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Chapter 43 Global Ecology and Conservation Biology

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Conservation biology

the integrated study of ecology, evolutionary biology, physiology, molecular biology, and genetics to sustain biological diversity at all levels


endangered species

a species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range


threatened species

a species that is considered likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future


ecosystem services

a function preformed by an ecosystem that directly or indirectly benefits humans


extinction vortex

A downward population spiral in which inbreeding and genetic drift combine to cause a small population to shrink and, unless reversed, become extinct.


minimum viable population (MVP)

The smallest population size at which a species is able to sustain its numbers and survive.


effective population size

An estimate of the size of a population based on the numbers of females and males that successfully breed; generally smaller than the total population.


movement corridor

a series of small clumps or a narrow strip of quality habitat (usable by organisms) that connects otherwise isolated patches of quality habitat


biodiversity hot spot

A relatively small area with numerous endemic species and a large number of endangered and threatened species


zoned reserve

an extensive region that includes areas relatively undisturbed by humans surrounded by areas that have been changed by human activity and are used for economic gain


critical load

The amount of added nutrient, usually nitrogen or phosphorus, that can be absorbed by plants without damaging ecosystem integrity.


biological magnification

A process in which retained substances become more concentrated at each higher trophic level in a food chain


climate change

a directional change in temperature, precipitation, or other aspect of the global climate that lasts for three decades or more


greenhouse effect

the warming of Earth due to the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide and certain other gases, which absorb reflected infrared radiation and reradiate some of it back toward Earth


ecological footprint

the aggregate land and water area required by a person city or nation to produce all of the resources it consumes and absorb all the waste it generates


sustainable development

Development that meets the needs of people today without limiting the ability of future generations to meet their needs