A little goes a long way

  1. In 150-200 words identify a species that has gone extinct and explain the circumstances surrounding the events leading to its extinction.
  2. In 150-200 words identify a species that has been placed on the endangered species list. Describe the events leading to it being placed on the endangered species list and the efforts taken to preserve and protect it.
  3. In 150-200 words explain what actions you can take in your community, or on a larger scale, to help ensure the preservation of biodiversity.

 

 

  1. The Javan Tiger, native to Java Indonesia, was declared extinct in 2003. The tiger was identified, by the local population ever encroaching on the tigers habitat, to be a pest and was chased off to remote mountainous areas. As the tigers number dwindled they were moved again to Meru Betiri National Park Reserve. As was discussed in this week’s section the Meru Betiri National Park Reserve did not provide adequate protection and seems to be a ‘paper park’. The Javan Tiger was hunted to near extinction levels. Adding to this the continued loss of habitat and lack of prey, due to the fact they were moved out of their natural habitat, they were declared extinct in 2003. The last sighting of the tiger was reported back in 1976. This is a great example of what we discussed in module 10. Human interaction with a system, even though they did not intend for a negative outcome, produced the ultimate demise of this species of animal. What was not discussed but I am interested to know is if the result of this top predator becoming extinct resulted in any other negative impacts on the ecosystem. Did the animals the tiger preyed upon flourish? Perhaps they overconsumed their own food source and perpetuated a negative cycle that ultimately imposed negative consequences to the people that caused the tigers extinction.

http://www.conservationinstitute.org/recently-extinct-animals/

 

  1. The pangolin has been placed on the endangered species list. With eight species of pangolin they range from endangered to critical. Called the armored ant eater or the most hunted animal in the world, the pangolin is believed to be a source of great healing in Eastern medicine. In this case the current state of the pangolin is not unintentional human interaction with the ecosystem or their natural habitat. The threat is intentional and deliberate. The WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) along with other organizations is working to raise awareness and working with government agencies to protect this animal from wildlife crimes. While it is an uphill battle it is one that is required to ensure the survival of this species and others like it. What struck me as interesting with this animal is that it is pretty much in direct contrast of what we read about in module 10. The threat posed to this species is due to overhunting. Even with some loose and rarely imposed or recognized restrictions in place the pangolin is still being over hunted, without further intervention and preservation this species will not survive.
  2. I think the best way to help maintain biodiversity is to start small. Start in your own backyard. By studying up on native and invasive plant and animal species in your local region you can better identify those species that belong and do more to help them survive and flourish and the remove those that are invasive and causing destruction to the native species. It is also important to become more self-sustaining to reduce our impact on the environment. By utilizing your own garden and composting organic waste products you can effectively reduce the amount of pollution you put into the environment. By operating organically your will reduce the amount of chemicals via pesticides and herbicides you release into the ground to be transported into the waterways. By starting small you can encourage others to do the same, eventually not only you but entire communities can help make a difference. Lead by example and do what you can.

Biodiversity in Madagascar

  1. In 200 – 250 words, describe a hotspot somewhere in the world.
    1. The Hotspot that I will be concentrating on for my learning activity is Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands. Even though Madagascar is relatively close to Africa, due to its isolation it has evolved its own unique flora and fauna. This results in the island having a lot of endemic species which means that animals found here only live here and nowhere else in the world. For example, 89% of the plants and 92% of the mammals found there only live in Madagascar. When humans first arrived on the islands, they hunted a lot of the animals for food which resulted in killing a lot of species there. A group of people called the Malagasy came from Africa and Asia and used harsh farming methods such as slash-and-burn agriculture and cattle grazing. These types of farming are not good for the land here because it is very infertile and hurts the fragile ecosystems. There is also a lot of deforestation occurring here and it is estimated that 80% of the natural vegetation has been lost. Forests are being destroyed in order to make way for coconut plantations and cinnamon exploitation. Another threat to the biodiversity on these islands is the growing population. With more people living here there is more hunting for food, cutting down more trees for wood to build houses, and small mining throughout these islands. If something doesn’t happen to stop humans threatening this ecosystem we will lose a lot of species only found in this part of the world.
  2. Create a system diagram of how the hotspot has gotten to the state it is in today and what is being done to help. Explain the efforts to stop the threats on these islands in 150 – 175 words.
    1. My diagram starts out with what I explained above and how Madagascar and the Indian Ocean islands have become a hotspot. Currently, the government in Madagascar is trying to work on their five year program of conserving the land and sustainability. 2.7% of the land in Madagascar is officially protected such as national parks and reserves to protect certain species and ecosystems. The government here is getting money for these programs and efforts to help different species out through the international community and they are receiving a lot of funding so far. Some of this money has also created different programs that are breeding certain species in order to get their population back up. For example, one group is breeding lemurs, tortoises, a threatened bird species and many more. As you can see, Madagascar is trying very hard to save a lot of their endemic species while also protecting and conserving the land and hopefully their efforts pay off in the future.

module 10

Module 10 Learning Activity

Using 250-350 words, describe why biodiversity is important for humans to consider, and also explain what we can do to preserve biodiversity around the world, keeping the H.I.P.P.O. acronym in mind.

Biodiversity is vital for us to understand, not only to protect species of animals, but also to protect our way of life now and in the future. In protecting species around the world, we preserve the “circle of life” for various habitats. For us to sustain our way of life, we need food chains around the world to continue to thrive, because we are a part of the global food chain ourselves. If a species of plant goes extinct due to overharvesting, not only will humans no longer be able to use it, but also we could drastically alter sources of food for many organisms, leaving them to go extinct, causing another organism to lose their source of food and go extinct, and so on and so on until we lose whole food chains from the bottom up.

The H.I.P.P.O. acronym stands for Habitat loss, Invasive species, Pollution, Human Population, and Overharvesting. To do our part to preserve biodiversity, we must make sure that we do not force rare native species out of their habitats for purposes ranging from urban development to agriculture. We should also make sure that we do not introduce invasive species that could negatively impact the ecosystem they are brought into, such as the brown tree snake in Guam. We must  strive to reduce pollution levels in every activity that requires a source of energy to prevent bioaccumulation from disrupting food chains from the bottom up and causing serious damage in regions around the world. The human population’s rapid growth is a serious issue facing the world in the coming years. As more and more humans come into the world, the more space and resources they will need to survive, which will impact biodiversity negatively. Harvesting practices need to be closely monitored to prevent overharvesting of plants and animals, not only for the particular species’ sake, but to allow humans to continue to have the species as a resource in the future. Keeping all of these things in mind, we can preserve biodiversity now and in the furue

Module 10-Biodiversity

Learning Activity:

Pt 1: Explain what biodiversity is and why it is important. Also explain how it relates to your own life and give examples of potential threats in your home town.

Pt 2: Explain the difference between an extinct and endangered species. Then choose an example of each and explain the causes for the species resulting in becoming endangered or extinct and if there are any measures being taken to prevent the endangered species from becoming extinct.

 

1.) Biodiversity is the variation and abundance of species in an area whether small scale or global. Biodiversity is extremely important to humanity. Anthropocentrically certain species provide us with food, medicine, other necessary materials and even for recreation. Ecocentric reasoning would include that organisms have a greater purpose beyond serving humans. People that view biodiversity with an ecocentric view get a feeling of fulfillment from protecting and preserving other species. I am from Williamsport, PA which is about an hour north of State College. One endangered species that could disrupt the biodiversity in my hometown is the Indiana bat. The Indiana bat is native to PA and is a major predator of pesky insects such as mosquitos. This species has become endangered mainly because of human disturbance of hibernation causing them to burn up all of their stored fat and die in the middle of Winter. The extinction of this bat could result in a negative impact on the people of Pennsylvania. An extinct bat species can mean an increase number in disease carrying insects such as mosquitos which can be harmful to the population. Over the years, even just in my hometown I have noted seeing fewer and fewer bats and an increasing number of mosquitos each year.

2.) An extinct species means that there are no longer any individuals of this species alive. An endangered species simply means that a species is at a serious risk of becoming extinct. My example of an extinct species is the ever famous dodo bird. The dodo bird lived on the islands east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. It was a flightless bird that both ate and nested on the ground. The primary cause of its extinction was due to the introduction of predators to the islands such as dogs and pigs from Dutch sailors. The dodo bird was over hunted for its meat which also led to its extinction. The common carnivorous plant; the venus fly trap is an example of an endangered species. The venus fly trap is native to the subtropical wetlands on the east coast of the U.S. This plant is popular in retail and many of these plants were taken right out of the ground in their natural habitat. Due to over harvesting the venus flytrap has become endangered. In order to help protect this amazing plant, taking a venus fly trap from the wild is now illegal and instead are now grown in greenhouses in various parts of the country.

Douglas Apple- Module 10

  1. Describe biodiversity in your area and how it is being threatened

I am from Hatfield PA, about 45 minutes north of Philadelphia. It is a suburban area and I feel as though it is high in biodiversity. There are many animal and plant species all around the town but I feel like in recent years it is being threatened. One major issue with biodiversity is deforestation. They are cutting down many trees to open up space for restaurants, company buildings, and houses. In fact, about five years ago I would see deer in my backyard almost everyday but now they had to cut down the woods to expand my neighborhood and I will go weeks without seeing a deer. This is a major issue because the animal species environments are being depleted by humans and eventually they will become extinct. This is not only a problem in my hometown but around the world as the population is growing at an exponential rate and they need a place to live and work. Humans must be aware of the impact they are having on the animal and plant species and figure out a way to make it sustainable.

2. Pick an Endangered Species and state why it is endangered and how could it be prevented

The animal that I chose to research is the Galapagos Penguin. The reason I chose this animal is because I went on vacation to the Galapagos Islands last year and we went on a tour and they told us about Penguins becoming endangered. They are the only penguin found north of the equator. Penguins are threatened by pollution, bycatch, and climate change. These are all created by humans so it shows that there is an interconnectedness between humans and animals. Species such as dogs also carry diseases that can spread to penguins as well, and cats pose as a threat as predators. One way that we can prevent the penguins from becoming extinct is finding renewable energy sources that do not cause pollution to the atmosphere. In turn, this will lessen climate change which also has a large impact on the lives of the penguins. One major issue for sea animals is trash in the ocean. The trash can rap around the necks of the penguins and kill them. Other environmental issues that are not caused by humans is El Nino. They cause mortalities up to 77 percent from the previous year with dramatic declines of prey species and reduced breeding success. El Nino is an anomalous warming of the eastern pacific ocean that leads to climate changes all across the world. This change of temperature will not only affect the penguins, but the food they eat can also die out. Penguins are dying out from the phenomenon and they are slowly becoming extinct.

https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/galapagos-penguin

Module 10: Dylan Hellings

  1. Using the information from Module 10, create a diagram that details human impact on biodiversity

GEOG030DylanBiodiversity

2. In 100-150 words explain why biodiversity is important

The reason biodiversity is so important is that it encompasses everything around us. When one part of an ecosystem is changed it sets off a chain reaction and branches out to almost every other part link of the chain even slightly related. If there is an overpopulation of a certain carnivore it reduces the population of their prey. If their prey becomes underpopulated, there could be surplus of their food in the area. This is a small example of the many ways change in one place can affect change in many others. More influential species such as humans can massively affect biodiversity, as outlined in my diagram above.

3. In 100-150 words describe how climate change affects biodiversity
With rapid climate change there are several elements of ecosystems that are affected. A recurring trend in biodiversity is one element affecting the next and the next and the next. When temperatures rise it melts the polar ice caps which affects sea levels which affects land animals on coastal areas. Humans would be greatly affected by the rise in sea levels because many of the world’s largest cities are located on coasts and would be impacted very strongly. This would also result in migration to safer areas which would cause habitats to be unstable. Global warming increases ocean stratification and acidification which affects underwater life and coral reefs.

 

Carlamere-Lesson 10

The topic I chose for this assignment is about how market forces of globalization are assaulting the Amazon. Over the past forty years, a war has been taken place over land in the Amazon area of Brazil. Many people live in fear, their lives have been threatened, and in extreme circumstances, some have even lost their lives by those who profiting from the removal of trees or order to acquire land. Historically the culprits have been loggers, and cattle ranchers, but now industrial scale farming producers have been joining in the destruction of our precious rainforest resources. This action accounts for over twenty percent loss of the Amazon rainforest. If this continued obliteration continues at the current rate we will see the elimination of plants, animals, and trees native to the Amazon rainforest forever. Furthermore, there will be drought, wildfires and a reduction of river levels, and an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. Tasked to stop this illegal land grab is the Brazil’s environmental protection agency, but the agency is understaffed and technically debilitated; additionally, inspectors assigned to monitor thousands of square miles are overwhelmed (Wallace 2016).

Up until recently the Brazilian government as been silent on this manner, but it is now imposing a new law to stop the deforestation that in leading to global warming. The government is requiring landowners to register their track of land and provide information regarding the clearing forest for logging and cattle. This new law will allow the government to award lots up to 250 acres for free to settlers. Additionally, no one will be able to purchase land more than 6,000 acres without an act of congress (Barrionuevo 2009). This is the first step towards correcting the past destruction, but a small step at best.

