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Topic 7

Page history last edited by Michael Hatton 14 years, 8 months ago
The Impact of Population on Loss of Biodiversity and Extinction
Topics To Be Focused On:
- Deforestation
- Alien Species Invasion
- Extinction
Each topic is then followed by a video depicting the effects of the rapid increase of the human population on each topic.




Population Dynamics and Deforestation

Carr DL, Suter L, Barbieri A.  2006 February 8.  Population dynamics and tropical deforestation: state of the debate and conceptual challenges.  Journal of Population and Environment.  [Internet].  [cited 2008 September 8]. 
This article was written by individuals from the University of California and the CarolinaPopulationCenter in North Carolina about the role that population has on deforestation.  The article speaks about a discussion hosted by the Population Environment Research Network (PERN) in 2003.  Many people with diverse backgrounds contributed to this discussion by presenting ideas for research and further action on the issue of deforestation.  Consumption patterns were one cause of deforestation that was mentioned.  Patterns of deforestation associated with rural and urban areas were also discussed.  The information on this site is very reliable because the article was taken from a scientific journal.  However, this resource does not focus as specifically on tropical rainforest deforestation as some of the other sources that are listed do.


Lindsey R.  2007 March 30.  Tropical deforestation.  NASA Earth Observatory.  [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 7]
This article was written by a NASA employee and describes how NASA researches tropical rainforests from space-based and ground-based perspectives.  The information presented is supposed to educate people and/or leaders about how world population is leading to deforestation.  The article focuses on the major impacts that rainforest deforestation has on society, biodiversity, the soil, and the climate. Research from NASA is presented through aerial photographs to show the massive deforestation that has occurred in a rainforest in Rondonia, Brazil in the past six years.  Information on how to sustain tropical rainforests is presented on the local and international scale.  This site is easy to navigate and photographs and charts make the information more interesting and easier to understand.  This site only presents aerial photographs of tropical rainforests in one geographical area.  If photographs from more than one tropical rainforest were shown, it would enhance the information that NASA is presenting in the article.   
Lowman M.  2004 August.  Ecotourism and its impact on forest conservation.  ActionBioscience.  [Internet].  [cited 2008 September 8].
This article presents information about ecotourism and the positive impacts it has on natural ecosystems (like offsetting the effects of overpopulation).  The information in this article is aimed for any individual who is interested in helping maintain the world’s natural communities.  Three case studies of ecotourism attractions that have assisted in forest conservation were mentioned.  Some of these attractions include aerial trams and canopy walkways that allow people to actively view the forests.  Rather than only presenting information on the deforestation and the problems associated with it,  this site presents an alternative way for people to enjoy forests without harming them while supporting local economies.  This site only mentions deforestation briefly and could go more in depth about how ecotourism actually helps offset the effects of overpopulation on forests (rather than just describing different types of ecotourism).   
Mertens W.  1994.  Population and deforestation in humid tropics.  International Union for the Scientific Study of Population. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]. 
This article was based on papers from a seminar that was organized by the Committee on Population and the Environment.  This article is aimed toward an educated individual who wishes to learn more about the impacts of overpopulation.  The article explains a number of committees and working groups of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population (IUSSP).  Policies made on tropical deforestation were outlined in one portion of the article.  The impacts of deforestation on the ecosystem and biodiversity were mentioned as well in this article.  Specific examples of areas undergoing large amounts of deforestation were presented.  While this article contains a lot of information deforestation, it also contained other information and impacts of overpopulation as well.  It was a bit confusing to navigate through because such a large amount of information was presented on the site.


Population Growth and Deforestation

Meyerson, F.  Population growth and deforestation: a critical and complex relationship. Population Reference Bureau. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 7].

Location: http://www.prb.org/Articles/2004/PopulationGrowthandDeforestationACriticalandComplexRelationship.aspx

The author of this article was a visiting scholar at the Population Reference Bureau.  He wrote a book in 2005 about the American population policy that was published by the Smithsonian.  The information in the article is intended for any educated individual.  The article describes the direct relationship that exists between population growth and deforestation.  A scatter plot is used by the author to illustrate this relationship using data from 1999 and 2000.  The impacts of deforestation and the subject of reforestation were both approached in the article.  It written in a more scholarly fashion than “The Choice: Doomsday of Arbor Day” article.  The infromation presented in the article is a good introductory read about population growth and deforestation but it could go more in depth about the topic.   


Doomsday or Arbor Day?

Stock J, Rochen A.  The choice: Doomsday or Arbor Day.  University of Michigan.   [Internet].  [cited 2008 September 7]. 

This article gives a basic overall description of deforestation.  It was written by students at the University of Michigan and is intended for student use.  The article outlines the basic causes of deforestation.  Population growth is proposed to be the main cause of deforestation.  Logging and cattle grazing were also mentioned as causes.  The effects of deforestation were outlined (erosion, flooding, and climate change were the three mentioned).  This article is a good introductory reading for deforestation because it is easy to understand.  The article could be written in a more scholarly fashion and more in depth knowledge of deforestation would have to be found elsewhere however.


Alien Species Invasion:


Alien Plant Invaders

Alien Plant Working Group [Internet]. Washington (DC): Plant Conservation Alliance; [updated 2007 Apr 10; cited 2008 Sept 7].

Location: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/list/a.htm

This source offers a list of plants that are invasive throughout different areas of the United States.  The information is compiled from surveys, reports and even field observations made by researchers from federal agencies and other organizations.  The creator's sole purpose is to educate the public about different species that could be invasive when introduced to natural areas and therefore is a credible resource.  The concentration on plants lessens the value of the overall site because both plants and animals are most certainly considered to be invasive and therefore problematic.


Global Invasive Species Programme

Location: http://www.gisp.org/index.asp

The Global Invasive Species Programme [homepage on the Internet].  Nairobi (Kenya): Dr. Sarah Simons; c2008 [cited 2008 Sept 6].  [about 2 p.]. 

The Global Invasive Species Programme is concerned with the threat that invasive species have on biodiversity.  They work to promote awareness about alien species and the problems that they can cause.  The creators of this site provide lists of different species of plants and animals that are known as invasive while simultaneously providing the public with an assortment of databases that issue more specific information about specific species and where they can be found.  They are only concerned with promoting awareness of the problems invasive alien species can cause which makes them a reliable source.  This site provides a more complete gathering of information than the citation listed below that focuses on marine life.


MarineBio Website

Location: http://marinebio.org/Oceans/AlienSpecies.asp

MarineBio [Internet].  Houston (TX):  David Campbell; c1998-2008 [cited 2008 Sept 6].  [about 3 p.].

The authors of MarineBio, an informational website that focuses on the diversity throughout the oceans of the world, clearly explain what alien species are and the problems they pose.  Although alien species are not limited to the oceans, this article illustrates how the introduction of a foreign species can disrupt the biodiversity of not only an aquatic ecosystem but also those ecosystems that exist within and nearby the oceans.  The idea that alien species have a negative influence on the lives of the animals around them is not only connected to their affect on human life but also the rest of the world.


Encyclopedia of Earth

Location: http://www.eoearth.org/article/Species_influences_upon_ecosystem_function

Nancy E. Golubiewski: Species influences upon ecosystem functioning [Internet]. Washington (DC): The Encyclopedia of Earth; c2008 [updated 2008 May 1; cited 2008 Sept 6]. [about 7 p.].

The Encyclopedia of Earth is an electronic source comprised of scholarly articles.  This specific reference discusses the relationship between invasive species and the influence they have on an ecosystem.  The article describes specific traits and goes in depth to give examples of certain instances where an alien species can affect the different places they may invade.  Although the examples are certainly useful this source uses somewhat intricate details that may prove to be more specific than necessary for the broad topic of the invasion of alien species. 



Location: http://www.invasivespeciesinfo.gov/animals/main.shtml

National Invasive Species Information Center [Internet].  Washington (DC): United States Department of Agriculture; [updated 2008 Aug 19; cited 2008 Sept 6]. [about 2 p.].

The National Invasive Species Information Center includes local, state, federal and international sources.  This data gives the public an intensive description of different invasive species, where they may be found and where they may have come from.  The information provided encompasses both plant and animal species making for a more complete source to explore.  Compared to other citations listed, this site illuminates the different species that are considered invasive and the problems that are accompanied by them more effectively to its audience.



Location: http://www.natureserve.org/consIssues/invasivespecies.jsp 

NatureServe [Internet]. Arlington (VA): National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII); c2008 [cited 2008 Sept 7]. [about 3 p.].

NatureServe, part of an international network of natural heritage programs, seeks to put forth information concerning rare and endangered species along with threatened ecosystems.  Alien species play a major role in contributing to those species that are becoming extinct and the ecosystems they inhabit by promoting the loss of biodiversity.  This source is focused on the loss of natural resources due to invasive species while they also present problems for industry, ranching and agriculture.


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Location: http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblog/2007/05/biocid_bigger_t.html 

Bigger threat than global warming: mass species extinction. 2007. The Daily Galaxy. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]; 8:11.

