On The Brink Of Extinction Essay

1170 words - 5 pages


Biodiversity is the grand diversity of all life on Earth and the interconnections that support these forms of life. This astonishing diversity supports the human existence by providing numerous priceless resources such as food, fuel, and medicine. Many of these resources can not be duplicated by the human race. For these reasons it is obvious that the environment and the biodiversity that it supports are detrimental to human survival. There is one major problem that is growing each day, and that is the amount of biodiversity, along with the services and benefits that is provides is diminishing. The study of biodiversity becomes increasingly important in order to gain knowledge on how to prevent this catastrophe. The more knowledge that is available, the easier it becomes for others to learn of the problem and take significant actions to reduce and prevent further occurrences. A similar study was conducted by Kevin Shear McCann to research the diversity-stability debate. He discovered that one third of the plant and animal species in the United States are now at risk of extinction. Based on this and other devastating accounts, I hypothesized that if the plant biodiversity of a given area is observed over period of time, then the level of diversity will decrease over time due to human intervention and also water and air impurities. It can be predicted based on previous studies that the overall amount of diversity of the plant life at the sites to be studied will decrease over time. This will occur because of the destruction of plant life due to human recreational behavior and pollution either in the water or air because of human activities. The observation of plant life was most appropriate for this study because it is easily observable and classifiable, and it is also prevalent during this season at each of the specific sites.

Methods and Materials

Site 1: Provo Canyon - I chose a site south of the river and about 100 feet above it. The vegetation was beginning to provide a high level of cover on the ground which made for an even distribution of the plant life.

Site 2: Rocky Canyon - I chose a site north of the canyon and off the trails so that I may find some undisturbed areas of vegetation. Plant life at Rock Canyon was very diverse as I discovered many new species during my survey.

Site 3: Wymount Park - I chose a site northwest of the Y symbol. The vegetation here seemed to be less dense and not as plentiful. I observed many more types of sagebrush and grass species that bushes and shrubs. The diversity was not as abundant as a small number of species seemed to dominate the area.

The procedural steps taken in this research project are straightforward, and remain identical for each specific site. First, upon arrival map out an area of 15 meters squared using wooden stakes. Then divide the area into 15 separate 1 meter by 1 meter boxes. Then assign a number to each box and write the...

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