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Biodiversity
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#oral reefs are amongst the most diverse ecosystems on earth$

%ainforests are an e&ample of 'iodiversity on the planet and typically possess a great deal of species diversity$ (his is the )am'ia %iver in "enegal*s iokolo+Ko'a ational Park$ Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given species, ecosystem, 'iome, or an entire planet$ ,iodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems$ ,iodiversity is in part a function of climate$ -n terrestrial ha'itats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions support fewer species$ %apid environmental changes typically cause mass e&tinctions$ .ne estimate is that less than /0 of the species that have e&isted on 1arth are e&tant$[/][verification needed] "ince life 'egan on 1arth, five ma2or mass e&tinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in 'iodiversity$ (he Phanero3oic eon 4the last 567 million years8 marked a rapid growth in 'iodiversity via the #am'rian e&plosion9a period during which the ma2ority of multicellular phyla first appeared$[:] (he ne&t 677 million years included repeated, massive 'iodiversity losses classified as mass e&tinction events$ -n the #ar'oniferous, rainforest collapse led to a great loss of plant and animal life$[;] (he Permian<(riassic e&tinction event, :5/ million years ago, was the worst= verte'rate recovery took ;7 million years$[6] (he most recent, the #retaceous<Paleogene e&tinction

event, occurred >5 million years ago and has often attracted more attention than others 'ecause it resulted in the e&tinction of the dinosaurs$[5] (he period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing 'iodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity$ amed the !olocene e&tinction, the reduction is caused primarily 'y human impacts, particularly ha'itat destruction$ #onversely, 'iodiversity impacts human health in a num'er of ways, 'oth positively and negatively$[>] (he ?nited ations designated :7//+:7:7 as the ?nited ations @ecade on ,iodiversity$

Contents

/ 1tymology : @efinitions ; @istri'ution o ;$/ Aatitudinal gradients o ;$: !otspots 6 1volution o 6$/ 1volutionary diversification 5 !uman 'enefits o 5$/ Bgriculture o 5$: !uman health o 5$; ,usiness and industry o 5$6 Aeisure, cultural and aesthetic value o 5$5 1cological services > um'er of species C "pecies loss rates D (hreats o D$/ !a'itat destruction o D$: -ntroduced and invasive species D$:$/ )enetic pollution o D$; .vere&ploitation o D$6 !y'ridi3ation, genetic pollutionEerosion and food security o D$5 #limate change o D$> !uman overpopulation F (he !olocene e&tinction /7 #onservation // Protection and restoration techniGues o //$/ %esource allocation /: Aegal status o /:$/ -nternational o /:$: ational level laws /; Bnalytical limits o /;$/ (a&onomic and si3e relationships /6 "ee also /5 %eferences /> Further reading /C 1&ternal links o /C$/ @ocuments o /C$: Hideos o /C$; (ools o /C$6 (raining material
o

/C$5 %esources

Etymology
(he term 'iological diversity was used first 'y wildlife scientist and conservationist %aymond F$ @asmann in the /F>D lay 'ook A Different Kind of Country[C] advocating conservation$ (he term was widely adopted only after more than a decade, when in the /FD7s it came into common usage in science and environmental policy$ (homas Aove2oy, in the foreword to the 'ook Conservation Biology,[D] introduced the term to the scientific community$ ?ntil then the term Inatural diversityI was common, introduced 'y (he "cience @ivision of (he ature #onservancy in an important /FC5 study, I(he Preservation of atural @iversity$I ,y the early /FD7s ( #*s "cience program and its head, %o'ert 1$ Jenkins,[F] Aove2oy and other leading conservation scientists at the time in Bmerica advocated the use of the term I'iological diversityI$ (he term*s contracted form biodiversity may have 'een coined 'y W$)$ %osen in /FD5 while planning the /FD> National Forum on Biological Diversity organi3ed 'y the ational %esearch #ouncil 4 %#8$ -t first appeared in a pu'lication in /FDD when socio'iologist 1$ .$ Wilson used it as the title of the proceedings[/7] of that forum$[//] "ince this period the term has achieved widespread use among 'iologists, environmentalists, political leaders, and concerned citi3ens$ B similar term in the ?nited "tates is Inatural heritage$I -t predates the others and is more accepted 'y the wider audience interested in conservation$ ,roader than 'iodiversity, it includes geology and landforms$

Definitions

B sampling of fungi collected during summer :77D in orthern "askatchewan mi&ed woods, near Aa%onge is an e&ample regarding the species diversity of fungi$ -n this photo, there are also leaf lichens and mosses$

I,iodiversityI is most commonly used to replace the more clearly defined and long esta'lished terms, species diversity and species richness$ ,iologists most often define 'iodiversity as the Itotality of genes, species, and ecosystems of a regionI$[/:][/;] Bn advantage of this definition is that it seems to descri'e most circumstances and presents a unified view of the traditional three levels at which 'iological variety has 'een identified:

species diversity ecosystem diversity genetic diversity

-n :77; Professor Bnthony #amp'ell at #ardiff ?niversity, ?K and the @arwin #entre, Pem'rokeshire, defined a fourth level: Jolecular @iversity$[/6] (his multilevel construct is consistent with @asmann and Aove2oy$ Bn e&plicit definition consistent with this interpretation was first given in a paper 'y ,ruce B$ Wilco& commissioned 'y the -nternational ?nion for the #onservation of ature and atural %esources 4-?# 8 for the /FD: World ational Parks #onference$[/5] Wilco&*s definition was I,iological diversity is the variety of life forms$$$at all levels of 'iological systems 4i$e$, molecular, organismic, population, species and ecosystem8$$$I$ (he /FF: ?nited ations 1arth "ummit defined I'iological diversityI as Ithe varia'ility among living organisms from all sources, including, *inter alia*, terrestrial, marine, and other aGuatic ecosystems, and the ecological comple&es of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, 'etween species and of ecosystemsI$[/>] (his definition is used in the ?nited ations #onvention on ,iological @iversity$[/>] .ne te&t'ook*s definition is Ivariation of life at all levels of 'iological organi3ationI$[/C] )eneticists define it as the diversity of genes and organisms$ (hey study processes such as mutations, gene transfer, and genome dynamics that generate evolution$[/5] Jeasuring diversity at one level in a group of organisms may not precisely correspond to diversity at other levels$ !owever, tetrapod 4terrestrial verte'rates8 ta&onomic and ecological diversity shows a very close correlation$[/D]

