CHAPTER 8: BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION (Conservation of Genetic Diversity…
CHAPTER 8: BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION
The Precautionary Principle
Included in a variety of treaties and agreements. Eg the Australian Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environmental(1992)
We should not allow anything to happen that could lead to the irreversible loss of biological resources through ignorance of the impact or because we think that a resource is of no value.
Our responsibility to future generations implies that we need to maintain our biological resources because of their potential future use and intrinsic value.
Conservation of Ecosystem Diversity
Variety of ecosystems in a given place.
Conservation at the landscape level is critical to conserve biodiversity. Enabling protection of a representative array of interacting ecosystems and their associated species and genetic diversity
Difference ecosystems support different ecological processes and provide different environmental services.
The greater the number and types of ecosystems present in the biosphere, the more resilient the environment and the more likely that its processes will continue to provide the essential services needed to support all life on Earth.
Conservation of Species Diversity
The species is the basic unit of most conservation programs.
: a group of individuals that actually or potentially interbreed with one another and produce fertile offspring. (does not include organisms that don't reproduce sexually- they are defined by their morphological characteristics or their habitat range.)
Conservation of Population Diversity
Populations are separated from one another geographically which restricts gene flow between populations
Genetic composition vary as each population adapts to their environment
the extent of difference determines by how isolated they are, difference in environment and the length of time separated
: A group of organisms of the same species living within a particular area.
Conservation of Genetic Diversity
Downside: very little info available on level of genetic variation within species.
Hence morphology predominantly used due to the expression of genes
However organisms with similar morphology may differ in genetic makeup (genotype). And organisms with different appearances may be genetically similar.
Measured in alleles which record variation of morphology(appearance) of individual species or population
Important because species with low gene diversity are less able to respond to changes in the environment
In conservation planning, it is important to consider these 4 levels:
Genetic, Population, Species and Ecosystem
Important for intergenerational equity