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What is biodiversity, how do humans affect it, and how does it affect humans?

Topic

Plants and Society

Framing Question

What is biodiversity, how do humans affect it, and how does it affect humans?

Learning Objectives

  • Analyze data from a recent paper on ecosystem biodiversity and evaluate the authors’ conclusions.
  • Using Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) data sets, examine historical and current biodiversity data for a particular region and illustrate how the physical environment and biodiversity have changed as a result of human activity.
  • For a given crop plant (corn, Brassica, wheat, soy, potato, tomato, bean, banana, etc.) compare its structure, reproduction, genetics, and adaptation relative to its wild ancestors.
  • Select a crop plant (e.g., corn, rice, potato) and trace the evolutionary changes that occurred through human domestication of the wild relative.
  • Compare the size, distribution, and culture of a human population before and during the introduction of agriculture.
  • Compare the size, distribution, and culture of a human population as agriculture became more sophisticated after 1900.

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