Systematics and Biodiversity Conservation

Systematics and Biodiversity Conservation
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Systematics and Biodiversity Conservation

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Publisher: Agrobios Publications
ISBN: 9788177543391
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PREFACE
Conservation biology has developed as a recently evolved branch of biological sciences by drawing its principles from diverse specialties of biology such as genetics, ecology and evolution. However, the practices in human ecology have been instrumental in bringing up this discipline as an applied professional field in the recent past. Conservation Biologists are practitioners to look into the causes of biodiversity depletion and to suggest remedial measures to halt degradation of natural habitats and depletion of biological resources. Conservation can also be carried out in human ecosystems. When it comes to a practicing field, the professionals in this area of study have to look into the population status of diverse organisms seen in their natural habitats. These organisms make the biodiversity of the area, which can be assessed in terms of ecosystem, species and genetic levels. The biological components present in an area depend upon the physical factors prevailing in the area in addition to the outcome of the interactions between coinhabitants. Based on such interactions, a balanced diversity is maintained. This balance may be lost on occasions of extreme interactions of human beings with vested interest. For example, timber logging in a forest is not a natural process on the other hand, it is a man-motivated activity with specific human interest. The area from where a species of timber is logged in large numbers would not only be drastically affected by the intensive exposure to sun light there would be more effects as a result of the extraction as it would disrupt the natural interactions of several species of organisms in the area.
The levels of disruption of such biological activities can be revealed only if one has a basic idea on the diverse species present in the area and the diverse types of interactions between them, both direct and indirect. Unfortunately, today vast majority of the biologists is unable to identify even a few species of plants and animals around them. Larger plants such as trees and larger animals such as mammals may be identified to certain levels, but when it comes to the levels of family, genus and species, particularly in the case of lower organisms, 95 of the biologists have to depend upon others. Even there are cases of misidentified study specimens of doctoral thesis in biology in the recent past The mistake that we have committed during the past few decades is responsible for this negligence. When biological science has advanced and diversified, systematics was neglected and rather visualized as an old discipline with no application. Financial support was available for research proposals with more direct application rather than basic science such as taxonomy. Unfortunately, fancy proposals with fashionable titles were judged above proposals dealing with natural habitats and ecosystem concepts ultimately leading to a situation by which even University Gold Medalists in Biology could not identify 5-10 common species of flowering plants, woody trees, fruiting trees,