ENV 300 Environmental Science
June 15, 2015
All living organisms are present in ecosystems to coexist together to create biodiversity and without different species, these environment could fail horribly. Every living organism has a purpose in order to keep the balance of biodiversity. In order for there to be “biological diversity, these items are organized at many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the chemical structures that are the molecular basis of heredity” (1987). Not always in a friendly environmental manner, Human actions has played a big key role in the changing of the environment. A nonproductive planet would be result, ...view middle of the document...
8 % of the Earth's surface” (Dudgeon et al., 2006). Continued contamination of fresh water slowly kills the aquatic and terrestrial species that need it to survive, including humans. “This precious heritage is in crisis. Fresh waters are experiencing declines in biodiversity far greater than those in the most affected terrestrial ecosystems” (Dudgeon et al., 2006). Fish not only live in water they rely on the movement of water to transport food to their habitats. Without conservation programs in place, to protect our waters from degradation, many bodies of water would be destroyed.
Almost every species on Earth needs water to survive. Plants can’t grow without water; it regulates species temperature and transports nutrients to the plant. Degraded water can leach important nutrients from creating nutrient deficient plants. When plants are missing nutrients their normal growth patterns can be disrupted. Potassium is necessary in the plants photosynthesis process; without potassium plants will starve (Binko et al., 1993).
So, back to the number of species that humans need to consume for their survival. We need protein, fiber, sodium, fat, vitamins and carbohydrates. Plants and animals can provide this to us. But, not all plants are created equal. So we need a diversity to survive; all species need nutrients and it takes a diversity of species, in a single habitat, to make that happen.
There are four key processes of biological evolution. These processes are mutation, natural selection, migration/geographic isolation, and Genetic Drift. Mutations take place in the species genes. Gene mutation occurs when a cell splits and reproduces a copy, sometimes the copy isn’t an exact match creating a mutated gene. Some mutations will add to the species abilities creating a new niche.
Natural selection involves four primary factors: genetic variability, environmental variability, differential reproduction, and environmental influence. An article in Plos One, discusses the genetic variability of natural selection, “a genetic adaptation to a specific form of an environmental feature is profitable only as long as the rate of change in the environment is not too fast” (Baronchelli, et al, 2013). For example, a Llama that can stand taller, due to a longer neck, would be able to reach fruits on taller plants. This new niche is a great adaptation as long as the fruit barring plants are in their habitat. If for example, humans disrupted their habitat by removing all the fruit barring plants, this adaptation/niche would be useless.
The competitive exclusion principle states that two species with the exact same requirements can’t coexist (Botkins, 2011). Niche opportunities or competitive advantages explains the reason for habitat biodiversity. When competing animals have varying ecological niches, they can coexist. Competition for identical niches within the same ecosystem. A fundamental niche is the full range of role, place, or function a species has within...