Biodiversity : An overview

The earth provides for millions of species across the globe. Some of which are known to us and others not. We all are connected to each other in various ways and have to support each other too. Species which make proper and sustainable use of this system perish while others meet their destruction.

Biodiversity deals with the degree of nature’s variety in biosphere. This variety can be observed at three levels

  • The genetic variability within a species
  • The variety of species within a community
  • And the organization of species in an area into distinctive plant and animal communities.

Biodiversity provides a variety of environmental services from its species and ecosystem that are essential at the global, regional and local levels. The Production of oxygen, reduction of carbon dioxide, maintenance of the water cycle and protection of the soil are some important services.

Biodiversity is the amount of variety of life on Earth. It is the number of different species of plants, animals, and microorganisms. It includes organisms from Earth’s vastly different ecosystems, including deserts, rainforests, coral reefs, grasslands, tundra, and polar ice caps. Our biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet. Most cultures, at least at some time, have recognized the importance of conserving natural resources. 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.

Importance of Conserving Biodiversity

Biodiversity produces a number of products harvested from nature and sold in commercial markets. Indirectly it provides economic benefits to people which include water quality soil protection, equalisation of climate, environmental monitoring, scientific research, recreation etc. The consumptive value can be assigned to goods such as fuel woods, leaves, forest products etc. which may be consumed locally and do not figure in national and international market.

The loss of biodiversity directly influences the social life of the country possibly through influencing ecosystem functions (energy flow and biogeochemical cycle). This be easily understood by observing detrimental effects of global warming and acid rain which cause an unfavourable alteration in logical processes

Aesthetic values such as refreshing fragrance of the flowers, taste of berries, softness of mossed, melodious songs of birds, etc. compel the human beings to preserve them. The earth’s natural beauty with its colour and hues, thick forest, and graceful beasts has inspired the human beings from their date of birth to take necessary steps for its maintenance. Similarly botanical and zoological gardens are the means of biodiversity conservation and are of aesthetic values.

Since earth is homeland of all living organisms, all have equal right to coexist on the surface of earth with all benefits. Unless some legal value is attached to biodiversity, it will not be possible to protect the rapid extinction of species. Biodiversity must be seen in the light of holding ethical value. Since man is the most intelligent amongst the living organisms, it should be prime responsibility and moral obligation of man to preserve and conserve other organisms which will directly or indirectly favour the existence of the man.

Biodiversity holds great ecological value because it is indispensable to maintain the ecological balance. Any disturbance in the delicately fabricated ecological balance maintained by different organisms, will lead to severe problems, which may threaten the survival of human beings.

Biodiversity has great economic value because economic development depends upon efficient and economic management of biotic resources. In the day to day life, human beings are maintaining their lifestyle at the sacrifice of surrounding species which come from diversity of plants and animals struggling for their existence.