The combination of basic and applied research to document biological diversity, identify threats from human activities, and develop methods to protect and restore its diversity, it is multi/interdisciplinary and guided by a set of principles. It's associated with environmentalism, but differs from it by being based in biological research
Diversity should be preserved, untimely extinction should be avoided, ecological complexity should be maintained, evolution should continue, biological diversity has intrinsic value
John muir: Intrinsic values superior to material gain obtained by exploitation
Utilitarian/Resource conservation ethic
Pinchot: Divide into Anthrop and natural resources. Sustainable development for The greatest good for the greatest number of people for the longest period of time.
Leopold: To maintain the health of natural ecosystems and ecological processes. Human use to be compatible with or even enhanced biological diversity
Polar regions, deserts, open ocean (Book says deep-sea also appears to be rich in species though not adequately explored)
Why are there so many species in the tropics?
High solar energy, continuous area, geological long-term stability, temperature, precipitation, Competition, specialization
The study of choice as applied to environmental decisions; the study of economic value of natural systems and the true cost of destruction
The philosophy of environmental economics:
Costs and benefits of free exchange are born by the participants – assumption;
When do markets fail?
Public goods, externalities, intrinsic value
Comparison of costs versus benefits to find the most efficient outcome, however doesn't take into account equity/fairness
Measures who gains and loses; measures distribution of costs and benefits; may include assessment of the burden of a regulation
Identifies conflicting uses of assets; based on property rights
Calculation of the value that the natural resources will have in the future; Evaluating the value of the resource now versus the value of the resource in the future (higher discount rates = lower current value)
Subsidizing of industries involved in environmentally damaging activities
Net Present Value; the discounted value of the net benefits of the use of a resource.
Techniques for existence valuation:
Travel cost, Hedonic pricing, Choice experiments, Contingent valuation, transfer values
The Valuation of Biodiversity:
Split into Non-Use (Intrinsic/Existence) and Use Values (Instrumental/Utilitarian)
Non-Use-->Protecting the BD, maintaining culture of locality, continuing ecology
Use split into direct, indirect (ecosystem service), and option (future)
Direct split into consumptive and productive
Direct threats to the continuation of species:
Fragmentation/degradation; invasive species; overexploitation; pollution; global climate change
Underlying threats to the continuation of species:
Urbanization; overpopulation; overconsumption; low incentives to conserve; lack of enforcement
Hi fecundity, small body size, early maturity, short generation, Wide offspring dispersal (Insects, frogs)
Large body size, long life, fewer offspring (humans)
R selected, or inability to shift between r and K, Competitive ability
Minimal viable population necessary to ensure the survival of a
species; Smallest isolated population having 99% chance of remaining extent for 1000 yrs. Used as a goal, when data/time/money is more limited
Minimum dynamic area necessary for maintaining the MVP; Studied from home-range size
Average number of offspring per individual of particular age at a time
Percent chance of survival in a unit of time
Proportion of individuals still alive at a certain age (beginning of age)
Population Viability Analysis; Predicts population dynamics through time, producing quantitative estimate of extinction risk
Should be used when species is believed to be declining-a proactive tool. Requires lots of data
Leslie Matrix model:
Sum of first row numbers times respective second column numbers. And so on.
Give numbers of individuals alive at that age.
First row is fecundity, subsequent rows are age-specific survival
Alternative to Leslie, stage-specific survival. Good for when age difficult to tell or is not the closely related thing to fecundity (as opposed to size), also for when animals revisit stages or do not progress
A species of which the protection results in the protection of other species (because they require a large area)
Targets for protection because of their high biodiversity, endemism, and significant threat of imminent extinctions.