Discuss the role of biogeography in informing conservation practice and policy

Hi there, these are the instructions from our professor: Background: Over the past 50 years green and environmental movements across the World have enjoyed strong support from the academic community, with much focus on conservation practice and policy. Such initiatives, at local and global scales, have often focussed on maintaining or improving aspects related to biogeography, such as preserving biodiversity, preventing and publicising species extinction, monitoring the effects of disturbance, and/or attempting to understand the impacts of future environmental change on species distribution and abundance. The subject of Biogeography has much that can inform and support a variety of environmental and scientific activities, from monitoring and understanding the impacts of current environmental change to understanding the distribution and processes of change in the geological past (historical biogeography). Key processes that impact upon the biogeographical patterns that are observed today (and in the past), such as speciation, dispersal, and extinction, need to be understood in order to predict future responses and adaptation to changing environmental conditions. The subject of Biogeography should, therefore, have much to offer when considering how and what to conserve. Title: Discuss the role of Biogeography in informing conservation practice and policy Approach: The title of the essay is deliberately fairly broad to allow you the opportunity to focus on topics relating to biogeography that interest you. However, such a broad topic can be quite daunting at first and you would be well advised to focus predominantly on one particular aspect. For example, you could choose to focus on issues such as: Understanding dispersal and island biogeography to inform how to manage and set-up reserves / conservation areas (i.e. patch shape, size, etc. to maximise dispersal). The impact of alien, invasive and native species upon conserving landscapes/ecosystems. Current conservation strategies and policies for maintaining biodiversity The impact, success and limitations of re-introducing species currently extirpated from a particular location. Implementing the lessons learned from historical Biogeography The above are merely ideas to get you started. The essay should discuss basic principles and processes, AND should also make liberal use of a wide variety of examples from the published literature to help you come to an informed conclusion as to what the role of biogeography has been / could be within the field of conservation. Finally, a common question relates to do I need to define Biogeography and other basic geographical / environmental concepts? The response is that for all your writing you should assume a level of prior knowledge such that the person sat next to you in class should be able to understand your writing (i.e. someone who has sat in the same classes as you rather than someone who hasnt). Submission Requirement: The essay should be no more than 2500 words in length (excluding references) adopting a concise style of writing is essential and a skill that we aim to develop in much of your written work. All diagrams and tables should be appropriately presented, numbered and referenced. All references should be correctly cited and listed in the reference list at the end. Your essay should have a coherent structure, with an introduction that sets out the context and defines key principles, a well rounded discussion with examples, and a realistic conclusion that is based upon evidence presented within the body of the essay. An abstract is not required. As part of the submission process your work will be checked for plagiarism and similarity. AND THESE ARE MY INSTRUCTIONS: AS YOU COULD SEE, THE PROFESSOR HAS GIVEN US AN OPTION TO CHOOSE OUR PREFERRED AREA ABOUT WHICH WE WANT TO WRITE THE ESSAY ABOUT. I WOULD LIKE YOU TO PRODUCE AN ESSAY EITHER ON: The impact, success and limitations of re-introducing species currently extirpated from a particular location OR The impact of alien, invasive and native species upon conserving landscapes/ecosystems. I WILL LEAVE IT UP TO YOU TO DECIDE WHICH ONE OF THE TWO YOU WILL WRITE THE ESSAY ABOUT. AS LONG AS YOU PRODUCE A GOOD ESSAY, WITH RELEVANT INFORMATION, I AM FINE WITH EITHER. PLEASE, MAKE SURE THAT YOU INCLUDE 12 IN-TEXT REFERENCES in this style Blah Blah Blah (Smith, 2013). THEN LIST THE AUTHORS’ NAME IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER AT THE END OF THE PAPER in this style: Smith, J., 2003, Invasive species, Journal of Biogeography, Volume 3, pages 223-245, AND THE URL address of the journal, please. If you need any clarification or further instructions, please don’t hesitate to contact me. And please send me a draft before you finish the paper. Thank you very much. Resources: There are many text books on conservation in the library and particularly journal articles (look in J. of Biogeography; Global Ecology & Biogeography) that will be of benefit to you. The following are just a starting point for your wider reading and are in addition to the references provided in the online Reading List: Huggett, R.J., 2004, Fundamentals of Biogeography, Routeledge, Oxford Good introduction and now available as an e-book. See chapters 17 & 18 Ashcroft, M., 2010, Identifying refugia from climate change, Journal of Biogeography, 37, 1407-1413. Bush, M.B. and R.J. Whittaker. (1991) Krakatau: Colonization patterns and hierarchies. Journal of Biogeography, 18: 341-356 Bush, M.B. and R.J. Whittaker. (1991) A revision of estimates of bird colonization on Krakatau. Journal of Biogeography, 18: 585. Warren, C.R., 2007, Perspectives on the ‘alien’ versus ‘native’ species debate: A critique of concepts, language and practice. Progress in Human Geography, 31, 427-436.

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