why is ecosystem diversity important


Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction. Why do we need to protect biodiversity? There are several important reasons for us to gain an understanding of the dynamic nature of biological diversity, particularly in terms of maintaining ecological balance. Bees are more important than poultry in terms of human nutrition. 19 Jan. 2014. It includes the concepts of species diversity, habitat diversity and genetic diversity. The earthworm is like a natural tractor, fertilizer factory and dam, combined! Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All. Some have termed this Gaia. The natural pace at which this happened allowed vegetation to grow back. So much so that economic measures such as GDP often ignores environmental costs. As German bee expert Professor Joergen Tautz from Wurzburg University adds: Bees are vital to bio diversity. The relationship between soil, plants, bacteria and other life is also referred to as the nitrogen cycle: As an example, consider all the species of animals and organisms involved in a simple field used in agriculture. A report from Nature magazine also explains that genetic diversity helps to prevent the chances of extinction in the wild (and claims to have shown proof of this). Despite these free benefits, it has long been recognized that we tend to ignore or underestimate the value of those services. Biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet and here’s why. It controls essential ecological processes and promotes lives. A study in the journal Science, notes that these large animals — such as lions, leopards, wolves and bears — are in decline, due to declining habitats and persecution by humans.. It therefore makes economic and development sense to move towards sustainability. Ecosystem diversity. And as we start destroying, reducing and isolating habitats, the chances for interaction from species with a large gene pool decreases. Although some dislike the thought of trying to put an economic value on biodiversity (some things are just priceless), there have been attempts to do so in order for people to understand the magnitude of the issue: how important the environment is to humanity and what costs and benefits there can be in doing (or not doing) something. As just one small example, some spiders can produce their silk with a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel even though it is made of proteins. Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, and Copyrights. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change. For example, if energy costs go up, businesses will look for a way to minimize such costs for themselves, and it is in such a time that alternatives come about and/or existing resources last longer because they are used more efficiently. What is the point in preserving endangered species that have no practical use to humans, apart from their aesthetic appeal or their intellectual interest to biologists? At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources. Rest is unchanged, for now, since January 1, 2001. It noted how a few decades ago, some fishermen campaigned for killing whales because they were threatening the fish supply and thus jobs. Image Source: Twitter. The variety of life on Earth, its biological diversity is commonly referred to as biodiversity. These ecosystems are complex, which means they function best, and are more resilient to the effects of climate change, when all the pieces of the ecosystem are in place — meaning the biodiversity is intact. costs that have to be borne by society from ignored factors, or social costs). A few years later, they found the park with the culled population had remained in poor condition. The fact that within a forest, pond or sea there are countless different animals, plants, … Not only does diversity ensure species reproduction it also cultivates competion. What is biodiversity? Our eagle example also demonstrates another aspect of diversity. As reported by CNN (May 5, 2000), One third of all our food—fruits and vegetables—would not exist without pollinators visiting flowers. Diversity in the ecosystem is significant to human existence for a variety of reasons. expanded side notes, shows alternative links), use the print version: Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. And so, while we dominate this planet, we still need to preserve the diversity in wildlife. These words sum up why biodiversity is so important. Add another link to more information about importance of biodiversity. Anita Roddick: Corporate Social Responsibility? Web. Biodiversity in all of its forms—ecological, species, and genetic—is important for numerous reasons. An estimated 40% of world trade is based on biological products or processes. Biodiversity is important in ecosystems because it prevents extinction of species, allows organisms to adapt to changes in the environment and provides a wide range of materials and foods for survival. So biologists are looking at these processes in more depth to see if they can reproduce or enhance such capabilities. Almost all cultures have their roots in our biological diversity in some way or form. Why is BIODIVERSITY important? January 29, 2020 Valentina Primo In the last episode of the #SWBSummit series, we bring the panel where Egyptian power lady Yara El Braidy sits with two Egyptian entrepreneurs experiencing diverse ecosystems in Jordan … In effect, as TEEB, and many others before have argued, a key challenge will be adapting our economic systems to integrate sustainability and human well-being as well as other environmental factors to give us truer costs (after all, market systems are supposed to work when there is full availability of information). The term biodiversity (from the phrase “biological diversity”) refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life. Ecosystem diversity boosts the availability of oxygen via the process of photosynthesis amongst plant organisms domiciled in the habitat. “Why Is Biodiversity Important? Forests and wetland ecosystems provide crucial buffers to extreme storms and flooding related to climate change. Biodiversity is important for maintaining an important balance of the ecosystem. Ecosystem Productivity. by reducing their meat consumption or demand more ecologically sustainable alternatives at reasonable cost. Private and public decisions affecting biodiversity rarely consider benefits beyond the immediate geographical area…. The reason it can be explained with a disease is because the habitat of the vector involved fragmented low diversity areas. Add another link to more information about importance of biodiversity. The number of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms, the enormous diversity of genes in these species, the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts, rainforests and coral reefs are all part of a biologically diverse Earth. In the end they agreed to let one park have its elephants culled, while the other would be left alone. Biodiversity is important because it provides biological resources, such as food and medicine, and ecosystem services, such as protection of water, soil, climate and nutrients. Biodiversity is important because it clears out our water, changes out climate, and provides us with food. Explanation: The biodiversity of an ecosystem is important because it stabilises the whole system where life is present. As described by Google, it is defined as, "the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem." 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. Nature can often be surprisingly resilient, often without the need for human interventions. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops; Greater species … These efforts will ensure that bees continue to provide pollination and that our diets remain rich in the fruits and vegetables we now take for granted. A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone: That is quite a lot of services we get for free! Prof. E. O Wilson, in How Our Health Depends on Biodiversity, Chivian, E., Bernstein A., Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, 2010 . Having a rich variety of ecosystems, what biologists call ecosystem diversity, constitutes another important level of biodiversity. This is mainly explained by the fact that many ecosystem services are ‘public goods’ or ‘common goods’: they are often open access in character and non-rival in their consumption. It is no secret that humans have an enormous impact on species and ecosystem diversity, yet, throughout our existence, biodiversity has faithfully provided us with enormous economic, medical and social benefits as well as many other natural services. Biodiversity plays significant role in soil formation and its conservation. For example. The price signal also implies the poorest often pay the heaviest costs. Ecosystem diversity is a type of biodiversity. For example, a documentary aired on the BBC (I unfortunately forget the name and date, but in the 1990s) described two national parks in Africa where elephant populations had grown quite large within those artificial boundaries. It has perhaps taken about a decade or so — and a severe enough global financial crisis that has hit the heart of this way of thinking — to change this mentality (in which time, more greenhouse gases have been emitted — inefficiently). Think of some of the effects this could have: How much would such accounting save? Values that are not overtly part of a financial equation are too often ignored. Flashcards. Even these services often bypass markets where carried out as part of community management of shared resources. The fact that within a forest, pond or sea there are countless different animals, plants, fish, birds and so on all living together. This can be done by recycling & storage of nutrients, controlling pollution, & stabilizing climate. Test. Write. However, for similar information, you could look at Consequences of changing biodiversity, Nature 405, 234 - 242, 11 May 2000 and Causes, consequences and ethics of biodiversity, Nature 405, 208–211, 11 May 2000. Migratory species including birds, fish, mammals, and insects all depends upon different ecosystems during their movements. Ecosystems produce the food humans eat and the fiber that humans used for clothing and shelter. Where possible, alternative links are provided to backups or reposted versions here. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. An ecosystem can only truly thrive if all life forms in it are thriving. With between 3 and 30 million species on earth, here are the reasons why they are important. The link and dependency between plants, bees, and human agriculture is so crucial, the two scientists writing up years of research into the problem summarized with this warning: Humankind needs to act quickly to ensure that the ancient pact between flowers and pollinators stays intact, to safeguard our food supply and to protect our environment for generations to come. One overriding importance is that biodiversity is responsible for the continuity of the planet because it supports majority of the vital environmental life cycles such as the oxygen cycle, the water cycle, and the nitrogen cycle just to mention a few. Each ecosystem provide different habitats that can essential for a species's life cycle. Biodiversity is categorized into species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity. Alternatively, copy/paste the following MLA citation format for this page: Shah, Anup. Some cultures have recognized this kind of inter-relationship for a very long time. The cost of replacing these (if possible) would be extremely expensive. As summarized from Vandana Shiva, Stolen Harvest (South End Press, 2000), pp 61–62: Shiva, a prominent Indian scientist and activist goes on to detail the costs associated with destroying this natural diversity and traditional farming techniques which recognize this, and replacing this with industrial processes which go against the nature of diversity sustainability. As such, it is essential that we actively choose to minimize the negative impacts that our actio… Match. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. 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. PLAY. Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs, Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems, Cattle waste feeds the soil that nourish the crops, Crops, as well as yielding grain also yield straw, Crops are therefore food sources for humans and animals, Bacteria feed on the cellulose fibers of straw that farmers return to the soil, 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 water-holding capacity. If a fire tears through a forest where only one species exists and is wiped out by the fire, the forest ecosystem is less likely to deal with this loss than if only one out of 20 species disappeared. Biodiversity also absorbs pollution, promotes tourism, supports education and research and maintains the ecosystem. One of the main reasons we should continue to focus on preserving biodiversity is that it helps to boost ecosystem productivity. While there are disagreements and differences on how this works, it suggests that ecological balance and biodiversity are crucial for all of earth, not just humans. For example, as mentioned in the previous link, if water used by the meat industry in the United States were not subsidized by taxpayers, common hamburger meat would cost $35 a pound. Researchers are finding reasons for the massive decline hard to pinpoint, but suspect a combination of various diseases, environmental pollution, environmental degradation (leading to less diversity for bees to feed from, for example) and farming practices (such as pesticides, large monoculture cropping, etc). In the mid-1990s, the Institute for Economic Democracy calculated that as much as half the American economy constituted of wasted labor, wealth and resources (book: World’s Wasted Wealth, II — see sample chapter). Tense postgame handshake between college coaches On a large scale for example plants have diversity to prevent them from being wiped out by a parasitic attack or something. To print all information (e.g. For example, commercially over-fishing a region may mean fish from that area becomes harder to catch and more expensive, possibly allowing that ecosystem time to recover (though that is not guaranteed, either). This is a clear case of inter-related issues: the health of the environment is strongly tried to our economic choices (i.e. In addition to that, other related measurements, such as GNP are therefore flawed, and even reward unproductive or inefficient behavior (e.g. represents ‘natural’ component of the market. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. A chain of events eventually came full circle and led to a loss of jobs: Three quarters of the world’s big carnivores are in decline. Resources that could be available more indefinitely, become finite because of our inability or unwillingness to change. They can also overlook local public benefits … in favor of private benefits …, even when local livelihoods are at stake, or focus on short-term gains to the detriment of the sustained supply of benefits over time…. Our continued inefficient pumping of greenhouse gases into the environment without factoring the enormous cost as the climate already begins to change is perhaps an example where price signals may come too late, or at a time when there is already significant impact to many people. A healthy biodiversity provides many natural services that are beneficial for everyone. Running out of resources should therefore be averted. Who Cares?, Global Issues, Updated: January 19, 2014. food sources must be diverse because of each food type and the type of food/energy received from this food. In addition, their benefits are felt differently by people in different places and over different timescales. We need ants to survive, but they don't need us at all. Existing price signals only reflect - at best - the share of total value that relates to provisioning services like food, fuel or water and their prices may be distorted. The Pacific Northwest represents a unique ecosystem. However, for similar information, you could look at, What the global economy would look like with nature on the balance sheet, The hidden environmental and social costs from corporations, Renewable Energy Transition Key to Addressing Climate Change Challenge, For Heavily Indebted Small Islands, Resilience-Building is the Best Antidote, Facing their Failure to meet 2020 Biodiversity Targets, World Leaders Pledge Action & Funds,,, A healthy biodiversity offers many natural services, Soil, bacteria, plants; the Nitrogen Cycle, Large carnivores essential for healthy ecosystems, Biodiversity providing lessons for scientists in engineering, More important than human use or biological interest, Putting an economic value on biodiversity, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops, Causes, consequences and ethics of biodiversity, Bees provide enormous benefits for humankind, Solving the Mystery of the Vanishing Bees, Three quarters of the world’s big carnivores are in decline, human actions cannot fully replace the role of large carnivores, some spiders can produce their silk with a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers 2009, Environment: Save At Least Half the Planet, or Lose It All. 1. So, an example of ecosystem diversity might be: The fact that in the world there are deserts, seas, ponds and forests, all of them with animals living in them. Sometimes links to other sites may break beyond my control.

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