OverviewThis module will introduce a range of fundamental concepts that underpin our understanding of biodiversity and, therefore, the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. The differences and similarities between the multiple definitions for the term 'biodiversity' will be considered, in addition to examining how scientists are trying to assess the magnitude of biodiversity on the planet. Spatial and temporal patterns of biodiversity will be investigated, along with the importance of biodiversity (both use and non-values). The module will then explore the contemporary threats to biodiversity and provision of associated ecosystem services, in conjunction with a broad overview of the methods conservationists employ to protect and maintain biodiversity.
This module appears in:
The module will be taught via a combination of the following, with a total of 28 contact hours:
Eleven one hour lectures
Eleven one hour seminars
One full day field trip to the Darwin Centre, National History Museum, London
This module is only available to students on BSc in Wildlife Conservation and
BA in Environmental Studies
This module contributes: BSc in Wildlife Conservation and
BA in Environmental Studies
Method of assessment
A poster presentation (30%)
A small group PowerPoint presentation (20%)
A two hour written examination (50%)
Gaston, K.J. & Spicer, J.I. 2004. Biodiversity: an introduction. 2nd edition. Blackwell Science, Oxford
Caughley, G. & Gunn, A. 1996. Conservation Biology in Theory and Practice. Blackwell Science, Oxford
Dobson, A.P. 1996. Conservation and Biodiversity. Scientific American, New York
Gaston, K.J. (ed.) 1996. Biodiversity: a biology of numbers and difference. Blackwell Science, Oxford
Groombridge, B. & Jenkins, M.D. 2002. World Atlas of Biodiversity: Earths living resources in the 21st Century. University of California Press, London
Loreau, M., Naeem, S. & Inchausti, P. (eds.) 2002. Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning: synthesis and perspectives. Oxford University Press, Oxford
Various, but including: Nature, Science, BioScience and PLoS Biology
On successful completion of the module a student should be able to demonstrate:
A clear understanding of the biodiversity concept and the magnitude of biodiversity.
A knowledge of how biodiversity is distributed across the planet and the key hypotheses that have been proposed to explain observed patterns.
An understanding of how levels of biodiversity have altered through time.
An appreciation of the different use and non-use values of biodiversity, using real world examples.
A basic knowledge of the contemporary threats to biodiversity and the ways in which conservationists attempt to protect/maintain biodiversity.
An insight into the Convention for Biological Diversity (CBD), and its strengths and weaknesses related to the conservation of biodiversity.