Biodiversity is the measurement of the degree of variation of life within an ecosystem, from genes to species, through to the broad scale of ecosystems. It is the result of evolution. The diversity of species help keep an ecosystem stable, and increases the probability that some organisms will survive during detrimental changes. There is a deep connection between biodiversity and the stability of an ecosystem.
The mix of species in an ecosystem makes it difficult for any disease or foreign predator to move quickly through that environment. So, biodiversity serves as a barrier between the disease and the ecosystem. On the other hand, if only one kind of organism was to be found in an ecosystem, and a single disease or insect attacked it, the entire population is damaged.
H OW DO INTERACTIONS BETWEEN ORGANISMS LEAD TO A STABLE ECOSYSTEM ? The interactions between organisms may allow an ecosystem to remain stable for hundreds or thousands of years. In established and stabilized ecosystems, populations increase or decrease in a predictable cycle. Over time, the size of the population remains relatively stable. For example, when the prey population increases, a large food supply causes the size of the predator requires many prey to meet its energy needs, the prey population rapidly decreases. Then, with the decrease of prey population, the predators begin to starve. When there are few predators, the prey population reproduces and becomes greater again. The cycle continues.
Why is Biodiversity important? Does it really matter if there aren’t so many species? Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. (Niche) For example, a larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops; greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms; and healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters. Almost all cultures have their roots in our biological diversity in some way or form. Each species depends on the services provided by other species to ensure survival.
W HAT THREATENS BIODIVERSITY ? The loss of biodiversity in an ecosystem upsets its stability. Removing species causes the loss of organisms that filled critical niches. Species may be lost when natural disasters or human activities cause destructions to habitats. For instance, clearing a forest destructs ecosystems that will never recover. Species can be lost when humans do not consider the environmental impact of their actions. For example, when humans hunt predatory lions for “fun,” it leads to population explosions of deer, which then leads to overgrazing, the reduced food supply. So, many deer starved, and soil erosion was a result. Over-hunting has been a significant cause of the extinction of hundreds of species and the endangerment of many more, such as whales. Habitat loss/degradation/fragmentation is an important cause of known extinctions. As deforestation proceeds in forests, this promises to become the cause of mass extinctions caused by human activity. Invasion of non-native species is an important and often-overlooked cause of extinctions. For example, the zebra mussel that was brought to the Great Lakes. Pollution from chemical contaminants certainly poses a further threat to species and ecosystems. Climate change: A changing global climate threatens species and ecosystems. plants and animals may not be able to adjust.
How do we conserve biodiversity ? TThe authorities should encourage the public to conserve the diversity of life on our planet. Traders need to be forced into complying with the law, because if they stop buying and selling wildlife, those animals won’t be hunted in the future. PPeople should reduce energy usage and carbon emissions to halt climate change and global warming. PPeople should plant more trees to increase habitats and help species to survive. RRural farmers should stop the slashing and burning of land, as this pushes some species towards extinction. Fishermen should not hunt aquatic life using explosives or electricity in rivers, as this causes a risk of aquatic species becoming extinct. It is essential for everyone to understand the challenges we face in protecting our natural resources.