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For more information, please see full course syllabus of AP Environmental Science
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Biological Diversity

  • Biological diversity is impacted by number of species and population sizes in a given area. It is valued for its utilitarian, public-service, ecological, and moral value (among other reasons)
  • The types of diversity include genetic, habitat, and species diversity
  • The total number of named species is approximately 1.5 million but the total number of actual species on Earth may be up to 100 million unique species.
  • There are 3 domains that contain all life on Earth: Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya
  • Biological evolution changes life over the eons, mutations are changes in DNA that affect genotypes and fitness, and natural selection involves certain physical traits being favored in the environment over others
  • Natural selection is affected by: inheritance of genes from the previous generation, environmental variability, differential reproduction, and influence of the environment on survival
  • Migration, adaptive radiation, genetic drift, and the founder effect have an impact on the evolution of populations over time
  • An ecological niche describes a species’ role in an ecosystem and the competitive exclusion principle states that no two species can successfully occupy the same niche in the same area at the same time
  • Symbiosis is when two species have a direct relationship with each other (mutualism, commensalism, or parasitism)
  • Biogeography and biotic provinces deal with the trend of particular species or types of life forms and their geographic locations
  • Biomes are types of ecosystems and they are affected by latitude, altitude, precipitation, and temperature
  • Divergent and convergent evolution are two common patterns of evolution over time
  • Invasive species and biological invasions can have huge impacts on native flora and fauna

Biological Diversity

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  • Intro 0:00
  • The Basics 0:05
    • Biological Diversity
    • Reasons People Value Biodiversity
  • Kinds of Diversity 3:46
    • Genetic Diversity
    • Habitat Diversity
    • Species Diversity
  • Species Overview 7:01
    • 1.5 Million Species named
    • Relative Abundance
  • Domains 10:05
    • Archaea
    • Bacteria
    • Eukarya
  • Evolution of Life 13:16
    • Biological Evolution
    • Mutation
    • Natural Selection
  • More on Natural Selection 20:41
    • Inheritance of Genes
    • Environmental Variability
    • Differential Reproduction
    • Influence of the Environment on Survival
  • Migration and Genetic Drift 22:53
    • Migration
    • Adaptive Radiation
    • Genetic Drift
    • Founder Effect
  • Competition and Niches 28:05
    • Ecological Niche
    • Competitive Exclusion Principle
    • Tale of the Flour Beetles
  • Symbiosis 31:46
    • Living Together
    • Symbiont
    • Examples
  • Geography's Effect on Biology 36:24
    • Biogeography
    • Biotic Provinces
  • Biome Summary 39:22
    • A Kind of Ecosystem
    • Relationship Between Precipitation and Latitude
  • Patterns of Evolution 42:18
    • Divergent Evolution
    • Convergent Evolution
  • Invasive Species and Biological Invasions 44:47
    • Potential Benefits
    • Why is This a Serious Problem in Many Cases?