Distribution

B conifer forest in the "wiss Blps 4 ational Park8$

,iodiversity is not evenly distri'uted, rather it varies greatly across the glo'e as well as within regions$ Bmong other factors, the diversity of all living things 4'iota8 depends on temperature, precipitation, altitude, soils, geography and the presence of other species$ (he study of the spatial distri'ution of organisms, species, and ecosystems, is the science of 'iogeography$ @iversity consistently measures higher in the tropics and in other locali3ed regions such as the #ape Floristic %egion and lower in polar regions generally$ %ain forests that have had wet climates for a long time, such as Kasuni ational Park in 1cuador, have particularly high 'iodiversity$[/F][:7] (errestrial 'iodiversity is up to :5 times greater than ocean 'iodiversity$[:/] Blthough a recent discovered method put the total num'er of species on 1arth at D$C million of which :$/ million were estimated to live in the ocean$[::]

Latitudinal gradients
Jain article: Aatitudinal gradients in species diversity )enerally, there is an increase in 'iodiversity from the poles to the tropics$ (hus localities at lower latitudes have more species than localities at higher latitudes$ (his is often referred to as the latitudinal gradient in species diversity$ "everal ecological mechanisms may contri'ute to the gradient, 'ut the ultimate factor 'ehind many of them is the greater mean temperature at the eGuator compared to that of the poles$[:;][:6][:5] 1ven though terrestrial 'iodiversity declines from the eGuator to the poles,[:>] some studies claim that this characteristic is unverified in aGuatic ecosystems, especially in marine ecosystems$[:C] (he latitudinal distri'ution of parasites does not follow this rule$[:D]

Hotspots
B 'iodiversity hotspot is a region with a high level of endemic species that is under threat from humans$ (he term hotspot was introduced in /FDD 'y @r$ "a'ina Hirk$[:F][;7][;/][;:] While hotspots are spread all over the world, the ma2ority are forest areas and most are located in the tropics$ ,ra3il*s Btlantic Forest is considered one such hotspot, containing roughly :7,777 plant species, /,;57 verte'rates, and millions of insects, a'out half of which occur nowhere else$ (he island of Jadagascar, particularly the uniGue Jadagascar dry deciduous forests and lowland rainforests, possess a high ratio of endemism$ "ince the island separated from mainland Bfrica >5 million years ago, many species and ecosystems have evolved independently$ -ndonesia*s /C,777 islands cover C;5,;55 sGuare miles 4/,F76,5>7 km:8 contain /70 of the world*s flowering plants, /:0 of mammals and /C0 of reptiles, amphi'ians and 'irds9along with nearly :67 million people$[;;] Jany regions of high 'iodiversity andEor endemism arise from speciali3ed ha'itats which reGuire unusual

adaptations, for e&ample alpine environments in high mountains, or orthern 1uropean peat 'ogs$ Bccurately measuring differences in 'iodiversity can 'e difficult$ "election 'ias amongst researchers may contri'ute to 'iased empirical research for modern estimates of 'iodiversity$ -n /C>D %ev$ )il'ert White succinctly o'served of his "el'orne, !ampshire Iall nature is so full, that that district produces the most variety which is the most e&amined$I[;6]

Evolution
Jain article: 1volution

Bpparent marine fossil diversity during the Phanero3oic[;5] ,iodiversity is the result of ;$5 'illion years of evolution$ (he origin of life has not 'een definitely esta'lished 'y science, however some evidence suggests that life may already have 'een well+esta'lished only a few hundred million years after the formation of the 1arth$ ?ntil appro&imately >77 million years ago, all life consisted of archaea, 'acteria, proto3oans and similar single+celled organisms$ (he history of 'iodiversity during the Phanero3oic 4the last 567 million years8, starts with rapid growth during the #am'rian e&plosion9a period during which nearly every phylum of multicellular organisms first appeared$ .ver the ne&t 677 million years or so, inverte'rate diversity showed little overall trend, and verte'rate diversity shows an overall e&ponential trend$[/D] (his dramatic rise in diversity was marked 'y periodic, massive losses of diversity classified as mass e&tinction events$[/D] B significant loss occurred when rainforests collapsed in the car'oniferous$[;] (he worst was the Permo+ (riassic e&tinction, :5/ million years ago$ Herte'rates took ;7 million years to recover from this event$[6] (he fossil record suggests that the last few million years featured the greatest 'iodiversity in history$[/D] !owever, not all scientists support this view, since there is uncertainty as to how strongly the fossil record is 'iased 'y the greater availa'ility and preservation of recent geologic sections$ "ome scientists 'elieve that corrected for sampling artifacts, modern 'iodiversity may not 'e much different from 'iodiversity ;77 million years ago$, [;>] whereas others consider the fossil record reasona'ly reflective of the diversification of life$[/D] 1stimates of the present glo'al macroscopic species diversity vary from : million

to /77 million, with a 'est estimate of somewhere near F million,[::] the vast ma2ority arthropods$[;C] @iversity appears to increase continually in the a'sence of natural selection$[;D]

Evolutionary diversification
(he e&istence of a Iglo'al carrying capacityI, limiting the amount of life that can live at once, is de'ated, as is the Guestion of whether such a limit would also cap the num'er of species$ While records of life in the sea shows a logistic pattern of growth, life on land 4insects, plants and tetrapods8shows an e&ponential rise in diversity$ Bs one author states, I(etrapods have not yet invaded >6 per cent of potentially ha'ita'le modes, and it could 'e that without human influence the ecological and ta&onomic diversity of tetrapods would continue to increase in an e&ponential fashion until most or all of the availa'le ecospace is filled$I[/D] .n the other hand, changes through the Phanero3oic correlate much 'etter with the hyper'olic model 4widely used in population 'iology, demography and macrosociology, as well as fossil 'iodiversity8 than with e&ponential and logistic models$ (he latter models imply that changes in diversity are guided 'y a first+order positive feed'ack 4more ancestors, more descendants8 andEor a negative feed'ack arising from resource limitation$ !yper'olic model implies a second+order positive feed'ack$ (he hyper'olic pattern of the world population growth arises from a second+order positive feed'ack 'etween the population si3e and the rate of technological growth$[;F] (he hyper'olic character of 'iodiversity growth can 'e similarly accounted for 'y a feed'ack 'etween diversity and community structure comple&ity$ (he similarity 'etween the curves of 'iodiversity and human population pro'a'ly comes from the fact that 'oth are derived from the interference of the hyper'olic trend with cyclical and stochastic dynamics$[;F][67] Jost 'iologists agree however that the period since human emergence is part of a new mass e&tinction, named the !olocene e&tinction event, caused primarily 'y the impact humans are having on the environment$[6/] -t has 'een argued that the present rate of e&tinction is sufficient to eliminate most species on the planet 1arth within /77 years$[6:] ew species are regularly discovered 4on average 'etween 5</7,777 new species each year, most of them insects8 and many, though discovered, are not yet classified 4estimates are that nearly F70 of all arthropods are not yet classified8$[;C] Jost of the terrestrial diversity is found in tropical forests and in general, land has more species than the ocean= some D$C million species may e&ists on 1arth, of which some :$/ million live in the ocean
[::]

