By Kevin J. Gaston, John I. Spicer

Click on the following TO obtain ARTWORKThis concise introductory textual content presents an entire evaluate of biodiversity - what it really is, the way it arose, its distribution, why it is necessary, human influence upon it, and what could be performed to take care of it.Timely review of the intense makes an attempt made to quantify and describe biodiversity in a systematic means Acts as a simple access aspect into the first literature presents real-world examples of key concerns, together with illustrations of significant temporal and spatial styles in biodiversity Designed basically with undergraduate scholars and direction teachers in brain, it is going to even be of curiosity to an individual who calls for an summary of, and access to, the large literature on those themes. all of the figures incorporated within the ebook are downloadable from the Blackwell Publishing site

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Extra info for Biodiversity: An Introduction, Second Edition

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Moreover, new phyla continue to be found. In 1998 alone, some authorities reported more than 20 new divisions of bacteria at the phylum, and possibly higher, level (Fuhrman & Campbell 1998). At the time of writing, the most recent to be discovered has been named the Nanoarchaeota, with BAIC02 30/03/2009 03:07PM Page 28 28 Chapter 2 as yet a single species, a nano-sized hyperthermophilic microorganism obtained from a submarine hot vent (Huber et al. 2002). Gould (1989) suggests that anatomical diversity reached a maximum around the time of the Cambrian explosion in biodiversity.

2 Late Devonian (360 Myr ago). Many processes have been suggested to have given rise to this extinction event, including extraterrestrial impact, sea-level fluctuations and spread of anoxic waters, climatic changes and global cooling. There is insufficient evidence to attribute the event solely to any of these, and it may have arisen from a combination of factors. BAIC02 30/03/2009 03:07PM Page 38 38 Chapter 2 3 Late Permian (250 Myr ago). Again, the cause of this extinction event, the largest of all (extinguishing 95% of all marine species and 70% of species on land), is debatable.

Comparison of molecular data for different organisms enables the generation of branching trees representing hypotheses of their patterns of phylogenetic relatedness, with those organisms with sequences that are more different being assumed to have diverged earlier in the evolutionary process. If assumptions are made about the rate at which molecular sequences diverge (a ‘molecular clock’), then the timings of different evolutionary events can be estimated. Fossil and molecular evidence do not always agree, particularly over the dates of first appearance of groups.

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