References

Barrionuevo, Alexei. Brazil Aims to Prevent Land Grabs in Amazon. 12 26, 2009. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/27/world/americas/27brazil.html?_r=0.

Wallace, Scott. Farming the Amazon. 2016. http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/habitats/last-of-amazon/#page=3.

Carlamere Lesson 10

Biodiversity

  1. Draw a system diagram that shows the connections between biodiversity and its cause and effects as discussed in the module.

Biodiversity Map

  1. In 100-150 words, explain your module: the ideas and layout rationale behind it.

Beginning with the factors that influence biodiversity, I included climate, topography, and disturbances as affecting stability. Climate includes global warming and other climate changes occurring over time; disturbances consist of both natural disasters and human actions. Changes in either can affect population, habitats, food source (which also affects population), and as a result, affect stability. Instability can cause extinctions, human or other species, decreasing biodiversity.

Biodiversity has multiple benefits: anthropocentric (human-centered values) and ecocentric (nature-centered values). From the former perspective, biodiversity can provide a variety of food sources, and scientific information which leads to discovering more medicine. From the ecocentric point of view, nature assists in purifying water and air, balancing heat in atmosphere, pollinating crops, cycling nutrients, thanks to various organisms and their functions. Not only do healthier air, water, and food profit nature, but these can be considered ecosystem services, services provided by the nature to the humans.

  1. In 100-150 words, relate biodiversity and the ecosystem services noticeable by you in your daily life.

First of all, the module shares a ecosystem service that people directly experience. Seemingly trivial, enjoying aesthetic benefits that come with conservation goals can be a big part of human life. For example, national parks are cultural ecosystem services. In fact, I hope to visit Yellowstone National Park and Grand Canyon this summer, and many more in the future.

Also, having moved from Pakistan to America, I can understand the value of clean air, which is more abundant here. Plants play a big part in that, like trees helping against global warming by balancing heat in the atmosphere. Some areas suffer from others’ use of nonrenewable resources that produce harmful contents into the air. The same goes for water, which is an expensive commodity in my home country- simply water supply as well as clean water. Therefore, I can value the importance of biodiversity and its effects on ecosystem services.

Biodiversity – General

biodiversity diagram

 

This work is again in relation to biodiversity in keeping with the coursework assignment for this weeks GEOG 030. The diagram explains biodiversity as it depends upon the number of particular species and ecosystems. As we all know there are tons of differing species and ecosystems on the planet that can be effected negatively or positively by way of changing human behaviors that result otherwise in negative impacts on both species and ecosystems accordingly. Ecosystem is a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment habitat is the type of environment in which and organism or group normally occurs or lives naturally. Further habitats consist of different species. The biodiversity we see today is the fruit of billions of years of evolution, shaped by natural processes and, increasingly, by the influence of humans. It forms the web of life of which we are an integral part and upon which we so fully depend upon.

Some of the Goods and Services provided by ecosystems include:

  • Provision of food, fuel and fibre
  • Provision of shelter and building materials
  • Purification of air and water
  • Detoxification and decomposition of wastes
  • Stabilization and moderation of the Earth’s climate
  • Moderation of floods, droughts, temperature extremes and the forces of wind
  • Generation and renewal of soil fertility, including nutrient cycling
  • Pollination of plants, including many crops
  • Control of pests and diseases
  • Ability to adapt to change

 

Learning Activity 10, Becca Hodge

  1. Choose a specific ecosystem. Explain the connection between biodiversity and this ecosystem in around 250 words.
  2. Make a system diagram to show how this connection is formed.I chose the temperate broadleaf forest for my ecosystem. This ecosystem exists where I live, in Pennsylvania. Biodiversity and the ecosystem are closely related in the way that they depend on one another. In the ecocentric aspect, biodiversity is vital because of the intrinsic values that the different components of the ecosystem benefit from. These benefits include things such as shelter, food, and competition to keep individual populations under control. To further expand on this, biodiversity, or “a measure of variation and richness of living organisms at a particular scale”, of the temperate broadleaf forest would be the incredible number or insects, the variation in vegetation, and the of animal species, from deer to bears. In terms of competition, foxes and hawks both eat small rodents like mice and rabbits, so because of this, they keep the other’s populations in check. As for anthropocentric reasons for the importance of biodiversity, this is centered on what humans can get out of the ecosystem. The temperate broadleaf forest provides lumber, recreation, water resources, as well as food. As far as the connection between biodiversity and this ecosystem in terms of anthropocentric reasons, the more biodiversity, the more options humans have to benefit from the ecosystem. However, the inclusion of humans to the ecosystem means that there is a higher the chance of disruption to the ecosystem. Although there are natural disturbances as well, human disturbances, like cutting down trees, or polluting the water source, can put both the ecosystem and the amount of biodiversity, in limbo.biodiversity Rebecca Hodge

Module 10

For the first part, write about how deforestation has affected you in your own personal life. (150-200 words)

For part two, write about what problems it would cause for the environment and what action could be done to help reduce the problem. (250-300 words)

 

1.       Deforestation affected me personally because my mom was born in Brazil and she has a house in Manaus, Brazil which is almost in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest. When I was younger, we used to go there every year and visit my family and stay in the house in Manaus. I have always noticed the deforestation in the area, but in the more recent years it has become almost impossible to go there without seeing the effects of it. One of the best things about going to my mom’s house in Brazil was that the house was in the middle of nowhere and it was relaxing. Since the deforestation increased, the house does not feel like it is as secluded as it was and it makes it a lot less relaxing. This was how deforestation affected me on a personal level, but it does so much worse on an environmental level.

2.       The Amazon Rainforest has the greatest level of biodiversity on the planet for how small the total area is. It contains over fifty percent of the world’s biodiversity as stated in the lesson, and there are many species of animals and plants including many that have medicinal value. Deforestation leads to habitat loss for the animals which causes them to lose their homes and food, which increases their chances of becoming endangered. There are millions of plants in the rainforest and it says in the lesson that we only tested about one percent of the world’s plants to see if they have medicinal uses. This means that deforestation kills potential medicinal plants and nobody even knows that were destroying our medicine. Also, since the resilience of an ecosystem depends on the amount of biodiversity, destroying the parts of the rainforest lowers the overall resilience of the ecosystem because much of the biodiversity is destroyed. There are many different actions that can be done to stop or reduce deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest. It says in the lesson that a big promoter of deforestation is the poverty of farmers causing them to clear more land in order to plant more crops. One thing that the United States can do to help reduce the deforestation in the Amazon is to help improve the economy in Brazil. If the economy improves, the farmers would not need to expand their lands by destroying the forests. Although the Amazon Rainforest is not located in the United States, I still believe that we should help stop the deforestation because that particular rainforest impacts the entire world.

 

 

Module 10

In 125-175 words, describe threats to biodiversity in your own area and actions you can take to reduce this.

My city, South Bend, Indiana, is located on Lake Michigan. For years, we have had an issue with Asian carp in the Great lakes that is affecting the biodiversity within the lakes. The Asian carp are filter feedings and can consume 20% of their bodyweight per day in plankton and also grow to 100 pounds. This creates a competition with the other water life in Lake Michigan for food and creates threat to its competitors since it has no natural predators within North America. To combat this will take a lot of collective action. To reduce this, I can encourage my city to contact our officials to implement electric fences to keep out the Asian carp from entering into the Great Lakes. As for individual action, when fishing, it is important to be able to recognize Asian carp, and since it is legal, be able to trap them, shoot them, and even poison them.

In 125-175, pick a protected area and do research on how this protected area is working towards conserving biodiversity.

The protected area I am choosing is a national park, specifically Yellowstone National Park. As stated in the module, national parks serve to balance ecosystem protection via human recreation. Yellowstone works to conserve biodiversity by reintroducing wolves into their environment, which increases biological diversity at the park, specifically, the forests, since wolves are predators to elks who have been depleting the supply of trees within the park. After reintroducing wolves, elks were no longer heavily eating aspen trees, and their sprouts have had a greater survival rate. Along with this, cottonwood and willow populations have also recovered. Yellowstone is known for having many types of ecosystems, ranging from alpine tundra, mountain meadows, and grasslands. The regulations that Yellowstone have works to protect the flora and fauna there and preserve the biodiversity present.

Gunderson Mod-10

  1. In 150-200 words, describe an area that’s protected by an international conservation organization and the importance of the protection that is provided. What would have happened to it if it had not been protected? What does the future hold for the site?

  2. In your own words, what do you think will come of the human species in one thousand years? Will we still be on Earth? Will we have spread to other solar systems? How will maintaining bio diversity, sustainable development, on the planet affect our survival?

  3. Using a system diagram, illustrate the effects that the area has on bio diversity and sustainability.

 

In central Colorado there are 30,540 acres of mountainous forest called Mount Massive Wilderness Area. The IUCN classifies it as ‘Ib’, which means it’s protected to ensure that biodiversity and other natural functions of the ecosystem can flourish[1]. Human presence is heavily restricted, and ‘leave no trace (pack it in/pack it out) practices are enforced. It designated a wilderness area in 1980 by congress and has been managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service and Forest Service ever since. The Leadville national fish hatchery is located within the boundaries of the area and serves to rear several different species of trout to ensure populations of remain sustainable in the rocky mountain area. Without services like this, humans would’ve fished the rivers dry of trout and many of these species would’ve most likely gone extinct. Instead, because of the hatcheries, sportsman can enjoy fishing while the population stays sustainable. As long as current practices are enforced into the future, and barring any natural disaster, this wilderness area will remain pristine for many generations to come.

 

The human species has proven itself to be an extremely dominant life form. Though we are still relatively new to the planet, we are amazingly adaptable and durable. We exist in every climate. We have a presence on every major body of land. We even maintain a human presence that orbits the planet. We have survived extreme natural disasters, extinctions, famine, plagues, pandemics, wars, etc. Every test that has been thrown at us since the dawn of our existence has been survived. Even with everything that was against us, we’ve flourished to the point of overpopulation that’s depleting our natural resources and polluting our environment. Our biggest hurdle in our evolution is proving to be ourselves. I truly believe that we can and will overcome the challenges us. Collective action will take hold when the effects of climate change become apparent to all. We will apply sustainable ethics to our thought processes and develop appropriate methods of living. We will ensure our own bio diversity as well as our environment’s because without it we won’t be able to survive here long enough to develop the knowledge and means to survive on other worlds. In 1,000 years, I think that we will have learned to live off the planet and will leave this solar system in search of other habitable places for the continued growth of our species.

[1] (wikipedia/ IUCN protected area categories 2016)

 

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Module 10: Biodiversity Learning Activity

  1. First, pick a species on the endangered species list. (found here: https://www.worldwildlife.org/species/directory?direction=desc&sort=extinction_status). You can choose from the vulnerable and threatened categories as well. Then, research WHY this animal is in danger, and in 200-350 words, describe what actions lead to this animal’s endangerment. Could this have been prevented, or is the animal on this list because of natural occurrences?

The animal I chose from the endangered species list was the African Elephant. This animal is actually considered to be vulnerable and not endangered. The African Elephant is the biggest land animal on Earth. A big reason why I chose this animal is not only because it is my personal favorite, but also because of the illegal activity associated with this animal. The African Elephant’s tusks are extremely desirable, making them a target for poaching within the illegal ivory trade. The Illegal ivory trade started in Africa and kills over 70,000 African and Asian Elephants a year. Mainly used for manufacturing, ivory is extremely valuable and considered to be an indication of wealth. Although there have been many acts and treaties to ban the illegal trade, they have been unsuccessful for the most part, hence the endangered list. Considering the African Elephant is on the vulnerable list due to it’s illegal poaching, I think that this endangerment is definitely man-made, and is a direct result of human behavior. If we were to stop illegal poaching, it is inevitable that the African Elephant’s population would increase, thus eventually taking them off of the list. I understand that ivory is desirable, but I think that completely wiping an animal off of the planet to meet your selfish needs is completely disgraceful.

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) mother and calf, Sambru National Reserve, Kenya

African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) mother and calf, Sambru National Reserve, Kenya

  1. In another 200-350 words, pick your favorite module/topic from the semester. What was most eye-opening to you?

My favorite topic to learn about this semester was the climate change lecture. I’ve taken several other classes involving the environment, but I liked how climate change was explained. I think the most crucial part of understanding climate change and the human influence was to stress about climate vs. weather. Overall from the lecture I got to understand about individual action and just how impactful what I do from day to day can positively or negatively influence a society. I think that climate change and biodiversity go hand-in-hand. The world has suffered from huge biodiversity loss as a result of human activity. Furthermore, the same applies to the results of climate change which have severely adverse affects on the environment. Climate Change also helped me understand more about my final project, which is about oil. The emission of fossil fuels into the atmosphere and overall understanding of polar ice caps melting really can impact biodiversity by certain animals being unable to thrive in new, compromising positions. Animals on the endangered list are there mostly by illegal poaching or due to the vast change of their environments. I find it to be pretty terrible that we are losing animals due to human behavior, but as of now, our economy is running on fossil fuel consumption, so we must adhere.