Human benefits

"ummer field in ,elgium 4!amois8$ (he 'lue flowers are Centaurea cyanus and the red are Papaver rhoeas$ ,iodiversity supports ecosystem services including air Guality,[6;] climate 4e$g$, #.: seGuestration8, water purification, pollination, and prevention of erosion$[6;] "ince the stone age, species loss has accelerated a'ove the prior rate, driven 'y human activity$ 1stimates of species loss are at a rate /77+/7,777 times as fast as is typical in the fossil record$[66] on+material 'enefits include spiritual and aesthetic values, knowledge systems and the value of education$[66]

griculture
"ee also: Bgricultural 'iodiversity

Bma3on %ainforest in "outh Bmerica #rop diversity aids recovery when the dominant cultivar is attacked 'y a disease or predator:

(he -rish potato 'light of /D6> was a ma2or factor in the deaths of one million people and the emigration of another million$ -t was the result of planting only two potato varieties, 'oth vulnera'le to the 'light$[citation needed]

When rice grassy stunt virus struck rice fields from -ndonesia to -ndia in the /FC7s, >,:C; varieties were tested for resistance$[65] .nly one was resistant, an -ndian variety, and known to science only since /F>>$[65] (his variety formed a hy'rid with other varieties and is now widely grown$[65] #offee rust attacked coffee plantations in "ri Aanka, ,ra3il, and #entral Bmerica in /FC7$ B resistant variety was found in 1thiopia$[6>] Blthough the diseases are themselves a form of 'iodiversity$

Jonoculture was a contri'uting factor to several agricultural disasters, including the 1uropean wine industry collapse in the late /Fth century, and the ?" "outhern #orn Aeaf ,light epidemic of /FC7$[6C] Blthough a'out D7 percent of humans* food supply comes from 2ust :7 kinds of plants, [citation needed] humans use at least 67,777 species$[citation needed] Jany people depend on these species for food, shelter, and clothing$[citation needed] 1arth*s surviving 'iodiversity provides resources for increasing the range of food and other products suita'le for human use, although the present e&tinction rate shrinks that potential$[6:]

Hu!an health

(he diverse forest canopy on ,arro #olorado -sland, Panama, yielded this display of different fruit ,iodiversity*s relevance to human health is 'ecoming an international political issue, as scientific evidence 'uilds on the glo'al health implications of 'iodiversity loss$[6D][6F][57] (his issue is closely linked with the issue of climate change,[5/] as many of the anticipated health risks of climate change are associated with changes in 'iodiversity 4e$g$ changes in populations and distri'ution of disease vectors, scarcity of fresh water, impacts on agricultural 'iodiversity and food resources etc$8 (his is 'ecause the species most likely to disappear are those that 'uffer against infectious disease transmission, while surviving species tend to 'e the ones that increase disease transmission, such as that of West ile Hirus, Ayme disease and !antavirus, according to a study done co+authored 'y Felicia

Keesing, an ecologist at ,ard #ollege, and @rew !arvell, associate director for 1nvironment of the Btkinson #enter for a "ustaina'le Future 4B#"F8 at #ornell ?niversity$[5:] (he growing demand and lack of drinka'le water on the planet presents an additional challenge to the future of human health$ Partly, the pro'lem lies in the success of water suppliers to increase supplies, and failure of groups promoting preservation of water resources$[5;] While the distri'ution of clean water increases, in some parts of the world it remains uneGual$ Bccording to 200 !orld Population Data "heet, only >:0 of least developed countries are a'le to access clean water$[56] "ome of the health issues influenced 'y 'iodiversity include dietary health and nutrition security, infectious disease, medical science and medicinal resources, social and psychological health$[55] ,iodiversity is also known to have an important role in reducing disaster risk, and in post+disaster relief and recovery efforts$[5>][5C] ,iodiversity provides critical support for drug discovery and the availa'ility of medicinal resources$[5D] B significant proportion of drugs are derived, directly or indirectly, from 'iological sources: at least 570 of the pharmaceutical compounds on the ?" market are derived from plants, animals, and micro+organisms, while a'out D70 of the world population depends on medicines from nature 4used in either modern or traditional medical practice8 for primary healthcare$[6F] .nly a tiny fraction of wild species has 'een investigated for medical potential$ ,iodiversity has 'een critical to advances throughout the field of 'ionics$ 1vidence from market analysis and 'iodiversity science indicates that the decline in output from the pharmaceutical sector since the mid+/FD7s can 'e attri'uted to a move away from natural product e&ploration 4I'ioprospectingI8 in favor of genomics and synthetic chemistry= meanwhile, natural products have a long history of supporting significant economic and health innovation$[5F][>7] Jarine ecosystems are particularly important,[>/] although inappropriate 'ioprospecting can increase 'iodiversity loss, as well as violating the laws of the communities and states from which the resources are taken$[>:][>;][>6]

Business and industry

Bgriculture production, pictured is a tractor and a chaser 'in Jany industrial materials derive directly from 'iological sources$ (hese include 'uilding materials, fi'ers, dyes, ru''er and oil$ ,iodiversity is also important to the security of

resources such as water, tim'er, paper, fi'er, and food$[>5][>>][>C] Bs a result, 'iodiversity loss is a significant risk factor in 'usiness development and a threat to long term economic sustaina'ility$[>D][>F]

Leisure" cultural and aesthetic value


,iodiversity enriches leisure activities such as hiking, 'irdwatching or natural history study$ ,iodiversity inspires musicians, painters, sculptors, writers and other artists$ Jany cultures view themselves as an integral part of the natural world which reGuires them to respect other living organisms$ Popular activities such as gardening, fishkeeping and specimen collecting strongly depend on 'iodiversity$ (he num'er of species involved in such pursuits is in the tens of thousands, though the ma2ority do not enter commerce$ (he relationships 'etween the original natural areas of these often e&otic animals and plants and commercial collectors, suppliers, 'reeders, propagators and those who promote their understanding and en2oyment are comple& and poorly understood$ (he general pu'lic responds well to e&posure to rare and unusual organisms, reflecting their inherent value$ Philosophically it could 'e argued that 'iodiversity has intrinsic aesthetic and spiritual value to mankind in and of itself$ (his idea can 'e used as a counterweight to the notion that tropical forests and other ecological realms are only worthy of conservation 'ecause of the services they provide$[citation needed]

Ecological services
"ee also: 1cological effects of 'iodiversity

1agle #reek, .regon hiking

,iodiversity supports many ecosystem services that are often not readily visi'le$ -t plays a part in regulating the chemistry of our atmosphere and water supply$ ,iodiversity is directly involved in water purification, recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils$ 1&periments with controlled environments have shown that humans cannot easily 'uild ecosystems to support human needs= for e&ample insect pollination cannot 'e mimicked, and that activity alone represents tens of 'illions of dollars in ecosystem services per year to humankind$[citation needed] @aisyworld simulations, supported 'y evidence from scientific studies, has proven the positive co+relation of 'iodiversity with ecosystem sta'ility, protecting against disruption 'y e&treme weather or human e&ploitation$[C7]

Number of species
Jain article: "pecies

?ndiscovered and discovered species Bccording to the )lo'al (a&onomy -nitiative[C/] and the 1uropean @istri'uted -nstitute of (a&onomy, the total num'er of species for some phyla may 'e much higher than what was known in :7/7:

/7<;7 million insects=[C:] 4of some 7$F million we know today8[C;] 5</7 million 'acteria=[C6] /$5 million fungi=4of some 7$7C5 million we know today8[C5] / million mites[C>]

(he num'er of micro'ial species is not relia'ly known, 'ut the )lo'al .cean "ampling 1&pedition dramatically increased the estimates of genetic diversity 'y identifying an enormous num'er of new genes from near+surface plankton samples at various marine locations, initially over the :776+:77> period$[CC] (he findings may eventually cause a significant change in the way science defines species and other ta&onomic categories$[CD][CF]

"ince the rate of e&tinction has increased, many e&tant species may 'ecome e&tinct 'efore they are descri'ed$[D7]

Species loss rates

o longer do we have to 2ustify the e&istence of humid tropical forests on the fee'le grounds that they might carry plants with drugs that cure human disease$ )aia theory forces us to see that they offer much more than this$ (hrough their capacity to evapotranspirate vast volumes of water vapor, they serve to keep the planet cool 'y wearing a sunshade of white reflecting cloud$ (heir replacement 'y cropland could precipitate a disaster that is glo'al in scale$
9James Aovelock# in Biodiversity 41$ .$ Wilson $%d&&[D/]

@uring the last century, decreases in 'iodiversity have 'een increasingly o'served$ -n :77C, )erman Federal 1nvironment Jinister "igmar )a'riel cited estimates that up to ;70 of all species will 'e e&tinct 'y :757$[D:] .f these, a'out one eighth of known plant species are threatened with e&tinction$[D;] 1stimates reach as high as /67,777 species per year 4'ased on "pecies+area theory8$[D6] (his figure indicates unsustaina'le ecological practices, 'ecause few species emerge each year$[citation needed] Blmost all scientists acknowledge that the rate of species loss is greater now than at any time in human history, with e&tinctions occurring at rates hundreds of times higher than 'ackground e&tinction rates$[D;] Bs of :7/:, some studies suggest that :50 of all mammal species could 'e e&tinct in :7 years$[D5]

Threats
-n :77> many species were formally classified as rare or endangered or threatened= moreover, scientists have estimated that millions more species are at risk which have not 'een formally recogni3ed$ B'out 67 percent of the 67,/CC species assessed using the -?# %ed Aist criteria are now listed as threatened with e&tinction9a total of />,//F$[D>] Jared @iamond descri'es an I1vil LuartetI of ha'itat destruction, overkill, introduced species, and secondary e&tinctions$[DC] 1dward .$ Wilson prefers the acronym !-PP., standing for ha'itat destruction, invasive species, pollution, human overpopulation, and over+harvesting$[DD][DF] (he most authoritative classification in use today is -?# *s #lassification of @irect (hreats[F7] which has 'een adopted 'y ma2or international

conservation organi3ations such as the ?" ature #onservancy, the World Wildlife Fund, #onservation -nternational, and ,irdlife -nternational$

Habitat destruction

@eforestation and increased road+'uilding in the Bma3on %ainforest are a significant concern 'ecause of increased human encroachment upon wild areas, increased resource e&traction and further threats to 'iodiversity$ Jain article: !a'itat destruction !a'itat destruction has played a key role in e&tinctions, especially related to tropical forest destruction$[F/] Factors contri'uting to ha'itat loss are: overpopulation, deforestation,[F:] pollution 4air pollution, water pollution, soil contamination8 and glo'al warming or climate change$[citation needed] !a'itat si3e and num'ers of species are systematically related$ Physically larger species and those living at lower latitudes or in forests or oceans are more sensitive to reduction in ha'itat area$[F;] #onversion to ItrivialI standardi3ed ecosystems 4e$g$, monoculture following deforestation8 effectively destroys ha'itat for the more diverse species that preceded the conversion$ -n some countries lack of property rights or la& lawEregulatory enforcement necessarily leads to 'iodiversity loss 4degradation costs having to 'e supported 'y the community8$[citation needed] B :77C study conducted 'y the ational "cience Foundation found that 'iodiversity and genetic diversity are codependent9that diversity among species reGuires diversity within a species, and vice versa$ I-f any one type is removed from the system, the cycle can 'reak down, and the community 'ecomes dominated 'y a single species$I[F6] Bt present, the most threatened ecosystems are found in fresh water, according to the Jillennium 1cosystem Bssessment :775, which was confirmed 'y the IFreshwater Bnimal @iversity BssessmentI, organised 'y the 'iodiversity platform, and the French -nstitut de recherche pour le dMveloppement 4J ! P8$[F5] #o+e&tinctions are a form of ha'itat destruction$ #o+e&tinction occurs when the e&tinction or decline in one accompanies the other, such as in plants and 'eetles$[F>]

%ntroduced and invasive species

Jain articles: -ntroduced species and -nvasive species (his section does not cite any references or sources$ Please help improve this section 'y adding citations to relia'le sources$ ?nsourced material may 'e challenged and removed$ $'ay 20((&

Jale )ophura nycthemera 4"ilver Pheasant8, a native of 1ast Bsia that has 'een introduced into parts of 1urope for ornamental reasons ,arriers such as large rivers, seas, oceans, mountains and deserts encourage diversity 'y ena'ling independent evolution on either side of the 'arrier, via the process of allopatric speciation$ (he term invasive species is applied to species that 'reach the natural 'arriers that would normally keep them constrained$ Without 'arriers, such species occupy new territory, often supplanting native species 'y occupying their niches, or 'y using resources that would normally sustain native species$ "uch invasions can therefore su'stantially reduce diversity$ !uman activities have freGuently 'een the cause of invasive species circumventing their 'arriers, 'y introducing them for food and other purposes$ !uman activities therefore allow species to migrate to new areas 4and thus 'ecome invasive8 occurred on time scales much shorter than historically have 'een reGuired for a species to e&tend its range$ ot all introduced species are invasive, nor all invasive species deli'erately introduced$ -n cases such as the 3e'ra mussel, invasion of ?" waterways was unintentional$ -n other cases, such as mongooses in !awaii, the introduction is deli'erate 'ut ineffective 4nocturnal rats were not vulnera'le to the diurnal mongoose8$ -n other cases, such as oil palms in -ndonesia and Jalaysia, the introduction produces su'stantial economic 'enefits, 'ut the 'enefits are accompanied 'y costly unintended conseGuences$ Finally, an introduced species may unintentionally in2ure a species that depends on the species it replaces$ -n ,elgium, Prunus spinosa from 1astern 1urope leafs much sooner than its West 1uropean counterparts, disrupting the feeding ha'its of the (hecla 'etulae 'utterfly 4which feeds on the leaves8$ -ntroducing new species often leaves endemic and other local species una'le to compete with the e&otic species and una'le to survive$ (he e&otic organisms may 'e predators, parasites, or may simply outcompete indigenous species for nutrients, water and light$ Bt present, several countries have already imported so many e&otic species, particularly agricultural and ornamental plants, that their own indigenous faunaEflora may 'e outnum'ered$

&enetic pollution Jain article: )enetic pollution 1ndemic species can 'e threatened with e&tinction[FC] through the process of genetic pollution, i$e$ uncontrolled hy'ridi3ation, introgression and genetic swamping$ )enetic pollution leads to homogeni3ation or replacement of local genomes as a result of either a numerical andEor fitness advantage of an introduced species$[FD] !y'ridi3ation and introgression are side+effects of introduction and invasion$ (hese phenomena can 'e especially detrimental to rare species that come into contact with more a'undant ones$ (he a'undant species can inter'reed with the rare species, swamping its gene pool$ (his pro'lem is not always apparent from morphological 4outward appearance8 o'servations alone$ "ome degree of gene flow is normal adaptation, and not all gene and genotype constellations can 'e preserved$ !owever, hy'ridi3ation with or without introgression may, nevertheless, threaten a rare species* e&istence$[FF][/77]

'vere(ploitation
Jain article: .vere&ploitation .vere&ploitation occurs when a resource is consumed at an unsustaina'le rate$ (his occurs on land in the form of overhunting, e&cessive logging, poor soil conservation in agriculture and the illegal wildlife trade$ Joe Walston, director of the Wildlife #onservation "ociety*s Bsian programs, called the latter the Isingle largest threatI to 'iodiversity in Bsia$[/7/] (he international trade of endangered species is second in si3e only to drug trafficking$[/7:] B'out :50 of world fisheries are now overfished to the point where their current 'iomass is less than the level that ma&imi3es their sustaina'le yield$[/7;] (he overkill hypothesis e&plains why earlier megafaunal e&tinctions occurred within a relatively short period of time$ (his can 'e connected with human migration$[/76]

Hybridi)ation" genetic pollution/erosion and food security

(he Kecoro wheat 4right8 cultivar is sensitive to salinity, plants resulting from a hy'rid cross with cultivar W6F/7 4left8 show greater tolerance to high salinity

"ee also: Food "ecurity and )enetic erosion -n agriculture and animal hus'andry, the )reen %evolution populari3ed the use of conventional hy'ridi3ation to increase yield$ .ften hy'ridi3ed 'reeds originated in developed countries and were further hy'ridi3ed with local varieties in the developing world to create high yield strains resistant to local climate and diseases$ Aocal governments and industry have 'een pushing hy'ridi3ation$ Formerly huge gene pools of various wild and indigenous 'reeds have collapsed causing widespread genetic erosion and genetic pollution$ (his has resulted in loss of genetic diversity and 'iodiversity as a whole$[/75] 4)J organisms8 have genetic material altered 'y genetic engineering procedures such as recom'inant @ B technology$ )J crops have 'ecome a common source for genetic pollution, not only of wild varieties 'ut also of domesticated varieties derived from classical hy'ridi3ation$[/7>][/7C][/7D][/7F][//7] )enetic erosion coupled with genetic pollution may 'e destroying uniGue genotypes, there'y creating a hidden crisis which could result in a severe threat to our food security$ @iverse genetic material could cease to e&ist which would impact our a'ility to further hy'ridi3e food crops and livestock against more resistant diseases and climatic changes$
[/75]

