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. Our eagle example also demonstrates another aspect of diversity. 21-year-old arrested in Nashville nurse slaying: Police. A healthy ecosystem stems from rich biodiversity. how we use resources), but addressing core short-comings in our economic systems is a crucial political challenge. 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. Declining biodiversity is therefore a concern for many reasons. 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. And as we start destroying, reducing and isolating habitats, the chances for interaction from species with a large gene pool decreases. 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. In addition, their benefits are felt differently by people in different places and over different timescales. Climate Change and Global Warming Introduction. For example, our ecosystem services such as pollution breakdown and absorption and protection of water resources. PLAY. Many people may support environmental causes to help preserve the beauty of Nature. 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. It controls essential ecological processes and promotes lives. While there might be survival of the fittest within a given species, each species depends on the services provided by other species to ensure survival. Diversity in the ecosystem is significant to human existence for a variety of reasons. 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. Add another link to more information about importance of biodiversity. Since each species has a role to play, a diverse ecosystem allows them to interact and reach symbiosis. 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. Each ecosystem provide different habitats that can essential for a species's life cycle. Alternatively, copy/paste the following MLA citation format for this page: Shah, Anup. The fact that within a forest, pond or sea there are countless different animals, plants, fish, birds and so on all living together. It noted how a few decades ago, some fishermen campaigned for killing whales because they were threatening the fish supply and thus jobs. This will take a little while to explain so please bear with me. 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. 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. 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. It promotes various food chains and food webs. Even these services often bypass markets where carried out as part of community management of shared resources. As described by Google, it is defined as, "the variety of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem." For example. For example, A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops; Greater species … A healthy biodiversity provides many natural services that are beneficial for everyone. Appreciating diversity is important as this is what forms the societies that we live in. 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. It was noted earlier that ecosystems provide many services to us, for free. 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. This is equivalent to 7% of their combined revenues and up to a third of their combined profits. Created by. In addition to that, other related measurements, such as GNP are therefore flawed, and even reward unproductive or inefficient behavior (e.g. Importance of Ecosystem: It provides habitat to wild plants and animals. They provide aerage, drainage and maintain soil structure. 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 is important because it clears out our water, changes out climate, and provides us with food. Ecosystem Productivity. Forests and wetland ecosystems provide crucial buffers to extreme storms and flooding related to climate change. One of the main reasons we should continue to focus on preserving biodiversity is that it helps to boost ecosystem productivity. Planting and protecting nearly 12,000 hectares of mangroves in Vietnam costs just over a million dollars but saved annual expenditures on dyke maintenance of well over seven million dollars. To print all information (e.g. Ecosystem diversity. 15 Jan. 2021. Ecosystems produce the food humans eat and the fiber that humans used for clothing and shelter. The values of other ecosystem services are generally not reflected in markets apart from a few exceptions (such as tourism). 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? 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. Anita Roddick: Corporate Social Responsibility? At such a time, markets mobilize automatically to address this by looking for ways to bring down costs. Image Source: Twitter. represents ‘natural’ component of the market. This then has an impact on various local social, political and economic issues. “Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today. Flashcards. A few years later, they found the park with the culled population had remained in poor condition. 19 Jan. 2014. It is the variation in the ecosystems found in a region or the variation in ecosystems over the whole planet. STUDY. 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. Sometimes links to other sites may break beyond my control. Tense postgame handshake between college coaches While there are disagreements and differences on how this works, it suggests that ecological balance and biodiversity are crucial for all of earth, not just humans. Bees are more important than poultry in terms of human nutrition. 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. 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. For more information on this question, visit some of the following links. Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime.” — Old Chinese Saying. Why is BIODIVERSITY important? 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. Biodiversity is important because it boosts ecosystem productivity where each species all have an important role to play. In the end they agreed to let one park have its elephants culled, while the other would be left alone. The fact that within a forest, pond or sea there are countless different animals, plants, … Terms in this set (18) Biodiversity. Ecosystem diversity. Some cultures have recognized this kind of inter-relationship for a very long time. Without diversity in the ecosystem species would be suscepitable biological hazards. Biodiversity plays significant role in soil formation and its conservation. Spell. The diversity of plants in the many ecosystems is the source for medicines that humans use to treat disease. food sources must be diverse because of each food type and the type of food/energy received from this food. Biological diversity, or biodiversity, is the scientific term for the variety of life on Earth. If a fire tears through a forest where only one species exists and is wiped out by the fire, the forest ecosystem is less likely to deal with this loss than if only one out of 20 species disappeared. Social, Political, Economic and Environmental Issues That Affect Us All. However, that is in a strange way, not really a justifiable excuse as it is a subjective, human or anthropomorphasized view. The biodiversity of an ecosystem is important because it stabilises the whole system where life is present. This also has a negative impact on the environment, perhaps partly formed by outdated-views that predators are harmful for other wildlife. 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). The fact that in the world there are deserts, seas, ponds and forests, all of them with animals living in them. 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). Our continued inefficient pumping of greenhouse gases into the environment without factoring the enormous cost as the climate already begins to change is perhaps an example where price signals may come too late, or at a time when there is already significant impact to many people. 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. 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. And so, while we dominate this planet, we still need to preserve the diversity in wildlife. 