If there are more types of plants, there can be more food with a variety of nutritional content, as well as a better selection of effective medicines. Diversity is important for species in order to maintain resilience against unexpected events, such as sudden climate changes or natural disasters, like forest fires or floods. Members of a species share genes. Ecosystems are made up of abiotic (non-living, environmental) and biotic components, and these basic components are important to nearly all types of ecosystems. Ecosystem Ecology looks at energy transformations and biogeochemical cycling within ecosystems. Plant-derived drugs are anticipated to account for 39.2 billion dollars in sales by 2022 and botanical drugs to $425 million by 2022 [7]. 3. Most cultures, at least at some time, have recognized the importance of conserving natural resources. Biodiversity is the foundation of ecosystem services to which human well-being is intimately linked. Biodiversity plays an important role in ecosystem functions, which provide supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services. Why Is Biodiversity Important? Biodiversity is important for many reasons and they can be generally divided into two categories: the importance for ecosystems and for us. We also need to protect our water resources, protecting soil & maintaining eco-balance. biodiversity in nature plays a vital role in balancing natural ecosystems because each organism has a specific role to play. A healthy ecosystem stems from rich biodiversity. Likewise, it is well-documented that nature contributes to the emotional well-being of humans [11]. Having a rich variety of ecosystems, what biologists call ecosystem diversity, constitutes another important level of biodiversity. Changes in biodiversity can generally alter ecosystem functioning.Due to which there will be some changes in human life. There are multiple examples within any region of each category of insect, bacteria, herbivore, omnivore or carnivorous predator. The biosphere, the totality of life is a membrane of organisms wrapped around the earth so thin that it cannot be seen edgewise from the space shuttle. Our biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet. Genes are the bits of biochemical information that partly determine how an organism looks, behaves, and live… An ecosystem will have a higher productivity rate and more robust ecological processes when more different life forms can thrive and survive. Biodiversity was discussed by the Commission on Sustainable Development on several occasions, and was one of the themes of the 2012/2013 two-year cycle. If a population is minimized and must cross-pollinate or inbreed with the survivors, successive generations will have fewer different genes and it is most often the case that susceptibilities are magnified and reduced infertility occurs, so that smaller populations carry illnesses or crippling enough defects that they soon die out. The connectedness of ecosystems and biomes means that all organisms in any given system must work together and balance each other in order to maintain a healthy system. It acts as a catalyst in the role of species in an ecosystem. Utilitarian values include the many basic needs humans obtain from biodiversity such as food, fuel, shelter, and medicine. Living organisms on the earth are complex, dynamic, and varies according to the earthly or the marine ecosystems. The Gulf Coast of Florida is another unique ecosystem with different characteristics. Most plants produce secondary plant compounds, which … An aesthetic appreciation of biodiversity itself has also been documented. Based on tropical rainforests, we see why biodiversity is so crucial in maintaining an ecosystem. All species, including humans, are adversely affected by the loss of species diversity. Biodiversity is the variety of all plants and animals (species of different flora, fauna and micro-organisms and their genes) and the ecosystem (terrestrial and aquatic) in which they live. Biodiversity is important for a few reasons. Ecosystems provide ecosystem services that support human agriculture: pollination, nutrient cycling, pest control, and soil development and maintenance. Plants, for instance, help humans by giving off oxygen. It includes organisms from Earth’s vastly different ecosystems, including deserts, rainforests, coral reefs, grasslands, tundra, and polar ice caps. In a landmark study published in … It is commonly believed that the more diversity of life within an ecosystem the stronger it is and the better able it is to sustain itself in the face of external stresses. Biodiversity is the extraordinary variety of life on Earth—from genes and species to ecosystems and the valuable functions they perform. life on Earth. Nutritional impact of biodiversity. Scientists examine the amount of biodiversity of life at three levels: the genetic level; the species level; and, at the level of ecosystems sustaining the life within them. The direct use of inland water biodiversity (e.g., for inland fisheries) provides food security for countless millions of the world’s poor. An analysis on the importance of biodiversity in an ecosystem as shown by the gray wolf extirpation and reintroduction in Yellowstone Park The extirpation of the grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Yellowstone Pak is a prime example of the impact of biodiversity loss, specifically a keystone species, on a terrestrial ecosystem. Although some ecosystems may be insensitive to species loss, due to variations in ecosystem types, or the presence of multiple species that perform a similar role, or due to their relative unimportance, or because of other abiotic factors, it is clear that higher numbers of species are needed to ensure stable provision of ecosystem services. We are working hard to improve our content. 