Cli!ate change
Jain article: 1ffect of climate change on plant 'iodiversity

Polar 'ears on the sea ice of the Brctic .cean, near the orth Pole$ #limate change has started affecting 'ear populations$ )lo'al warming is also considered to 'e a ma2or threat to glo'al 'iodiversity$[///] For e&ample coral reefs +which are 'iodiversity hotspots+ will 'e lost in :7 to 67 years if glo'al warming continues at the current trend$[//:] -n :776, an international colla'orative study on four continents estimated that /7 percent of species would 'ecome e&tinct 'y :757 'ecause of glo'al warming$ IWe need to limit climate change or we wind up with a lot of species in trou'le, possi'ly e&tinct,I said @r$ Aee !annah, a co+author of the paper and chief climate change 'iologist at the #enter for Bpplied ,iodiversity "cience at #onservation -nternational$[//;]

Hu!an overpopulation
From /F57 to :7//, world population increased from :$5 'illion to C 'illion and is forecast to reach a plateau of more than F 'illion during the :/st century$[//6] "ir @avid King, former chief scientific adviser to the ?K government, told a parliamentary inGuiry: I-t is self+evident that the massive growth in the human population through the :7th century has had more impact on 'iodiversity than any other single factor$I[//5][//>]

The Holocene extinction


Jain article: !olocene e&tinction %ates of decline in 'iodiversity in this si&th mass e&tinction match or e&ceed rates of loss in the five previous mass e&tinction events in the fossil record$[//C][//D][//F][/:7][/:/] Aoss of 'iodiversity results in the loss of natural capital that supplies ecosystem goods and services$ From the perspective of the method known as atural 1conomy the economic value of /C ecosystem services for 1arth*s 'iosphere 4calculated in /FFC8 has an estimated value of ?"N ;; trillion 4;$;&/7/;8 per year$[/::]

Conservation
Jain article: #onservation 'iology

B schematic image illustrating the relationship 'etween 'iodiversity, ecosystem services, human well+'eing, and poverty$[/:;] (he illustration shows where conservation action, strategies and plans can influence the drivers of the current 'iodiversity crisis at local, regional, to glo'al scales$

(he retreat of Bletsch )lacier in the "wiss Blps 4situation in /FCF, /FF/ and :77:8, due to glo'al warming$ #onservation 'iology matured in the mid+:7th century as ecologists, naturalists, and other scientists 'egan to research and address issues pertaining to glo'al 'iodiversity declines$[/:6][/:5][/:>] (he conservation ethic advocates management of natural resources for the purpose of sustaining 'iodiversity in species, ecosystems, the evolutionary process, and human culture and society$[//C][/:6][/:>][/:C][/:D] #onservation 'iology is reforming around strategic plans to protect 'iodiversity$[/:6][/:F][/;7] Preserving glo'al 'iodiversity is a priority in strategic conservation plans that are designed to engage pu'lic policy and concerns affecting local, regional and glo'al scales of communities, ecosystems, and cultures$[/;/] Bction plans identify ways of sustaining human well+'eing, employing natural capital, market capital, and ecosystem services$[/;:]
[/;;]

Protection and restoration techniques


%emoval of e&otic species will allow the species that they have negatively impacted to recover their ecological niches$ 1&otic species that have 'ecome pests can 'e identified ta&onomically 4e$g$, with @igital Butomated -dentification "Kstem 4@B-"K8, using the 'arcode of life8$[/;6][/;5] %emoval is practical only given large groups of individuals due to the economic cost$ Bs sustaina'le populations of the remaining native species in an area 'ecome assured, ImissingI species that are candidates for reintroduction can 'e identified using data'ases such as the %ncyclopedia of )ife and the )lo'al ,iodiversity -nformation Facility$

,iodiversity 'anking places a monetary value on 'iodiversity$ .ne e&ample is the Bustralian ative Hegetation Janagement Framework$ )ene 'anks are collections of specimens and genetic material$ "ome 'anks intend to reintroduce 'anked species to the ecosystem 4e$g$, via tree nurseries8$[/;>] %eduction of and 'etter targeting of pesticides allows more species to survive in agricultural and ur'ani3ed areas$ Aocation+specific approaches may 'e less useful for protecting migratory species$ .ne approach is to create wildlife corridors that correspond to the animals* movements$ ational and other 'oundaries can complicate corridor creation$[citation
needed]

Resource allocation
Focusing on limited areas of higher potential 'iodiversity promises greater immediate return on investment than spreading resources evenly or focusing on areas of little diversity 'ut greater interest in 'iodiversity$[/;C]

B second strategy focuses on areas that retain most of their original diversity, which typically reGuire little or no restoration$ (hese are typically non+ur'ani3ed, non+ agricultural areas$ (ropical areas often fit 'oth criteria, given their natively high diversity and relative lack of development$[/;D]

egal status

B great deal of work is occurring to preserve the natural characteristics of !opetoun Falls, Bustralia while continuing to allow visitor access$

%nternational

?nited ations #onvention on ,iological @iversity 4/FF:8 and #artagena Protocol on ,iosafety= #onvention on -nternational (rade in 1ndangered "pecies 4#-(1"8= %amsar #onvention 4Wetlands8= ,onn #onvention on Jigratory "pecies= World !eritage #onvention 4indirectly 'y protecting 'iodiversity ha'itats8 %egional #onventions such as the Bpia #onvention ,ilateral agreements such as the Japan+Bustralia Jigratory ,ird Bgreement$

)lo'al agreements such as the #onvention on ,iological @iversity, give Isovereign national rights over 'iological resourcesI 4not property8$ (he agreements commit countries to Iconserve 'iodiversityI, Idevelop resources for sustaina'ilityI and Ishare the 'enefitsI resulting from their use$ ,iodiverse countries that allow 'ioprospecting or collection of natural products, e&pect a share of the 'enefits rather than allowing the individual or institution that discoversEe&ploits the resource to capture them privately$ ,ioprospecting can 'ecome a type of 'iopiracy when such principles are not respected$
[citation needed]

"overeignty principles can rely upon what is 'etter known as Bccess and ,enefit "haring Bgreements 4B,Bs8$ (he #onvention on ,iodiversity implies informed consent 'etween the source country and the collector, to esta'lish which resource will 'e used and for what, and to settle on a fair agreement on 'enefit sharing$

*ational level laws


,iodiversity is taken into account in some political and 2udicial decisions:

