ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM VISIT

What is Biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. Biodiversity occurs at three levels: the genetic diversity within species, the diversity among species and the diversity of ecosystems.

Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance e of the world as we know it.

The diversity of living organisms is remarkable. Adaptations to different environments have caused millions of species to evolve resulting in an astonishing array of colours, forms, textures and behaviours.

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Invasive species

Introduced species are considered invasive if they cause native species in associated habitats to decline. Invasive species thrive in their adopted habitat because they lack natural predators. they often disrupt ecological functioning and cause severe aesthetic, cultural and economic damage. 

Domesticated species

Domesticated plants and animals are the primary source of the worlds food, natural medicines, pets, working animals and ornamental plants. cultivation or selective breeding has altered their appearance and biology from those of their wild ancestors. climate change, habitat loss and the increasing production of GMO projects have fuelled the efforts to conserve the diversity of the worlds crop plants and livestock.

 

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Every species has its own unique natural distribution pattern. Endemic species have been isolated and are confined to a specific regions or habitats whereas widespread species are distributed over broad regions.

Biodiversity is not distributed evenly around the world. Climate, geography, the presence or absence of other species and human intention are factors that affect distribution patterns.

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Africa’s white rhinoceros is a symbol of life in crisis and conservation success. although the northern subspecies is nearing extinction , the southern subspecies is increasing in numbers through conservation efforts.

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Threatened Spaces: Coldspots

Biodiversity cold spot are areas that have low species diversity and are home to rare species in threatened habitats or ecosystems these areas are at risk and priorities for conservation,

From Tropics to Poles

Species richness is highest in the tropics and decreases toward the poles in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. this trend is linked to differences in sunlight, temperature, precipitation and geological history.

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Neotropical forests

They support the largest biodiversity on earth. They are dominated by broad leaved evergreen trees festooned with vines and epiphytes. These complex humid environments support a staggering diversity of interdependent organisms. Neotropical forests are threatened by large scale and subsistence agriculture, cattle ranching, logging and government sponsored settlement projects.

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Life is diverse

Biodiversity is the natural variety of life on earth.

Life is interconnected

Species interact with each other in complex ecosystems.

Life is in crisis

Humans are causing both the extinction of individual species and the destruction of whole ecosystems.

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