Biodiversity is the variety of all the species of organisms on Earth, or within a specific ecosystem. It includes not only the different types of plants and animals that make up an ecosystem, but also the genetic diversity within each species and the variety of ecosystems themselves.
The Earth supports a wide range of living organisms. There are many different plants and animals, as well as bacteria and fungi. Species depend on each other for:
An ecosystem with a high level of biodiversity contains many different species. In this type of ecosystem, each species is less dependent on another for the three factors. If a species dies out, it is less likely to affect the entire ecosystem. So, a high level of biodiversity makes an ecosystem more stable.
However, human activities, such as deforestation, pollution and the introduction of invasive species, threaten biodiversity.
These activities can lead to the extinction of certain species and the disruption of ecosystems, which can have negative impacts on both the environment and human societies.
Forests are home to a wide range of species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth. When forests are cleared, these unique species may be lost forever. Also, the loss of forests can disrupt the interconnected web of life that exists within them, as plants and animals rely on each other for survival.
Different types of pollution can have different impacts on biodiversity. For example:
Invasive species, often non-native, can outcompete native species for resources such as food, water, and habitat, leading to the decline or extinction of native species. They can also change ecosystems and disrupt the relationships between species, which reduces biodiversity.
Also, invasive species can have negative economic impacts, such as damaging crops and other valuable resources. The introduction of invasive species can be intentional or unintentional, and it is often the result of human activities such as trade and travel.
There are several ways that humans are attempting to maintain biodiversity. Some of these include: