What did you know about the ecosystems of the Lake Wales Ridge and of Florida before watching these videos?

This discussion will count as a lab grade. In this discussion, you will consider the value of biodiversity both on a local and global scale as well as how we can protect biodiversity. In Polk County, the Lake Wales Ridge supports more endemic species than almost any other ecosystem in North America. It is an amazing and unique environment. Florida is unique in terms of the variety of wild landscapes and the diversity of plants and animals supported by these landscapes. Loss of biodiversity is a problem in Polk County, the State of Florida, and globally. There are many causes for this. We will look at loss of habitat and fragmentation of breeding populations. As land is developed for housing, business, and industry, habitat for both plants and animals are lost and may not be replaced. Development such as interstate highways and toll roads dissect animals habitat. Animals are killed trying to cross roads. Roads can contribution to the isolation of breeding populations. An example of this was the Florida Panther. Panther populations became isolated due to interstate road systems. This caused inbreeding, which increased the frequency of genetic defects in the population. The preservation of wild lands and agricultural lands can help preserve habitat. Connecting these lands with wildlife corridors as well as road undercrossings/overcrossings can help to preserve biodiversity by providing connections for breeding populations of animals.

You will need to watch several videos for this discussion. To access the videos, go to Links in Modules. Watch the videos, Understanding Wild Life Corridors and the Lake Wales Ridge. Watch the three videos on the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition. Understanding Wild Life Corridors focuses on India. What it covers is applicable here in Florida as well as globally. The wildlife corridor film, The Last Green Thread, is important because it describes the fragile connection between Reedy Creek in Orlando and the Green Swamp in Polk County.

Discuss the following with your classmates.

1. What did you know about the ecosystems of the Lake Wales Ridge and of Florida before watching these videos?

What did you learn about our unique ecosystems? Did you know that Florida had so many amazing wild landscapes? Describe your thoughts on Florida’s ecosystems and wild landscapes.

2. How do you think the preservation of biodiversity, both locally and globally, can impact you in a positive way in terms of the Tragedy of the Commons, ecosystem services and the nonmarket values of ecosystem services? Give specific reasons.

3. On a local and state level, what do you think can be done to preserve biodiversity and our unique ecosystems? Look up Proposition One if you haven’t heard of it. Look up the proposed new toll roads for the state and Polk County. Include your opinion on these topics in your

Once you log into canvas click on Lab #5:Wildlife Corridors and Biodiversity Discussion

What did you know about the ecosystems of the Lake Wales Ridge and of Florida before watching these videos?

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