Biodiversity is often used to
describe all the species living in a
particular area. If we consider this
area at its largest scale - the entire
world - then biodiversity can be
summarized as "life on earth.“
Biological diversity (or biodiversity)
was coined by Edward O. Wilson,
amongst others, as an ecological
concept to include all the living
organisms of a given system, from
the monera to the trees, annelids to
Levels of biodiversity
Three levels of
• „Specie Level is the
most important level‟.
ORIGIN OF BIODIVERSITY:
Majorly when we talk about biodiversity, we talk about the
variety of species of animals, birds, plants etc present in
nature. Biodiversity found on earth today is the result of 4
billion years of evolution. The origin of life has not been
definitely established by science, though evidence suggests
that life may already have been well-established a few hundred
million years after the formation of the earth. Until
approximately 600 million years ago, all life consisted of
bacteria and similar single-celled organisms.
Factors effecting biodiversity
Biodiversity is affect by physical factors which
may include the climatic change in a region, food
shortage for living things to survive or many
other reasons but somehow or the other they are
connected to all the man made factors. For
example the climatic change cannot be all of a
sudden but as a result of a change in the
atmosphere like burning (Forest fires etc).
Similarly food shortage can be a result of over
population when there is not enough for human
beings how will the let the other species on earth
to survive. Lets talk about some of the factors
1) CLIMATIC CHANGE:
The global climate has changed repeatedly in the distant past.
Although these events are typically associated with a degree of
species loss, overall they often mark the beginning of a burst
of new species.
2) GLOBAL WARMING:
Global warming is altering the distribution and abundance of
plant and animal species. Application of a basic law of ecology
predicts that many will vanish if temperatures continue to rise.
Many human activities can, both directly and indirectly, result
in pollution of some sort. Waste plastic in the oceans is
mistaken for jellyfish by turtles and ingested, resulting in
starvation and death.
The loss of rainforests around the world, where many species
of life are found will mean that potential knowledge, whether
medicinal, sustenance sources, or evolutionary and scientific
information etc. could be lost.
5 )FOOD PRODUCTION:
All the food in the world depends upon natural resources, and the variety
of food available depends upon natural diversity. Overexploitation leads
to more and more destructive collection procedures such as cyanide and
blast fishing. In regions of famine bush meat may be collected above a
sustainable level, and populations of wildlife may crash.
6) DWINDLING RESOURCES:
The hunger for more resources among human beings has led down
biodiversity highly. Ether it has to be sea animals, plants or land animals.
Dwindling resources is the greatest reason for extinction of living
7) HUMAN CONFLICTS:
Whilst not the most obvious threat to biodiversity the natural casualties
during a conflict are often greater than the human ones. The recent
ground invasion of Afghanistan is believed to have, if not damaged then
seriously impacted upon, one of the only known wild population of Snow
leopards, one of the rarest animals in the world. Similarly, the American
conflict with Vietnam resulted in Napalm being applied to an extensive
area, entirely destroying vast Mangrove forests.
IMPORTANCE OF BIODIVERISTY:
A diverse ecosystem is important. Biodiversity
actually boosts ecosystem productivity where
each species, no matter how small, all have an
important role to play. It is this combination
that enables the ecosystem to possess the
ability to prevent and recover from a variety of
A healthy biodiversity offers many
A healthy biodiversity provides a number of
natural services for everyone.
Protection of water resources
Soils formation and protection
Nutrient storage and recycling
Pollution breakdown and absorption
Biological resources such
That is quite a lot
of services we get
BENEFITS OF BIODIVERSITY
BENEFITS OF BIODIVERSITY:
There are a multitude of benefits of biodiversity in the sense of
one diverse group aiding another such as:
1) Resistance to catastrophe
Monoculture the lack of biodiversity, was a contributing factor
to several agricultural disasters in history, including the Irish
potato famine, the European wine industry collapse in the late
1800s, and the US southern corn leaf blight epidemic of
1970.Higher biodiversity also controls the spread of certain
diseases as viruses will need adapt to infect different species.
