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What are the most species rich environments?

-tropical forests
-coral reefs
-the ocean
-mediterranean type communities


What is an endemic species?

species that is found in a particular location and nowhere else


Variation in climate and environment

note: it is clear that local variation in climate, environment, topography and geological age are factors that affect patterns in species richness

-in terrestrial communities: species richness tends to increase due to decreasing elevation, increasing solar radiation, and increasing precipitation (hot, rainy, and lowland)

-these factors must act in combination for high rate of species


Variation in topography, geological age, and habitat size

-species richness can be greater where complex topography and great geographical age provide more environmental variation, which allows genetic isolation, local adaptation, and specification to occur
-larger areas also can provide a greater range of habitats in which species can evolve and live


Geographical barriers

fundamental niche + competition -> realized niche
-> niche portioning


Why are there so many species in the tropics?

-number of species increases closer to the equator
-receive more solar energy over the course of a year than temperate regions, and many of them have abundant rainfall
-species of tropical communities have had longer periods of stability than species of temperate communities, which have had to disperse in response to periods of glaciation
-warm temperatures and high humidity in many tropical areas provide favorable conditions for the growth and survival of many species
-greater niche specialization


How many species are on the planet? why is it important to know?

-1.5 million have been described, estimated to be between 5-10 million though.
-in order to know the level of biodiversity we have and to determine what we have before we lose it


Groups of species described and not described

-vertebrates (birds and mammals)
-plants (temperate flowering plants

not described: