Biodiversity Introduction by Science World
‘Biodiversity’ is a term frequently used. It is short for ‘biological diversity’. A concise definition of biodiversity is “the variety of life on earth”. Biodiversity is an over-arching concept which includes wildlife, habitats and conservation. Biodiversity is important to us for aesthetic and even spiritual reasons but also for practical and utilitarian ones. There is a widespread and deep concern for our countryside, wildlife and habitats as shown by the huge membership of wildlife and conservation organisations.
As we know that biology is the study of living organisms or living things. It is a combination of two words ‘bios’ which means life and ‘logos’ means happening. It deals with all aspects of life in which different types of species involved. As environmental science is a vast field which deals with all types of living things such as plants, animals or insects etc. There are different branches of environmental science one of them is biodiversity. The study of variation of different living organisms such as plants and animals in a specific area for the sake of food, living, and shelter is called as biodiversity.
Biological diversity or biodiversity refers to the variety of life forms: the different plants, animals and microorganisms, the genes they contain, and the ecosystems they form. This living wealth is the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolutionary history. The process of evolution means that the pool of living diversity is dynamic: it increases when new genetic variation is produced, a new species is created or a novel ecosystem formed; it decreases when the genetic variation within a species decreases, a species becomes extinct or an ecosystem complex is lost. The concept emphasizes the interrelated nature of the living world and its processes.
Biological diversity is usually considered at three different levels: genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.
Genetic diversity refers to the variety of genetic information contained in all of the individual plants, animals and microorganisms. Genetic diversity occurs within and between populations of species as well as between species. Species diversity refers to the variety of living species.
Ecosystem diversity relates to the variety of habitats, biotic communities, and ecological processes, as well as the tremendous diversity present within ecosystems in terms of habitat differences and the variety of ecological processes.
At the ecosystem level, biodiversity provides the conditions and drives the processes that sustain the global economy – and our very survival as a species. The benefits and services provided by ecosystems include:
The activities of microbial and animal species – including bacteria, algae, fungi, mites, millipedes and worms – condition soils, break down organic matter, and release essential nutrients to plants. These processes play a key role in the cycling of such crucial elements as nitrogen, carbon and phosphorous between the living and non-living parts of the biosphere.
Plant species purify the air and regulate the composition of the atmosphere, recycling vital oxygen and filtering harmful particles resulting from industrial activities.