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- Biodiversity: Concept, Types and Other Details (With Diagram)
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The term biodiversity was coined as a contraction of biological diversity by E. Wilson in Biodiversity may be defined as the variety and variability of living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they exist. In other words, biodiversity is the occurrence of different types of ecosystems, different species of organisms with the whole range of their variants and genes adapted to different climates, environments along with their interactions and processes. Biodiversity includes the genetic variability for which different varieties of spices have appeared in the course of evolution and diversity of life forms such as plants, animal microbes, etc.
Biodiversity: Concept, Types and Other Details (With Diagram)
Biodiversity is the biological variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is typically a measure of variation at the genetic , species , and ecosystem level. Rapid environmental changes typically cause mass extinctions. The age of the Earth is about 4. There are microbial mat fossils found in 3. Since life began on Earth , five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity.
In the Carboniferous , rainforest collapse led to a great loss of plant and animal life. The period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity. Named the Holocene extinction , the reduction is caused primarily by human impacts , particularly habitat destruction. Biologists most often define biodiversity as the "totality of genes , species and ecosystems of a region".
An explicit definition consistent with this interpretation was first given in a paper by Bruce A. Biodiversity can be defined genetically as the diversity of alleles, genes and organisms.
They study processes such as mutation and gene transfer that drive evolution. The United Nations Earth Summit defined "biological diversity" as "the variability among living organisms from all sources, including, inter alia , terrestrial , marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems".
Forest biological diversity is a broad term that refers to all life forms found within forested areas and the ecological roles they perform. As such, forest biological diversity encompasses not just trees, but the multitude of plants, animals and microorganisms that inhabit forest areas and their associated genetic diversity.
Forest biological diversity can be considered at different levels, including ecosystem, landscape, species, population and genetic. Complex interactions can occur within and between these levels. In biologically diverse forests, this complexity allows organisms to adapt to continually changing environmental conditions and to maintain ecosystem functions. Furthermore, the diversity of forest ecosystems in both physical and biological features results in high levels of adaptation, a feature of forest ecosystems which is an integral component of their biological diversity.
Within specific forest ecosystems, the maintenance of ecological processes is dependent upon the maintenance of their biological diversity. Biodiversity is not evenly distributed, rather it varies greatly across the globe as well as within regions. Among other factors, the diversity of all living things biota depends on temperature , precipitation , altitude , soils , geography and the presence of other species.
The study of the spatial distribution of organisms , species and ecosystems , is the science of biogeography. Diversity consistently measures higher in the tropics and in other localized regions such as the Cape Floristic Region and lower in polar regions generally. Terrestrial biodiversity is thought to be up to 25 times greater than ocean biodiversity.
The conservation of the world's biodiversity is thus utterly dependent on the way in which we interact with and use the world's forests. About 60 percent of all vascular plants are found in tropical forests. Mangroves provide breeding grounds and nurseries for numerous species of fish and shellfish and help trap sediments that might otherwise adversely affect seagrass beds and coral reefs, which are habitats for many more marine species. The biodiversity of forests varies considerably according to factors such as forest type, geography, climate and soils — in addition to human use.
Northern Africa, southern Australia, coastal Brazil, Madagascar and South Africa, are also identified as areas with striking losses in biodiversity intactness. Generally, there is an increase in biodiversity from the poles to the tropics. Thus localities at lower latitudes have more species than localities at higher latitudes.
This is often referred to as the latitudinal gradient in species diversity. Several ecological factors may contribute to the gradient, but the ultimate factor behind many of them is the greater mean temperature at the equator compared to that of the poles.
Even though terrestrial biodiversity declines from the equator to the poles,  some studies claim that this characteristic is unverified in aquatic ecosystems , especially in marine ecosystems. In , an alternative hypothesis "the fractal biodiversity" was proposed to explain the biodiversity latitudinal gradient. This hypothesis considers temperature , moisture , and net primary production NPP as the main variables of an ecosystem niche and as the axis of the ecological hypervolume.
In this way, it is possible to build fractal hyper volumes, whose fractal dimension rises to three moving towards the equator. A biodiversity hotspot is a region with a high level of endemic species that have experienced great habitat loss. Brazil 's Atlantic Forest is considered one such hotspot, containing roughly 20, plant species, 1, vertebrates and millions of insects, about half of which occur nowhere else. Colombia is characterized by high biodiversity, with the highest rate of species by area unit worldwide and it has the largest number of endemics species that are not found naturally anywhere else of any country.
Accurately measuring differences in biodiversity can be difficult. Selection bias amongst researchers may contribute to biased empirical research for modern estimates of biodiversity.
