Unraveling Environmental Disasters (Second Edition) - Chapter 16: Biodiversity

Elsevier, Unraveling Environmental Disasters, Second Edition, 2024, pp 469-509
Daniel A. Vallero, Trevor M. Letcher

The chapter is concerned with habitat deterioration and destruction, with an emphasis on invasions of alien species. The organisms discussed include the zebra mussel, jellyfish, and eels. Examples of areas affected include the Laurentian Great Lakes, Everglades, rainforests, and coral reefs. The effect on honeybees and amphibians is presented as indicators of ecological damage, including loss of biodiversity and reduction in species abundance. Example calculations of biodiversity indexes are provided. New threats, including possible gene flow and transfer of genetic material from genetically modified organisms, and the influence of climate change, are discussed.