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Week Six Lecture Notes

by: Miri Taple

Week Six Lecture Notes BIO 227

Miri Taple
Cal Poly

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These notes cover the material talked about in week six lectures
Wildlife Conservation Biology
Dr. Lisa Needles
Class Notes
Bio, Wildlife conservation
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Miri Taple on Tuesday February 23, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to BIO 227 at California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo taught by Dr. Lisa Needles in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 12 views.

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Date Created: 02/23/16
10/28/2015 Lecture Notes Habitat Destruction Continued Fragmentation •   Large fragments have a greater variety of environments •   Large fragments likely to have both common and uncommon species •   Small fragments have smaller populations (more susceptible to going extinct) Habitat destruction and degradation •   Contamination •   Roads, dams, and other structures •   Fire and erosion (effects land and waterways) •   Desertification •   Draining and dredging •   Deforestation Deforestation: •   Ex. Palm Oil: o   Used in many products, produced primarily in Malaysia and Indonesia (85-90%) o   The plant doesn’t take as much time to grow as other plants do for oil o   Can keep trees for about 25 years (long-lasting) o   Conversion of forest to palm plantation through slash and burn o   Orangutans at risk from this deforestation: Bornean and Sumatran orangutans (more at risk). When their habitat is destroyed they sometimes go over to palm plantations to try to sustain themselves, plantation owners don’t want them eating their crop, they will kill them. Roads allow people to go deeper into the forest; poachers kill mother orangutans and take the babies for the illegal pet trade. They are very attached to their mothers so they cannot survive without them or they become depressed. o   Sumatran tiger: only 400 left in the wild, also at risk due to this deforestation o   Buy sustainably produced palm oil! Desertification: •   Grasslands and woodlands become deserts o   Overgrazing o   Agriculture (adding too much water to the soil) o   Cutting trees for fuel (problem in Africa) •   35% of land on earth is a desert •   spreading deserts threaten Africa Contamination: •   dead zones •   air pollution •   UV radiation •   Algal bloom on coral reef due to increased eutrophication (added nutrients), agricultural runoff, street runoff into sewers… oceans, algae covers the coral and then coral dies. Coral = one of the most bio diverse habitats. •   Estrogen mimics: a compound acts like estrogen and leads to disruption in endocrine pathways. o   Feminization of fish, amphibian and reptile populations o   Atrazine, used as a pesticide on corn and many other crop species. Number one contaminant in drinking water. Banned in Europe but still used in the U.S. primarily in the Midwest. Causes am plexus in frogs. Feminization, converts testosterone into estrogen. Hasn’t had the same effect in humans but is in relation to breast cancer which is regulated by estrogen. 10-30% of all frogs exposed will adopt female characteristics. o   Birth control- synthetic estrogen, bisphenol A in plastics, triclosan in anti- bacterial soaps… all down the drain and into the water systems. Technology to remove estrogen from the water doesn’t exist. Can additionally cause delayed sexual maturity, thinner eggs, etc. Pollution: •   Loss of coral from the great barrier reef is due to pollution from agricultural runoff, the crown of thorns sea star which eats it, overfishing which eliminates the fish who graze on algae, and ocean warming. •   Pollution is a kind of degradation- still able to use the habitat but fitness is decreased •   Herbicides, trash, oil, emissions, etc. A.   “classic” pollution- trash B.   other kinds of pollution a.   nutrient pollution- eutrophication and dead zones b.   “persistent” pollution i.   bio-accumulation, bio-magnification ii.   mercury iii.   DDT C.   “hormone mimics” “classic” pollution: •   midway atoll: great pacific garbage patch- not just from the coast, inland trash travels down rivers and into the oceans. •   Micro plastics- can’t actually be seen but are a large concern •   Size of garbage patch is unknown but estimated to be about 12 lbs. of plastic per km^2 •   Plastic doesn’t degrade it just breaks into smaller and smaller pieces •   Albatross chicks eat the plastic particles and are globally endangered •   Atoll is 2.5 mi^2 with 10x area outside with lagoon •   Ocean currents have particular patterns and bring the trash to this certain area •   Soup of tiny plastic particles below water surface •   CA plastic bag ban- they get washed out into sea and land. Sea turtles particularly effected- eat the bags (also dolphins, birds, etc.) Nutrient pollution: •   Clear blue lakes have very low productivity (nutrients) •   Adding nutrients adds algae growth. Buildings have runoff and add nutrients that are not natural to the lake. •   Changes clarity and physical structure of the lake •   Eutrophic lake and fish kill due to lack of O2 •   1985-2006 dead zone in Gulf of Mexico- close to shore, less O2 there is. Mercury: •   primary source is emissions in coal burning power plants •   illegal gold mines are a significant local source of mercury pollution (localized not worldwide) •   gets into the air, small organisms, into ocean, bio-accumulates and concentrated in larger fish. DDT: •   accumulates in fats of animals •   used as insecticide •   Rachel Carson “silent spring” •   “persistent pollutant” still in environment even though it has been banned 10/26/2015 Lecture Notes Invasive species continued: •   Brown tree snake management: dead mice, fed Tylenol, were dropped from planes so that the snakes would eat them and die. This had severe economic impact. They were also trapped; it was effective but time-consuming. •   Tasmanian devils and cheetahs’ low genetic diversity dates back to the ice age Habitat destruction and fragmentation: “most serious threat… to extinction crisis…” – Wilcox and Murphy •   Degradation = diminished quality for a given species; manifests as a reduction in fitness •   Destruction = degradation to the point of un-usability; loss •   Fragmentation = breaking into discontinuous pieces or parts What constitutes good habitat? Depends on the species! What constitutes good habitat for a given organism? 