Biodiversity is thought to be a collection of various forms of life. This implies that biodiversity is composed of different species as well as the environment. It follows that biodiversity can be in the form of forests, freshwater, the soil, domesticated animals, marine as well as temperate environments and wild species. Micro-organisms are also a crucial component of the biodiversity (Coast Learn 1). There are different types of biodiversity which include: species diversity, habitat diversity, and genetic diversity.
When it comes to habitat diversity, various landscapes and ecosystems are put into consideration. Landscapes can be composed of features that are have been either influenced by natural factors or human factors when it comes to their existence in a given habitat (Coast Learn 2). Currently, it is hard to find a land that is still virgin, especially in western and central Europe due to intensive human activities. On another hand, an ecosystem is characterized by a variety of organisms, their respective environments and the interactions that exist between them. Species diversity deals with a set of living organisms, which comprises of a variety of animals, plants as well as microbial species. As a form of biodiversity, genetic diversity constitutes of the genetic variations that are present in different species. All of these types of biodiversity have an integral role in a given ecological setup.
The importance of biodiversity.
Apparently, ecosystem and their respective species have a vital role as far as the benefits of biodiversity are concerned. It is apparent that biodiversity is known for increasing the productivity of a given ecosystem. For instance, an increase in the number of the plant species in an ecosystem will consequently lead to an increased variety of crops as well as crop yields that can be crucial when it comes to the sustainability of humans and other animals in the ecosystem. An ecosystem that is deemed to be healthy in terms of the flow of different forms of resources is better placed to overcome or recover from different forms of disasters (Shah 2).
A health biodiversity is known to a great player when it comes to the provision of the various natural services. Biodiversity is responsible for the removal of harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide from the atmosphere (Shah 2). During the process of photosynthesis, where green plants embark on synthesizing their own food, they utilize the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by various animals (during the expiration) and then release oxygen as a by-product in the atmosphere. Oxygen is an integral component as far as the gaseous exchange in animals is concerned. It follows that biodiversity plays a greater role in the reduction of the local and global climate change; and the general pollution of the environment.
Different plant species also act as agents of protecting landscape against destructive process as soil erosion. Vegetation covers the soil by protecting it from direct sunlight and raindrops that weaken its structure, hence making it be less susceptible to various agents of soil erosion (Green Schools Ireland 2). Woodlands and hedges are also vital in the provision of windbreaks in a given area. Vegetation that is commonly found in the mudflats, as well as sand dunes, are also crucial when it come to the protection of the coastal regions against soil erosion by the abrasive nature of the sea and wind. In addition, biodiversity also acts as a home for various species. Forests and different water bodies are known habitats for different living organisms, by providing them shelter.
Another service provided by the biodiversity is through pollination and other notable biological controls. Reproduction process in most of the flowering plants depends on the living organisms such as bees, birds and other insects to carry pollen grains from one plant to another in order to effect the process of reproduction (Green Schools Ireland 3). Furthermore, some of the living organisms such as birds and insects are considered to be natural enemies of different elements that harmful to crops such as pests, diseases, and weeds. It follows that through biodiversity, various biological controls, such as the elimination of diseases, pests and weeds, which can hamper the production of different crops are enhanced.
Biodiversity is also integral in maintaining and protection of the water resources. Ecosystems such as forests and swamp regions act as water catchment regions. Forests are known for initiating the rain formation processes, which is a crucial source of natural water. Through various associations depicted in different species, it is possible to have a balanced and stable ecosystem (Shah 4). There is a lot of dependence depicted amongst different organisms. For instance, soil organisms entirely depends on the crops for food and shelter: some bacteria depend on the cellulose fibers as their foods. Algae are essential in the provision of the organic matters that are crucial in the nourishment of various plants.
Different interactions and associations in various habitats or ecosystems are crucial in highlighting the importance of biodiversity. Apparently, human beings are the greatest beneficiaries of the myriad benefits of the biodiversity in the ecosystem. It is, therefore, imperative to protect biodiversity in order to continue enjoying its services to the ecosystem.
Coast learn. "A definition of biodiversity." Coast Learn (2012): 1-2. print.
Green Schools Ireland. "Why is Biodiversity Important?" Green Schools Ireland (2014): 1-3. print.
Shah, Anup. "Why Is Biodiversity Important? Who Cares?" Global issues (2014): 1-4. print.
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