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To explore through classification of life forms the concept of biological diversity as it occurs at various taxonomic levels.


Spiders are a highly species rich group of invertebrates that exploit a wide variety of niches in virtually all the earth'sbiomes. Some species of spiders build elaborate webs that passively trap their prey whereas others are active predatorsthat ambush or pursue their prey. Given spiders' taxonomic diversity as well as the variety of ecological niches breadthalong with the ease of catching them, spiders can represent useful, fairly easily measured indicators of environmentalchange and community level diversity.

This exercise focuses on classifying and analyzing spider communities to explore the concept of biological diversity andexperience its application to decision making in biological conservation. The exercise can be undertaken in three parts,depending on your interest level.

  • Level (1)

    You will gain experience in classifying organisms by sorting a hypothetical collectionof spiders from a forest patch and determining if the spider collection is adequate to accurately represent theoverall diversity of spiders present in the forest patch.
  • Level (2)

    If you wish to explore further, you can sort spider collections made at four other forestpatches in the same region and contrast spider communities in terms of their species richness, species diversity, andcommunity similarity. You will apply this information to make decisions about the priority that should be given toprotecting each forest patch in order to conserve the regional pool of spider diversity.
  • Level (3)

    If you wish to explore the concepts of biodiversity yet further, you will next take intoaccount the evolutionary relationships among the families of spiders collected. This phylogenetic perspective willaugment your decision making about priorities for patch protection by accounting for evolutionary distinctivenessin addition to diversity and distinctiveness at the community level.
Once you have worked through these concepts and analyses you will have a much enhanced familiarity with the subtleties ofwhat biological diversity is.

Level 1: sorting and classifying a spider collection and assessing its comprehensiveness

Obtain a paper copy of the spider collection for forest patch "1." The spiders were captured by a biologisttraveling along transects through the patch and striking a random series of 100 tree branches. All spiders dislodgedthat fell onto an outstretched sheet were collected and preserved in alcohol. They have since been spread out on atray for you to examine. The spider collection is hypothetical but the species pictured are actual spidersthat occur in central Africa (illustrations used are from Berland 1955 ).

The next task is for you to sort and identify the spiders. To do this you have to identify all the specimensin the collection. To classify the spiders look for external characters that all members of a particular group of spidershave in common but that are not shared by other groups of spiders. For example, leg length, hairiness, relative sizeof body segments, or abdomen patterning and abdomen shape all might be useful characters. Look for groups ofmorphologically indistinguishable spiders, and describe briefly the set of characters unique to each group. Theseoperational taxonomic units that you define will be considered separate species. To assist you in classifyingthese organisms, a diagram of key external morphological characters of beetles is provided ( ). Note that most spider identification depends on close examination of spider genitalia. For thisexercise, however, we will be examining gross external characteristics of morphologically dissimilar species.

Basic external characteristics of spiders useful for identifying individuals to species.

Questions & Answers

what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
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Source:  OpenStax, What is biodiversity. OpenStax CNX. Feb 05, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10639/1.1
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