Organisms fluctuate depending on their adaptation and role in the environment. The role of a variety of species in their habitat is dictated by the ecological complexities and ecosystems. According to Bardgett and van der Putten, biodiversity plays a crucial position in developing a balance in which the different organisms can depend on each other. Such a dependence as described in the article ensures that the survival of one organism depends on the survival of the other. This paper will thus carry out the advantages of biodiversity together with the threat going through its existence.
Benefits of Biodiversity
The variability of life in the ecosystem draws a lot of advantages to the survival of various organisms in the environment. One essential reason for us to appreciate diversity is that it plays an important role in keeping the environment in a natural balance (Elmqvist 2014, p.313). Having an ecosystem with a wide variety of species means that that environment is more adaptable and resilient to the external stress compared to one with limited species. For an ecosystem with fewer species, temporary reduction or loss of any organism can seriously disrupt the complex food chain causing serious consequences to other species in the habitat. Once there is sufficient biodiversity, the reduction in one species will not cause major effects because another pathway can function and thus the ecosystem can survive. The human population also requires a wide variety of species, especially the plants so as to satisfy their needs. Currently, many plants serve as natural medicines and raw materials for the manufacture of biological pest control agents. The increase in plant species also provides a wide variety of food products to choose from. The invaluable resources from the diverse products can be used in meeting the needs of the growing population. A diverse ecosystem is thus more stable and productive therefore ensuring that the organisms can survive the environmental pressure. Biodiversity also serves to sustain the natural ecosystem in which all life and human beings depend.
Threats to Biodiversity
The concern about threats to the diversity of species has overtime centered on the large organisms. It is, however, true that the biodiversity of the small organisms is also at stake. Fisheries products, forestry, agriculture and other diverse vital ecosystem services such as a balanced climate depend upon the conservation of a biologically diverse habitat. The fact that medicinal plants and pharmaceuticals rely on biodiversity, means that a decrease in biodiversity can result in the increase of transmission of diseases to the human beings hence causing high health care costs. The outdoor tourism industry also greatly rely on biodiversity. If not checked well, many countries risk losing billions of dollars because failure to protect the ecosystem leads to some key animals being extent. According to Pimm et al. (2014, p. 1246752-1), overkill and habitat destructions are the major threats towards the accomplishment of a secure habitat. Human activities and over-population also present a big challenge towards the coexistence of various organisms in the environment as they alter the activities of organisms.
In conclusion, biodiversity continues to encounter a lot of threats despite its benefits on the existence of various organisms. The role of the environmental conservationists will not realize much efforts if the people do not realize that the role of conserving the ecosystems is everybody’s individual responsibility. Appreciating the diversity of various species as discussed in the paper is quite mandatory for the survival of the human beings. The fact that the major destructors of biodiversity are human activities calls for strict measure to be taken against those found to have altered the functioning of the habitat.
Bardgett, R.D. and van der Putten, W.H., 2014. Belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, Nature, 515 (7528), pp.505-511.
Elmqvist, T.A., 2014. Urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services. New York: Springer.
Pimm, S.L. et al., 2014. The biodiversity of species and their rates of extinction, distribution, and protection. Science, 344 (6187), pp.1246752-1-1246752-8.