why is ecosystem diversity important

Generally, when a variety is extinct from it or there is a decrease in its population, this indicates that these species were not … This is equivalent to 7% of their combined revenues and up to a third of their combined profits. “Why Is Biodiversity Important? 15 Jan. 2021. Involved in the recycling of nutrients between biotic and abiotic components. This also has a negative impact on the environment, perhaps partly formed by outdated-views that predators are harmful for other wildlife. The park where things were left alone has naturally regenerated; the large elephant populations eventually reduced in number as they undermined their own resource base. Importance of Ecosystem: It provides habitat to wild plants and animals. A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone: That is quite a lot of services we get for free! A healthy ecosystem stems from rich biodiversity. Alternatively, copy/paste the following MLA citation format for this page: Shah, Anup. Flashcards. For example, commercially over-fishing a region may mean fish from that area becomes harder to catch and more expensive, possibly allowing that ecosystem time to recover (though that is not guaranteed, either). STUDY. expanded side notes, shows alternative links), use the print version: Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. However, for similar information, you could look at Consequences of changing biodiversity, Nature 405, 234 - 242, 11 May 2000 and Causes, consequences and ethics of biodiversity, Nature 405, 208–211, 11 May 2000. There are 130,000 plants for example for which bees are essential to pollination, from melons to pumpkins, raspberries and all kind of fruit trees — as well as animal fodder — like clover. A chain of events eventually came full circle and led to a loss of jobs: Three quarters of the world’s big carnivores are in decline. Biodiversity also absorbs pollution, promotes tourism, supports education and research and maintains the ecosystem. In the mid-1990s, the Institute for Economic Democracy calculated that as much as half the American economy constituted of wasted labor, wealth and resources (book: World’s Wasted Wealth, II — see sample chapter). Who Cares? The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) is an organization — backed by the UN and various European governments — attempting to compile, build and make a compelling economics case for the conservation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet and here’s why. The G8 nations, together with 5 major emerging economies — China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico — use almost three-quarters of the Earth’s biocapacity. Prof. E. O Wilson, in How Our Health Depends on Biodiversity, Chivian, E., Bernstein A., Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard Medical School, 2010 . Humans rely on ecosystems for many functions. Ecosystems produce the food humans eat and the fiber that humans used for clothing and shelter. Biodiversity is important for maintaining an important balance of the ecosystem. Economists talk of the price signal that is fundamental to capitalism; the ability for prices to indicate when a resource is becoming scarcer. Image Source: Twitter. The natural pace at which this happened allowed vegetation to grow back. Benefits that are felt with a long-term horizon (e.g. However, for similar information, you could look at, What the global economy would look like with nature on the balance sheet, The hidden environmental and social costs from corporations, Renewable Energy Transition Key to Addressing Climate Change Challenge, For Heavily Indebted Small Islands, Resilience-Building is the Best Antidote, Facing their Failure to meet 2020 Biodiversity Targets, World Leaders Pledge Action & Funds, https://www.globalissues.org/article/170/why-is-biodiversity-important-who-cares, https://www.globalissues.org/print/article/170, A healthy biodiversity offers many natural services, Soil, bacteria, plants; the Nitrogen Cycle, Large carnivores essential for healthy ecosystems, Biodiversity providing lessons for scientists in engineering, More important than human use or biological interest, Putting an economic value on biodiversity, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops, Causes, consequences and ethics of biodiversity, Bees provide enormous benefits for humankind, Solving the Mystery of the Vanishing Bees, Three quarters of the world’s big carnivores are in decline, human actions cannot fully replace the role of large carnivores, some spiders can produce their silk with a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB), The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers 2009, Environment: Save At Least Half the Planet, or Lose It All. In addition, they cited another study that estimated that 3,000 listed companies around the world were responsible for over $2 trillion in environmental externalities (i.e. Not only does diversity ensure species reproduction it also cultivates competion. For example, as mentioned in the previous link, if water used by the meat industry in the United States were not subsidized by taxpayers, common hamburger meat would cost $35 a pound. It controls essential ecological processes and promotes lives. Who Cares?.” Global Issues. how we use resources), but addressing core short-comings in our economic systems is a crucial political challenge. The price signal also implies the poorest often pay the heaviest costs. Many people may support environmental causes to help preserve the beauty of Nature. The diversity of plants in the many ecosystems is the source for medicines that humans use to treat disease. The reason it can be explained with a disease is because the habitat of the vector involved fragmented low diversity areas. In effect, as TEEB, and many others before have argued, a key challenge will be adapting our economic systems to integrate sustainability and human well-being as well as other environmental factors to give us truer costs (after all, market systems are supposed to work when there is full availability of information). 1. Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All. For example. Why is diversity important in an ecosystem? A study in the journal Science, notes that these large animals — such as lions, leopards, wolves and bears — are in decline, due to declining habitats and persecution by humans.. 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. The values of other ecosystem services are generally not reflected in markets apart from a few exceptions (such as tourism). Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. The amount of biological or living diversity per unit area. Each ecosystem provide different habitats that can essential for a species's life cycle. Existing price signals only reflect - at best - the share of total value that relates to provisioning services like food, fuel or water and their prices may be distorted. The relationship between soil, plants, bacteria and other life is also referred to as the nitrogen cycle: As an example, consider all the species of animals and organisms involved in a simple field used in agriculture. Biodiversity is important because it provides biological resources, such as food and medicine, and ecosystem services, such as protection of water, soil, climate and nutrients. Biodiversity is important in ecosystems because it prevents extinction of species, allows organisms to adapt to changes in the environment and provides a wide range of materials and foods for survival. Gravity. Unfortunately the original link to the Nature.com article no longer works, since their site redesign, and I had not noted the publication details. kodakoda2223. To prevent the well known and well documented problems of genetic defects caused by in-breeding, species need a variety of genes to ensure successful survival. Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the scientific term for the variety of life on Earth. 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. Without this, elephants were stripping vegetation bare, affecting other animals, too. Web. Biodiversity is important because it boosts ecosystem productivity where each species all have an important role to play. Why is BIODIVERSITY important? It noted how a few decades ago, some fishermen campaigned for killing whales because they were threatening the fish supply and thus jobs. Rest is unchanged, for now, since January 1, 2001. 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. Ecosystem diversity boosts the availability of oxygen via the process of photosynthesis amongst plant organisms domiciled in the habitat. These ecosystems are complex, which means they function best, and are more resilient to the effects of climate change, when all the pieces of the ecosystem are in place — meaning the biodiversity is intact. The cost of replacing these (if possible) would be extremely expensive. represents ‘natural’ component of the market. In addition to that, other related measurements, such as GNP are therefore flawed, and even reward unproductive or inefficient behavior (e.g. However, it has long been argued that prices don’t truly reflect the full cost of things, so either the signal is incorrect, or comes too late. Even these services often bypass markets where carried out as part of community management of shared resources. diversity is not only important but required. Why 'Crocodile Dundee' star, 81, came out of retirement. In addition, the richer the diversity of life, the greater the opportunity for medical discoveries, economic development, and adaptive responses to such new challenges as climate change. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” — Old Chinese Saying. The earthworm is like a natural tractor, fertilizer factory and dam, combined! An ecosystem will have a higher productivity rate and more robust ecological processes when more different life forms can thrive and survive. 2. Read on, as we’ll explore the reasons why preserving biodiversity is such an important task. Efficiently producing unhealthy food — and the unhealthy consumer culture to go with it — may profit the food industry and a private health sector that has to deal with it, all of which require more use of resources. Researchers are finding reasons for the massive decline hard to pinpoint, but suspect a combination of various diseases, environmental pollution, environmental degradation (leading to less diversity for bees to feed from, for example) and farming practices (such as pesticides, large monoculture cropping, etc). This will take a little while to explain so please bear with me. Bookmark or share this with others using some popular social bookmarking web sites: Copy/paste the following HTML code to your page: Anup Shah, Why Is Biodiversity Important? It includes the concepts of species diversity, habitat diversity and genetic diversity. Biodiversity in all of its forms—ecological, species, and genetic—is important for numerous reasons. Having a rich variety of ecosystems, what biologists call ecosystem diversity, constitutes another important level of biodiversity. Without this, the chances of extinction increases. Instead of regulation to change people’s habits, markets would automatically reflect these true costs; consumers can then make better informed choices about what to consume, e.g. As reported by CNN (May 5, 2000), One third of all our food—fruits and vegetables—would not exist without pollinators visiting flowers. However, while commercial entities can exploit resources elsewhere, local fishermen will go out of business and the poorer will likely go hungry (as also detailed on this site’s section on biodiversity). Biodiversity, short for biological diversity, is the term we use for the variety of animals, plants, fungi, bacteria, and other intertwined life forms within any ecosystem… “from towering redwood trees to tiny, single-cell algae that are impossible to see without a microscope.”. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play. Think of some of the effects this could have: How much would such accounting save? An ecosystem can only truly thrive if all life forms in it are thriving. Terms in this set (18) Biodiversity. The fact that within a forest, pond or sea there are countless different animals, plants, … Podcast: Why Diversity is Important in a Startup Ecosystem? A healthy biodiversity provides many natural services that are beneficial for everyone. Bees provide enormous benefits for humankind as another example. Anita Roddick: Corporate Social Responsibility? Ecosystem Productivity. It is a type of cooperation based on mutual survival and is often what a balanced ecosystem refers to. This can be done by recycling & storage of nutrients, controlling pollution, & stabilizing climate. Biodiversity is categorized into species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity. The Gulf Coast of Florida is another unique ecosystem with different characteristics. Who Cares?, Global Issues, Updated: January 19, 2014. Bees are more important than poultry in terms of human nutrition. Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, and Copyrights. In the end they agreed to let one park have its elephants culled, while the other would be left alone. Where possible, alternative links are provided to backups or reposted versions here. Thus preserving the structure of biological communities rather than increasing the number of species are very important for maintaining ecosystem services. On a large scale for example plants have diversity to prevent them from being wiped out by a parasitic attack or something. What is the point in preserving endangered species that have no practical use to humans, apart from their aesthetic appeal or their intellectual interest to biologists? This systematic under-valuation of ecosystem services and failure to capture the values is one of the main causes underlying today’s biodiversity crisis. So, an example of ecosystem diversity might be: The fact that in the world there are deserts, seas, ponds and forests, all of them with animals living in them. Test. When any severe impact is there for a particular species on the ecosystem, the other several plant species performing similar functions can help the survival of the plants and ecosystem sustenance. Some have termed this Gaia. Medicinal resources and pharmaceutical drugs, Diversity in genes, species and ecosystems, Cattle waste feeds the soil that nourish the crops, Crops, as well as yielding grain also yield straw, Crops are therefore food sources for humans and animals, Bacteria feed on the cellulose fibers of straw that farmers return to the soil, Amoebas feed on bacteria making lignite fibers available for uptake by plants, Algae provide organic matter and serve as natural nitrogen fixers, Rodents that bore under the fields aerate the soil and improve its water-holding capacity. As a simple example, the loss of a large carnivore may mean in the short term the herbivores they prey on may increase in numbers but this can also result in a deterioration of the environment as the herbivores can graze more, largely unchecked. Naturally, those who benefit from the current system may be hostile to such changes, especially if it may mean they might lose out. https://greentumble.com/why-is-it-important-to-conserve-biodiversity For a number of years now, scientists have been looking more and more at nature to see how various species work, produce, consume resources, trying to mimic the amazing feats that millions of years of evolution has produced. One of the main reasons we should continue to focus on preserving biodiversity is that it helps to boost ecosystem productivity. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops; Greater species … As described by Google, it is defined as, "the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem." They can also overlook local public benefits … in favor of private benefits …, even when local livelihoods are at stake, or focus on short-term gains to the detriment of the sustained supply of benefits over time…. Running out of resources should therefore be averted. The link and dependency between plants, bees, and human agriculture is so crucial, the two scientists writing up years of research into the problem summarized with this warning: Humankind needs to act quickly to ensure that the ancient pact between flowers and pollinators stays intact, to safeguard our food supply and to protect our environment for generations to come. With between 3 and 30 million species on earth, here are the reasons why they are important. The maintenance of genetic diversity is important services that ecosystem provide from biodiversity. This is a clear case of inter-related issues: the health of the environment is strongly tried to our economic choices (i.e. Learn. Spiders, centipedes and insects grind organic matter from the surface soil and leave behind enriched droppings. Diversity In an aquatic environment helps in … Some cultures have recognized this kind of inter-relationship for a very long time. What is biodiversity? For many decades, various environmentalists, biologists and other scientists, have viewed the entire earth as a massive living organism or system due to the interdependent nature of all species within it. Declining biodiversity is therefore a concern for many reasons. All species, even those living in the most remote parts of the planet, are part of a wider ecosystem, both relying on and affecting other life forms within their biome (a term for the community of life or habitat where different species live). Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction. As the study notes, human actions cannot fully replace the role of large carnivores because these large carnivores are an intrinsic part of an ecosystem’s biodiversity. The economic benefits of protecting the environment are well-understood, even if seemingly rarely practiced: Numerous studies also show that investments in protected areas generate a cost-benefit ratio of one to 25 and even one to 100 in some cases, [Pavan Sukhdev, from TEEB] said. The number of species of plants, animals, and microorganisms, the enormous diversity of genes in these species, the different ecosystems on the planet, such as deserts, rainforests and coral reefs are all part of a biologically diverse Earth. In addition, their benefits are felt differently by people in different places and over different timescales. Created by. And so, while we dominate this planet, we still need to preserve the diversity in wildlife. It is hard to know, but there is a lot of waste in the existing system. A few years later, they found the park with the culled population had remained in poor condition. An example from the seas (originally mentioned here years ago but removed because the link to the story no longer worked), was described by National Geographic Wild in a program called, A Life Among Whales (broadcast June 14, 2008). As summarized from Vandana Shiva, Stolen Harvest (South End Press, 2000), pp 61–62: Shiva, a prominent Indian scientist and activist goes on to detail the costs associated with destroying this natural diversity and traditional farming techniques which recognize this, and replacing this with industrial processes which go against the nature of diversity sustainability. The fact that in the world there are deserts, seas, ponds and forests, all of them with animals living in them. Why is Biodiversity Important? The usual way to deal with this was to cull the population to try and keep the ecosystem in balance. The biodiversity of an ecosystem is important because it stabilises the whole system where life is present. Without diversity in the ecosystem species would be suscepitable biological hazards. At such a time, markets mobilize automatically to address this by looking for ways to bring down costs. Biodiversity is important because it clears out our water, changes out climate, and provides us with food. As just one small example, some spiders can produce their silk with a higher tensile strength than many alloys of steel even though it is made of proteins. Side NoteUnfortunately the original link to the Nature.com article no longer works, since their site redesign, and I had not noted the publication details. By contrast, waiting 10 more years could reduce the net benefit of halving deforestation by US$ 500 billion. It is no secret that humans have an enormous impact on species and ecosystem diversity, yet, throughout our existence, biodiversity has faithfully provided us with enormous economic, medical and social benefits as well as many other natural services. Write. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Martin Khor: Historical Responsibility for Climate Change Emission Reduction, Global temperature anomalies, 1880 - 2014, http://www.wwf.org.uk/core/wildlife/fs_0000000029.asp, http://web.archive.org/web/20070103012619/http://www.wwf.org.uk/core/wildlife/fs_0000000029.asp, http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=49300, https://www.globalissues.org/news/2009/11/17/3539, http://www.panos.org.uk/download.php?id=84, US$ 70 bn. . by reducing their meat consumption or demand more ecologically sustainable alternatives at reasonable cost. diversity within a species allows for the mixing of genes so that the organisms don't all wind up with one genotype and be subject to death with a single environmental change. Why do we need to protect biodiversity? At least 40 per cent of the world’s economy and 80 per cent of the needs of the poor are derived from biological resources. For example, if energy costs go up, businesses will look for a way to minimize such costs for themselves, and it is in such a time that alternatives come about and/or existing resources last longer because they are used more efficiently. Land that is used to produce unhealthy or marginally nutritious items (e.g. As a result, resources are supposedly infinite. This then has an impact on various local social, political and economic issues. However, that is in a strange way, not really a justifiable excuse as it is a subjective, human or anthropomorphasized view. (2006) from public companies alone, Many products derived from genetic resources (enzymes, microorganisms), Personal care, Botanical and food & Beverage industries. Private and public decisions affecting biodiversity rarely consider benefits beyond the immediate geographical area…. As German bee expert Professor Joergen Tautz from Wurzburg University adds: Bees are vital to bio diversity. Since each species has a role to play, a diverse ecosystem allows them to interact and reach symbiosis. The variety of life on Earth, its biological diversity is commonly referred to as biodiversity. There are several important reasons for us to gain an understanding of the dynamic nature of biological diversity, particularly in terms of maintaining ecological balance. For example, our ecosystem services such as pollution breakdown and absorption and protection of water resources. Add another link to more information about importance of biodiversity. They provide aerage, drainage and maintain soil structure. It therefore makes economic and development sense to move towards sustainability. The benefits of these silent parts of our economy is also summarized in these videos by TEEB’s Pavan Sukhdev: The BBC notes that biodiversity is fundamental to economics. So biologists are looking at these processes in more depth to see if they can reproduce or enhance such capabilities. 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