Biodiversity, as defined by E.O. Wilson, “is meant to be allinclusive- it’s the genetic based variation of living organisms at alllevels, from the variety of genes in populations of single species, throughspecies, on up to the array of natural ecosystems.” This includes plants,animals, insects, fungi, bacteria, and all microorganisms.
All of thesethings create what is known as a web. These things interact with eachother in some way there for they depend on one another throughouttheir lifetime. There are many separate ways in which we can studybiodiversity.
These ways include, genetic, species, community, ecosystem,and taxonomic diversity. Biodiversity can be best number of species in agiven area, or scientifically, “species richness.”Today, there is a biodiversity crisis facing us. This iscaused mainly by the destruction of habitats. This dramatically increasesthe rate at which species decrease in number and become extinct.
It isappalling to know that we are the main cause of this. Over fishing,pollution, over cutting, and an increase in population contribute to thisproblem. Contamination of the environment of, for example, fish can in turnharm humans who eat those fish.Biodiversity promotes a healthy environment. Environmentsrich in biodiversity are stronger and can with stand things such asdrought, disease, and other stresses that environments that lack it cannot.
In the video, during the drought, the side of the field with a morediverse environment held stern as the other wilted away.Areas that are verydiverse are very important to humans as well. They provide a wide range ofpharmaceuticals such as aspirin and penicillin. Some 40 percent of U.S.
prescriptions are for pharmaceuticals derived from wild plants, animals andmicroorganisms.Old growth forests play a detrimental role in biodiversitypreservation. It’s most important feature is biodiversity.
Old growthforests provide us with many of the thingsthat we as humans take for granted, for example, breathable air pure water,and pest control through birds, bats, and insects. In the Eastern U.S.,most of the old growth occurs in small isolated areas. Scientists have cometo the conclusion that even if these matured areas cover a substantialportion of landscape, it will not provide long term diversity for manyspecies that live in such a community.
Many environmentalists are increasingly concerned with thisbiodiversity crisis. As humans we need to do our part to end this. Mostpeople don’t realize the overall and astounding effect of environment inour lives. This is the world’s most important resource and every effortshould be made to protect the biodiversity of the Earth.
Our very existencehinges on such a thing.