Transformation of the Biosphere: Introduced Species
It's not just humans who have jetted to remote regions of the world. For better or worse, international commerce and air travel have helped the global exchange of species and the spread of disease.
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This presentation, available online as a printable PDF, discusses the spread of species across the globe. It contains the following five pages:
- an overview of how species have spread and some of the disastrous effects this has had on local ecosystems
- a 10,000 BCE world map that shows how people traveled on foot, bringing few other species with them
- a 2000 BCE – 1000 CE world map that shows how the exchange of species was facilitated by land routes and the colonization of islands by travelers in small boats
- a 1400 CE – 1800 CE world map that shows how European exploration and colonization led to the deliberate introduction of many agricultural, ornamental, and commercial species
- a 1900 CE – present world map that shows how international commerce and air travel have left no part of the world truly isolated, and have facilitated the global interchange of species and the spread of infectious diseases
Less than 1 period
Supplement a study of biodiversity or ecology with an activity drawn from this online presentation.
- Ask students to speculate about the role humans have had in the spread of species throughout the world.
- Send them to this online presentation, or distribute printed copies to the class.
- Ask students to research how the introduction of a species has had disastrous effects on a local ecosystem.
- Have them create a map that shows the spread of their selected species and includes notes about its disastrous effects.