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. All species, including human beings, are intricately linked by their interactions with each other and the environment… This can be done by recycling & storage of nutrients, controlling pollution, & stabilizing climate. Estimates of the number of species range from 3.6 million to over 100 million species. This is because species in an ecosystem depend upon each other for food, keeping birth and death rates in a balance that is sustainable for the ecosystem. The Sustainable Development Goal 15 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is devoted to “protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss”.. At the Rio+20 Conference, Member States reaffirmed, through paragraphs 197- 204 of the … The diversity of species provides humans with a wide range of economic benefits: Wild plants and animals maintain a valuable pool of genetic variation. When species reproduce, the genes of each mate contribute to the characteristics of the progeny. The goal is to save the seeds of crops best able to provide high yield of nutritional content and to survive climate change and pests and disease [14]. These species will also look more similar. The Gulf Coast of Florida is another unique ecosystem with different characteristics. Millions of species inhabit land, freshwater, and ocean ecosystems. Biodiversity is also key for the continued provision of ecosystems services it provides, which serve both humans and the systems themselves, although the term is largely used in relation to the benefits reaped by us. Human life relies on our ecosystems providing the life-sustaining services of providing oxygen, detoxifying our soil and water, providing materials for clothing and shelter and providing our food and the nutrients we require. Importance of Biodiversity. Biodiversity is important for maintaining an important balance of the ecosystem. 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. This project is no longer funded and will not be updated. Based on tropical rainforests, we see why biodiversity is so crucial in maintaining an ecosystem. Many still do, but many do not. We found that dominance is potentially more important than species traits in determining species functionality; because of the strong effect of dominance in secondary forests, only a small subset of the dominant species matters for different functions. Provide more medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs. E.O. And yet it is so complex that most of the species within it, close to 90 percent [1], remain undiscovered. The controversy of predator decline regards the decline of predators who help the ecosystem by … We often concentrate on biological part like forest, animal, microbes etc. There are numerous reasons deeming biodiversity significant. Ecosystem function is important for supporting plant and animal communities, and ensuring the long-term survival of human populations. We value biodiversity for many reasons, some utilitarian, some intrinsic. Biodiversity is important because it boosts ecosystem productivity where each species all have an important role to play. Benefits of Biodiversity to the Ecosystem . Medical Discoveries. Download the Biodiversity notes PDF for IAS Exam. Stories abound of the discovery of life-saving plant-derived drugs just before the last of the species was eliminated by deforestation. With more variations in the genes it is more likely that a member of the species has genes that are well-suited or resistant to the changes being faced, whether it is a poorer air quality or a spreading disease. Maintaining biodiversity ultimately helps maintain of human health; many medicines are derived from plants and, recently, animal toxins. It includes al the ecosystems, whether it … Intact or well-connected ecosystems provide habitat for native plants and animals, including humans, and provide ecosystem services such as clean water for drinking and fertile soils and oceans for production. It is the number of different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms. For example, an ecosystem being studied may be as small as a patch of lichen on a rock or patch of moss on a tree trunk or it could be an entire coral reef and all of the life that it sustains and that sustain it [16]. Biodiversity provides ecosystem services, food, medicines and natural products, economic benefits and natural beauty. Biodiversity is the amount of variety of life on Earth. Healthy and well-functioning freshwater, terrestrial and marine ecosystems are important for a productive and healthy environment. The depletion of biodiversity will have profound consequences for the functioning of ecosystem services. Economic Benefits of Biodiversity . Biodiversity is important for maintaining an important balance of the ecosystem. Crops livestock, fishery, and forests are a rich source of food. Human life relies on our ecosystems providing the life-sustaining services of providing oxygen, detoxifying our soil and water, providing materials for clothing and shelter and providing our food and the nutrients we require. Changes in the composition of ecosystems have also been observed (e.g. And the warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans are considered to have the most diverse marine environments [19]. One of the most important reasons we should continue to work on preserving … 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. Biodiversity is defined as "the variety of life and it's processes," which can be thought of as the diverse and richness of life that exists on earth. To learn more about biodiversity, visit the Australian Museum website or read about it on Wikipedia. The loss of an entire ecosystem can be socially disassembling. Not surprisingly, given the abundance of sunlight and rainfall and varied topography, the