Biodiversity Conservation Learning Activity

  1. In a paragraph of 200 to 350 words, describe a factor that threatens biodiversity and why it’s bad. What can we do to help stop threats to biodiversity? What have we done to stop the threats?
  2. In a paragraph of 150 to 250 words, describe the pros and cons to biodiversity conservation.
  3. In a paragraph of 150 to 250 words, describe what happens when a species becomes extinct. How does it influence the negative feedback loop?

Answers:

  1. I’m going to use overharvesting as a threat to biodiversity because globalization has had a massive influence on our “hunting and gathering.” With new technology we are able to transport mass amounts of goods and preserve them for longer. For instance, we have bigger nets that allow us to capture more fish which are then stored in a large refrigeration unit on a big ship for transport. Also, we are clearing out large amounts of land in order to mass produce crops. We now have certain chemicals or pesticides that preserve foods longer, allowing us to transport and keep food longer. Overharvesting of fish causes a disruption in evolution and reproduction. If we continuously overharvest then certain species will become extinct. This disrupts nature because other consequences are at hand. A loss in a predatory fish means that there will be an overabundance of prey fish. Also, if we continuously cut down forests we are destroying certain species’ habitats. This can cause an extinction of different species which then, will disrupt the evolutionary aspect. We can do certain things to try and stop threats to biodiversity such as; enforcing strict nature reserves, national parks, protecting natural monuments, creating habitat/species management areas, protecting landscape/seascape and managing a resource protected area. These types of actions have been taken. For instance, Yellowstone National Park is mentioned in this module as an area that protected nature by restricting human uses with it.

2. A pro to biodiversity conversation is saving the different species of nature and not disrupting the negative feedback loop. The conservation of biodiversity does not cause a threat, meaning that species will not become extinct. It also allows these beautiful habitats to survive so we can appreciate them for years to come. We could also use these areas for recreational purposes.  Some of these conservation methods are intended to balance ecosystem protection with human recreation; such as national parks. A con is the issue with the social justices. National parks do not allow any form of extraction, thus denying people of resources. An example that the module gives is how the Native Americans in Montana were negatively affected by the production of Glacier National Park. The Native Americans once lived in that area, where they hunted and gathered, but then were denied those opportunities once the park came about.

3. When a species become extinct it has a massive effect on the negative feedback loop. Everything in the environment or certain habitats are interlinked. It’s similar to a chain. When one species dies out or becomes extinct, it influences other species thus creating a disturbance in the negative feedback loop. For instance, in a rainforest the vegetation carries the nutrients rather than the soil. The nutrients from the plants are transferred through the water since the soil is not fertile. This means that once a rainforest is cut down, it is nearly impossible to grow another due to the lack of fertility in the soil. Another example is the Cod issue in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. The fishery in that area was an important commercial fishery for hundreds of years. However, the mass amount of fishing led to a massive population drop in predatory fish which caused a massive population increase in prey fish.

Module 10 – Gilberto Aponte

  1. How does biodiversity come in the equation with other sections of this course? (150-250 words)
  2. What is the biodiversity where I live? (150 – 250 words)

 

  1. Biodiversity is an incredibly important piece in the puzzle that is our planet. The increasing number of species in this planet allowed it to be the planet we know today, starting with microbial life that first dominated the oceans and allowed it to have enough oxygen to allow for multicellular life to thrive and conquer land. In essence, we highly depend on it to even exist, and to have a continued existence. Our food for example is a part of this life which allowed us to move forward. For millennia we used horses to travel between cities and help the process of human development get to where it is now. It is such a crucial part that we have an ethical obligation to defend it as much as possible and to raise awareness of the damage that we can potentially do to it. We must develop methods to achieve a sustainable development, as right now we are in the path of potential destruction of much of this diverse planet we depend on. Coral reefs are dying. Deforestation is rampant in the Amazon. These actions have and will cause potential natural hazards that affect vast amount of people. It also contributes to climate change as the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen in our atmosphere starts becoming disproportionate. The sheer number of factors linked with biodiversity are still being counted.
  2. In Puerto Rico one would experience a very tropical fauna and flora. Among the most unique animals we have is called the coqui. The coqui is a frog which goes “coquí” during the night and before rainfall. It is actually native just to the island and they’re everywhere. So much so that we use it as a symbol to represent ourselves. Oftentimes outsiders find them annoying during the night because they’re so present. Us natives just find them to be background noise. Being such a small place we have a pretty diverse set of life though. We have a dry area where you would find cacti and other dry plants with its own set of animals. We also have the only rainforest in the US where it is rich and full of life. We have our coastal animals with pretty safe waters (no sharks). There’s also a system of caverns around the northern part where we find a completely different variations of animals such as bats and unique insects. Puerto Rico is so diverse it would take one a solid week of traveling through it in order to fully experience what we are as a whole. It’s an incredibly beautiful place which I feel really lucky to have been raised in and now about to leave it to live in the states permanently with a heavy heart. I will never forget the sheer beauty I experienced and its diverse culture and environment.

View from a mountain
overview

El Yunque rainforestrainforest

Sunset at Arecibo beach
beach

Coqui frog which I took from here.

coqui_churi1

Biodiversity – Michael Celoni

1. In 150-200 words, describe what the biodiversity is like in your hometown. Do you feel that your hometown is more or less diverse than others?

Blue Bell, Pa is home to many different plants and animals. For plants, there are many deciduous and coniferous trees sprawled about my town along with all different types of flowers and shrubs. For animals, in my backyard alone I’ve seen squirrels, rabbits, foxes, groundhogs, mice, deer, skunks, and different types of birds. There’s also lots of insects like ants, grasshoppers, praying mantises, bees, butterflies, etc. I believe you would be able to find all of these animals and insects anywhere you go in town. I’m not really sure where my hometown stands in terms of biodiversity. I would imagine that it has more biodiversity than your average big city like Philadelphia due to there being more grass and wooded areas for animals but I’m not sure. It certainly would not be more diverse than a place like the Amazon rain forest which was mentioned in the module. I think my town has an appropriate amount of biodiversity.

2. In 200-250 words, follow H.I.P.P.O. and write about which threat you believe is the most harmful to your hometown today. What can you or anyone else do to help stop this threat?

I believe that the biggest threat to biodiversity in my hometown, and many hometowns is habitat loss. I’m not sure how many species of plants and animals were originally where my hometown is but I imagine that there has to be less due to deforestation and humans building the town. Today, there are still new buildings and shopping centers and all kinds of expansion going on which are destroying habitats. Take deer for example; sure there are still woods for deer to live in but the majority of them have been cut down. As a result, they have to venture onto our properties to try and find shelter and food. I have seen plenty of deer in my yard trying to eat our flowers or tomatoes. All you have to do is drive down any major road and there’s a good chance you’ll see a deer on the side of the road that was hit by a car. This can happen to all animals, not just deer. There isn’t a whole lot that can be done to help save the biodiversity because a lot of people would agree that human expansion is a good thing. One thing that I could do though is try and persuade my local government to set aside land for reserves that cannot be touched.

Module 10 – Biodiversity

1.) In 125-175 words, create an argument to support the preservation of biodiversity through an anthropocentric lens.

 

The conservation of many natural ecosystems is an important issue facing our society as we know it. Deforestation threatens to alter the landscape and radically change the way we obtain building resources, fossil fuels, and other major aspects of our lives. Our standard of living was heavily influenced by the presence of the biodiverse areas, and without them our way of life will change. Efforts such as urban agriculture attempt to address and mitigate some of these challenges, but these alone are not enough to help maintain the biodiversity that exists throughout the world. Humans enjoy the comforts of live in today’s society because of the natural processes that occur in areas collocated with major population centers. To preserve the Earth as we know it today, Human’s must preserve biodiversity or face a radical change in the way they live.

 

2.) In 125-175 words, create an argument to support the preservation of biodiversity through an ecocentric lens.

 

Since the beginning of the Earth’s atmosphere and the first formation of biological life, natural processes and biodiversity have helped prolong the coexistence of all living species. As we are near the top of the food chain in main instances around the world, it is our duty to make sure we preserve biodiversity. Because we are conscience of the consequences, it becomes a question of ethics whether or not we should take collective active to attack the threats on biodiversity. While some are natural causes, most are anthropogenically caused threats, and these we can take a stand on to help end current problems like deforestation, overhunting, overgrazing, invasive agriculture, etc.. The fates of many ecosystems around the world rely on the action that we humans take going forward. Development should be considered in this, especially in many third world countries, as the development that takes place will be the new generation of development and must set an example for other budding countries.

 

3.) If you were to go to Congress or your state government, or any large scale policy making institution, which argument would you choose to use? Why? Would this change based on your location globally (i.e., would your argument change from country to country) or would it remain consistent regardless of where you are? Why do you think this is?

 

When taking this issue to a larger political body, such as Congress, I believe it is most effective to use the anthropocentric lens rather than an ecocentric lens. The reasons behind this are somewhat obvious, but stem from the fact that humans nowadays are extremely selfish. This attitude may be no different than before, however, the difference today is that we have the manpower and machinery to cause massive devastation to ecosystems, whereas previously we did not. I think globally, this does not change very much either. Many budding countries are looked after by either powerful countries or corrupt countries. The countries that America supports must take an anthropocentric approach when approaching future development, as Congress and the people who control the policies that are made are not all too concerned with the effects that development can have on biodiversity. I think humans who are in charge of countries see most life on this planet as lesser than humans, and therefore do not consider the consequences.

Biodiversity

Describe the importance of biodiversity and it’s affect an individual to population level. (150-250)

Biodiversity is extremely important at all levels of society. At a lower level whether that be individual or community, having biodiversity can bring a lot to an area. Multiple types of animals, bugs and plants bring balance to an area and it can be obvious when one of those levels is out of check. At more of a population or larger level, you really start to get into the topic of debate: Anthropocentric vs. Ecocentric. There is no doubt that there is a lot of untapped potential in plants and animals that we just not have come in to contact or tested with yet, but as I said earlier an ecocentric mindset brings balance to an area. At the level of a country or continent, decisions made to the environment (such as deforestation) can knock things out of balance at a scale that cannot be recovered. As the world starts moving to greener practices (such as what we covered in Module 9 with the Copenhagen Accord), we have started to bring things back to a more sustainable future, but there is a lot that still needs to change.

How does biodiversity affect you as an individual? (150-250)

Biodiversity affects me everyday! My hometown in Pennsylvania always had practices to have more of a respect for the environment. Something that I think is unique to talk about is a time when it was obvious that things were not in “balance” in regards to biodiversity. Across PA in general that last few years that has been an explosion of Stink Bugs especially when it gets warmer out. The bug is native to Eastern parts of the world and has no natural predator here in the states. These bugs get everywhere, both inside and outside; I really do not like them! An example like this really highlights how easy it is to upset the balance of things and why decisions that we make as individuals and as a population should be with respect to both Anthropocentric and Ecocentric mindsets. Another time that biodiversity has affected me is a spot that my family vacations at every year. The Outer Banks in North Carolina have seen huge changes in boating over the past ~10 years and boating is something we did a lot. We still are able to, but there have recently been a lot more restrictions placed down on where you can boat, when you can boat, and what scale. There has been a huge push to see the damage that has happened to the fisheries down there and I respect the effort they have put in the last few years to help those populations recover.

biodiversity in my town

  1. List and explain what type of biodiversity is most common in your area.
  2. Explain why biodiversity is important.

In the town I grew up in, Lakewood PA, species diversity is by far the most common. The town consists of a small population spread over a large area leaving lots of room for a vast variety of species. Considering the amount of wooded areas, there are many woodland creatures that roam the areas in between human activities. The creatures includes things from skunks, deer, squirrels, bears to grass hoppers and ants, etc. Of course there are many others in Lakewood as well as in other towns too. The town gets is name from the number of lakes in the area allowing for many fish habitats to be present. Although most of the ponds and lakes in the area contain the same types of fish, there are still a number of species that occupy the waters. In addition to animals, there are a number of tree and plant species in the area such berry bushes, flowering plants, harvest products, and different trees. It is always refreshing going to visit Lakewood because I get to see untouched land that is still diverse where human activity has not pushed out all other living beings.

Biodiversity is important for sustainability of all life on Earth. More specifically, biodiversity sustains human life making it all the more worth while protecting. A perfect example is the food chain. Everything that is bigger eats the things that are smaller or weaker but, what about those smaller things? If there are no small things for the larger things to eat then the food chain will slowly begin to crumble all the way to the top. I generally manage to sneak some sort of informative piece about environmental awareness in my other posts but this one in particular focuses on it. Human activity has proven to push out other species where ever they go. Just look at the rain forests. Deforestation used to be dangerously high, still being a high concern today, to facilitate human populations, whether it is wood to build houses or furniture or just destroying the forests so there is room to build a new shopping mall.