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. Why Is Biodiversity Important? This is mainly explained by the fact that many ecosystem services are ‘public goods’ or ‘common goods’: they are often open access in character and non-rival in their consumption. kodakoda2223. But honeybees, the primary species that fertilizes food-producing plants, have suffered dramatic declines in recent years, mostly from afflictions introduced by humans. The term biodiversity (from the phrase “biological diversity”) refers to the variety of life on Earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain life. Running out of resources should therefore be averted. Explanation: We need ants to survive, but they don't need us at all. More examples are discussed on this site’s section on consumption and consumerism). 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. expanded side notes, shows alternative links), use the print version: Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. The earthworm is like a natural tractor, fertilizer factory and dam, combined! 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. Discover the Importance of India. Ecosystem is more diverse when it contains varied landscapes, creating more space for shelter and escapes which allows the rapid growth of plants as … In a recent report, The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity for National and International Policy Makers 2009, TEEB provided the following example of sectors dependent on genetic resources: In addition, it is estimated that implementing REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) could help, From a cost perspective (p.18), it is estimated that. 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. https://greentumble.com/why-is-it-important-to-conserve-biodiversity Learn. Match. The usual way to deal with this was to cull the population to try and keep the ecosystem in balance. 1. Private and public decisions affecting biodiversity rarely consider benefits beyond the immediate geographical area…. Markets fail to capture most ecosystem service values. This systematic under-valuation of ecosystem services and failure to capture the values is one of the main causes underlying today’s biodiversity crisis. The Gulf Coast of Florida is another unique ecosystem with different characteristics. Biodiversity is very important to the well-being of our planet and here’s why. 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. 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. 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.. It includes the concepts of species diversity, habitat diversity and genetic diversity. Without this, the chances of extinction increases. Bees provide enormous benefits for humankind as another example. The amount of biological or living diversity per unit area. diversity is not only important but required. Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, Cookie Policy, and Copyrights. The three types of biodiversity (species, genetic, and ecosystem) help keep a healthy and sustainable ecosystem and environment for a long period of time. Some have termed this Gaia. Ecosystem diversity is very important because all life forms on earth depend on each other. Why 'Crocodile Dundee' star, 81, came out of retirement. Humans rely on ecosystems for many functions. Human intervention to perform the same services would be more costly. With between 3 and 30 million species on earth, here are the reasons why they are important. (2006) from public companies alone, Many products derived from genetic resources (enzymes, microorganisms), Personal care, Botanical and food & Beverage industries. On a large scale for example plants have diversity to prevent them from being wiped out by a parasitic attack or something. The price signal also implies the poorest often pay the heaviest costs. A healthy biodiversity provides a number of natural services for everyone: That is quite a lot of services we get for free! 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. Being against prevailing thought, they would not agree. Almost all cultures have their roots in our biological diversity in some way or form. By contrast, waiting 10 more years could reduce the net benefit of halving deforestation by US$ 500 billion. 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. 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). 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 . 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). 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. Why do we need to protect biodiversity? Economists talk of the price signal that is fundamental to capitalism; the ability for prices to indicate when a resource is becoming scarcer. Benefits that are felt with a long-term horizon (e.g. Naturally, those who benefit from the current system may be hostile to such changes, especially if it may mean they might lose out. Why is the Ecosystem so Important? 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. Without this, elephants were stripping vegetation bare, affecting other animals, too. 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). Other wildlife grew in numbers and the ecosystem was generally back in balance. It has perhaps taken about a decade or so — and a severe enough global financial crisis that has hit the heart of this way of thinking — to change this mentality (in which time, more greenhouse gases have been emitted — inefficiently). Recreation—many recreational pursuits rely on our unique biodiversity, such as birdwatching, hiking, camping and fishing. As German bee expert Professor Joergen Tautz from Wurzburg University adds: Bees are vital to bio diversity. Resources that could be available more indefinitely, become finite because of our inability or unwillingness to change. Healthy ecosystems can better withstand and recover from a variety of disasters. Thus preserving the structure of biological communities rather than increasing the number of species are very important for maintaining ecosystem services. Involved in the recycling of nutrients between biotic and abiotic components. Nature can often be surprisingly resilient, often without the need for human interventions. Generally, when a variety is extinct from it or there is a decrease in its population, this indicates that these species were not … Diversity In an aquatic environment helps in … Diversity is necessary in an ecosystem to help drive the gene pool and further evolution of species. 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? Gravity. As such, it is essential that we actively choose to minimize the negative impacts that our actio… . Read on, as we’ll explore the reasons why preserving biodiversity is such an important task. The variety of life on Earth, its biological diversity is commonly referred to as biodiversity. Biodiversity is categorized into species diversity, genetic diversity and ecosystem diversity. As a result, resources are supposedly infinite. “Why Is Biodiversity Important? The cost of replacing these (if possible) would be extremely expensive. Rest is unchanged, for now, since January 1, 2001. 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. An ecosystem will have a higher productivity rate and more robust ecological processes when more different life forms can thrive and survive. Unfortunately the original link to the Nature.com article no longer works, since their site redesign, and I had not noted the publication details. Who Cares?.” Global Issues. costs that have to be borne by society from ignored factors, or social costs). These efforts will ensure that bees continue to provide pollination and that our diets remain rich in the fruits and vegetables we now take for granted. The natural pace at which this happened allowed vegetation to grow back. 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. Despite these free benefits, it has long been recognized that we tend to ignore or underestimate the value of those services. Test. So much so that economic measures such as GDP often ignores environmental costs. 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. This can be done by recycling & storage of nutrients, controlling pollution, & stabilizing climate. Appropriate conservation and sustainable development strategies attempt to recognize this as being integral to any approach to preserving biodiversity. The poorest often pay the heaviest costs the price signal also implies poorest. Decades ago, some fishermen campaigned for killing whales because they were threatening the fish supply and thus.! Earth, here are the reasons why preserving biodiversity ( e.g ' star, 81 came! To treat disease education and research and maintains the ecosystem is important because all life forms in it thriving. 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