1.   Within the organism’s “physiological tolerances” 2.   Meets the organism’s critical life needs (key resources) 3.   Low abundance of competitors, predators, etc. Habitat is organism specific… it is the sum of the specific resources that are needed by the organism Population density is an unreliable indicator of habitat quality •   Dense population, crowded and may not have as high of fitness as a less dense population, there are just too many. In some cases, a denser population indicates that the environment is beneficial to them but in others it does not. •   Ex. Overcrowded slum v. less dense suburb (in terms humans) Source- sink dynamics •   High quality patches: “sources” o   Reproduction > mortality o   Emigration > immigration o   So net outflow of individuals •   Low quality patches: “sinks” o   Reproduction < mortality o   Emigration < immigration o   So net inflow of individuals “sink” populations are maintained not by reproduction, but by immigration from “source” populations. CRITICAL NEEDS: habitat provides critical resources: food, water, cover, and special needs A.   Food: all vertebrate species are consumers •   Herbivory, carnivory, omnivory •   Herbivores: surrounded by abundance of food but its low quality and hard to digest, animals compensate by eating more of it. Ex. Giant pandas and bamboo •   Carnivores: meat is high quality food and easy to digest, the trick is acquisition. •   Quality of food- optimal zone with fitness B.   Water: some need it more than others but it is crucial to all species’ survival. C.   Cover: “protective” for harsh environments, “escape” or “concealment”- about being inaccessible to predators. D.   Special needs: a “slop” category for all that don’t fit into other categories •   Ex. Dirt or dust baths for many animals •   Ex. Reproductive special needs- “display grounds” Habitat Degradation 1.   Reduction in important elements 2.   Change in successional stage Types of degradation: pollution, chemicals, toxins, noise, light, etc. reduction or loss of key habitat elements. •   Ex. Snags = standing dead trees, very important habitat element for some species (defines an old growth forest) •   What is degradation of habitat? - old growth canopies are not uniform. 2 growth forests have uniform canopy- not trees needed for animals to have prime habitat for high fitness. •   Degradation depends on the species: ex. Spotted owls need late successional forests but Kirkland’s warblers need early successional forests, breeds only in stands of young jack pine. Habitat Destruction Degradation to the point that habitat is unusable •   Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub lost the most in the past (slowed down, probably because not much left) •   Tropical and sub-tropical moist broadleaf forest- being utilized more now •   Tropical and sub-tropical moist broadleaf forests- projected loss = what is already lost •   Habitat destruction results in: 1.   Reduced habitat area 2.   Increased edge effects 3.   Fragmentation •   As area is reduced, so is the number of species it can support o   Ex. Habitat destruction and fragmentation of Brazil’s coastal forest from 1946- 1988, loss to very little continuous habitat o   Not as many species then exist and individual species are at risk Fragmentation v. habitat destruction Recall: 10 x increase in area = 2 x increase in species Loss of 50% of habitat = loss of 10% species Loss of 90% of habitat = loss of 50% species Edge effects: edge effects are the boundary between natural habitats and developed or disturbed land. •   Microclimate •   Disturbance (wind {can occur 400 m in}, fire) •   Predation from exotic or weedy species o   Ex. Brown headed cowbirds: are brood parasites. They lay eggs in songbird nests near forest edges. Greater forest edge = more cowbirds (and decrease in songbird’s nest success) o   edge effects cause 2 sites to be profoundly different even though they may appear to be identical at the local scale factors effecting edge effects in a patch A.   patch shape: edge area increases as path gets less circular (i.e. as perimeter increases) B.   patch size: as patch gets smaller, a greater proportion becomes edge C.   patch contrast (with matrix): Edge effects increase with greater structural contrast between adjacent communities. Fragmentation: natural habitat becomes reduced to isolated patches •   ex. Borneo forest cover: 1950- primarily native forest 2020- predicted that most will be non-native conversion. Main causes of habitat destruction and fragmentation •   agriculture, land conversion for commercial development, water development. •   Ex. Loss of wetlands in San Joaquin Valley: Tulare lake •   Linear barriers: roads- direct mortality, physical or physiological barrier to movement. o   Ex. Road kill- Florida panther o   Roads also provide access for other destructive factors: Allow human settlers, hunters, etc. •   Dams: significant alteration of both upstream and downstream environments impassible barrier, change in seasonal flow patterns, associated with stocking of exotic sport fish, which prey upon native species •   Species particularly vulnerable to habitat destruction and fragmentation a.   Highly localized endemics b.   Require large areas, or are highly mobile c.   Poor-mobility d.   Depend on a patchy or unpredictable …


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