Module 10: Ryan Daley

In the first section of the learning assessment pick a (local, state, or national) park of your choice and place it into one of the protected area categories that we learned about in module 10. In the second section explain the biodiversity of your home town while reflecting on H.I.P.P.O. (habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, human population, & over-harvesting).

Section #1:

The park i decided to pick is a state park near my hometown.  The parks name is Tyler State Park and resides in the rural area of Newtown Pennsylvania along the Neshaminy creek.  Tyler state park is home to a wide variety of different animal and plant species.  The park provided several miles of bike and walking paths in addition to several hiking trails.  Patrons at Tyler State Park have many activities to choose from when they arrive.  You can play there 18 hole Frisbee golf course, rent a canoe and travel down the Neshaminy Creek, or explore the historic buildings that reside on the country side.  After reading the Globalization of Biodiversity Concerns section of module 10 and going over the 6 protected area categories I tried to fit Tyler State Park into one of those categories.  I believe the category that best fits Tyler State Park is category 5 (Protected Landscapes/seascapes).  I picked this because there are protected historical farm lands and buildings that reside on the property of Tyler State Park and are a big factor when it comes to drawing patrons into the park.

Section #2:

My home town is Yardley Pennsylvania.  Yardely is in the eastern part of Bucks County along the Delaware River.  Yardely is home to a lot of different species of animals (deer, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, birds, etc…)  and plants and is primarily a rural area  with the exception of the small downtown area in Yardley Borough.  Even though Yardley is a very old town that was founded in the 1600’s it was primarily farm land until recent history when it was developed into a suburban residential area just north of Philadelphia.  After reading through module 10 and the concept of H.I.P.P.O. (habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, human population, & over-harvesting), I started to think which one of these factors is most applicable to my hometown.  I think the two biggest factors that apply to Yardely is habitat loss and human population.  Habitat loss because like I said Yardely for the majority of its history was primarily a farming community and that was lost when the town started to develop into a residential suburb of Philadelphia.  A lot of land was sold and turned into housing developments and consequently animals that used that land before were forced to relocate.  I also picked Human population because the increase in humans in Yardely was the cause of this loss of habitat.

Passenger Pigeon to Peregrine Falcon, Saving our Migratory Birds

In Module 10, we have learned about the importance of biodiversity in maintaining the dynamic of individual ecosystems as well as human-environment systems. The extinction of one species can play a huge impact on our lives, and so we see many efforts to protect endangered species through bio-reserves as well as research to help understand the animals needs and roles it may have on the environment.

For this learning activity you will research an extinct species that you find interesting. You must be able to find information on characteristics of the animal, habitat, as well as conservation efforts that took place before it’s extinction. It is preferred that your search be of an animal in your own country as the regulations towards animal protection differ and will make your comparison harder, but it is not required. Then you will look up an endangered animal in your own local area; consider the efforts currently in practice to save the species and then compare them to you extinct selection.

 

Part 1: Your Blog Entry

Paragraph 1: Extinct Species

Talk about the species you selected. Include information about what lead to its extinction as well as methods used to try and save the animal. How did the extinction effect the animal’s environment?

Paragraph 2: Endangered Species

Similarly, introduce the species you have selected, why is it endangered, the region and habitat it aspires to, and preventative means in place to save the species. How would losing this species affect your life and its environment?

Paragraph 3: Comparison

In this paragraph, you will compare the two selected species of your choice and how the extinction of the first can show us ways to help protect the endangered species.

Consider talking about:

Do you think protection of your endangered species can learn from the extinct one?What is your local government doing differently compared to how the government handled the extinct species protection?How do you think the protection of the endangered species can improve?

Part 2: Comment of Peer Blog Posts

 

My Entry:

For my extinct species, I chose the Passenger Pigeon because my dad told me stories of how they used to darken entire cities and that you could blindly shoot upwards and two or three would drop from the sky. The pigeon is very similar to the mourning doves that we still have today but much larger and relied on large flocks that ultimately lead to their extinction. The birds were unintentionally overhunted for their feathers and meat, as well as their nesting grounds were heavily disrupted by human construction. When their numbers dwindled, they stopped reproducing in the wild, and the last known Passenger Pigeon died in 1914. The first wildlife protection that the nation was adopted in 1900 with the Lacey Act, banning illegal in interstate trade, but The Migratory Bird Treaty act wasn’t imposed until 1918 which would have protected the nesting grounds, eggs, youth, and adults from human disturbances. The birds were a large source of protein for many larger carnivores, including foxes, raccoons, and lynx, and without this source of food they have had to adapt and find other sources of meat, meaning other species were now being hunted on a larger scale then they ever had, possibly leading to their own demise. Luckily, the Migratory Bird Treaty act prevented other migratory birds from being an alternative to the commercial product that Passenger Pigeons had become.

For my endangered species, I selected the Peregrine Falcon. Although it is no longer listed as endangered on a federal level, the bird remains endangered in Pennsylvania. The bird has made a dramatic recovery through management practices, as we now have about 40 nests from zero recorded through 1959-1987, reaching close to the historical record of 44 nests (Brauning, 2014). Their extirpation is believed to be due to DDT, a pesticide that has weakened the egg-shell lining of many birds of prey, most notably the Bald Eagle. Since its endangerment, the bird has been through reintroduction, nest protection, public education, as well as the DDT ban from the United State Environmental Protection Agency in 1972. Since then the falcon has adapted from natural nesting sites of rock cliffs to urban buildings, showing the species’ resilience to human construction and habitat loss. Losing the Peregrine Falcon would have a smaller impact on our local environments than the loss of the Passenger Pigeon whose population used to be larger than the rest of migratory birds in total, due to their smaller presence in this state, and that there are also many other small predatory birds that would replace the falcon’s contributions to the environment.

The Peregrine Falcon’s recovery was in part greatly in debt to the lessons learned from the Passenger Pigeon’s extinction. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act is just one of the many protective laws that have aided the falcon’s survival. However, this act is constantly under attack to reduce the fines or restrictions it imposes. If any of these amendments actually pass, many birds may be threatened as the federal ability to protect any migratory bird species will be heavily reduced, allowing companies and even individuals to disrupt their populations. Many of the birds that live in the United States are migratory, without the protection of the Act, it is possible to lose many of the species that inhabit our land and skies. By losing any considerable amount of species, our environment would be greatly effected, many of the predators that rely of the migrations would lose valuable food sources and where the state of the environment would change to is impossible to predict. Losing biodiversity, as we have learned in this module, would weaken the resilience of ecosystems­ to thrive, and we might pay for it in the future if we do not head to the lessons we have learned in the past.

 

References:

Brauning, Dan. “Peregrine Falcon.” Pennsylvania Game Commission, September 19, 2014. <http://www.portal.state.pa.us>

Module 10- Biodiversity

  1. Use the factors noted in this module (physically diverse habitat, moderate disturbance, large area, and longevity of system) to describe species in your hometown. How do these factors play a role in the species present in this particular area? Use approximately 100 words to describe each factor. Note some popular species in your hometown, and be sure to note what your hometown is.
    1. I live in Wyomissing, PA, which is on the more southeastern side of the state. I live in a suburban town, with some shopping centers and many residential neighborhoods. Some very popular animals in my hometown are birds, skunks, bats, and squirrels.
    2. Physically diverse habitat: Because of the mild climate in Pennsylvania, a large amount of species can live in Pennsylvania year-round, but some do hibernate for colder months. There is also plenty of water for the animals to enjoy, with many lakes and rivers present throughout the state. Pennsylvania has a long summer and also spring and fall weather, so there is plenty of sunlight for some animals, while others enjoy the long, dark nights. Pennsylvania also has a large amount of variability in topography. While where I live is mostly residential neighborhoods, there are many forests with trees and rivers nearby.
    3. Moderate disturbance: Biodiversity in Pennsylvania is in part because of the very little disturbances in the area. Storms in Pennsylvania are very moderate, while we do not get many tornadoes or hurricanes. There has also never been a tsunami or volcano eruption in my hometown. Forest fires are not very frequent either. I would guess that humans cause the largest amount of disturbance in my hometown. There are frequently being new homes built around where I live, and fields are being taken out to put new shopping centers in. Traffic can also become very heavy where I live, which may also cause disturbances.
    4. Large area: Since Pennsylvania is on the North American continent, biodiversity becomes especially high. Animals can move throughout the United States because it is not separated by a large ocean. Specifically in my hometown, I would not think that there are many species coming or going in and out. Because of the high traffic area that I live in, some land masses are now separated by highways, that may have split up habitats that were there in the past. Animals can’t really cross the highways very easily. Not far from my hometown there are also large bodies of water, which may also separate species.
    5. Longevity of system: My hometown was established in 1906. While of course the land was there before the town was established, the establishment brought a lot of development with it that may have affected the biodiversity in the area. Humans are continuing to change the town overtime, by adding more roads and buildings. Where there used to be many fields and forests, there are now neighborhoods, schools, and shopping centers. As the population of humans grows, I believe that the biodiversity of other species must be decreasing.

Natalie Hall M10

Please create a diagram analyzing a specific biodiversity ecosystem and the the effect humans have on it. Then describe your diagram in 150-250 words.

biodiversity HALL

My biodiversity concept map revolves around the rainforest ecosystem and focuses on the negative effects humans can have on it. I began by highlighting some parts of the rainforest: animals, trees, and oxygen. These are a few natural and beneficial aspects of a rainforest biodiversity needed to keep the ecosystem working. Directly under the rainforest I put human interaction, pertaining to the large, detrimental impact. I included habitat destruction, such as deforestation because of the demand for lumber world wide. Habitat destruction also decreases the amount of oxygen supplied by the plants and trees. Also, I included invasive species because they are often introduced by humans and can negatively alter the natural cycle of the ecosystem. Both of these connect to the treat of extinction on an ecosystem. The human intrusion on natural biodiversity’s is not always negative. However, when they are, such as the rainforest, we can severely alter an ecosystem and essentially the world.

Biodiversity – Jared Mummert

1) Do you think anthropocentric or ecocentric arguments are more likely to convince the world that biodiversity is important? (200 – 250 words).

I believe that a mixture of anthropocentric and ecocentric arguments are the best way to convince people that biodiversity is important. I think that anytime something directly benefits us we are more likely to take it seriously, but if we are only concerned about what we can get from something then we are more likely to exploit the resource even further. For example let’s say that we only rely on anthropocentric arguments to preserve biodiversity. We tell people that we need to save the rain forests because the cure for some disease such as cancer may be hidden within its jungle walls. This argument holds solid until we find the hypothetical plant that contains the cure for the disease. Since we are only concerned about what we can get out of the rain forest, we will then likely cut down the entire rain forest in search of more of these plants or others like it. I believe that in order to preserve the rain forests we must consider more than our own direct benefits from it. If we hold a mixture of ecocentric and anthropocentric values, when we find the plant that contains the cure we would still value the ecosystem and its biodiversity for its own existence and preserve it.

2) What are some threats to biodiversity in your hometown or areas near you? (200 -250 words)

In this module we learned about the “H.I.P.P.O.” acronym that  accounts for biodiversity loss associated with habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, human population, and over harvesting. In my area there are a few invasive plant species such as multiflora rose which threaten to choke out native shrubs by preventing them from getting sunlight. We also have insects such as gypsy moths, emerald ash borers, Japanese bettles, and stink bugs that over-consume plants while going largely unchecked by local predatory animals. Habitat loss is another major threat to biodiversity in my area. One native species that is currently endangered due to habitat loss in my area is the bog turtle. Last summer I had an internship with a local environmental engineering consulting firm, and we had an intern on staff who’s only job was to look for bog turtles in areas where we were about to do bridge construction. If he found a bog turtle in the area we would have to redesign the bridge in a way that didn’t inhibit the bog turtle’s travel routs. My company also dealt with storm sewer water that was often polluted by salt and oil from roads. This polluted water would have to be treated so that it wouldn’t harm sensitive fish and invertebrates in the local trout streams.

3) Research a threat to biodiversity that deals with an area other than your hometown or the rainforests. Write a 150 – 200 word summary and site your source. 

I read an article that explained how rising levels of CO2 and decreasing pH in the ocean are causing shellfish to have weaker and ineffective shells. The more acidic water weakens the calcium carbonate shells of shellfish and can weaken the bones of many other marine organisms. While the higher CO2 and lower pH is bad for shell fish, it is great for algae and sea grasses that rely on CO2. This can lead to algae explosions which can choke out other marine life and cause further problems. The lower pH threatens shellfish that we consume directly such as oysters and clams, and also organisms that are food sources for salmon and other fish such as pteropods. It also threatens the coral reefs that are the hub of diversity in the ocean. The acidic sea water eats away at the limestone structures that many coral species construct, and this threatens the entire coral reef ecosystem. Clearly we can see that steps need to be taken to reduce global CO2 and prevent ocean acidification.

Biodiversity- Module 10

In this module, you will complete the following:

  • First describe what biodiversity is and its importance to the world (150-250 words)
  • Explain how biodiversity directly affects you (150-250 words)

 

  1. Biodiversity is all life and living organisms within a given ecosystem and can be viewed as the entirety of the world or just a small handful of soil and the organisms within that soil. Overall, biodiversity has many different values which can be seen in anthropocentric views as well as ecocentric views. In the world of an anthropocentric mind, one would think that they had to protect their environment because it could be useful to them somehow. In a world of an ecocentric mind, would just like to see the healthiness of the ecosystem’s existence, opposed to it being destroyed -in this case the species or environment is not being looked at as a resource like the mind of an anthropocentric person would think. But why is biodiversity so important? As learned in this module we look at hotspots, which are regions that lose an extreme amount of biodiversity. With biodiversity loss we must be aware of how it can affect the environment in general and then eventually how that affects us as humans later down the road.

 

  1. In Bellefonte, PA, many people go hunting, so in my personal ecosystem I could see something like over harvesting in animals. Usually the amount of animals that are killed during hunting seasons are monitored, however, it is still possible that they are being overharvested which is why the limits of what you can hunt in a day differs from year-to-year. Deforestation due to building more suburbs and city like areas will also affect the area I live in. In the past few years, more housing developments have been built in my area and because of this; farmland and forest have been sacrificed. Most people might just think of forest and farmland being taken away as less plants but those plants are also home to many species, most of which we never see or will be able to see. Lastly, Pollution is a problem everywhere and it mostly comes from the human population using too many resources.

M10LA_wzz5097

In 125-175 words, describe what the biodiversity in your hometown is like, use the terms from the content just learned.

The city/region I used to live, Beijing, capital of China, can’t be said to be a biodiversity hotspots; but it is definitely a hotspot that only few species are left. Human as well as social norms are to blame for the decrease in number of species for the last several decades. Birds and insects like sparrows and locusts were used to be regarded as two of ‘four pests.’ People used to captured sparrows and locusts to prevent them from biting the crops. This wiped out 90% of their population in only 3 years. Now, their number are slowly recovering as thus social norms no longer exists. This case of threat could fall under the category of ‘human population’ and ‘overharvesting’ of H.I.P.P.O. These days I rarely see the traces of birds in the city. Every time I traveled to other countries, I am so welcomed by the pigeons, birds and squirrels live in the city.

In 125-175 words, summarize the article ‘Probing Question: What’s killing the honeybees?’ and write a reflection about it.

         Recently millions of bees that are account of roughly 30% of nation’s pollinator stock are reported missing by bee farmers across the country. Experts call this massive die-out as Colony Collapse Disorder. Honey bee expert from Penn State, Maryann Frazier and entomology professor Diana Lynn Cox-Foster concluded few reasons including varroa mite, a parasite that suck the blood of bees, and mysterious ‘fungal disease.’ In general the true murderer isn’t discovered yet. Bees are a crucial role in biodiversity. Basically, they are one of the keystone species that help many plants and crops to reproduce. If they are missing from this bio-network, many species that rely on bees would go extinct unless they found other species to do the job for them. This reminds me about the coral reefs that they are similar in many aspects. People can’t see the decrease in numbers of both, while they all perform crucial services to the ecosystem.

        M10LA_PIC

Module 10: Amazon Rainforest System Diagram

  1. Using Module 10- Biodiversity as a resource, draw a system diagram connecting the Case Study: The Amazon Rainforest to biodiversity. The diagram should have at least six system components and the arrows should point in a logical direction and be explained. Be sure to include plenty of detail about the study, about biodiversity, and about the impacts between the two.

geology module 10

2. In another paragraph, explain what your ideas are behind your system diagram. Be sure to include details so others know what you are trying to portray.

Based on my system diagram, I portrayed the idea of biodiversity within the Amazon Rainforest. Biodiversity is the measure of variation and richness of living organisms at a particular scale, specifically a large scale in the Amazon Rainforest. Being the Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, it is home to about 50% of global biodiversity. However, it is also the most threatened ecosystem in the world because clear cutting impacts it. There is a major problem with clear cutting, as it leads to climate change. Climate change also damages hundreds to thousands of established species interactions since it is very difficult to only damage one, being that thousands of many species live in trees. In the Amazon, population growth and poverty encourage poor farmers to clear new areas of the rainforest. These ideas are exacerbated further from government policies. When these farmers clear parts of the environment, it leaves very less fertile soil left to help rebuild the forest. If deforestation keeps occurring, there will be no rainforests left within about 100 years.

Module 10 Biodiversity- Carmela Madrigal-Lua

Using the information from Module 10, identify the issues of biodiversity. (Length 250-300 words)
Biodiversity measures the importance of a living organism on a particular scale. There are many reasons to why humans need to value biodiversity. The two most important reasons are because of anthropocentric and ecocentric. Anthropocentric includes the different lifeforms, for instance, food, medicine, scientific information, and many other useful materials that are used daily. Ecocentric are also valuable because it is based on the idea of biodiversity on the intrinsic value of potential human uses. The issue here is that both non-human and human factors are the big influence in how it is impacted. There are threats to biodiversity to the point that things become extinct. In module 9, we discussed the climate change and the impacts to the ecosystems. The climate change would be considered to be the non-human factor that biodiversity faces a greater threat because of the temperature shifts. There are many negative impacts that human have on biodiversity that is covered in H.I.P.P.O. H.I.P.P.O has five different threats that it covers which are habitat loss, invasive of species, pollution, human population and overharvesting. Humans do not see that their actions have consequences that can lead things to extinction. For example, in module 4 the water concept made one aware of how much water one really uses, but I think that people are ignoring the fact that biodiversity is important and the more that we continue to take advantage of it the sooner we will run out of our useful sources. Overall, there are valuable things that come with biodiversity, but it is important that as an individual we play our part in not making the factors a bigger concern.

From the reading discuss one of the specific examples on any of the five factors of H.I.P.P.O. (Length 150-200 words)
H.I.P.P.O has five different threats it faces. The one that stood out in the reading was invasive of species. In the reading, it mentioned how when a new plant, animal, or microbe is moved into a new area, it will affect the species already there in different ways. For instance, the brown snake from Australia was accidently transported to Guam in a ship cargo during World War II. Since the snake was new to the environment it had no predators which meant that there was no way the population was able to keep a check allowing there to be many brown snakes. It had an easier possibility to survive there than the actual region that the animal comes from. People do not think that by purposely or accidently releasing a new species to nature can have consequences. Not to mention, that one will not know all the possible outcomes that it will have to the species living in that area and to the species released. I think that people should consider the five threats that H.I.P.P.O., stands for because not only are we jeopardizing other living creatures, but we are making the factor a bigger issue.

 
Draw two system diagrams to go with 1 and 2.

Biodiversity

H.I.P.P.O

 

Sources

http://atma-evolution.com/eco-ego/http://designtaxi.com/news/371221/Shocking-Print-Ads-Show-How-Habitat-Destruction-Affects-Wildlife/https://i.ytimg.com/vi/_qh4qNqoyh0/maxresdefault.jpghttp://theyodeler.org/?p=6300http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/wallpaper/environment/photos/freshwater-threatened/fen-river-pollution/https://www.enca.com/south-africa/infographic-invasive-species-threat-cape-wild-fires

Joshua Wilkins Create Your Own Assignment

  1. Create a system diagram of how H.I.P.P.O affects biodiversity, and how that effects us as humans.

System Diagram of H.I.P.P.O. and its connection to Biodiversity

2. In 200-250 words, describe your diagram and give explanation to the connections in the system.

For my system diagram, I chose to have the Human Population at the center, because we as humans hold much of the blame for loss of biodiversity on this planet. Also, a loss of biodiversity will ultimately come back to affect the human population negatively. First, humans add an incredible amount of pollution into the air, water, ground, and everything in between. We are responsible for dumping chemicals into rivers and streams, as well as garbage in the oceans. Fracking releases harmful chemicals into the ground, which can seep into groundwater reservoirs and expose humans and animals alike to their harsh effects. Another example is bioaccumulation, which was described in the module. Next, there are a number of examples of humans bringing invasive species into new environments, which harm the ecosystems of that area. Invasive species will take over habitats, making it impossible for the indigenous animals to survive. The invasive species may hunt prey that previously was not prey, or they may simply push out indigenous species. Humans are also affecting biodiversity by over harvesting resources that were previously kept in balance and harvested in limitedly. An example of this is over-fishing, were species are being irradiated by industries harvesting enormous amounts of fish to keep up with the heavy demand. Lastly, the human population itself is expanding at a exponential rate. This expanse, which requires more use of land and resources, is a direct cause for biodiversity. As more humans take up space and cities increase in size, we leave no room for animal or plant species which need stable, clean environments to thrive. With this expanse, also comes deforestation, which attributes to habitat loss. This is also an example of over harvesting. All of these things attribute to the loss of biodiversity on this planet, which ultimately hurts the Earth. Without a stable, clean planet to live on, our species may be the bringers of our own destruction.

3. Describe the biodiversity your hometown, and anything that might cause a loss of biodiversity in the environment in 200-250 words.

The biggest affect that my hometown community has on the loss of biodiversity is habitat loss. This is because the surrounding areas around my house and town are littered with large, expansive farms that produce many varieties of food and crops. This has required a large amount of deforestation over a long period of time, but relatively this is of little consequence. Despite the incredible amount of large farms surrounding my hometown, there is also an even larger amount of untouched wilderness, which remains relatively clean for all the species which reside there. Large amounts of land are protected by the state and federal governments in order to keep them in the most pristine condition, in hopes to limit the communities effect not the environment. In addition, there are not many large companies with large amounts of waste to get rid of in my communities. There is only one large plant, which does little to the environment if at all. There is no over harvesting, but there is excessive hunting. Without this though, there would be an overpopulation of deer in the area, and this would lead to a disrupted ecosystem, more car accidents, and less crops. Overall, my hometown of Erie, Pa is a relatively low impacting community on biodiversity.

 

Learning Activity 10 – Jiye Choi

1.Define biodiversity and explain why biodiversity has been threatened. (150~250 words)

Biodiversity is the variety of the living organisms and ecological complexes, richness of living organism. It can be a small scale or a large scale. Climate, geological history affect to the biodiversity. Now we want to talk about threats of biodiversity. Extinction is a natural event, we know that most of species have gone extinct. As the living organism extinct, biodiversity is threatened. What make the extinct happen? There are many reasons for that. As we learned from the module, H.I.P.P.O can be the good criterion. It is Habitat loss, Invasive Species, Pollution, Human Population, and Overharvesting.  Today, due to increase of human action, so many species have been threatened. For example, since we need more land with increase of the human population, people execute deforest. As a result, many living organisms which lived in that area will lose their living foundation. Climate change also one of the biggest reason. Since the distribution of species is to a great extent dictated by climate, just like the appropriation of biological systems and plant vegetation zones. I think those 5 listed events are closely related to each other. Most of them resulted by human action and each event occur other events.

2.Give an example where biodiversity is very high and describe the area. (100~200words)

When I saw the term biodiversity, the first place popped up in my mind was Korean DMZ (demilitarized zone). In the midst of worldwide strains and military acting, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) isolating North and South Korea has, for about 65 years, provided sanctuary to creatures and plants which endangered and threatened. The DMZ has been unbendingly upheld. It is uninhabited by people, and its isolation has permitted harmed woodlands to restore and farmlands that are a large number of years old to come back to a characteristic state. This natural detachment area along the 250 km (160 mi) length of the DMZ has made an involuntary park which is presently perceived as a standout amongst the most all around saved territories of calm living space on the planet. So the Korean DMZ is an example place for variety biodiversity and since no one has access to the DMZ, people assume it is possible that there are more species than what we expected.

Reference: Wikipedia ‘Korean Demilitarized Zone’

3.Make a diagram correspond to threats of biodiversity.030

Module 10- Biodiversity

  1. In 150-200 words explain the biodiversity of your hometown or a park near you. Include a description of H.I.P.P.O. and how it affects the area you live in.
    1. I am from the town of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which resides in Bucks County, the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. My hometown is the home of many species such as squirrels, White Tail Deer, Fox, Chipmunks, many different bird species and many different plant species. This area of Bucks County used to be an area heavily dominated by farming until about 30 years ago when it has been highly developed and has since become a suburban town rather than strictly farmland. H.I.P.P.O. Stands for Habitat loss, invasive species, pollution, Human Population and Overharvesting. In my area the three biggest threats would be Habitat loss, human population and over harvesting. Habitat is shown through the fact that the town has become highly developed and has ruined many natural habitats. A rise in human population has been the cause for this and this has also led to the increase of overharvesting. Due to the rise in population local farmers have lowered the crop rotation and have began to plant the same crops, being predominantly corn, every year and they have began to ruin the soil on which they plant crops.
  2. 2. In 150-200 words describe a state park near you and place it into a protected area category.
    1. A state park that is very close to my home is called Peace Valley Park or it is also known as Lake Galena. This manmade park was filled with natural spring water to create the lake and dam. This park is home to a lot of known species and habitat reserves. The goal of this Nature center “are to bring about a better understanding and respect for nature’s laws and balances through “hands on” earth education experiences and to provide a place where County citizens can enjoy the peace and beauty of a natural area.” It is also home to 14 miles of hiking and walking trails throughout which the community can walk and observe the beautiful surrounding nature. As far as which protected area category I would put it into, it is hard to tell. After reading through the different categories I would have to say that it is a Category 4: Habitat/species management Areas. I believe it is this one because it has been designated as important habitats for a natural community and because there are continuous monitoring and management plans to ensure the conservation of the community.

