Monday, November 28, 2011
A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region that is both a significant reservoir of biodiversity and is threatened with destruction.
The term biodiversity hotspot specifically refers to 25 biologically rich areas around the world that have lost at least 70 percent of their original habitat.
The remaining natural habitat in these biodiversity hotspots amounts to just 1.4 percent of the land surface of the planet, yet supports nearly 60 percent of the world's plant, bird, mammal, reptile, and amphibian.
In geology, a hotspot is a location on the Earth's surface that has experienced active volcanism for a long period of time.
Hotspots were thought to be caused by a narrow stream of hot mantle convecting up from the mantle-core boundary called a mantle plume, the latest geological evidence is pointing to upper-mantle convection as a cause.
This in turn has re-raised the antipodal pair impact hypothesis, the idea that pairs of opposite hot spots may result from the impact of a large meteor.
Geologists have identified some 40-50 such hotspots around the globe, with Hawaii, Reunion, Yellowstone, Galapagos, and Iceland overlying the most currently active.
Biodiversity or biological diversity is the diversity of life.
There are a number of definitions and measures of biodiversity.
Biodiversity is commonly identified at three levels.
First there is genetic diversity, which is the diversity of genes within a species.
There is a genetic variability among the populations and the individuals of the same species.
Secondly there is species diversity, or diversity among species in an ecosystem.
"Biodiversity hotspots" are excellent examples of species diversity.
Third there is ecosystem diversity, diversity at a higher level of organization, the ecosystem.
This has to do with the variety of ecosystems on Earth.
Conservation biology is the protection and management of biodiversity that uses principles and experiences from the biological sciences, from natural resource management, and from the social sciences, including economics.
Put another way, conservation biology is the scientific study of the phenomena that affect the maintenance, loss, and restoration of biological diversity.
Seedbanks store seeds as a source for planting in case seed reserves elsewhere should be destroyed