In , Rev. Gilbert White succinctly observed of his Selborne, Hampshire "all nature is so full, that that district produces the most variety which is the most examined. Biodiversity is the result of 3. Until approximately 2. The fossil record suggests that the last few million years featured the greatest biodiversity in history. The existence of a global carrying capacity , limiting the amount of life that can live at once, is debated, as is the question of whether such a limit would also cap the number of species.
While records of life in the sea show a logistic pattern of growth, life on land insects, plants and tetrapods shows an exponential rise in diversity. It also appears that the diversity continues to increase over time, especially after mass extinctions. On the other hand, changes through the Phanerozoic correlate much better with the hyperbolic model widely used in population biology , demography and macrosociology , as well as fossil biodiversity than with exponential and logistic models.
Hyperbolic model implies a second-order positive feedback. Most biologists agree however that the period since human emergence is part of a new mass extinction, named the Holocene extinction event , caused primarily by the impact humans are having on the environment.
It is as if the natural world is an enormous bank account of capital assets capable of paying life sustaining dividends indefinitely, but only if the capital is maintained. There have been many claims about biodiversity's effect on these ecosystem services, especially provisioning and regulating services.
Since the Stone Age , species loss has accelerated above the average basal rate, driven by human activity. Estimates of species losses are at a rate —10, times as fast as is typical in the fossil record. Agricultural diversity can be divided into two categories: intraspecific diversity , which includes the genetic variation within a single species, like the potato Solanum tuberosum that is composed of many different forms and types e.
The other category of agricultural diversity is called interspecific diversity and refers to the number and types of different species. Thinking about this diversity we might note that many small vegetable farmers grow many different crops like potatoes and also carrots, peppers, lettuce, etc. Agricultural diversity can also be divided by whether it is 'planned' diversity or 'associated' diversity. This is a functional classification that we impose and not an intrinsic feature of life or diversity.
Planned diversity includes the crops which a farmer has encouraged, planted or raised e. The control of associated biodiversity is one of the great agricultural challenges that farmers face. On monoculture farms, the approach is generally to eradicate associated diversity using a suite of biologically destructive pesticides , mechanized tools and transgenic engineering techniques , then to rotate crops.
Although some polyculture farmers use the same techniques, they also employ integrated pest management strategies as well as more labor-intensive strategies, but generally less dependent on capital, biotechnology, and energy. Interspecific crop diversity is, in part, responsible for offering variety in what we eat. Intraspecific diversity, the variety of alleles within a single species, also offers us a choice in our diets. If a crop fails in a monoculture, we rely on agricultural diversity to replant the land with something new.
If a wheat crop is destroyed by a pest we may plant a hardier variety of wheat the next year, relying on intraspecific diversity. We may forgo wheat production in that area and plant a different species altogether, relying on interspecific diversity. Even an agricultural society that primarily grows monocultures relies on biodiversity at some point. Monoculture was a contributing factor to several agricultural disasters, including the European wine industry collapse in the late 19th century and the US southern corn leaf blight epidemic of Although about 80 percent of humans' food supply comes from just 20 kinds of plants,  humans use at least 40, species.
Biodiversity's relevance to human health is becoming an international political issue, as scientific evidence builds on the global health implications of biodiversity loss. This is because the species most likely to disappear are those that buffer against infectious disease transmission, while surviving species tend to be the ones that increase disease transmission, such as that of West Nile Virus, Lyme disease and Hantavirus, according to a study done co-authored by Felicia Keesing, an ecologist at Bard College and Drew Harvell, associate director for Environment of the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future ACSF at Cornell University.
The growing demand and lack of drinkable water on the planet presents an additional challenge to the future of human health. Partly, the problem lies in the success of water suppliers to increase supplies and failure of groups promoting the preservation of water resources. Some of the health issues influenced by biodiversity include dietary health and nutrition security, infectious disease, medical science and medicinal resources, social and psychological health. According to the United Nations Environment Programme a pathogen , like a virus , have more chances to meet resistance in a diverse population.
Therefore, in a population genetically similar it expands more easily. For example, the Coronavirus pandemic had less chances to occur in a world with higher biodiversity.
Biodiversity provides critical support for drug discovery and the availability of medicinal resources. Biodiversity has been critical to advances throughout the field of bionics.
Evidence from market analysis and biodiversity science indicates that the decline in output from the pharmaceutical sector since the mids can be attributed to a move away from natural product exploration "bioprospecting" in favour of genomics and synthetic chemistry, indeed claims about the value of undiscovered pharmaceuticals may not provide enough incentive for companies in free markets to search for them because of the high cost of development;  meanwhile, natural products have a long history of supporting significant economic and health innovation.