(he relationship 'etween law and ecosystems is very ancient and has conseGuences for 'iodiversity$ -t is related to private and pu'lic property rights$ -t can define protection for threatened ecosystems, 'ut also some rights and duties 4for e&ample, fishing and hunting rights8$[citation needed] Aaw regarding species is more recent$ -t defines species that must 'e protected 'ecause they may 'e threatened 'y e&tinction$ (he ?$"$ 1ndangered "pecies Bct is an e&ample of an attempt to address the Ilaw and speciesI issue$ Aaws regarding gene pools are only a'out a century old$[citation needed] @omestication and plant 'reeding methods are not new, 'ut advances in genetic engineering have led to tighter laws covering distri'ution of genetically modified organisms, gene patents and process patents$[/;F] )overnments struggle to decide whether to focus on for e&ample, genes, genomes, or organisms and species$[citation needed]

?niform approval for use of 'iodiversity as a legal standard has not 'een achieved, however$ ,osselman argues that 'iodiversity should not 'e used as a legal standard, claiming that the remaining areas of scientific uncertainty cause unaccepta'le administrative waste and increase litigation without promoting preservation goals$[/67]

!nalytical limits
+a(ono!ic and si)e relationships
Aess than /0 of all species that have 'een descri'ed have 'een studied 'eyond simply noting their e&istence$[/6/] (he vast ma2ority of 1arth*s species are micro'ial$ #ontemporary 'iodiversity physics is Ifirmly fi&ated on the visi'le [macroscopic] worldI$[/6:] For e&ample, micro'ial life is meta'olically and environmentally more diverse than multicellular life 4see e$g$, e&tremophile8$ I.n the tree of life, 'ased on analyses of small+su'unit ri'osomal % B, visi'le life consists of 'arely noticea'le twigs$ (he inverse relationship of si3e and population recurs higher on the evolutionary ladder9Ito a first appro&imation, all multicellular species on 1arth are insectsI$[/6;] -nsect e&tinction rates are high9supporting the !olocene e&tinction hypothesis$[/66][/65]

See also

-nde& of 'iodiversity articles

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C6$

, Proceedings of the ational Bcademy of "ciences, #ensus of Jarine Aife 4#oJA8 ews$,,#$co$uk C5$ , !awksworth, @ 4:77/8$ I(he magnitude of fungal diversity: (he /$5 million species estimate revisitedI$ 'ycological +esearch .43 4/:8: /6::</6;:$ doi:/7$/7/CE"7F5;C5>:7/776C:5$ C>$ , IBcari at ?niversity of Jichigan Juseum of Woology We' PageI$ -nsects$umm3$lsa$umich$edu$ :77;+//+/7$ %etrieved :77F+7>+:/$ CC$ , IFact "heet + 1&pedition .verviewI 4P@F8$ J$ #raig Henter -nstitute$ %etrieved Bugust, :7/7$ CD$ , Jirsky, "teve 4Jarch :/, :77C8$ I aturally "peaking: Finding ature*s (reasure (rove with the )lo'al .cean "ampling 1&peditionI$ "cientific American$ %etrieved 6 Jay :7//$ CF$ , IBrticle collections pu'lished 'y the Pu'lic Ai'rary of "cienceI$ PAo" #ollections$ %etrieved :7//+7F+:6$ D7$ , JcKie, %o'in 4:775+7F+:58$ I@iscovery of new species and e&termination at high rateI$ .he *uardian 4Aondon8$ D/$ , %ichard 1$ Aeakey= %oger Aewin 46 ovem'er /FF>8$ .he si:th e:tinction, biodiversity and its survival$ Phoeni&$ pp$ /;C</6:$ -", FCD+/+ D5CFF+6C;+5$ %etrieved :C June :7//$ D:$ , )a'riel, "igmar 4:77C+7;+7F8$ I;70 of all species lost 'y :757I$ BBC Ne3s$ D;$ O a b I%eid %eversing loss of ,iodiversityI$ Bg$ari3ona$edu$ %etrieved :77F+7>+:/$ D6$ , Pimm, "$ A$= %ussell, )$ J$= )ittleman, J$ A$= ,rooks, ($ J$ 4/FF58$ I(he Future of ,iodiversityI 4P@F8$ "cience 16- 45:::8: ;6C<;57$ ,i'code /FF5"ci$$$:>F$$;6CP$ doi:/7$//:>Escience$:>F$5:::$;6C$ PJ-@ /CD6/:5/$ D5$ , I%esearches find threat from 'iodiversity loss eGuals climate change threatI$ Winnipeg Free Press$ :7/:+7>+7C$ D>$ , I1ndangered "pecies Aist 1&pands to />,777I$ %etrieved :77C+//+/;$ DC$ , "anderson, James= Joulton, Jichael 4Bugust /D, /FFD8$ !ildlife -ssues in a Changing !orld# "econd %dition ;Paperbac1<$ #%# Press$ -", FCD+/+ 5>>C7+;5/+:$ DD$ , Jim #hen 4:77;8$ IBcross the Bpocalypse on !orse'ack: -mperfect Aegal %esponses to ,iodiversity AossI$ .he 0urisdynamics of %nvironmental Protection, Change and the Pragmatic$ 1nvironmental Aaw -nstitute$ p$ /FC$ -", /+5D5C>+7C/+6$ DF$ , I!ippo dilemmaI$ !indo3s on the !ild, "cience and "ustainabiliy$ ew Bfrica ,ooks$ :775$ -", /+D>F:D+;D7+5$ F7$ , I-?# *s #lassification of @irect (hreatsI$ #onservationmeasures$org$ %etrieved :7//+7F+:6$ F/$ , Paul 1hrlich and Bnne 1hrlich, %:tinction, %andom !ouse, ew Kork 4/FD/8 -", 7+;F6+5/;/:+> F:$ , #$Jichael !ogan$ :7/7$ Deforestation 1ncyclopedia of 1arth$ ed$ #$#leveland$ #"1$ Washington @# F;$ , @rakare, "tina= Aennon, Jack J$= !ille'rand, !elmut 4:77>8$ I(he imprint of the geographical, evolutionary and ecological conte&t on species+area

