What is biodiversity
• Biodiversity is the diversity of life in an area. There are three kinds of biodiversity.
One type is genetic diversity which is the diversity of genes in a species. Species
need certain genes to survive. If the diversity is lacking, the species may die, and
its numbers will diminish. Species diversity (another kind of biodiversity) is the
variety of living things in areas such as rainforests, reefs, deserts, tundra, etc. The
last type of biodiversity is ecological diversity. It’s the complexity and richness of
an entire ecosystem.
Why is important
• Biodiversity increases ecosystem productivity; all of the species in that ecosystem,
no matter their size, have a big role. A diverse ecosystem can prevent and recover
from lots of disasters. Humans depend on plants and animals. For example, one
quarter of all prescription medicines in the U.S. have ingredients from plants. If a
diverse ecosystem is more productive, it's easier to get these plants.
• Humans also directly benefit from a diverse ecosystem: plants, clean water and air,
provide oxygen, and control erosion.
Biodiversity helps humans
• Plants absorb greenhouse gases and help stop global warming.
• It is easier for biodiverse ecosystems to recover from natural disasters.
• Healthy biodiversity of species can provide a variety of food (like meat and
• Many of our medicinal drugs come from plants.
• All of our wood products come from nature.
• We can learn more about our earth by observing a diverse ecosystem.
• Many recreational areas benefit from a healthy ecosystem, which promotes
• Biodiversity is beautiful and should be enjoyed.