In this news article, a new term, “Biocide”, is given to the current state of the world. The author makes it clear that, although it is said that species are being discovered all the time, they are disappearing even faster. The author gives statistics that show that over half of the reptiles, insects and plant life are in danger of becoming extinct. They also point out that with the extinction of one species, other species are directly affected. Environmental causes for the extinctions include pollution, pesticides, thinning ozone layer, and human increased climate change. This article gives many reasons why humans have played a part in decreasing healthy habitats for many species, showing the importance for people to stop their harmful actions. It is easy ro read and contains good examples of species extinction. It also effectively explains the term "biocide".


Biodiversity Slideshow

Location: http://www.slideshare.net/mashapiro/biodiversity-population-1  

Biodiversity and human population growth. 2007. Slideshare. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]; 2:26.

This slideshow explains the definitions, problems, and outcomes associated with loss of biodiversity, growing human populations, and the extinction of plants and animals. Many maps of the United States are given showing the extinction rates of birds and federally listed species across the country. The coastal area is also under inspection in looking at its increasing population and how the coastlines, estuaries and reefs are being negatively affected. The author also takes a closer look at invasive species, overfishing, and tropical rainforest depletion. This aids in exploring my project topic by having good graphs and maps of the United States and the world. These visible aids make it more apparent the damage the growing population is doing to the plant and animal life. This site is very informational. The slideshow contains maps that make the point of extinction clearer to those who want visual aids.



Human Impact to Species Richness 

Location: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1635517 

Davies, R. G., Orme, D. L., Olson, V., et. al. Human impacts and the global distribution of extinction risk. 2006. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]; 7:46.

In this article, human impact is looked at as a threat to species richness in the world. The authors analyze human and ecological factors that affect the extinction risk of the continent and the world. In order to do this, a database on the geographical distribution of bird species on continents and islands are looked at. These were compared with human population density and the census data on population. It was found that the increasing human population did play a part in the decreasing bird species population. This article scientifically displays, and proves, how a certain species was affected by the growing population. By giving a specific example, it makes it clearer the certain ways that the growth of the population can affect any species. Although this document is long, it has a good study of the human impact on a specific bird population and how the scientists measured the population's impact first hand.


The Sixth Extinction

Location: http://www.actionbioscience.org/newfrontiers/eldredge2.html 

Eldredge, N. The sixth extinction. 2005. American Institute of Biological Sciences. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]; 6:06.  

Niles Eldredge describes the contributors to the current biodiversity crisis. These include destruction of ecosystems, exploitation of species and resources, and pollution. He calls the current state the “Sixth Extinction”, which is more rapid and severe than the last 5 extinctions of the planet. He explains that the Sixth Extinction deals with overexploitation of species, pollution and now the introduction of alien species through movement by humans. He also ties the fossil record into the argument, saying that large numbers of humans throughout existence played a part in destroying various species. This thoroughly examines the human population explosion and how it is affecting the land and species that live on it. This site effectively shows the differences between the first through fifth extinctions and the differences in the sixth extinction. The layout and the division of the topics make it easier to read.


Human Impacts

Location: http://www.earthportals.com/extinct.html

Harding, G. W. Human population growth and the accelerating rate of species   extinction. Insights: A Conscious E-Zine. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]; 2:13. 

Harding begins to describe how the combination of instant gratification and short-term goals are driving the population to rise and continue to use the earth’s resources. This outcome is driving the mass extinctions of plant and animal species of the world. A graph aids in showing the recent population surge in the world’s history. He also details a possible devastating outcome of viruses that may be in the future of the world’s ever increasing population. He gives evidence of how a growing population can somewhat cause its own destruction in the somewhat near future. This helps in exploring the topic of extinction by offering insights into why the population is rising rapidly. He also gives different ideas as to how the population could be depleted rapidly, for example, viruses. This website is easy to read and has good examples of human impact on species extinction. The graph in the article is not too clear but it explained well.


The Sixth Wave

Location: http://www.countdown2010.net/documents/Extinction_media_brief_2004.pdf

Species extinction: a natural-and unnatural-process. 2004. Species Survival Commission. [Internet]. [cited 2008 September 8]; 3:41. 

This document explains the idea that extinctions caused by humans are a recent idea. This new phenomenon is being called the “Sixth Wave” of extinctions is mainly caused by humans. The reasons given of habitat loss (i.e. habitat loss, pollution, overexploitation, climate change) are all due to human involvement on the planet. Each reason of extinction is explained with shocking statistics to accompany them. This article also gives many reasons why humans should care about the rising extinction rate. This article has shown to be helpful in that is gives many reasons as to why the extinction rate is increasing and what humans should do about it. The direct effects of human actions are directly affecting the rising rate. The sectioning of the article makes it easier to read about a desired topic.


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The bigger the population, the less biodiversity. Help save our plants and animals.


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