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How Can We Conserve Our Biodiversity

Autor:   •  July 13, 2018  •  Research Paper  •  2,165 Words (9 Pages)  •  270 Views

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How Can We Conserve Our Biodiversity?

Name: Linda Ren

Instructor: Sang Wu

Course/Section: WRDS150/16M

Since the beginning of the Anthropocene, humans have been changing the biosphere in unprecedented ways. As a result, the problem of what biodiversity will be like in the future has been widely debated in the field of ecology. Why is biodiversity so important? Biodiversity - short for biological diversity - means the diversity of life in all its forms - the diversity of species, of genetic variations within one species, and of ecosystems (European Commission, 2004). Greater species diversity can ensure natural sustainability in all life forms and maintain a healthier ecosystem which can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters (Shah, 2014). Watson and Zakri (2005), ecologists in the World Resource Institute, argued that the ever-increasing consumption of ecosystem service and growing population had led to the loss of biodiversity. However, their works ignored the fact that there are many new species created by species invasion and hybridization when many unique species disappear. This paper mainly focuses on the biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene, paying special attention to the growth of invasive species and hybrid species. Specifically, in my project I will look at the extinction and evolution of resident species that invaded by introduced species so as to prove that human activities can not only damage the ecosystem but also slower the rate of biodiversity loss.

Since the early agricultural era about 5000 years ago, destruction of nature caused by human activities has begun to accumulate. Deforestation, land reclamation and overgrazing have significantly damaged the forests and grasslands, resulting in soil erosion, desertification and degradation in many regions. It was estimated that 80% of Earth’s original forests already have been destroyed and the rate of deforestation is still alarmingly high (Terragni, 2014). In particular, when mankind entered the industrial civilization from the agricultural civilization in the 18th century, people’s demand for nature increased sharply due to the development of industry and explosive growth of population. And human’s predatory use of nature resources has exerted irreversible negative impacts on the global ecosystem. In last century, the Earth's average temperature has increased by about 0.6°Celsius. Consequently, the tropical forests have been vanishing at an annual rate of 4% and the sea level has risen by 10 to 20 cm (European Commission, 2004). Many species which have lost their habitats are living under threat due to the severe and rapid change of global environment. Currently, according to the IUCN, World Conservation Union, there are 12259 of 1750000 recorded living species being threatened by extinction. One fourth (24%) mammal and one eighth bird (12%) is facing a high risk of extinction. Therefore, the prediction of future trend of biodiversity is becoming more and more pessimistic. A study published in "Nature" in January 2004 said that climate change could wipe out a third of the Earth's species by 2050 (Thomas, 2004).

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