Connections Mod 9 – Perricone

mod 9 diagram

The network of communications is very extensive and does not seem to be entirely friendly. Leverage was used to influence different countries’ actions. The US was in direct contact with one of the leaders of the negotiations, Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopian prime minister. The meeting was between Meles Zenawi and Maria Otero, the United States Undersecretary of State. This information was discovered by Addis Ababa. The US state department attempted hacking to discover information. They sent emails to diplomats in china that copied the format of companies hoping that they would be opened because code was attached that would allow hijacking of the computer. The first attempt failed but further attempts were planned. Ahmed Shaheed showed his hand, so to speak, by sending communications to Hillary Clinton saying he wanted support. Then two months later there was further action on behalf of Maldive to push for the accord sooner and make members in the accord follow the agreed actions. The system diagram shows how all of the individual communications are connected and centered around the United States. There was illegal spying by the United States but also against it. There was communications directly to leaders of other countries. Although the communications were related to climate change and environmental issues, there is no proof that it was the main concern of the United States to have the deal that was being struck be the deal that is best for the environment. The representatives from Maldive seemed to be more focused on the environment.

As a citizen of the United States, I am very embarrassed that the government would stoup to trying to hack individuals’ computers. Especially because these individuals are not citizens and are not subject to the authority which the United States holds over its citizens and there is no reason to suspect treasonous actions from the targeted individuals. Furthermore, the inappropriate actions risks relations between the United States and China, the country of the targeted individuals as well as any country that discovers the transgression and feels strongly that it was inappropriate and immoral. The discovered spying on United States diplomat does not condone the action. Information on the government actions should have been released by the United States government sooner than happened but I understand the need for secrecy. If I was in a position within the government to release information on the transgressions of others that would put national relations at risk I would not have released any information to compromise the United States government.

The United States uses far too high a percentage of fossil fuels throughout the country and by a very high percentage of the population. This means that the United States is allowing the release of a significant amount of harmful emission into the atmosphere. This should lead the United States to want to be a leader in environmental protection and increase regulations of emissions. This group and bringing other countries into the fight will only benefit the United States. The United States should be the one pursuing the issue not making Maldive representative make repeated attempts at communication and negotiations.

Module 10- Biodiversity

  1. Describe the biodiversity of your hometown or around your area in 150-200 words.
    1. My hometown is Wyckoff, NJ, which is a suburban area located in Northern New Jersey. In my hometown, we have many species of plants, birds, and animals and a variety of wildlife. One of the ways that people in my community has effected biodiversity is through new development of the town and the lost of habitat for animals. Throughout the recent years, Wyckoff has been building new restaurants, buildings, and housing developments. Also, living only 30 minutes from New York City, I’m completely aware of the biodiversity that happens there. New York City is home to more than 8 million people and is known as the financial powerhouse of the world. It also is one of the greenest metropolises in the world and is remarkably known for their variety of habitats and the common and rare wildlife and flora that live there. For example, Central Park located in Manhattan houses a rich ecological community. Central Park soil has an abundance of species that have been brought in from all over the world.
  2. In 150-250 words, explain what are some ways you can protect the future of biodiversity in your hometown?
    1. Some ways we can protect the future of biodiversity in my hometown is by first educating people and having them be more aware of the individual impact that they are having on biodiversity. Also, creating protected areas in the community that people cannot build upon to be able to control the areas that animals need to be able to live. The government should also implement rules for such protection and the public should cooperate with the government and follow the rules. Another way to protect the future of biodiversity in my hometown is, creating campaigns that advertises the growth of trees, grass, and flowers but, also encourages the actions of recycling and throwing garbage as well as practicing eco-friendly food strategies at home. Lastly, we can protect the future of biodiversity in our hometown by encouraging local biodiversity within the community. This can be by taking care of your lawn, turning your grassy lawn into a more diverse area with flowers, trees, and vegetable gardens.
  3. Look up a current event relating to biodiversity. Summarize what you learned in a paragraph of 150-200 words
    1. I read the article “Wildmeat: Overhunting threatens species and people”. This article talked about how the issue of overhunting is damaging both diversity but also, people’s food supplies. When people are overhunting these species, this affects both the existence of the species in the future, but also the lives and health of people who rely on hunting for food. Hunting is a major threat to about a third of the threatened mammals and birds worldwide. The mammals most at risk from overexploitation are big and reproduce slowly, such as larger antelopes and elepants. Overhunting is blamed for the extinctions of elephant birds and giant lemurs in Madagascar, giant kangaroos in Australia, moas in New Zealand, and megaherbivores in the Americas. What I learned from this article is, documenting the problem of over-hunting wild meat is the first step. The second is doing something about it. If we come together, and make an effort to protecting the future of biodiversity and hunting, we can make an enormous progress.

Society For Conservation Biology. “Wildmeat: Overhunting Threatens Species And People.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/05/020530073400.htm>

Vacation Biodiversity- Mod 10

Assignment:

 

1.Write 150-200 words. Pick your favorite vacation place or a place where you wish to go and tell me about the location and the environment. What do you do there? What is the type of landscape? What type of eco systems is in the area? What types of biodiversity are present and what are the effects that is has on the people of your area, as well as the animals of the area.

 

  1. Do the same as #1 but about your hometown.

 

  1. I chose Litchfield, South Carolina as my favorite vacation spot. This are is surrounded by water. There is a beach in front and brackish water behind. I am a big outdoorsman so I fish most of my time at Litchfield. We catch a variety of crabs including, blue crab, sand crabs, fiddler crabs, as well as a lot of fish. Some of these fish include, summer fluke, blue fish, Spanish mackerel, and redfish. I enjoy eating some of my catch, a small infraction on the ecosystem. Over fishing is a large problem in the area so I take precautions in order to be a part of the solution not the problem. After processing the catch I dispose of the remains into the water so that the effect is lessened. The ecosystem is essentially the predators of the sea eat smaller fish or organisms and so on and the bottom feeders including some fish and shellfish eat the leftovers or anything that falls to the bottom.

 

  1. My hometown of Vienna Virginia is very close to the Potomac River, that being said most of my childhood and when I go home revolves around the Potomac River.   The Potomac River is a hot spot for water sports including jet skiing and tubing. Fishing is also an attraction, with many companies running charter boats up and down the Potomac for large catfish. Cratfishing is not the fishing don on this stretch if river, Some very competitive bass fishing has gone on for years. The bass fish population has decreased due to the invasive Japanese snakehead fish; it has no natural predators and is eliminating the bass population. The Virginia department of Hunting and Fishing has outlawed the catch and release of these fish. They are by law now if caught are to be extinguished and a reward has been set for this.

Module 10 – Human Extinction Hazards – Brenton McDonald

Human Extinction Hazards

 

  1. Identify and discuss a Human Extinction Hazard from the lesson material or individual research. Write a post of 150-200 word post detailing the selected Human Extinction Hazard and possible mitigation strategies.
  2. Research and discuss a recent event that ties in with the selected Human Extinction Hazard. Write a 150-200 post summarizing the event and sure to cite in references.
  3. Draw a system diagram that highlights how the selected Human Extinction Hazard and mitigation techniques could be connected. Include at least 5 nodes.

1. The Human Extinction Hazard (HEH) I selected for the activity is nuclear warfare. While the threat of nuclear war has ensued since the creation of these weapons nearly a century ago, most notably during the Cold War, this HEH is becoming increasing relevant. This is due to the fact that the concept of mutually assured destruction is not as strong of a deterrence as it used to be. This can be seen with nations such as Iran or North Korea, which arguably aim towards having nuclear weapons, that call for the total annihilation of other nations. Possible mitigation techniques are those that are being employed. Specifically, sanctions on countries listed above serve as mitigation strategy. However, the current geopolitical environment makes the enforcement of sanctions difficult. This can be seen when support from nations like China to North Korea lessen the effect. In addition, recent developments in techniques to circumvent sanctions are also problematic. The recent release of the Panama financial records is a testament to this.

2. In an effort to combat the threat of nuclear war, summits have been held throughout recent history. Recently, this took form in a summit hosted by the President of the United States, Barack Obama. Specifically, this was a Nuclear Security Summit held in March of 2016. While this summit did include over 50 world leaders with varying concerns, the main focus seemed to be on keeping nuclear material out of the hands of ISIS. Both Belgium and Pakistan sent dignitaries instead of their respective heads of government in light of the recent terror attacks in each country. The importance of this discussion is even further highlighted by the fact that the perpetrators of the recent attacks in Paris and Brussels were investigating nuclear sites. President Obamas administration stated that they are aware of over 2000 pounds of nuclear material around the world that could potentially be used to make a weapon.

Reference:

Liptak, K. (n.d.). Obama to host world leaders for nuclear summit. Retrieved April 15, 2016, from http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/29/politics/obama-nuclear-summit-world-leaders/

3.blm268_HEH_10

Module 10 – Biodiversity

Learning Activity:

1) Create a system diagram that shows the importance of biodiversity and its vital relationship with the food chain.

2) Explain in brief some advantages of biodiversity and the major factors that are a threat to Biodiversity (H.I.P.P.O).

3) Coming to a more local scope, throw some light on the biodiversity in any area that you have lived in for at least 2 years. You may want to include some species and the how the importance of biodiversity is significant even at a local level.

 module10_ovm5033

Biodiversity is really important for every being in the ecosystem. Just as it is explained, each species is like a Jenga block in the tower (food chain). Every species is dependent on other species and this is one major reason why biodiversity is very important. Examples include the colony collapse disorder. Biodiversity is the basis of every ecosystem  where all components rely and depend on the concept of biodiversity. Coral reefs which are “hotspots” in the oceans are classic examples of how biodiversity matters but it is not seen directly. Regarding the threats to biodiversity, H.I.P.P.O. refers to Habitat loss, Invasive species, Pollution, human Population, and Overharvesting. These are the broad areas of threat that are associated to biodiversity. Habitat loss is caused by activities such as climate change, human interventions such as mining, deforestation, etc. Invasive species are those species that disturb the food chain of an ecosystem by affecting a particular species so as to disrupt the whole food chain. The third area, which is pollution, affects the environment of a particular place, which in turn affects the well-being of different species in the area and this again causes disruptions in biodiversity. Human population is a very indirect cause. This is because the rising of human population causes the rise in demand of resources and land. This is done at the expense of other species. Thus, this also causes loss of biodiversity. Finally, overharvesting refers to the over usage of land and resources which declines their productivity causing a permanent loss of the area which was productive along with the loss of biodiversity. This was an introduction to biodiversity and the threats associated with biodiversity.

 

The place I choose to write about is Libya, where I come from. I have lived there for about 20 years. Coming to main content, biodiversity is very rich in Libya. Libya has been a famous spot for tourists and one of the reasons is biodiversity. Libya has many forests and several animals that live only in that region such as the Barbary lion and Dama gazelle. Agriculture in Libya is also diverse. Libya produces wheat, barley, pulses, vegetables, fruits and olive oil. Libya’s self-sufficiency for vegetables and fruits is more than 92% which attests for the large variety of plants it has. Being a part of the Sahara desert, Libya is also famous for palm trees and dates. Libya has about 393 varieties of date palm trees. Libya is therefore a very rich country in its biodiversity and once again, the importance of biodiversity comes into focus as all the members in a food chain are dependent on other species. Thus, biodiversity even matters on a local scale.

Sources:

http://www.fao.org/fileadmin/templates/agphome/documents/PGR/SoW1/east/LIBYA.pdf

Mod 10 – Kyle Hoke

Identify one or more threats to biodiversity in your home region. Use information learned in this module as well as drawing upon lessons learned in previous modules. Make sure to include how these threats can be avoided or fixed. 150-200 words.

 

My home region is Northeast Pennsylvania, specifically a region known as The Poconos. In order to identify the biggest threats to biodiversity in the Poconos, the acronym HIPPO will be the of help. Habitat Loss and human population are the biggest threats to my region. The Poconos are growing in population at a rapid rate. People are moving from New York City and the surrounding areas to the Poconos for a “quieter” lifestyle. However, with this brings development, which was also discussed in module 5. Development needs to happen in order to have places for these people to live, as well as large areas of farm or forest taken away for shopping centers and other attractions. This is hurting the local environment on a large scale. In order to combat this threat, local governments can declare areas of forest as parks, not to be tampered with. They can also protect the farms that produce local foods or raise crops important to humans.

 

Compare and contrast the biodiversity of your region discussed in the last paragraph with that of the Amazon Rainforest discussed in the case. 100-125 words.

