BIODIVERSITY PAPER

The presence of various species of organisms in a given location is referred to as biodiversity. A natural area inhabited by a community of plants, animals, and other living things can be defined as such. Every plant species makes a distinct contribution to ecosystems. Although biodiversity varies by region, altitude, temperature, soil, and organism behavior are all factors that influence it. The interdependence of various organisms within an ecosystem ensures its long-term viability and efficient use of available resources.
The Importance of Biodiversity
Biodiversity has received a lot of attention in recent years. Environmental conservation has emphasized the importance of maintaining the balance in the ecosystem to enable sustainability in the use of natural resources. Some of the benefits of biodiversity are explained below.

The Source of Various Biological Resources

Biodiversity provides food animals and human beings, medicine materials used in pharmaceuticals, plant and animal products, and breeding ground for an organism. According to Gamfeldt, Hillebrand and Jonsson (2008, p.1226), over 80% of human food are obtained from plants while animals also contribute to various types of food.

Balancing the Ecosystem

Biodiversity helps in regulation of various factors affecting human life. It enables plants to store nutrients, protect the resources, stabilizing the climate, and maintain ecological balance. Loss of biodiversity and lead to crisis since all organisms depend on water (Underwood et al. 2009, p.189). Moreover, the discovery of medicine used to treat various diseases depend on the sustainability of the resources.

Social Benefits

It allows people to uphold the cultural and aesthetic value. It offers the opportunity for organisms to mix recreation and tourism.

Threats to Biodiversity

According to Hillebrand and Matthiessen (2009, p.1408), biodiversity is currently endangered by increased human activities. Different human activities have led to habitat destruction and secondary extinction. Some of the threats to biodiversity are discussed below.

Global warming and climate change have led to the loss of biodiversity. The changing climatic conditions and temperatures have made most habitats inhabitable to most organisms (Wilcove & Koh 2010, p.1001). For instance, biodiversity in coral reefs are slowly becoming extinct. Plants and animal species living in the coral reefs may not be present in the next 40 years.

Sustaining a balance in an ecosystem is a challenge since a breakdown of a small element threatens the whole ecosystem. For instance, invasive species have continued to threaten the freshwater ecosystem. Such species are constrained by natural barriers preventing them from invading native species. Human activities have resulted in the destruction of natural barriers thereby encouraging the entry into the ecosystem by invasive species (Gamfeldt, Hillebrand & Jonsson 2008, p.1225).

Genetic pollution is characterised by gene swamping and uncontrolled hybridization. When abundant species and rare species interbreed, swamping of the gene pool occurs. Human beings tend to overexploit the available animal or plant species through excessive logging, overfishing among others thereby threatening biodiversity.

Conclusion

Biodiversity is important for the wellbeing of organisms living in an ecosystem. Since all the organisms relate and uniquely contribute to the balancing of the ecosystem, sustained and balanced ecosystem promotes biodiversity. Biodiversity is the source of biological resources and social benefits. Climate change and human activities are the major threats to biodiversity. To maintain biodiversity, overcome the negative effects and protect the habitat, tough economic policies should enact.

References

Gamfeldt, L., Hillebrand, H., & Jonsson, P.R., 2008. Multiple functions increase the importance of biodiversity for overall ecosystem functioning. Ecology, 89(5), pp.1223-1231.

Hillebrand, H. & Matthiessen, B., 2009. Biodiversity in a complex world: consolidation and progress in functional biodiversity research. Ecology letters, 12(12), pp.1405-1419.

Wilcove, D.S. & Koh, L.P., 2010. Addressing the threats to biodiversity from oil-palm agriculture. Biodiversity and Conservation, 19(4), pp.999-1007.

Underwood, E.C., Viers, J.H., Klausmeyer, K.R., Cox, R.L. and Shaw, M.R., 2009. Threats and biodiversity in the mediterranean biome. Diversity and Distributions, 15(2), pp.188-197.

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