What is Biodiversity?

What is Biodiversity? 

Biodiversity is the foundation of all ecosystem services to which human life thrives on. Biodiversity literally means the diversity of life on our planet. It is important to know that although many of us think that biodiversity relates just to the ‘wild’, it includes every life-form including humans as a huge influencing factor both as part of biodiversity and as a significant threat to it. Biodiversity is a system that inter-relates with ecosystems, environments, habitats, biomes, etc.

Biodiversity basically relates to having a fair amount of a lot of different types of species in an area, rather than one kind prevailing over the rest. The less biological diversity in an area, the less health and the ability to function that area will experience. The biosphere is a layer on Earth that refers to the part of Earth on which life forms are present i.e. animals, humans, plants, etc.

Biodiversity affects ecosystem services which are services that ecosystems provide to humans such as clean air, clean water, food sources, fuels, etc. The less biodiversity, the less of these every day things we have!

This illustrates how crucial biodiversity is to us as humans, not to mention the environment itself. For example, if there are less flower species in a specific area, there are less places for pollination to occur and less plants that pollinator species can use for their own survival which is turn produces less plant species as a cyclical result. Additionally, this would mean that less vegetation growing which would mean potentially less food sources for us and wildlife and also allow more carbon dioxide to be in the air as there would not be many vegetation to release Oxygen that we use to breathe. The lack of vegetation would also mean less shelter from predators for smaller species which would add to the lowering of biodiversity within the area. All of this would affect human health, wildlife health and environmental health.

Biodiversity allows for a fully functional environment that allows us to receive the ecosystem services we need that provide the simple every day things we wouldn’t even think twice about, as well as provide crucial habitats, food resources, protection and reduction of disease for wildlife on our planet. The larger the range of wildlife, plant species, etc. the better the sustainability of the area.

In the cases when biodiversity is threatened, potentially by pollution or invasive species – this poses a threat not only to the animals that live in the area whose habitats and food resources may be destroyed but our own health as well as zoonotic diseases such as Bird Flu and Ebola that affect us directly can be brought about.

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8 thoughts on “What is Biodiversity?

  1. Glad you like the post and thank you for your question! The straight-forward answer is that wildlife refers to all living fauna (vertebrates/invertebrates etc.) and flora (trees, fungi, etc) that are wild (not domesticated, captive or tame) within in a region, whereas biodiversity refers to the variety of wild flora and fauna present within the region. In other words, wildlife refers to wild species and biodiversity refers to the abundance and distribution of these species.
    There’s a fantastic book written by E.O. Wilson called ‘The Diversity of Life’ (2001), it is a great read and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is interested in wildlife, conservation and biodiversity!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am very interested in human-wildlife conflict in India and I have a great interest in Tigers, which as far as I know are at the heart of these conflicts. Although a real issue, it is very interesting to me as a management concern! Would love to learn more about wildlife in India!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yeah! these days its a major problem in India. As you know India holds 70% of world tiger population so yes its a apex specie for conservation in India and government along with many NGOs are trying to conserve them. Besides tiger elephants and leopards are also a major problem for human-wildlife conflict due to the deforestation and lose of habitat for these animals. So yes you can know more about visiting the site of Moefcc which is the site of ministry of environment and forest and climate change to know more about the projects and also WWF India to know there projects.

    P.S: are you are a research scholar or a teacher in New Zealand?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you very much for that information! Im fascinated by global human-wildlife conflict, especially regarding apex predators such as Tigers. No I am not but I am currently a MSc student in Ireland where I am from.

    Liked by 1 person

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