Many industrial materials derive directly from biological sources. These include building materials, fibers, dyes, rubber, and oil. Biodiversity is also important to the security of resources such as water, timber, paper, fiber, and food. Biodiversity enriches leisure activities such as hiking , birdwatching or natural history study. Biodiversity inspires musicians , painters, sculptors , writers and other artists. Many cultures view themselves as an integral part of the natural world which requires them to respect other living organisms.
Popular activities such as gardening , fishkeeping and specimen collecting strongly depend on biodiversity. The number of species involved in such pursuits is in the tens of thousands, though the majority do not enter commerce. The relationships between the original natural areas of these often exotic animals and plants and commercial collectors, suppliers, breeders, propagators and those who promote their understanding and enjoyment are complex and poorly understood.
The general public responds well to exposure to rare and unusual organisms, reflecting their inherent value. Philosophically it could be argued that biodiversity has intrinsic aesthetic and spiritual value to mankind in and of itself. This idea can be used as a counterweight to the notion that tropical forests and other ecological realms are only worthy of conservation because of the services they provide.
To ensure the site displays correctly, please use a more modern browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome. Biodiversity is the sum of all the different species of animals, plants, fungi and microbial organisms living on Earth and the variety of habitats in which they live. Scientists estimate that more than 10 million different species inhabit Earth. Biodiversity underlies everything from food production to medical research. Humans use at least 40, species of plants and animals on a daily basis. Many people around the world still depend on wild species for some or all of their food, shelter and clothing.
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These terms all refer to the idea of living variation, from genes and traits, to species, and to ecosystems. These events often are interpreted as the beginning of the biodiversity story, but this mids activity actually was both a nod to important past work, and a launching of something quite new, in ways not fully anticipated. This recognised the idea that living variation itself has current value, because it provides the opportunity for future benefits for humanity.
The living world is a complex combination of different levels of organisms. The key components of life are at one extreme and communities of species at the other extreme. The manifestations of all types of diversities are found at all these levels of organisms. Biodiversity is the shorter form of word biological diversity which means diversity in the biological world. Thus one can define biodiversity as the degree of variety in nature with regards to biological species.
Biodiversity, or Biological Diversity, is the sum of all the different species of plants, animals , fungi and microbial organisms that live on Earth , including the various ecosystems in which they live on. Biodiversity also includes the genetic information that these organisms contain. Therefore, on a smaller scale, you can use biodiversity to describe the variation in the genetic makeup of an organism. On a larger scale, you can use it to describe various types of ecosystems.
Biodiversity is the biological variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is typically a measure of variation at the genetic , species , and ecosystem level. Rapid environmental changes typically cause mass extinctions. The age of the Earth is about 4. There are microbial mat fossils found in 3. Since life began on Earth , five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. In the Carboniferous , rainforest collapse led to a great loss of plant and animal life.
PDF | An unequivocal, precise, and generally accepted definition of biodiversity does not types of species, assemblages of species, biotic.
Biodiversity , also called biological diversity , the variety of life found in a place on Earth or, often, the total variety of life on Earth. A common measure of this variety, called species richness , is the count of species in an area. Colombia and Kenya, for example, each have more than 1, breeding species of birds, whereas the forests of Great Britain and of eastern North America are home to fewer than A coral reef off northern Australia may have species of fish, while the rocky shoreline of Japan may be home to only species. Such numbers capture some of the differences between places—the tropics, for example, have more biodiversity than temperate regions—but raw species count is not the only measure of diversity. Furthermore, biodiversity encompasses the genetic variety within each species and the variety of ecosystems that species create.
The number and variety of organisms found within a specified geographic region. The variability among living organisms on the earth, including the variability within and between species and within and between ecosystems. Biological diversity — or biodiversity — is the term given to the variety of life on Earth. It is the variety within and between all species of plants, animals and micro-organisms and the ecosystems within which they live and interact. Biodiversity comprises all the millions of different species that live on our planet, as well as the genetic differences within species. It also refers to the multitude of different ecosystems in which species form unique communities, interacting with one another and the air, water and soil. The biodiversity we see today is a result of 3.
Biodiversity, besides its ecological significance provides a socio-economic and monetary asset to the nation. Human society depends on biological resources, their diversity and the ecosystems that sustain them to provide essential goods and services. It has been estimated that more than 50 million species of plants, animals and micro-organisms are existing in the world. Out of these, about 1. Each species is adapted to live in specific environment, from mountain peaks to the depth of seas, from polar ice caps to tropical rain forests and deserts. All this diversity of life is confined to only about one kilometer thick layer of lithosphere hydrosphere and atmosphere which form biosphere. Though the study of environment and ecology is quite old, the term biodiversity has been introduced by Walter Rosen in
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