Biological diversity - or biodiversity - is a term we use to describe the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the wide variety of ecosystems and living organisms: animals, plants, their habitats and their genes
Biodiversity supports many ecosystem services that are often not readily visible. It plays a part in regulating the chemistry of our atmosphere and water supply. Biodiversity is directly involved in water purification, recycling nutrients and providing fertile soils.
HOW MANY SPECIES ARE THERE IN INDIA? 250,000(12) 15,000(6) Flowering Plants 21,730(11) 2546(5) Fishes 4,522(10) 197(4) Amphibians 6,550(9) 408(3) Reptiles 9,702(8) 1224(2) Birds 4,629(7) 350(1) Mammals Number of species in the world (SW) Number of species in India (SI) Group
The increase in species richness or biodiversity that occurs from the poles to the tropics, often referred to as the latitudinal diversity gradient (LDG), is one of the most widely recognized patterns in ecology. Put another way, in the present day localities at lower latitudes generally have more species than localities at higher latitudes. The LDG has been observed to varying degrees in Earth's past
In ecology, a species-area curve is a relationship between the area of a habitat, or of part of a habitat, and the number of species found within that area. Larger areas tend to contain larger numbers of species, and empirically, the relative numbers seem to follow systematic mathematical relationships
THE IMPORTANCE OF SPECIES DIVERSITY TO THE ECOSYSTEM
According to the Encyclopedia of Earth, species diversity is a measurement of an ecosystem's species richness and species evenness. If an ecosystem has poor species diversity, it may not function properly or efficiently.
The correlation through time as a function of reproduction. In other words, if a species was abundant in the near past, chances are that it will be abundant today. Also, progeny tend to cluster near the parents, therefore, we tend to find organisms in "pockets" rather than evenly distributed in space
The laws of growth, competition and interaction. Different species flourish in different conditions. The number of species that can coexist will depend on how complex the environment is and on how strongly they compete with one another. And, of course, the number of species of herbivores, predators and parasites will depend on the number of plants, prey and hosts.
In our eagerness to improve living conditions for the six billion members of our species, we humans are imposing serious threats to the survival of much biodiversity, including many species whose direct value is clearly established. Almost all ecosystems are greatly modified by humans, who transform habitats and exterminate rivals and competitors.
The greatest threat is the loss and fragmentation of natural habitats. This includes clearing forests for timber or plantations, overgrazing, draining wetlands and the destruction of heath lands and coral reefs.
Excessive exploitation has pushed some species to the verge of extinction. Included are the tiger, Giant Panda, Black Rhinoceros, cod and several whale species. Between 1979 and 1989 the African elephant population was halved by ivory poaching. Other species have been relentlessly persecuted as vermin, often based on wrong assumptions about the supposed harm they caused. For centuries in Britain, Red Kites had a price on their head as ‘lamb-killers’, in spite of their lack of strength for such a task.
Over-hunting, over-fishing or over-collecting of a species can quickly lead to its decline. Changing consumption patterns of human is often cited as the key reason for this unsustainable exploitation of natural resources.
The introduction of exotic species that replace local and native species is cited as the second largest of biodiversity loss. Alien invasive species replace, and offer result in the extinction of native species. The annual economic damage caused by invasive plant and animal species is estimated to be in the region of US$1.4 trillion.
Biological systems respond slowly to changes in their surrounding environment. Pollution and contamination cause irreversible damage to species. Both climate variability and climate change cause biodiversity loss. Species and populations may be lost permanently, if they are not provided with enough time to adapt to changing climate conditions.
Without biodiversity there will be no agriculture. Farming practices should not jeopardize species survival: improving farmland diversity and reducing the usage of pesticides and fertilizer are key efforts to saving biodiversity. Organic agriculture practices can serve as an example in many areas.
Climate change is considered to be the greatest challenge for humanity. With changing conditions, ecosystems and habitats will change as well. It is an obligation to fight climate change and make sure that species can migrate or adapt to new surroundings.
If you release a species outside its usual habitat, it might simply die. In other cases, the so-called alien invasive species have thrived and destroyed local flora and fauna. As you never know how things turn out, reducing these invasions is crucial.
75% of all fisheries are fully exploited or over-fished. Species like cod, haddock and halibut are already threatened. If we do not move towards sustainable use, there will be no fish left for our grandchildren.
Biodiversity is the foundation for sustainable development. Its ecosystem services provide the basis for all economic activity. Biodiversity concerns need thus be integrated into all areas of policy-making. Measures include market incentives, development assistance, biodiversity-friendly trade and international governance processes.
Conservation of habitats, species and ecosystems where they naturally occur. This is in-situ conservation and the natural processes and interaction are conserved as well as the elements of biodiversity.
Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere.
A sacred grove is a grove of trees of special religious importance to a particular culture. Sacred groves were most prominent in the Ancient Near East and prehistoric Europe, but feature in various cultures throughout the world.
The conservation of elements of biodiversity out of the context of their natural habitats is referred to as ex-situ conservation. Zoos, botanical gardens and seed banks are all example of ex-situ conservation.
Organizations came forward for the conservation of biodiversity