Chapters :
  • ANIMAL KINGDOM
  • PLANT KINGDOM
  • FUNGI KINGDOM
  • PROTISTA KINGDOM
  • MONERA KINGDOM
  • LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION
  • SPECIES DIVERSITY
  • ECOSYSTEM DIVERSITY
  • GENETIC DIVERSITY
  • WHY DO TROPICAL AREAS HAVE MORE SPECIES DIVERSITY?
  • MEASURE OF BIODIVERSITY
  • ENDEMISM
  • FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENDEMISM
  • ENDEMIC SPECIES OF INDIA

BIODIVERSITY AND CONSERVATION – 02

ANIMAL KINGDOM 

The kingdom Animalia is the most evolved and is divided into two large groups – vertebrates and invertebrates. These animals are multi-celled, heterotrophic eukaryotes with aerobic respiration, sexual reproduction and the ability to move. This kingdom is one of the most diverse and comprises mammals, fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, molluscs and annelids, among others.

PLANT KINGDOM

Trees, plants and other species of vegetation make up part of the Plantae kingdom – one of the oldest, and characterised by its immobile, multicellular and eukaryotic nature. These autotrophic things, whose cells contain cellulose and chlorophyll are essential for life on Earth since they release oxygen through photosynthesis. As regards their method of reproduction, this may be either sexual or asexual.

FUNGI KINGDOM

This name is used to designate the fungi kingdom which includes yeasts, moulds and all species of mushrooms and toadstools. These multicellular aerobic heterotrophic eukaryotes have chitin in their cell walls, feed off other living things, and reproduce through spores.

PROTISTA KINGDOM

This group is the most primitive of the eukaryotics and all the others are descendants of it. The Protista kingdom is paraphyletic – As it is so heterogeneous it is difficult to categorise it, since its members have very little in common.

MONERA KINGDOM

This is the kingdom of microscopic living things and groups together the prokaryotes (archaea and bacteria). This group is present in all habitats and is made up of single-cell things with no defined nucleus. Most bacteria are aerobic and heterotrophic, while the archaea are usually anaerobic and their metabolism is chemosynthetic.

LEVELS OF ORGANIZATION

The various species in the planet is organized into systems as the following:

 

SPECIES DIVERSITY

It is represented as the number of species a community consists of. For example, the Western Ghats have a greater amphibian species diversity than the Eastern Ghats.The effective number of species refers to the number of equally abundant species needed to obtain the same mean proportional species abundance as that observed in the dataset of interest. It depends mainly on climatic conditions. 

ECOSYSTEM DIVERSITY

It describes the aggregation of and interaction of species with one another and deals with the variations in ecosystems within a geographical location and its overall impact on human existence and the environment especially during stress conditions. At the ecosystem level, India, for instance, with its Deserts, Rain Forests, Mangroves, Coral Reefs, Wetlands, Estuaries, And Alpine Meadows has a greater ecosystem diversity than a Scandinavian country like Norway. 

GENETIC DIVERSITY

 Is the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. The magnitude of variation increases along with size and environmental parameters. The genetic variation shown by the medicinal plant Rauwolfiavomitoria growing in different Himalayan ranges might be in terms of the potency and concentration of the active chemical (reserpine) that the plant produces. India has more than 50,000 genetically different strains of rice, and 1,000 varieties of mango

WHY DO TROPICAL AREAS HAVE MORE SPECIES DIVERSITY?

Tropical environments, unlike temperate ones, are less seasonal, relatively more constant and predictable. Such constant environments promote specialisation and lead to a greater species diversity.

 There is more solar energy available in the tropics, which contributes to higher productivity; this in turn might contribute indirectly to greater diversity.

AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY

 It is assumed that origin of life took place in sea. This makes Marine system the richest bio diverse habitats which is playing the most important role in the maintenance of other terrestrial biodiversity. The marine plants (including micro-algal species) are responsible of fixing most of the carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and production of 65% of the oxygen. The different zones of sea such as benthic, pelagic, neritic and intertidal zone house different species of animals and plants.. 

MEASURE OF BIODIVERSITY  

Simpson’s Diversity Index is a measure of diversity. In ecology, it is often used to quantify the biodiversity of a habitat. It takes into account the number of species present, as well as the abundance of each species. Following is the concept behind the Simpson’s diversity index.

SPECIES

Concept, Classification And Different Roles In The Environment

SPECIATION 

Speciation is how a new kind of plant or animal species is created. Speciation occurs when a group within a species separates from other members of its species and develops its own unique characteristics. 

 TYPE OF SPECIES &  ITS ROLE IN ENVIRONMENT.

  1. KEYSTONE SPECIES: A keystone species is a species that plays an essential role in the Structure, Functioning Or Productivity of a habitat or ecosystem at a defined level (habitat, soil, seed dispersal, etc). Examples include the Elephant’s Role in maintaining habitat structure, and bats and insects in pollination. Disappearance of such species may lead to significant ecosystem change or dysfunction which may have knock on effects on a broader scale.
  2. UMBRELLA SPECIES: The species requiring large areas of natural habitat for their continued survival. Ex : Giraffee 
  3. FLAGSHIP SPECIES: The species selected to act as an ambassador, icon or symbol for a defined habitat, issue, campaign or environmental cause. 

Ex : Koala , Panda . By focusing on them, their habitat and other species which share the same habitat can also be conserved. 

  1. INDICATOR SPICES – An indicator species is a species or group of species chosen as an indicator For Example corals as indicators of marine processes such as siltation, seawater rise and sea temperature fluctuation.
  1. Endemic species – An “Endemic Species” is one that is only found in a particular region and nowhere else in the world. Example Sangai Deer, Lion Tailed Macaque, Nilgiri Tahr ( Show its video)  Since these species are not widespread and may be confined to only one or two protected areas, they are of great conservation concern. A plant may be said to endemic to a certain state, to a country or to a continent.

ENDEMISM

The term ‘endemism’ was coined by A.P. de Candolle (1855) for the distribution of an organism (Plant, Animal Or Microorganism) in a limited geographical area. In Ecological terms, it states that a plant or an animal lives only in a particular location, such as a specific Island, Habitat Type, Nation Or other defined zone.

FACTORS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENDEMISM 

  1. The natural crossing among the closely related plants growing under favourable conditions and Mutations. 
  2. Endemism is found in isolated e.g., islands, isolated areas etc. Mountains also have more endemic species as they are isolated e.g., 70% sp. of Himalayas is endemic.
  3. Climate also is one of the factors e.g., North of Himalaya is dry plateau of Tibet and South Himalayan range has alluvial fertile soil. Maximum endemic plants are found in the Himalayas and South India. Indo-Gangetic plains have a very small number of endemic species.

ENDEMIC SPECIES OF INDIA 

According to the fifth report of convention of Biological Diversity (CBD) 2014 reported by Botanical survey of India  The numbers of endemic plant under different plant groups  nearly about 4045 species of flowering plants (angiosperms) endemic to India are distributed amongst 141 genera belonging to 47 families. Some examples of endemic plant species of India are Rhododendron, Teak, Mango, Tamrind, Neem,  the endemic animal species found in India are Lion-Tailed Macaque, Nilgirilangur, Brown Palm Civet And Nilgiritahr. These are concentrated in the floristically rich areas of North-east India, the Western Ghats, the North-west Himalaya and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

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