 

            There are many obvious differences between Northeast Pennsylvania and the Amazon Rainforest. My region is much more dry than the Rainforest, and therefore sustains a different kind of biodiversity. There are far less species of trees, plants, and animals in my region. However, this means that the rainforests are much more fragile when it comes to change or disruptions like deforestation. The regions are the same in the fact that population growth is promoting the clearing of land and trees. In the Amazon, poor farmers are clearing land to sell the trees for use as timber and building roads that destroy large areas. In my area, like discussed above, population growth promotes the building of new housing developments which destroys large forest areas where animals live.

David Youn Module 10

  1. Create a system diagram that relates at least one threat to the society
  2. In 200-350 words describe the system diagram.Untitled document

Overharvesting is a serious issue that has been occurring in the past and current. There are 3 main concepts that could lead from overharvesting. One of them is the increase in endangered species. By overharvesting animals for our benefits such as for food and clothing is one of the fastest ways to put species in extinction. One great example of animals that are in danger of extinction is red tuna. Especially in Japan and Korea, many people enjoy eating tuna that could potentially put these tuna into danger. By creating international laws or regulations on harvesting limited amount of red tuna may help this cause. Furthermore, deforestation is part of overharvesting. Wood is one of the popular materials to create furniture. One of the methods that we get oxygen in the environment is by trees. As most people know that without oxygen it is very difficult for non-sea animals to live on earth. Not only deforestation is critical to oxygen resource but also as food resources. For instance, cutting down apple trees will eventually cause them to go extinct. Lastly, this all sums up to one idea. That is sustainability. Both endangerment of animals and deforestation of trees lead to a decrease in sustainability. By running out of food resources it would be difficult to harvest food or have a method to eat food.

 

 

Module 10

Lititz, PA Coupled Human-Environment System

Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 2.58.07 PM

I think it is important to understand biodiversity and the coupled human-environment system that I live in.  Therefore, my assignment to myself is to think about my hometown and analyze how biodiverse it is.  What have the residents of Lititz, PA done to save our environment?  How biodiverse is it for an environment located in the “temperate zone”?  

 

In order to describe my hometown of Lititz’s biodiversity, I created a general diagram to show the interactions between humans and our environment (a “coupled human-environment system”). The community of Lititz, in comparison to a rainforest, is not very biodiverse. But Lititz in comparison to the many American communities is!  Lititz has several diverse wildlife “sanctuaries” like the Wolf Sanctuary, Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge, and Amish farms. The Wolf Sanctuary is eighty plus acres of natural woodland home to the Speedwell Wolves. It has been the home to wolves for over 30 years and holds a unique position as “Ambassador” to the wild of Lititz, PA (“Ambassador” between wild animals and humans). The large woodland area allows for the wolves to have a safe home while giving the tourists of Lititz a view of their wildlife. Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge is another wildlife sanctuary located just up the road from Lititz that is home to many species of birds and serves as a stop-over to many birds that migrate up and down the eastern coast of the US.  Amish farms located in Lancaster County operate with as much self-sufficiency as possible (ex: cow and wildlife wastes are literally sprayed on plowed fields as a fertilizer for crops and mules are used to plow and pull harvest wagons).  The Amish live a minimalist life by using no electricity or cars and harvest and prepare their own food, create their own clothing, and recycle the wastes of their animals. The Amish are also important to the Lititz community because they have many roadside markets where the general public can purchase home-grown fruits and vegetables which lessens our “human footprint.”  The Amish are very environmentally friendly people and typically live off many acres of farmland. A majority of Lancaster county is made up of this farmland.

 

I mentioned these parts of the Lititz environment because local residents and lawmakers have worked hard to preserve the Lititz community (local and state levels).  Also,we are blessed in that we have experienced only a very few extreme weather conditions. Hurricane Sandy caused some flooding in Lititz, but nothing that was not easily repairable. Early spring frosts can cause  a year of low fruit yield (apples, stone fruits, grapes), but that, too, is only a temporary loss.  As was stated in module 10, areas where few natural disasters occur have a greater biodiversity.  I believe that is true of Lititz and the surrounding Lancaster County.  

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Module 10: Biodiversity

  1. Create a systems diagram that includes the causes of biodiversity and the effects of it, as well. Be able to include what factors influence biodiversity, and why it matters.Untitled document-3 

  2. In 150-200 words, provide a short analysis or explanation of your systems diagram, noting on some of its key aspects that relate to topics in Module 10.

    In my systems diagram, I chose to systematically lay out the causes and effects of biodiversity utilizing arrows to lead from one idea to another. I chose to focus on the main causes of biodiversity, and included that physically diverse habitats, moderate disturbances, large areas, and the longevity of a system all are factors that cause biodiversity. These causes include both human and non-human factors. Some human factors that affect biodiversity are negative impacts, however the relationship between humans and biodiversity is complicated. The effects of biodiversity can be divided into two different categories: anthropocentric and ecosystem reasons. While anthropocentric reasons to value diversity include the potential of the different lifeforms to provide many benefits, ecocentric reasons to value diversity are based in the idea of it having intrinsic value that does not particularly pertain directly to human uses. For example, some ecocentric reasons relate to the water, air, and atmosphere, which in turn ultimately end up affecting humans.

  3. In 100-200 words, discuss what biodiversity you observe in your hometown, relating the causes and effects mentioned in your systems diagram.

    In my hometown, Abington, PA, one of the largest negative impacts on biodiversity include deforestation and the loss of habitat due to the building of new commercial and residential area. The amount of wild animals have decreased throughout the years due to this loss of habitat, and therefore the biodiversity has unfortunately decreased as well. As human population rapidly increases, the need to expand will also increase, which will most likely take away even more habitats of the wildlife. In effect, some natural cycles will be lost or changed due to this decrease of wildlife, and may upset the balance of the ecosystem.

Module 10: create your own activity

  1. Using the acronym H.I.P.P.O, analyze the biodiversity threats to your home, not state college, in 200-250 words.

 

I live in Manheim Township, which is located in the suburbs of Lancaster City. It is one of those townships that transitions from the city to the suburbs to more rural land in a short span of area. It is an automobile suburb that has roads expanding everywhere. More people are moving into the area and more developments are springing up because of it. This contributes to a few parts of the H.I.P.P.O. acronym. First the H, habitat loss, is represented by the replacement of trees and already small forests with homes, parking lots, and strip malls. Recently a whole new development was put in over a few small forests that housed a few important species. The second P, human populations, deals with this problem as the developments were made to house the growing populations in the area. More apartment buildings have been constructed and more shopping spaces have been developed with more parking lots covering more land. The undeveloped land in Manheim Township is shrinking which caused a dramatic change in the biodiversity of the area. As for the first P, pollution, Manheim Township is an automobile suburb, which in turn caused pollution in the area through exhaust. Earlier in the year we learned the effects of pollution on the climate, which can cause climate change in the area.

 

2. In 200-250 words, analyze a state park near you hometown and place it in a protected area category and explain why.

 

A park very close to my home is named Landis woods Park. This park is a common hiking spot for my hometown and one of the few untouched areas by developers. The website for Landis woods does not place the park in a specific category, but I would place it in category 3 for several reasons. The park is not open to motorized vehicles for most of the park, but is for a few small areas. It also is not maintained for scientific research only. These two things take it out of category one. The park is maintained, but does not have any security and is not labeled a national park. This takes it out of category 2. Landis Woods is not maintained as a habitat for humans but a habitat for local wildlife such as birds, insects, butterflies, etc. That takes out categories 5 and 6. Landis woods is a small area that has a management plan, but is not used for any human uses on the land other than walking and exploring. This puts it in category 3. It is like a national park but on a smaller scale. It is one of the few natural areas in Manheim Township and needs to be maintained that way.

The Learning Activity of Making Learning Activities

  1. Create a Poster bringing attention to either examples of biodiversity loss to raise awareness, or examples of efforts being made to strengthen biodiversity and increase resilience. The poster must include both text and images relevant to the chosen topic
    1. Example poster topics
    2. Biodiversity Loss: HIPPO, European Colonialism, and Deforestation
    3. Biodiversity Conservation: National Parks, Habitat/species management, Protected landscapes/seascape, Managed Resource Protected Area, and connectivity
  2. Write a paragraph of 200-300 explaining the topic you chose to show in your poster and how the text and images relate to the concept of either biodiversity loss or conservation

Geo Poster

For my poster I decided to focus on Biodiversity loss and how H.I.P.P.O effects it. The first space is the H, or habitat loss. For this I chose a picture of deforestation since it is a major subtopic of habitat loss, as forests are taken over and harvested, all underlying ecosystems are completely destroyed even if there is a method to in place the regrow trees sustainably. The second space is Invasive species which I wanted to show very clearly how one species effects another. In the picture an alligator can be seen getting choked by a snake which is a new enemy alligators are not adapted to defending against, killing populations of alligators which are a huge source of income and an essential part of its local food chain. The third space is Pollution where smoke stacks are seen discharging toxic synthetic chemicals and heavy metals into the environment, depicting our ozone and causing climate change, bioaccumulation, and many other possible life threatening issues. The fourth space Is population growth, it has lost of people in a very tight space. While this may seem too literal I feel it gets the idea across while implying all the problems raised by population growth as the full space is filled just like soon we will run out of space on earth to expand to. The final space is Over harvesting; even with so many examples I again wanted a powerful image that showed the scale in which we take from our environment, its powerful to see how just one ship can have so many fish when the boat itself is a small fish compared to the size and amount of other operations, extremely metaphorical.

Chase Sandler Create Your Own Activity

  1. In 250-350 words, explain what Biodiversity is and why it is so important for us to understand how it works.

 

By definition, biodiversity is a measure of variation and richness of living organisms at a particular scale. The term refers to all of the different varieties of organisms that exist across planet Earth. The theory of biological diversity tries to explain how the variability between species exists and what it means for different ecosystems. Earth is about 4.54 billion years old. After a geological crust formed, living organisms were able to form and use the resources provided to them in order to grow and diversify.

In nature, biodiversity is prevalent to the survival of human species. We are provided with food, shelter, fossil fuels, medications, and much more. As far as mankind knows, as of now, about 70,000 species of plants exist. These plants are essential to the survival of humans, but also birds, mammals, fish, reptiles, insects, and much more!

Biodiversity allows for the formation of a sort of ecosystem services. Ecosystem services are services in which ecosystems perform for humanity. Each organism depends on another organism in order to survive. These services are necessary to the survival of each and every living species. When a species dies off, it causes major problems for another species survival. When major environmental changes occur, it can cause mass extinctions. These types of environmental changes are that of things we have touched on during this course such as climate change, natural hazards, and the growth of food/agriculture.

Since the beginning of life, five major mass extinctions have occurred. These extinctions were the result of minor events that ended up leading to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. The most well known major extinction was the extinction of dinosaurs. That extinction was caused strictly by the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event where major asteroid impacts effected the global environment in a way that did not allow for dinosaurs to survive. This altering of the environment was strong enough to wipe out an entire species. This is why biodiversity is so important and it forces us to have to maintain our environment. If we effect the environment too much, we could cause our own extinction.

 

  1. In 250-350 words, discuss a current event that could cause major effects to our global environment and what this would mean for the species throughout Earth.

 

According to an article by NASA, the wintertime extent of 2016 has caused the Arctic sea ice level to hit a record low and could result global environmental major issues. Each year, the cap of frozen seawater melts as the spring and summer times occur. Then, as winter starts up again, the ice forms, and reaches its maximum point. This year, the Arctic sea ice level reached a maximum point of 5.607 million square miles. This is the lowest maximum ice level since 1979. During the last 13 years, the 13 lowest maximums have occurred.

Many human factors have provoked this issue, but it is also due to wind patterns that have caused unfavorable ice growth from warm airwaves. Over the course of a few decades, the ocean has warmed up. This is a result of a warmer atmosphere, which keeps the Earth warm. The warmer the atmosphere, the warmer the seawater, and the less ice formations occur. Other human factors are a much bigger cause of this issue. Pollution, ocean garbage disposal, and much more have caused this rise in the atmosphere’s temperature. Natural occurrences cannot be prevented, but all of the actions that the human species perform that are not in favor of our environment have caused this problem.

The reason that this change is such a problem is that the Arctic sea ice plays a very important role in maintaining Earth’s temperature. This means that areas in which colder ecosystems exist are starting to warm up. Different organisms need different types of environments in order to survive. If the temperatures change too much, species that cannot cope with the change will die off. This will cause a chain reaction and cause issues for more and more species. This current event is a major problem for the maintaining of biodiversity.

 

Article Site: http://climate.nasa.gov/news/2422/

 

  1. Create a systems diagram in which you explain the causes and effects of the current event on biodiversity.
  2. Screen Shot 2016-04-15 at 1.04.26 PM

Learning Activity: Create Your Own Learning Activity

1. In 125-175 words, describe the importance of biodiversity.

Biodiversity is important to people as well as the environment. It varies depending on location, climate, topography, etc. Humans value it for both ecocentric and anthropocentric reasons. Biodiversity affects all organisms from recreational benefits, medicine, food, and even scientific information. The anthropocentric reasons are ways in which it could be useful for us humans. Besides physical means of biodiversity importance, there are ecocentric reasons in which we value it. Ecocentric reasons is basically what goes further than the typical benefits; they have an intrinsic value. In some instances, one might find comfort in knowing that our biodiversity is protected and conserved for many generations to come. Sometimes simply having the knowledge that the future of biodiversity is secure is simply satisfying enough. There are many benefits to having biodiversity in the environment, ranging from those on the microscopic to the bigger than human levels.

