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Why is genetic diversity important? Genetic diversity it occu





1. Why is genetic diversity important? Genetic diversity it occurs among distinct populations of single species 

2. Explain the connection between population size and genetic diversity. 

3. What may occur as a result of closely related individuals breeding?

4. What usually precedes extinction? Why do you think this is

5. What happens to the unique genetic diversity of a species if it goes extinct? What implications may this have for humans?

6. How is human well-being threatened by a lack of genetic diversity in our agriculturally important crops?


1. In the Gorilla SSP, is equal breeding priority given to all individuals? Why or why not?

2. Why was the male gorilla's background helpful to the SSP breeding program?

3. Let's expand on this video, and EXPLORE WESBITE does mean kinship measure?

4. What does it mean for an animal to have a low mean kinship value?

5. Would an animal with a low mean kinship value be desirable for a captive breeding program? Explain.

6. Why is the potential for the loss of genetic diversity high in captive populations of endangered species?

7. What is one harmful effect of inbreeding


Activity 1

For this activity, you'll go to the Encyclopedia of Earth websites on


While reviewing the information on these sites, you'll answer the following questions 

1. How does species richness influence species diversity?

2. How does species evenness influence species diversity?

3. What is the range of estimates for total species richness on Earth?

4. In terms of geographic patterns, where is species richness generally higher?

5. How do disturbances affect species richness?

Activity 2

For this activity, you'll be using a simulation to quantify biodiversity at two different time periods. The calculation for diversity indexes take into account both species evenness and species richness. These calculations can be quite complex, so we've made it easy with a handy-dandy diversity index calculator.



1. Click on the red button that says "produce community"

2. Count the number of individuals of each species that you see. Enter this data into the column labeled "abundance" for each species in the "community 1" section.

o Note: you may not see every species listed in your community. That's ok. You can either leave abundance blank or put a 0 in the column.

o Think of this like a game of i-spy. The species may be flying in the tree tops, perched on branches, on the ground. 

3. Once you've documented all the species in community 1, click "produce community" again. 

4. Repeat step 4, entering this data into the "community 2" section of the excel workbook.

Once you've documented the richness, evenness, and diversity for the two communities, answer the following questions in your lab notebook. 

1. What is the diversity index value for community 1? For community 2?

2. Was one community more diverse than the other?

3. Was this difference due to species richness or evenness?

4. Community 1 represents a community approximately 70 years ago. Community 2 represents the same community in the present day. Write a description (at least 7 sentences) of a scenario to explain the difference between the two samples. Be creative in designing your scenario, taking into account factors from the surrounding area. Think about factors that can lead to increased/decreased/stable biodiversity. Be as detailed as possible in your description.



1. Define biome.

2. List three different biomes. 

3. What is the initial energy source for nearly all biomes?

4. What two climatic factors influence the distribution of terrestrial biomes around earth?

5. If you're living in Southern California or South Africa, in what biome are you living?

6. Rainforests and deserts both have high temperatures, why is one so much more diverse than the other?

Activity 2


1. Click on the California Floristic Province (CFP)

2. Answer the questions below about this hotspot

Answer the following questions in your notebook

1. What are some of the types of ecosystems found in the California Floristic Province?

2. Approximately what percentage of vegetation remains in more of less pristine condition? Why do you think there isn't more left?

3. Click on "species." How does the number of native vascular plants compare to the surrounding geographical regions?

4. What percentage of CFP native plants are endemic?

5. What is it about the environment in California that has led to a large number of specialized flora?

6. While there are only 10 bird species endemic to California, why else is the CFP important for maintaining bird biodiversity?

7. What animal appears on the California flag? Why is this animal no longer found in California?

8. What type of endemic amphibians is the CFP known for?

9. Click on "threats." What are the main threats to the biodiversity of CFP?

10. One of California's major economic activities is agriculture. How much of the food consumed in the US on a yearly basis is produced in California?

11. What percentage of redwood forests are left? What happened to them?

12. What are the consequences of the destruction of wetlands?

13. Go back to the map. What are three other hot spots found in other regions?



Let's say you get the following email from a close friend:

I just don't get it. The US spent 1.5 billion dollars on protecting threatened and endangered species in 2016 Links to an external site.. This money is being spent when we have veterans living on the streets homeless, millions of people without adequate health care, and so many other large scale societal issues. It seems like the money could be spent in better ways, in ways that help humans. I don't see the need to protect a tiny little kangaroo rat or a frog. Why should we be using our resources to help save these species?

Construct a response to your friend that argues that protecting biodiversity indeed does benefit people. Provide at least 2 articles or videos for your friend to view that help support your argument. And make it personal, include at least 3 direct ways in which your friend benefits from the continued existence of a biodiverse planet. Your friend mentioned a specific dollar amount. Can you counter this argument with another dollar amount?



COMMUNITY 1 Species Description Abundance Relative Abundance Log Evenness Diversity Index
1 yellow beetle 0 ERROR:#NUM! ERROR:#NUM!
2 orange butterfly
3 red-winged black bird
4 rabbit
5 squirrel 18
6 spider 1
7 coyote
8 orange lizard
9 grasshopper
10 crows (flying)
COMMUNITY 2 Species Description Abundance Relative Abundance Log Evenness Diversity Index
1 yellow beetle 0 ERROR:#NUM! ERROR:#NUM!
2 orange butterfly
3 red-winged black bird
4 rabbit
5 squirrel 18
6 spider 1
7 coyote
8 orange lizard
9 grasshopper
10 crows (flying)

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