BIODIVERSITY – A WAY OF ENSURING OUR SURVIVAL

WHAT IS BIODIVERSITY?

Biodiversity is the term used to describe the tremendous variety of life on earth. It includes all the varieties present from the ecosystem, species-level to the genetic level.

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

If we take an example of a forest, it may seem like it is a permanent fixture, but it may be likely to collapse if only one type of species tends to thrive in there. In order to maintain stability, there need to be diverse species, as one species is dependent on another for survival.

HOW ARE CLIMATE AND BIODIVERSITY INTERTWINED?

SOLAR ENERGY :

Photo by Jacob Colvin on Pexels.com

Sunlight plays a major key role in this system. The leaves of the plants and trees need sunlight for the process of photosynthesis to create oxygen and energy in the form of sugar. This energy is stored in various parts of the plant, and when the herbivores being the primary consumer, consume the leaves, the energy is passed on to them. Followed by the secondary consumers, the energy is passed on to them and so on. This is the ENERGY FLOW. It follows the 10% law, where only 10% energy will be passed on from source to consumers.

Another key factor is the presence of a hot and humid climate. As the humid climate is very much needed to add another essential to rich diversity i.e water.

HOW DO THE AREA AND SOIL AFFECT BIODIVERSITY?

Photo by Frans Van Heerden on Pexels.com

The size of a habit plays an important role in greater diversity. As the area increases, the niche increases, which is now able to support a greater variety of species.

Soil also being the key factor, has its own biodiversity. Soil biodiversity includes all the bacteria, fungi, earthworms, and termites, etc. A tablespoon of topsoil can contain a wide range of different species and up to 6 billion microorganisms.

The agricultural sector and environment, both need the proper maintenance of soil biodiversity.

  • Soil is the most biologically diverse matter on Earth, essential for plant growth and its nutrient
  • Soil contains a large variety of organisms, which is essential for global cycles, including the carbon and nitrogen cycles.
  • Soil is the habitat for millions of micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, as well as insects, and other organisms.

INTERDEPENDENT OF SPECIES – A REQUIREMENT FOR BIODIVERSITY

Photo by Francesco Ungaro on Pexels.com

In the case of a larger ecosystem, like the Rain forest, all the species are interdependent for survival. If any one of the minor species is eliminated, it may not as much affect the whole stability of the ecosystem, because of the rich volume of species and genetic diversity causing rich biodiversity.

It need not be true in all cases. Consider the Coral Reel Ecosystem. Because of the diversity of life found in the habitats created by corals, reefs are often called the “rainforests of the sea.” Many organisms in the reef are dependent on the coral, as it provides, habitat as well as the breeding ground for thousands of species of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. It also forms a symbiotic relationship with the alga. This makes corals the keystone organism. So what if, due to extensive fishing, pollution, or ocean acidification cause the loss of corals? All the species that were dependent on the corals face the same loss, causing the destruction of that entire ecosystem.

CONCLUSION:

Ecosystem, Species, and Genetic diversity are intertwined to give us the biodiversity that is vital for the survival of organisms on Earth. We, humans, are also a part of this system, if few strands of this link are removed, our own survival is threatened, cut off too many of them, may cause destruction of our own ecosystems. Biodiversity is the Earth’s own safety net, an insurance policy for the survival of us all.