why biodiversity is rich in tropics?

Tropical areas are rich in biodiversity than temperate regions, because:

@.  Warm temperature and high humidity of tropical region are favourable for most of the species on earth

@.  Tropical areas have more stable climate than temperate regions

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