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/6;$ , "tork, igel 1$ 4:77C8$ I,iodiversity: World of insectsI$ Nature 550 4C/568: >5C<>5D$ ,i'code :77C atur$66D$$>5C"$ doi:/7$/7;DE66D>5Ca$ PJ-@ /C>DC;/5$ /66$ , (homas J$ B$, (elfer J$ )$, %oy @$ ,$, Preston #$ @$, )reenwood J$ J$ @$, Bsher J$, Fo& %$, #larke %$ ($ et al$ 4:7768$ I#omparative Aosses of ,ritish ,utterflies, ,irds, and Plants and the )lo'al 1&tinction #risisI$ "cience /4/ 45>>58: /DCF</DD/$ ,i'code :776"ci$$$;7;$/DCF($ doi:/7$//:>Escience$/7F576>$ PJ-@ /57;/57D$ /65$ , @unn, %o'ert %$ 4:7758$ IJodern -nsect 1&tinctions, the eglected Ja2orityI$ Conservation Biology .- 468: /7;7</7;>$ doi:/7$////E2$/5:;+ /C;F$:775$777CD$&$

#urther reading

Aevin, "$ %ncyclopedia of Biodiversity$ "an @iego: 1lsevier Bcademic Press$ -", FCD7/:;D6C/F5$ AeveGue, #$ P J$ Jounolou 4:77;8 Biodiversity$ ew Kork: John Wiley$ -", 7+ 6C7+D6F5C+> Jargulis, A$, @olan, @elisle, K$, Ayons, #$ Diversity of )ife, .he -llustrated *uide to the Five Kingdoms$ "ud'ury: Jones P ,artlett Pu'lishers$ -", 7+C>;C+ 7D>:+; Ble&ander H$ Jarkov, and Bndrey H$ Korotayev 4:77C8 IPhanero3oic marine 'iodiversity follows a hyper'olic trendI Palaeo3orld />468: pp$ ;//<;/D$ Joustakas, B$ P -$ Karakassis 4in press8$ B geographic analysis of the pu'lished aGuatic 'iodiversity research in relation to the ecological footprint of the country where the work was done$ "tochastic 1nvironmental %esearch and %isk Bssessment, doi:/7$/77CEs776CC+77D+7:56+:$ ovacek, J$ J$ 4ed$8 4:77/8 .he Biodiversity Crisis, )osing !hat Counts$ ew Kork: Bmerican Juseum of atural !istory ,ooks$ -", /+5>5D6+5C7+> @Z#+-nterview with Bchim "teiner, ? 1P: I.ur generation*s responsi'ility Jora, #$= (ittensor, @$ P$= Bdl, "$= "impson, B$ )$ ,$= Worm, ,$ 4:7//8$ Jace, )eorgina J$ ed$ I!ow Jany "pecies Bre (here on 1arth and in the .ceanUI$ P)o" Biology - 4D8: e/77//:C$ doi:/7$/;C/E2ournal$p'io$/77//:C$ PJ# ;/>7;;>$ PJ-@ :/DD>6CF$ edit Pereira, !$ J$= avarro, A$ J$= Jartins, -$ "$ "$ 4:7/:8$ I)lo'al ,iodiversity #hange: (he ,ad, the )ood, and the ?nknownI$ Annual +evie3 of %nvironment and +esources /2: :5$ doi:/7$//6>Eannurev+environ+76:F//+7F;5//$ edit

External lin$s

B collection of articles from the @avid "u3uki Foundation on Protecting ,iodiversity !ow many species on 1arthU 1# #+1uropean #entre for ature #onservation (he W-A@ Foundation and #1J1Y #olla'orate on -nternational Wilderness and ,iodiversity #onservation in Je&ico

#.!B, -nitiative: (he importance of 'iodiversity to human health and well+ 'eing ature"erve: (his site serves as a portal for accessing several types of pu'licly availa'le 'iodiversity data -nternet sources a'out 'iodiversity 4presented for the -nternational Kear of ,iodiversity :7/7 'y vifa'io8 (he #anine @iversity Pro2ect ,iodiversity research in agriculture, "wiss Bgricultural %esearch "tation Bgroscope Aive@iverse pro2ect B'out ,iodiversity, !uman Well+'eing P ,otanic )ardens, ,otanic )ardens #onservation -nternational "tudy: Aoss of species is 'ad for your health ,iodiversity Factsheet 'y the ?niversity of Jichigan*s #enter for "ustaina'le "ystems #olor+coded images of verte'rate 'iodiversity hotspots

7ocu!ents

,iodiversity "ynthesis %eport 4P@F8 'y the Jillennium 1cosystem Bssessment 4JB, :7758 #onvention on ,iological @iversity (e&t of the #onvention #onservation -nternational hotspot map Waylen, K$ :77>$ ,otanic )ardens: ?sing 'iodiversity to improve human well+ 'eing ,otanic )ardens #onservation -nternational 4,)#-8 [:] Wild Wealth: B documentary a'out ,iodiversity 'y ational )eographic and the -nter+Bmerican @evelopment ,ank

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-ntroduction to ,iodiversity + -nformation Hideo for #iti3ens + World Wide Hiews on ,iodiversity :7/: ,iodiversity on Aand + -nformation Hideo for #iti3ens + World Wide Hiews on ,iodiversity :7/: ,iodiversity in the "ea + -nformation Hideo for #iti3ens + World Wide Hiews on ,iodiversity :7/: ,iodiversity + ,urden and ,enefit "haring + -nformation Hideo for #iti3ens + World Wide Hiews on ,iodiversity :7/:

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+raining !aterial

"cheldeman, Y$ P van Wonneveld, J$ 4:7/78$ .raining 'anual on "patial Analysis of Plant Diversity and Distribution$ ,ioversity -nternational$

Resources

Wild Wealth: B documentary a'out ,iodiversity 'y ational )eographic and the -nter+Bmerican @evelopment ,ank Butomatic acoustic Jonitoring and -nventorying of ,-.diversity ,iodiversity !eritage Ai'rary + .pen access digital li'rary of ta&onomic literature$ ,iodiversity headlines from thinktanksreport + Aatest reports, research and opinion on 'iodiversity$ ,iodiversity of Bltai+"ayan 1coregion$ ,iodiversity at the .pen @irectory Pro2ect 1ncyclopedia of Aife + @ocumenting all species of life on earth$ (ree of Aife + %elationships P characteristics of all life on earth$ ational ,iodiversity etwork + ational ,iodiversity etwork )ateway$ Jicrodocs, @iversity$ 1conomics of "pecies protection P Janagement .BB 1conomics ,iodiversity Professionals Ainked-n group -nternational "chool of "ustaina'le (ourism$