highest levels of biodiversity on our planet are in our rainforests. Preserving biodiversity at any level may not seem like a big deal -- at first. Our environments and the species that live in them need a diverse population of genes. Biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet and here’s why. Given the interconnected nature of ecosystems, where a change in one area can have far reaching effects elsewhere, it is therefore vital to maintain as great a variety of species as possible in order to ensure the continued healthy existence of the planet. The Pacific Northwest represents a unique ecosystem. With less biodiversity, these connections weaken and sometimes break, harming all the species in the ecosystem… Biodiversity is important to people in many ways. Nutrition and biodiversity are linked at many levels: the ecosystem, with food production as an ecosystem service; the species in the ecosystem and the genetic diversity w… Why is diversity important in an ecosystem? Loss of biodiversity may have reverberating consequences on ecosystems because of the complex interrelations among species. Should a drought, pest or disease threaten one of these crops, the entire world’s food supply will diminish appreciably. This could lead to the displacement of animals relying on the native plants for food or shelter. Ecological life support—biodiversity provides functioning ecosystems that supply oxygen, clean air and water, pollination of plants, pest control, wastewater treatment and many ecosystem services. Ecosystems are all of the animals, plants, and micro-organisms as well as physical aspects of the area. The ecosystem supports the services without which humans cannot survive. For example, a coral reef generally has a very great variety of life within it, a greater ecosystem diversity than say Antarctica, which is covered by a sheet of ice [17]. And the soil may then travel to a place where these nutrients are absorbed and used, perhaps by plants which then exhale oxygen and enrich our air. Diversity is essential to the smooth running of any ecosystem. Wild food sources are mainly aquatic, but few are being managed for sustainability. More genetic defects are caused by inbreeding. The largest scale of biodiversity generally examined is ecosystem diversity. Biodiversity is the key indicator of the health of an ecosystem. A diverse ecosystem is more productive and can withstand environmental stress. The variation in ecosystems within a geographical location and its impact on human existence and the environment is ecosystem diversity. Learning Objectives. > Biodiversity role in Ecosystem related functions- It also plays an important role in ecosystem-related functions, which provide ancillary, regulation, and cultural services. High biodiversity in an ecosystem, that is a large variety of species and genes in the ecosystem contribute to a stronger ecosystem. Biodiversity and the ecosystem sustainability, Areas with the highest levels of biodiversity, 10 Endangered Plants with Medicinal Properties, nature contributes to the emotional well-being, The Importance of Indigenous Knowledge for the Modern World, medicines production of food, fiber for textiles and shelter, fuel and energy, the suppression of pests and human diseases. Biodiversity works in much the same way, with each organism and each ecosystem working together as part of one larger living system. Read more about us. Biodiversity plays an important role in protecting the water resources. The most detailed scientific study of the world’s greatest biodiversity was compiled by The Center for Tropical Forest Science, a consortium of forestry agencies, universities, research institutes and other nongovernmental agencies and published by the Smithsonian Institution in 2002. 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. Ecological diversity within an ecosystem is more diverse when it contains varied topography, allowing more places for shelter and for escape, a lot of sunlight and rainfall, allowing for more rapid growth of plants as a food source and stable temperatures, making adaptation easier for species. That is the reason for parks in urban areas. The more links in the food chain there are, like more fish for the bear, the healthier everyone up the chain can be. It may have cattails that filter and clean the water. Ecosystem diversity level: Ecosystem consists of all the animals, microorganisms, plants as well as the physical aspects of the area. Introduction 1.1 Background Biodiversity is the term used to encompass the variety of all living organisms on Earth, including their genetic diversity, species diversity and the diversity of ecosystems. Antibiotics, fungicides, anticancer drugs, blood-clotting agents and thinners, anesthetics, cardiac regulators and fever suppressants are among the drugs we have obtained from wild biodiversity [8]. 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. Or a dominant species could be an invasive plant that will overtake the native plants in the competition for soil. Having a rich variety of ecosystems, what biologists call ecosystem diversity, constitutes another important level of biodiversity. Because people evolve with their environments, their history and identity is embedded there. The Importance of Biodiversity Biodiversity is the amount of variety of life on Earth. This means we value biodiversity both for what it provides to humans, and for the value it has in its own right. Ninety percent of the world’s food supply is from only 100 crops and three: rice, maize and wheat account for almost 70 percent of the calories people derive from plants [13]. The Importance of Biodiversity to Human Life. Generally, a species is a group of similar individuals capable of interbreeding and producing offspring. 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