2. In 125-175 words, what are some means that Pennsylvania (or whichever state you live in) could help subdue threats faced against biodiversity?

Even though it is impossible to complete get rid of all the threats facing biodiversity, we can certainly subdue such activities. Pennsylvania has a lot of different organizations to help the biodiversity of many organisms and other species. For example, the PA Fish and Boat Commission take many samples of fish and other aquatic populations. They recognize the abundance of the species and are able to control them by either adding an outside agent to improve or decline the actual numbers. By doing this, each species is able to achieve a sustainable number even after their harvest season. This organization can remove invasive species to help the wanted organisms thrive in our environment. Other means of increasing the biodiversity throughout Pennsylvania can be something as simple as planting a garden to help birds and insects. It all varies, but it will be beneficial for future generations.

3. Draw a system diagram to show the relationship between humans and biodiversity.

biodiversity_diagram_sms6421

Module 10 – Biodiversity

1) Create a system diagram defining one of the elements of H.I.P.P.O.

rgh5072_pollution

 

2) In 150-250 words describe the key ideas of your diagram.

In my diagram, I used the element of pollution out of the H.I.P.P.O. concept. Pollution is putting chemicals, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, into the air or water of an ecosystem. An abundance of chemicals in any ecosystem can to bad consequences. One example of this is “dead zones”. Dead Zones are places in an ecosystem that can no longer sustain life. This happens when the area becomes overrun with chemicals that are not naturally occurring there. These dead zones can ruin complete habitats. An abundance of these dead zones create habitat loss for different animals. The animals have to now search for new habitats, which put extreme stress on other habitat’s resources. This stress can lead to animal extinction. If there are too many animals competing for the same resources, some are not going to survive and could eventually lead to the entire species being wiped out. Pollution can lead to a chain reaction of events that drastically change the animal landscape.

 

3) In 150-250 words, what threats to biodiversity are in your hometown?

Habitat Loss is one threat that my hometown of Greensburg, Pennsylvania is currently facing. There are new buildings going up in and around the surrounding area of the town. In order to build these new buildings, habitats are being destroyed. They are being destroyed mostly by deforestation. One animal that depends on these forests are the whitetail deer. Their habitats continue to shrink and shrink in order for new homes to be built on the property. They are being pushed and pushed into smaller areas of habitat that cannot sustain their numbers. The habitat and the deer suffer from this new change. Biodiversity cannot be sustained in little small pockets throughout the town, but that is what is currently trending towards. One way to prevent this is to demolish or remodel current abandoned buildings instead of creating new ones. It will help to prevent any more loss of habitat to keep our town as bio diverse as possible.

Module 10: Biodiversity

In 200-250 words, explain the biodiversity of your hometown (not State College). Include a description of H.I.P.P.O. and how it impacts this area.

I am from the suburbs of Philadelphia, Bucks County, PA. My hometown has many different types of plants, and animals such as deer, squirrels, and fox. Bucks County used to be a mainly farming area that has been majorly developed within the past 20 years. Since I moved to Newtown, I have seen an incredible amount of housing developments and restaurants be made and less and less dependency on the farms that we have. H.I.P.P.O stands for Habitat loss, Invasive species, Pollution, Human Population, and Overharvesting. Habitat loss is a huge problem in my area. My previous home in Bucks County had woods backing up to our backyard and my family and I would constantly see deer running around all the time. As more and more houses were being built in my neighborhood, I was saddened to see more and more deer roaming the streets and more accidents because their habits were being replaced with home and shopping malls. Another problem that is prevalent in my hometown is human population. I know that this is a large scale issue as well, but more and more people are moving into my area which is causing the need for more homes. This overpopulation is causing traffic in the center of town as well as areas around the highways.

In 200-250 words, describe how you can help improve the biodiversity of your hometown and decrease the different H.I.P.P.O. issues that are prevalent.

Habitat loss is a huge problem in Bucks County that is overlooked more often than not. People do not think about the fact that to be able to create more homes, stores and restaurants for people, they are subsequently destroying the homes of animals that have been there for many many years. I believe that to help fight this problem we need to create protected areas that people cannot build upon to be able to control the areas that animals need to be able to live. There is a park, Tyler State Park in my town that consists of 1,711 acres of land that varies from farms, trails, and the Neshaminy creek. Tyler State Park is a great example of how we should be treating our land and I think that if Bucks County made more areas that not necessarily were as large as Tyler State Park, but had land and waters that were not to be ruined and actively protected. Using ideas from places that have great biodiversity conservation practices, like Costa Rica, such as making a certain percent of the land be protected under national parks and other forms of reserves, it is a great starting point to bring back the rich biodiversity that was once there.

Module 10: Biodiversity

1. Identify one aspect of H.I.P.P.O. within Pennsylvania. In 150-300 words describe what impact this occurrence has on the biodiversity of the habitat it is affecting. Be sure to include a link of your source information. 

2. Now Identify a similar occurrence of H.I.P.P.O. in a foreign country. For example, if in Question 1 you spoke about pollution give another example of pollution in a foreign country. Describe the impact on the biodiversity of that environment and compare it to the situation in Question 1. Do this in 250-400 words. Be sure to include a link of your source information. 

3. Pick an aspect of H.I.P.P.O. from one of the above questions and create a social and ecosystem impact diagram. Be sure to link the social aspects with the environmental impacts to form a flow. Include any possible solutions to the situation that are already in the works, or a solution that you would suggest for creating harmony between the social and environmental aspects of the situation. Label each connection between boxes in your diagram as well.

 

1. I chose to identify an occurrence of invasive species in Pennsylvania. Invasive species have an impact on the biodiversity of a habitat because the invasive species may out compete against the native species of an area causing regional extinctions. I chose to analyze the Round Goby species introduced into the Great Lakes including Lake Erie. Round Gobies compete with native bottom dwelling fish like Sculpins and Darters. However, there are out competing these species causing the native species to have to relocate from preferred habitats and spawning spots. Round Gobies do provide a positive impact in that they eat another dangerous invasive species known as the Zebra Mussel. As for the Round Goby’s impact on biodiversity it is at the moment neutral, but in the long term will lead to various issues. These Gobies are forcing out the native species which is making areas like Lake Erie slightly less diverse, but the reduction of the Zebra Mussel population due to the Gobies also helps keep the waters diverse. There is also an impact on humans due to the Gobies as well. Because they eat Zebra Mussels which are filled with toxins, there is a greater risk of fisherman catching and eating the Gobies and ingesting those same toxins. If the spread of the Round Goby species is not stopped, many native fish species will be forced out of the area causing major biodiversity impacts on Lake Erie and other Pennsylvania waters.

Link to information:http://www.protectyourwaters.net/hitchhikers/fish_round_goby.php

2. I chose to examine a particular case of invasive species in Australia. The Red Fox was introduced into Australia in the early 1870’s for hunters to enjoy harvesting. However, Australia has a large population of rabbits as well which provided for a good food source to expand the fox population. The biodiversity of Australia is affected immensely because of the ever spreading population of fox. Red Foxes pray on native Australian species like birds, small mammals and even reptiles. The recovery efforts of the malleefowl, the bridled nail-tail wallaby and the night parrot are being directly affected by the presence of Red Fox in Australia. Australia has even gone as far as listing the predation of the Red Fox is listed as a “key threatening process” under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999. This is because the Red Fox is causing the biodiversity of native species in Australia to decline.

There are similarities between the situations in Pennsylvania involving the Round Goby and the Australian Red Foxes. Both are causing negative effects on the biodiversity of the habitats they populate. Each are invasive and are out competing the native species for food. This in turn has caused rapid population expansions and the forcing out of native species. There are a few differences as well. In Australia, there have been active attempts to reduce the Red Fox population through hunting and even bounties. These have not been effective. When it comes to the Round Goby there has not been much effort to reduce the population. Many think that the positive effect the Gobies have on reducing Zebra Mussels warrants no immediate action. Furthermore, The Gobies were only discovered in North America in 1990. In a short time they have expanded into a large population, but the reach of the Gobies has not gotten too much farther than the Great Lakes, and some tributaries of the Mississippi waterways. However, the Red Fox in Europe has spread throughout the country and was introduced over a 100 years before Gobies were even discovered in the U.S. Without control of both of these populations, major implications can be made for negative effects on the biodiversity of both Pennsylvania and Australia.

Link to Red Fox information: http://www.environment.gov.au/system/files/resources/1910ab1d-a019-4ece-aa98-1085e6848271/files/european-red-fox.pdf

3. Module 10- Biodiversity

Module 10 – Kevin Hosterman

  1. There are a lot of threats to biodiversity in the world today. The biggest ones can be remembered by using the acronym H.I.P.P.O.: Habitat Loss, Invasive Species, Pollution, Human Population, and Overharvesting. What are the biggest threats to biodiversity in your home state? (150 – 200 words)

 

Biodiversity is a constantly evolving concept and is going to change whether we do anything about it or not. We can make an extra effort to slow down threats, but no matter what species will grow and some will die. I think the biggest threat in Pennsylvania to biodiversity is habitat loss. Although I don’t think it is a giant problem, I think it is the biggest of the H.I.P.P.O acronym. A large amount and variety of different species that live in Pennsylvania live in the numerous forests that span across the state. Humans are constantly cutting down these forests for our own needs. When these forests are cut down we are destroying homes of a lot of different animals. When we remove almost any animal from its natural habitat its chance of survival decreases greatly and leads to a decrease in population.

 

  1. What are some things that you or your state could do to minimize these threats? (150 – 200 words)

 

There is no way to completely eliminate all the threats to biodiversity without putting ourselves in harm’s way, but there are definitely ways to minimize it. The state of Pennsylvania could survey different forests around the state in order to collect data on different species that live where and how many live in that area. By doing this they could selectively cut down trees that would cause the least damage to diversity. Not only could they minimize it, but if they see that a certain species only lives in a certain area they could avoid accidentally killing a species of something by cutting trees in a different location.

 

  1. Why is minimizing threats to biodiversity important? (150 – 200 words)

Everything has its place in the world and who are humans to eliminate another species? We need biodiversity to fulfil all the requirements of this complex planet that we live on. Sometimes we are the only thing that can stop a species from going extinct. Humans are a major threat to biodiversity, but we are also one of the biggest supporters of it as well. All species play an important role in the ecosystem. If we let species go extinct it will create a domino effect in which more and more species begin going extinct. By minimizing threats to biodiversity as much as possible, the likelihood of any species at all going extinct is greatly lowered.

Biodiversity: Global and Local Levels

In 250 words or less, discuss a situation in history that portrays the dangers of biodiversity loss and how this effects the environment and humans.

In Ireland between 1845- 1852, one million Irish citizens died, while one million more emigrated because of the Irish Potato Famine. The potato was a cheap crop in Ireland and about two thirds of the population was depended on the crop for food. The potato crop was infected with potato blight and it affected the rest of Europe as well. It affected Ireland so harshly because the potato was one of the only crops being grown at the time, known as monoculture. This lack of biodiversity truly hurt the Irish population. Not only was there very few other crops being grown, but even within the potato crops, the genetic variability was low as well. When the potato blight came through Europe, it completely devastated the crops leaving the people of Ireland without food. If the potato crop were more diverse, the Irish population and economy would not have had to suffer. This famine demonstrates the importance of biodiversity, and why we as humans should try harder to increase biodiversity across the globe. Not only did the people of Ireland have to leave Ireland or suffer from starvation, but also the economy fell and the government was given the difficult task of resolving the issues for the sake of the people remaining in Ireland. The lack of biodiversity also affects the animals living in these areas, which is another reason why people should take into consideration what they are planting and making sure to increase variability and biodiversity.

Next, please describe in 250 words or less, what is being done to help prevent biodiversity loss in you hometown and surrounding state. Be sure to connect to course concepts.

In my small hometown of Washington, New Jersey, biodiversity loss is a very big issue. First, there are many farms with huge fields that have made a huge loss of habitat for so many animals. In my town there is also targeted hunting of deer and sometime other small game. This over-harvesting disturbs to natural habitat and the biotic components within it. Also within my area, the population is increasing and it is concerning because lots of animals are loosing their habitat to developments as well as deforestation in preparation for these homes. To combat these issues in New Jersey, the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ has habitat restoration projects. The foundation is protecting numerous areas in New Jersey so they can grow back to their normal habitat. Along with the habitat restoration projects, New Jersey has programs designed for everyone to help out, known as the Backyard Wildlife habitats. They are as simple as building a brush pile in your back yard to provide cover for animals. The foundation also talks about reforestation and how it is critical for reconnecting the fragmented habitats in New Jersey. There are also many state parks in New Jersey that allow for the state to control and maintain healthy habitats within the state. The Voorhees State parks is an example of one of these parks.