2) Food and drink
Biodiversity provides food for humans. Although about 80
percent of our food supply comes from just 20 kinds of plants,
humans use at least 40,000 species of plants and animals a day.
Many people around the world depend on these species for
their food, shelter, and clothing. There is untapped potential
for increasing the range of food products suitable for human
consumption, provided that the high present extinction rate
can be stopped.
A significant proportion of drugs are derived, directly
or indirectly, from biological sources; in most cases
these medicines can not presently be synthesized in a
laboratory setting. About 40% of the pharmaceuticals
used in the US are manufactured using natural
compounds found in plants, animals, and
microorganisms. Moreover, only a small proportion of
the total diversity of plants has been thoroughly
investigated for potential sources of new drugs. Many
drugs are also derived from microorganisms.
4) Industrial materials
A wide range of industrial materials are derived
directly from biological resources. These include
building materials, fibers, dyes, resins, gums, adhesives,
rubber and oil. There is enormous potential for further
research into sustainable utilizing materials from a
wider diversity of organisms.
5) Intellectual value
Through the field of bionics, considerable technological
advancement has occurred which would not have without a
6) Other ecological services
Biodiversity provides 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 recycling nutrients and
providing fertile soils. Experiments with controlled
environments have shown that humans cannot easily build
ecosystems to support human needs; for example insect
pollination cannot be mimicked by human-made
construction, and that activity alone represents tens of
billions of dollars in ecosystem services per annum to
Species Depend On Each
While there might be “survival of the fittest”
within a given species, each species depends on
the services provided by other species to ensure
survival. It is a type of cooperation based on
mutual survival and is often what a “balanced
ecosystem” refers to.
As an example, consider all the species of
animals and organisms involved in a simple
field used in agriculture.
Crop byproducts feed cattle
Cattle waste feeds the soil that nourish the crops
Crops, as well as yielding grain also yield straw
Straw provides organic matter and fodder
Crops are therefore food sources for humans and animals
Soil organisms also benefit from crops
Bacteria feed on the cellulose fibers of straw that farmers return to
Amoebas feed on bacteria making lignite fibers available for
uptake by plants
Algae provide organic matter and serve as natural nitrogen fixers
Rodents that bore under the fields aerate the soil and improve its
Spiders, centipedes and insects grind organic matter from the
surface soil and leave behind enriched droppings.
Earthworms contribute to soil fertility
Industrial-farming techniques would deprive these diverse species
of food sources and instead assault them with chemicals,
destroying the rich biodiversity in the soil and with it the basis for
the renewal of the soil fertility
More important than human use
or biological interest
Many people may support environmental causes to help
preserve the “beauty” of Nature. However, that is in a
strange way, not really a justifiable excuse as it is a
subjective, human or anthropomorphized view. Instead,
a logically sound reason based on ecological factors
would help show that biodiversity is more important
than people realize.
Loss of biodiversity and extinctions:
With the loss of biodiversity Earth will be unable to
keep up in the struggle to regenerate. The world
environmental situation is likely to be further
aggravated by the increasingly rapid, large scale global
extinction of species. It occurred in the 20th century at
a rate that was a thousand times higher than the
average rate during the preceding 65 million years.
This is likely to destabilize various ecosystems
including agricultural systems.
Species in Danger
Talking about some of the important species
that are in danger:
1) The incredible neem
contains natural pesticides.
Its leaves repel 200 insects.
It is used in medicine.
It helps to control population.
Can grow fastest even in poor soil.
2) The Passenger pigeon:
Now extinct as a result of
1914 last bird died in Cincinnati.
Other causes of its dying could be
the change in weather.
3) The Tasmanian tiger:
Extremely rare in wild.
Loved moving around farms and
Last was short dead in 1999 by a
Thought to be very dangerous.