Best answer: What is the biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the highest levels of endemism (species found nowhere else on earth) anywhere on the planet. About 80% of the land birds you will see, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are endemic.

Why does the Galapagos Islands have high biodiversity?

The Galapagos Islands are so biodiverse because of the many different habitat zones that can be found across the Islands. There are coral reefs, highland forests, sand dunes and scrubland, and the changing habitats from island to island. Species diversity is only one piece of the biodiversity puzzle.

Is the Galapagos Islands a biodiversity hotspot?

Reached by four major ocean currents, including upwellings of deep water rich in nutrients, the Galápagos Islands off the coast of South America are a hotspot of biodiversity.

What are the main threats to Galapagos island biodiversity?

The Galapagos Islands face many environmental threats. Ecosystem degradation could be caused by: climate change, deforestation, pollution, overfishing, eutrophication and the introduction of invasive species.

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What type of ecosystem is the Galapagos Islands?

On the Galapagos Islands, there are three major ecosystems: terrestrial, coastal and marine. In the years of El Niño, the ecosystems show their characteristic behaviours. In the terrestrial zone predominate heavy rains, which has a positive effect on the animals and plants in this zone.

What happened on the Galapagos Islands to create diversity?

Repeated volcanic eruptions helped to form the rugged mountain landscape of the Galápagos Islands. The Galápagos are best known for their diverse array of plant and animal species. Many species are endemic, which means they are not found anywhere else in the world.

Why are islands hotspots for biodiversity?

Islands are often considered biodiversity hotspots due to the variety of species that have evolved to thrive on these remote pieces of land. … The features of island living have led to a high number of endemic species, meaning these species are found nowhere else in the world.

What do you know about biodiversity?

The term biodiversity (from “biological diversity”) refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life.

What is the Galapagos Islands function?

Facts. Six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador lie the volcanic islands of the Galápagos, famous for a wealth of unique plants and animals found nowhere else in the world. The Galápagos Islands were the source of Darwin’s theory of evolution and remain a priceless living laboratory for scientists today.

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What are bio diversity hotspots?

A biodiversity hotspot is a biogeographic region with significant levels of biodiversity that is threatened by human habitation. … Some of these hotspots support up to 15,000 endemic plant species and some have lost up to 95% of their natural habitat.

What are the main problems for the island ecosystems?

These include the disposal of mine wastes, tailings and processing wastes, erosion problems and the pollution of rivers in mined areas, loss of natural habitat or of land with agricultural potential, and the abandonment of unusable wastelands once the mining has ended.

What makes the Galapagos Islands Unique?

The Galapagos Islands are uniquely located on both sides of the equator in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The islands are situated at a point in the Pacific Ocean where three ocean currents collide, creating a unique area in the sea where warm and varying degrees of cold water meet.

Why are the Galapagos Islands important to natural selection?

With no place else to go, the Galápagos’ denizens adapted to conditions unique to their new homes. … Their research has shown that natural selection is frequently at work in the Galápagos: After a drought, finches with larger beaks were able to eat tough seeds and survive; their offspring became predominant.