What creates biodiversity hotspots?

What is a Hot Spot?

  • Hot Spot:"A biodiversity hot spot is a biogeographic region with a significant reservoir of biodiversity that is threatened with destruction"(

  • A center of biotic diversity
  • 50% of species are present in 34 hot spots.
  • 2.3% of the earth's surface are biodiversity hot spots.
  • Hot spots only have 70% of their original vegetation
  • Each population can survive only within the narrow climate envelope. Every individual within species could stress from climate change.
  • Biodiversity and climate change are closely linked, each impact each other: Biodiversity is threatened by human- induced climate change, but biodiversity resources can reduce the impacts of climate change on population and resources.
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Positive Impacts of Hot Spots
  • Medicines- by more species, new discoveries in medicine are available.

Why are Hot Spots where they are?

  • Climate and location

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    • The most biodiverse areas are between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capicorn, where they are hit by the sun at a 90 degree angle
      • Creates intense solar energy
    • Tropical regions, where hot spots mainly are, have consistant 12 hour days of sunlight
      • This provides the needed sunlight to power massive photosynthesis needed to foster much plant life, which fosters the numerous species that need the plant to live.
    • Average temperature of the tropics is 72-93F degrees
  • The climate produces the perfect conditions for rain
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    • The intense solar energy creates a convection zone of rising, moist air that falls in the form of rain
    • Plants and animals need a lot of water to survive, so wherever rain falls the most is where the most animals are going to be
      • Rain forest get at least 80in. of rain per year
        • Some rain forest have seasonal rainfall due to climate change
    • Rain forests re-use water
      • Rain forest are in in higher elevation, and have a lot of cloud coverage
        • The clouds create a ton of humidity which passes through plants and back into the atmosphere to create more rain clouds
      • Each canopy tree transpires about 200 gallons of water annually
      • For about every acre, 20,000 gallons transpired annually from trees.
    • Large forest create their own rain clouds that make about 75% of their annual rainfall
      • Self sufficient, and able to sustain a lot of life, making places with a lot of rain Biodiversity hotspots
    • Deforestation affects rainfall because with less trees, there is less transpiration. And with less transpiration there is less rain and specie diversity decreases

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  • What makes Hot Spots different from cold spots?

    • Biodiversity Cold Spots: An area of minimal species life, due to extreme conditions, deforestation, human interferance, and desertification

    • Cold Spots can not support much life because the conditions there don't allow for much rainfall, or vegetation that supports species
  • Why are there some Hot Spots further away from the equator that others?

    • Some Hot Spots. such as the one in California and the one in South Africa, do not have tropical climates
      • The things nessicary for them to support alot of life comes through the ocean currents
        • Currents bring nutrition to the surrounding waters, creating a marine environment that can support a lot of life on sea, and land
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