For example, an inventory of fungi, lichens, bryophytes, vascular plants, mollusks, arthropods, amphibians, mammals, fishes, and birds has been done for the Pacific Northwest, where controversy rages over the old-growth forests, but the effort is incomplete because of variation in our knowledge of different groups.
In either case, the maintenance of landscape diversity controls the overall exchange of nutrients between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Aside from some limited environments, such as certain coral reefs, the effects of habitat destruction are relatively small away from shorelines and estuaries.
Concern about such direct endangerment is valid and has been politically important, because public sympathy seems more easily aroused over the plight of furry, cuddly, or spectacular animals. The pattern of ecosystems on the landscape influences energy flow, nutrient Page 33 Share Cite Suggested Citation:"2: What is Biodiversity?.
Unhappily for that notion, the riches of the sea have been quite carefully measured Page 24 Share Cite Suggested Citation:"Part 1: Challenges to the Preservation of Biodiversity.
The poaching crisis for elephants and rhinos in Africa is an extreme example. Another consideration in biodiversity maintenance is the geographic distribution of a species.